Frequently Asked Questions
A1. What makes BPM different to other consulting firms providing business modelling services?
A2. My business is very unique. Are you sure your system would work on my business?
A3. How much would it cost to have a business planning model built for my company?
A4. My company is relatively small. Can BPM help me?
A5. Which industries does BPM service?
B1. What does bpmToolbox do?
B2. Does bpmToolbox add macros to my workbooks?
B3. Does bpmToolbox work on Microsoft Excel® 2007 and 2010?
B4. I'm running Microsoft Excel® 2003 and 2007 at the same time. Does bpmToolbox support this?
B5. Does bpmToolbox work on Macs?
B6. Do you offer volume discounts?
B7. Does bpmToolbox make spreadsheets more difficult to audit?
B8. What can I download and use free of charge?
General / Other
BPM is a specialised best practice modelling business, which gives us many competitive advantages over other consulting firms. We are passionate about constantly improving the quality of business modelling, dedicating significant ongoing resources to developing and maintaining standards, software, training courses and best practice consulting systems. We pride ourselves on playing a leading role in establishing best practice business modelling as a respected standalone industry.
As discussed below, our system, and the standards which underpin it, govern 'how', not 'what' to model, and are therefore applicable to any business modelling task, irrespective of the underlying industry. For almost a decade, our consulting team has been working closely with the heads of small and large organisations, often in industries in which we've had no prior experience, to develop best practice business models to meet each client's particular requirements. Hence, every model we develop for our clients is unique.
The cost of having BPM build a business planning model for your company would be determined based on the complexity of your business and your particular modelling requirements. Historically, BPM has undertaken business planning model projects ranging from small clients with budgets of around $10k to extremely large clients with budgets closer to $1m. For your company, we would recommend contacting one of our consultants and requesting a quote based on a discussion about your particular requirements. This would take place on a commitment-free, confidential and complimentary basis.
Yes. Whilst many of BPM's clients are large organisations, our systematic approach, and the efficiencies which it creates, make it much more viable for us to service smaller companies at a relatively small cost when compared with traditional business modelling services. One of our ambitions is to make best practice business modelling attractive to all companies, large and small, and our software development is helping us achieve this goal.
If you can justify spending $5k per year on a historical accounting package, we believe you should also be comfortable justifying spending $10k per year on a business planning tool which is arguably much more important for strategic decision making. And if you're comfortable building the model yourself, you could achieve the same outcome for less than 10% of this price using our best practice modelling software.
All industries. BPM's consultancy services are not industry-specific - we service clients in the utilities, infrastructure, mining, manufacturing, retail and regulated water industries to name but a few. Obviously there is less lead time when working with clients in industries in which we have relevant experience, but even if this is not the case our mentality is that we build models based on the particular requirements of each client.
bpmToolbox is a sophisticated add-in to Microsoft Excel®, which allows users to efficiently build best practice models - i.e. models which comply with the Best Practice Spreadsheet Modelling Standards. The add-in contains tools relevant to every stage of the model development process, including tools which insert standardised sheets with a table of contents, apply best practice formats and styles, insert controls, assist in writing and reviewing formulas, create presentation outputs and review the model content.
The standarisation provided by bpmToolbox makes the models that are built with it extremely consistent, transparent and easy to use, thereby facilitating the efficient development of models by multiple users with minimal model hand-over issues or key person risk. bpmToolbox can also be heavily customised, without breaching best practice requirements, to reflect a preferred personal or corporate 'look and feel', and themes created in this way can easily be transferred between users within a team.
No. bpmToolbox uses code to manipulate Excel workbooks, but does not add macros to the works that it manipulates. Hence, Excel workbooks built using bpmToolbox are macro-free and can be used by any Excel user, irrespective of whether or not they have bpmToolbox installed.
Yes. bpmToolbox works on all (Windows) versions of Microsoft Excel® from 2000 to 2010. bpmToolbox is sold under an annuity-based licensing system which is designed to always ensure compatibility with upgraded versions of Microsoft Windows® and Microsoft Excel®.
Yes. bpmToolbox may be used on multiple versions of Microsoft Excel® on a single machine.
bpmToolbox is currently designed to run only on Microsoft Excel for Windows, and will therefore not work on Excel for Mac. However, there is software available which allows Mac users to run Office for Windows and, if this is installed, bpmToolbox can be used on a Mac.
No. bpmToolbox provides a best practice infrastructure for Microsoft Excel, but does not place any requirements upon model developers which cause an increase in formula complexity or audit difficulty. In fact, the implementation of the Best Practice Spreadsheet Modelling Standards using bpmToolbox is more likely to dramatically reduce the auditability of a spreadsheet model which, when combined with the significant reductions in build time which can be achieved using bpmToolbox, often greatly reduces the overall model development cost.
Both bpmToolbox Lite and bpmTraverse (which is included within bpmToolbox Lite) are completely free to download and use. To access bpmToolbox Lite, download the Best Practice Modelling System, and after using the full system (which includes interactive training), bpmToolbox will convert to bpmToolbox Lite if you do not wish to pay to continue using the full edition after the trial period ends.
BPM provides training courses to accounting firms, investment banks, commercial banks and management consultants. We also provide training to individuals looking to improve their skill set when applying for jobs in these professions.
Our training courses are provided by business modelling professionals who are passionate about improving the quality of business modelling throughout the market. Whilst we offer some basic Microsoft Excel® training courses, the primary purpose of attending our training courses is to become capable of building best practice whole-of-business models. Hence, if this is the skill set you are seeking, BPM's training courses are right for you.
BPM provides a range of training courses designed to cater for every level of experience. For absolute beginners, an understanding of Microsoft Excel® is required, so we usually recommend undertaking our Excel Fundamentals training course. If you're interested in learning about more complex financial modelling, we recommend undertaking our Financial Modelling Fundamentals training course. We also provide a range of more specific training courses, which you can learn more about by contacting us.
BPM's training courses are priced on a per-half-day basis, with our default pricing being $750 per person per half day for non-BPM software customers and $500 per person per half day for BPM software customers. However, in any case, we cap our half-day training cost at $1,500, whilst allowing for up to 12 attendees, so significant discounts can be obtained though higher volume training. Contact us to discuss volume training discounts.
The Best Practice Spreadsheet Modelling Standards are designed to provide an approach to using spreadsheets to undertake modelling tasks. Hence, the Standards govern 'how' not 'what' to model and are therefore applicable to any spreadsheet modelling task, irrespective of the underlying industry.
The Best Practice Spreadsheet Modelling Standards are developed and maintained by the Spreadsheet Standards Review Board (the 'SSRB'). The SSRB has formal procedures for involvement in the development and maintenance of the standards, which aim to maintain an ongoing feedback loop between this body and the many users of the Standards.
For more information in relation to the SSRB, visit http://www.ssrb.org.
General / Other
BPM is actively seeking to establish mutually-beneficial affiliations with parties interested in expanding their product and service offerings to include best practice modelling products and services. In this regard, BPM is well positioned to assist in the up-skilling, mentoring and supporting of staff that will be providing best practice business planning services for your firm.
Many of the accounting firms with whom we speak are used to providing accounting, assurance and taxation advice to their clients, but do not feel they have the skills to extend these relationships to include business planning services. BPM, and the systems we've developed over the past decade, now make this an attractive proposition for any modern-day accounting firm.