5 tools to help CFOs collaborate with PMOs on project budgets


CFOs are the custodians of your organization’s financial assets. Having access to these tools can help CFOs work effectively with PMOs.

CFOs play a vital role in ensuring that an organization’s financial assets are spent wisely and that there is a solid return on investment. How does the role of a CFO impact projects? As part of project cost management, a CFO role is to ensure that for every dollar invested in a project, the return on investment is attractive and the benefits must be realized. To track budget and actuals, as well as forecast, and ensure sufficient governance, CFOs can use tools like these to better understand projects and collaborate with project management offices on future projects.

Using tools like these, CFOs can play an important role in ensuring PMOs establish realistic portfolio and project budgets and have a clear vision of spending.

Image: DataRails

DataRails is a financial planning and analysis solution that Excel users can leverage to easily collect, report and analyze data collected from each of your organizational systems such as ledgers, customer relationship management, management of human resources and other systems or spreadsheets. Access to project information enables CFOs to provide PMOs and executives with real-time financial information and make faster, more informed portfolio decisions. Sometimes project managers have to report financial statements to the C-suite, and CFOs are their gatekeepers. Many CFOs are still comfortable with Excel; DataRails allows you to use Excel as a front-end, but it connects to any “single source of truth” you want, with built-in projection logic and visualizations. There’s no need for manual data migration, integration with dynamic external data sources, or versioning.

Main characteristics:

  • Activity and project information helps CFOs better collaborate with PMOs on potential projects using scenario analysis – “what if” modeling.
  • Consolidation and data integrity ensure trust with a comprehensive, centralized database that protects data and ensures the validity of your numbers.
  • Ad hoc management and reporting to quickly extract key information to answer PMO questions and data needed for quick and expert judgment.
  • Process automation helps finance teams reduce Excel usage by 75% in favor of real-time data to help businesses streamline project strategy and analysis.

Contact DataRails for pricing.



Image: Unit4

Unit4 offers budget and financial forecasting tools that simplify complex tasks so teams can understand numbers and share and act on information for better results. The goal is to make it faster and easier for CFOs and their finance teams to understand the things that matter, and to use knowledge to turn plans and ideas into action. Unit4 offers an integrated approach to your organization’s financial planning needs and includes planning cash flow, managing operational budgets, or forecasting sales, costs and revenues. CFOs can work with PMOs to quickly adapt to change and help optimize decision making and governance with greater visibility and simplified compliance. This software as a service platform has created intelligent business applications on a foundation that helps innovation to deliver great experiences.

Main characteristics:

  • Financial planning, budgeting and forecasting to help PMOs budget and stay within limits.
  • Sales and operations planning to ensure PMOs define the prerequisites, requirements and necessary processes.
  • Analytics and reports for self-service business intelligence analysis.
  • People planning and analysis to make better informed decisions about who and how best to deploy them.
  • Business performance management for a transparent and comprehensive performance management environment.

Contact Unit4 for prices.

Unit 4


Image: FinancialForce

FinancialForce is focused on putting your customers at the center of everything. It is a customer-centric, end-to-end enterprise resource planning solution. Built on a Salesforce platform, FinancialForce helps CFOs and PMOs work side-by-side to deliver maximum project and portfolio value and increase efficiency. Its suite of tools covers accounting, financial management, enterprise resource planning, and professional service automation. It is a complete, unified cloud ERP option that keeps CFOs and their teams on the same page as project and portfolio managers to improve performance and success rates.

Main characteristics:

  • Accounting and financial management for real-time business intelligence, revenue recognition, forecasting and purchasing.
  • Real-time dashboard metrics for increased visibility with customizable reports across your organization.
  • Automation of professional services including resource and project management, project financial data, time and expense billing, and revenue recognition.
  • Automation of processes to simplify digital adoption.
  • Resource management to ensure that CFOs and PMOs can align with the management of all human resources. Includes workforce management, employee acquisition, engagement, management, and workforce reporting and analysis.

Contact FinancialForce for pricing.



Image: Planguru

Planguru is a smart and dynamic financial forecasting tool that CFOs can use alongside PMOs to plan project expenses. Focused on small and medium-sized businesses, it is available to businesses, nonprofits, and advisors. Planguru provides flexible budgeting with high-level small business budgets or multi-department operating budgets with consolidations. There are also integrated financial statements which include income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements, as well as forecasting methods for a 10 year projection. With PlanGuru’s reporting tools, CFOs provide PMOs with an overview of specific aspects of projects and their impact on the business to help them make the necessary adjustments to achieve higher levels of success.

Main characteristics:

  • Budgeting and financial analysis to help define financial goals and assign responsibility for results.
  • Evolving forecasting to better understand the implications of decisions and help PMOs adapt faster to a changing environment.
  • Strategic planning to make sure everyone is working in the same direction.
  • What-if scenarios to help PMOs assess risks and opportunities.

Planguru offers two pricing options. A monthly Planguru app at $ 39 / use / month or $ 899 / user / year. This option works best for single-entity SMEs or non-profit organizations. There is also Planguru Desktop at $ 99 / user / month or $ 899 / user / year. This option is intended for any entity requiring multi-department consolidations.



Image: Approve.com

Approve.com helps CFOs and finance teams better collaborate with procurement teams to gain visibility and control overspending. This real-time tool streamlines purchase requisitions, approvals and suppliers. It’s simple and flexible, providing increased visibility into your spending and helping you identify bottlenecks. Approve.com supports complex workflows, all from a single team to thousands of users, to scale as your teams grow.

Main characteristics:

  • Purchase requisition forms can be set up quickly to capture user needs and start the right flow of approval.
  • Approval flows ensure that finance approvers can coordinate with procurement specialists who can approve, reject, return, or review, ensuring that the request is routed correctly.
  • Approved requests can automatically open to purchase orders or trigger emails to specific stakeholders.
  • The ability to browse and onboard vendors, automate tasks and approvals, and stay on top of contract renewals.
  • Reports and dashboards provide real-time visibility into spending.

Approve.com offers three pricing plans, Enhanced, Enterprise and Unlimited, as well as a free demo. Contact Approve.com for details.


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