It was the prospect of dealing with yet another nightmarish financial year wrap-up that made Australian retailer Rabbit Photo realise the time was ripe to invest in new financial management software.
Having a spreadsheet-based system that combined information from 157 stores Australia-wide, Rabbit Photo's financial control department routinely had to check and integrate some 170,000 separate spreadsheet cells just to prepare its budget.
According to Geoff Cheesman, the company's financial controller and MIS manager: "If any one of those cells were incorrect, it would not only throw the entire budget out, it would be virtually impossible to locate the error."
Determined to end the nightmare, the company's management went in search of a financial application and, in June 1998, they decided to invest $10,000 in SuperModeller, an unknown financial modelling, projection and data manipulation package from a local developer, Econsult.
Security and integrity
"With SuperModeller, we were immediately able to remove the cell-based data-manipulations risk and ensure data security and integrity," Cheesman said.
SuperModeller was designed as an alternative to traditional spreadsheet models of financial management after Econsult realised that "the life of DOS-based software was virtually at an end". SuperModeller "stores data separate from the equations and formulae", making it error-proof.
The tool was developed after the distributor of UK-developed Master Modeller discovered that Windows-based financial modelling packages simply did not exist. They therefore decided to build one themselves.
According to Econsult's director, Michael Ronai: "SuperModeller is primarily a financial modelling tool that also has a very powerful database within the package, allowing us to very rapidly build a variety of financial applications such as budgeting, forecasting, project evaluation and performance reporting."
After testing its Delphi-based 32-bit application successfully with Rabbit Photo, Econsult is now looking for a number of resellers to help propel SuperModeller into the Australian financial management market.
"We are looking for resellers ready to provide tailored solutions for three of our SuperModeller-based applications: a generic budgeting and monthly reporting system, a customisable asset register, and a corporate consolidation and elimination package," Ronai said.
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