IDU | Budgeting Forecasting and Reporting Solutions: December 2019

Thursday, 5 December 2019

The case for zero-based budgeting

Budgets can be an opportunity for reflection on strategy and alignment

Zero based budgeting image

Have you ever noticed departments in your organisation rushing frantically to spend their budgets at the end of the financial year? Have you ever seen someone commission a service they didn’t really need to avoid having their budget cut? Have you ever done it yourself?

I’m willing to bet that most of my readers have either participated in that year-end spending panic, or seen it happen. It’s all too common – and an unmistakeable sign that an organisation’s budget has come seriously adrift from its strategy. If an activity is genuinely important, nobody should be scrambling to get it done just before the deadline. But after years of creating budgets based on what you spent last year plus X, the instinct to hold onto what you have can become deeply entrenched. Zero-based budgeting is an exceptionally powerful tool to avoid that lethal complacency.

Zero-based budgeting stops mindless routine in its tracks and forces everyone to actually think about what they’re doing. It can be an immensely empowering process for line managers, creating an opportunity to reconnect with how their work fits into the bigger picture. It will almost certainly also create opportunities to cut costs, as people see where they could be doing things more efficiently – but the cost cutting is not the main point. Indeed, if zero-based budgeting is done right, it should also identify areas where the organisation is under-spending, or where you could get more value for the same spending.

Over-emphasis on cost cutting is one reason, I suspect, why zero-based budgeting isn’t more widely used. There’s a certain swashbuckling appeal to the idea of burning everything to the ground and making everyone justify their entire budget from the ground up. The reality of that approach, however, is more likely to be widespread fear, resentment and frantic attempts to protect pet projects.

There’s a healthier way to approach zero-based budgeting. It’s not just about costs, it’s about linking spending with strategy. When a new business or project is starting from scratch, the budget is the place where big dreams get their reality check. It means asking questions: What do we actually need to get this off the ground? What can we do without? What’s the most efficient way to achieve our objectives? What are the best tools and people for the job?

In an established business, the day-to-day routine can carry on for years without anyone ever stopping to reconsider whether the existing answers to these questions are still the right ones. Taking time out to review them can be invigorating, identifying opportunities for change, growth and new investment as well
as for pruning.

This can be particularly terrifying for areas of the business which are essential but whose value is intangible, like marketing or customer service. A zero-based budget process should provide ways to demonstrate value that aren’t directly linked to revenue—but also, if someone can’t make a convincing argument for their existence then they probably need to be thinking harder about it. Finding and honing the arguments can contribute to a renewed sense of purpose and alignment with overall strategic goals.

Of course this all takes a lot more time than the usual approach, which is why so few businesses do it. There are two ways to solve the problem. First, the whole organisation doesn’t have to start from scratch every year. A rolling four-year process where just 25% of the organisation does a zero-based budget every year will achieve all the same benefits without most of the disruption. Second, for the other 75%, a budget process that is fast and well-supported by software and automation tools will free finance staff up to spend time where they are most needed.

It’s not an easy path to take – but if implemented correctly, zero-based budgeting can be a powerful tool to engage and empower line managers, increase budget transparency and make sure spending actually supports business goals.

As published in AccountingWeb - 27 November 2019

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Corporate Renaissance Group partners with IDU

Puzzel partner image

Toronto, Ontario – December 2, 2019 – Corporate Renaissance Group (CRGroup), a Quisitive Company (TSXV: QUIS), Microsoft Partner and premier provider of business technology and consulting services, today announced it has finalized a distribution agreement with IDU, a Microsoft Partner and leader in corporate budgeting, forecasting and reporting software.

IDU’s flagship product, idu-Concept™, provides budgeting and financial reporting for medium-sized to large businesses. idu-Concept has been named a leader in the budgeting and reporting category and a high performer in the Corporate Performance Management Categories of the G2 Crowd™ Fall 2019 Report, as well as being named one of the top financial planning applications by Gartner®. idu-Concept was developed to eliminate barriers to reporting by allowing businesses to leverage existing systems and tools for extensive reporting and data visualizations.

The agreement grants CRGroup the right to market, sell and implement idu-Concept across North-Eastern United States, Canada and the Caribbean.

This partnership with IDU not only strengthens CRGroup’s position in the FP&A transformative space but addresses a need in the marketplace for affordable budgeting software that leverages existing technical investments and data reporting platforms like Microsoft Power BI™, SQL™, and Azure™.

“We are very excited to strengthen the idu-Concept footprint in the North American and Caribbean markets,” said Thomas Ironstone, Manager, CPM/BI at CRGroup. “Adding idu-Concept to CRGroup’s toolset of CPM and FP&A solutions provides our customers with a powerful, affordable, flexible and secure system that leverages the Microsoft® platform – both on-premise and in the Cloud.”

“We’re delighted to partner with an industry leader like CRGroup to extend our reach in North America and the Caribbean,” said Kevin Phillips, CEO of IDU. “idu-Concept is built on the values of increasing financial accountability, transparency and empowerment throughout an organization, said Kevin Phillips, CEO of IDU. “We enable non-financial managers to engage with budget, forecast and financial information in ways that make it easy to understand. The formalized partnership with CRGroup provides us access to enterprise businesses looking for a reliable cost-effective solution that fits within the terms of their IT strategy.”

About IDU
IDU delivers top of class packaged budgeting, forecasting, performance management and reporting tools to simplify financial management. Our flagship product, idu-Concept, provides easy, effective budgeting, forecasting and financial reporting for medium-sized to large businesses. idu-Concept integrates easily with ERP software, but unlike more cumbersome offerings, idu-Concept can be implemented quickly, requires little or no ongoing consulting and reduces budgeting cycles from months to weeks. For more information on IDU, please visit

About CRGroup
Since 1989, Corporate Renaissance Group (CRGroup), a Quisitive Company (TSXV: QUIS), has been delivering expert guidance and leading technology solutions to help organizations transform enterprise performance. With over 4,500 customers worldwide, CRGroup has established itself with expertise in business management, financial management, consulting and software development. Working with its technology partners such as Microsoft, Board, Adaptive Insights, Tableau, IDU and Atlassian, CRGroup delivers solutions in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Office 365 (O365), Corporate Performance Management (CPM), Human Capital Management (HCM) and Business Intelligence (BI). These solutions and more cover the full business spectrum, consistent with CRGroup’s Level 7™ Framework. To learn more about CRGroup, visit and follow @crgroup

About Quisitive
A premier Microsoft solutions provider, Quisitive empowers enterprises to skillfully navigate the ever-changing technology landscape through the utilization of Microsoft cloud technology including Microsoft Azure, Dynamics and Office 365.

Named the 2019 Microsoft U.S. Country Partner of the Year for demonstrated excellence in innovation and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft cloud technology, Quisitive is uniquely poised to help businesses harness the power of the cloud.

Quisitive combines technical expertise, internal Independent software vendor capabilities and proprietary SaaS solutions, such as CRG emPerform ™ and LedgerPay to create impactful solutions that drive transformation for their clients. Whether it’s moving to the Microsoft cloud, understanding the implications of operating in the cloud, or pushing the boundaries of cloud innovation, Quisitive offers a variety of services that can be implemented individually or layered to create a unique solution to fit an organization’s specific needs.

Quisitive is comprised of experienced Microsoft partner leaders and technologists who share a deep understanding of market needs and the appropriate application of Microsoft cloud technology. The company’s expertise and focus are on helping industries such as financial services, manufacturing, oil and gas, and retail, drive innovation using Microsoft cloud-based technologies.

Quisitive serves clients globally with offices in Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Minneapolis, MN; Ottawa, ON; and Toronto, ON. For more information, visit and follow @BeQuisitive. TSXV: QUIS.