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Ultimate Business Planner 5.0 is the latest version of Ultimate Business Planner. Existing users can upgrade their version at a cut price, whilst new users can choose to purchase between 1 and 10 annual licenses. The software has a particular focus on the financial side of business planning, but whilst this is of course important to a good business plan, we feel that it fails to address other important areas of a business plan in enough detail.
Version 5.0 has made a number of improvements on its predecessors, so if you’re an Ultimate Business fan already then you might be interested in upgrading. The newest version is compatible with Windows 7 and offers a newly designed interface (with a familiar Microsoft Office design, which we’ll come to shortly). It also allows you to create a 5 year financial projection and has developed the graph production and reporting capabilities. As such, the business plans you can produce may include a variety of informative, attractive graphs to help express data. This upgrade also comes with enhanced formatting options to personalise your plans.
A primary issue we had with this software was its user interface, particularly regarding data entry and presentation in graphs. The site seems proud that it uses a familiar MS Office appearance, but we found it somewhat hard to decide what Ultimate Business Planner offered users beyond what MS Office offers them. For example, in MS Excel you can create graphs that are almost identical to those that you can create using Ultimate Business Planner. This software also doesn’t come all that cheaply, especially considering the features available through some of its competitors. All things considered we felt underwhelmed by what was being offered by ABS.
One area where they did excel somewhat, though, was in customer service. You can contact them using a toll free number, engage in a live chat, check out the FAQ and more. If you do decide to pay for the software on offer then you’ll also gain access to extended information on business planning and how to obtain business loans. However, with so many strong competitors in this market we find it hard to recommend Ultimate Business Planner. It does a fairly standard job and doesn’t really shine in any particular area. It’s also got no particular niche other than slightly more advanced finance options, but several of these can easily be performed using a basic spreadsheet.
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