Finance professionals and teams today have numerous solutions available to help them plan, budget, forecast, and analyze financial information. No longer beholden to an endless directory of spreadsheets and outdated databases, today’s finance teams can use the best FP&A software available to help them compile financial information and make smarter, more strategic business decisions.
However, not all FP&A tools are created equal. In this buyer’s guide to the best FP&A software, we’ll provide an overview of the top financial planning and analysis tools to consider. Our FP&A software list consists of the top 10 platforms in the space, each offering unique sets of features as well as particular advantages and drawbacks to be aware of.
The 10 best FP&A companies featured in this list are:
Our guide to the best FP&A tools compares each vendor based on five criteria:
We’ve compiled the data on each vendor by conducting independent research using the vendor’s website and public ratings and feedback on leading technology review sites.
So, what is the best FP&A software? Each FP&A software provider in this list is a top choice. Weighing the advantages and the disadvantages of each vendor will help you and your organization narrow down the best option for your particular needs, and our guide intends to help you do that.
Review the FP&A software provider profiles below to see a breakdown of each tool’s pricing, features, and more.
OnPlan is a financial modeling and forecasting tool built by financial planners and analysts. It allows companies to examine and adapt to new opportunities and challenges thoroughly.
OnPlan brings together the multitude of disconnected systems that often exist in business to provide a comprehensive, holistic view of the entire organization from a single source. To do so, OnPlan easily integrates with several ERP, HCM, and CRM systems.
When it comes to reliability, OnPlan is built on the latest cloud-scale database technologies. It offers excellent, stable performance even when working with data-intensive or complicated models.
OnPlan is a highly rated and comprehensive FP&A solution and one of the most flexible solutions on the market. It’s easy to use and straightforward from the start. It is the ideal solution for small and midmarket companies that require powerful analytics capabilities, a flexible API, and user-friendliness to accelerate adoption by end users.
OnPlan’s goal is to reduce the learning curve for end users without taking them away from their sophisticated analytical tools or performance. This not only accelerates adoption but drives value from the start.
OnPlan combines familiar Excel spreadsheets with powerful analytics and a consumer app-like user experience that is intuitive and easy to use. Because OnPlan is based on the Excel format, the time to value realization and learning curve is short. Teams can be up and running within a few days.
OnPlan further reduces the time between adoption and value realization through predefined apps for key use cases like headcount planning, Opex and Capex planning, the three financial statements, and more. Users can organize content in a simplified and logical manner using long text notes, formulas, and dropdowns. It’s also extremely fast with a modern user interface.
OnPlan is an all-in-one FP&A solution that streamlines financial forecasting, budgeting, and workflow management by connecting existing spreadsheets to a robust analytics hub. It’s one of the most flexible and powerful SaaS solutions on the market
As one of the more feature-rich solutions available, OnPlan offers seamless integration capabilities and a comprehensive analytics hub that delivers fast, transparent financial insight across the organization.
A few of the core OnPlan features include:
Other OnPlan capabilities include:
Because OnPlan was designed by financial professionals, it has given the company unique insight into the data modeling requirements of a modern finance department.
OnPlan offers its customers ongoing phone, email, and chat support. It also publishes helpful resources, including templates, guides, and video walkthroughs.
During implementation, customers can expect a hands-on experience, where OnPlan team members guide them through onboarding. The implementation team reaches out to individual users, discusses their requirements, and sets up the software and integrations along with the users for an interactive, tailored experience.
The entire onboarding process takes place in a matter of days.
OnPlan makes its platform available on a simple monthly subscription basis, with three pricing tiers to choose from.
The Essentials Plan starts at $12,500 per year for two users and includes core FP&A features with two key integrations—QuickBooks and Salesforce. The Growth Plan comes with five users and one additional custom integration. The Enterprise Plan comes with 10 users and three additional custom integrations. Growth and Enterprise Plans are available with custom pricing.
On all plans, customers can expect world-class support, including a fast-start deployment bundle.
Businesses can use OnPlan for forecasting, budgeting, business performance, and workflow management. It’s an excellent solution for companies that want the familiarity and flexibility of Excel and Google Sheets, with the speed and ease of a modern app. It’s best suited to SMBs and midmarket companies with 25-500 employees.
Some of the use cases customers can expect from OnPlan can include:
OnPlan is a highly-rated financial planning and analysis platform that offers powerful analytics and forecasting capabilities along with attentive customer support. The platform overcomes the limitations and tradeoffs of existing solutions by acting as the best of both worlds with the familiarity of spreadsheets and the performance of a modern app.
Overall, OnPlan is a good fit for small and midmarket companies, as well as divisions of enterprise organizations. When choosing your next FP&A software partner, consider important needs such as customer support, time to value, integrations, scalability, data protection, and other essential factors.
Disclaimer: The information below is accurate as of November 17, 2022.
Adaptive is one option companies use for modeling, budgeting, forecasting, and financial reporting. Formerly known as Adaptive Insights, Adaptive is now part of the Workday suite of business software. In addition to offering financial and sales planning solutions, Workday Adaptive also caters to workforce and operational planning needs.
Adaptive is considered fairly simple to use thanks to its interdepartmental collaboration capabilities. It also integrates with multiple ERP and business solutions, including Salesforce and Sage. This makes it simple for financial professionals to adopt and use right from the beginning.
Adaptive is an enterprise-level platform that is also well-known for its customer support and service levels.
Like many budgeting software options, Adaptive is accessible from any device. It has a user interface similar to Excel with drag-and-drop functionality that improves user-friendliness, making it extremely simple to learn.
Adaptive is deployed as an all-in-one package for business performance and includes modules like Adaptive Technology Foundation, Adaptive Reporting, Adaptive Consolidation, Adaptive Discovery, Adaptive Integration, and Adaptive Planning.
Since Workday acquired Adaptive Planning, they’ve invested a lot in making the two systems work well together. Adaptive Planning is a good choice for customers already using Workday for ERP and HR, as the transition will be easier than adopting an entirely new vendor platform.
Despite its simplicity, some customers have reported that the design and general user interface are less intuitive than comparable platforms. Some users may find the learning curve frustrating.
Adaptive Planning is a cloud-based financial planning tool used to model various business functions. It’s a feature-rich platform that resembles an Excel spreadsheet, and therefore has many visual and functional similarities.
Below are the top features you can expect from Adaptive:
Despite its extensive number of integrations, Adaptive has seen users complain that ERP integrations tend to break and require a long time and multiple support interventions to repair.
Additionally, the integration between Adaptive and solutions like NetSuite or Sage can be hard to set up and handle compared to other tools. Even importing spreadsheet files requires complex modifications and revision as the Adaptive logic is very different from Excel.
Because it’s from the same vendor, Adaptive works best with Workday Financial Management and Human Capital Management. While it’s an excellent modeling tool for users that already use Workday for all their financial systems, Adaptive can cause friction for those that don’t.
Growing businesses must also consider the scalability of their FP&A solution. While Adaptive is a simple tool to use, users have reported performance degradation as their business scales, especially as data sets grow and multiple users access the system concurrently.
Finally, there are a few additional limitations to Adaptive’s features to keep in mind. Users report that locked versions change as accounts, level structures, or simple formula calculations change, which can be frustrating for less tech-savvy budget owners. Additionally, Adaptive doesn’t always adequately handle multiple currencies and exchange rates, causing issues with balance sheets.
Customers who choose Adaptive can expect a highly involved customer success team to help execute deployment. A Workday Delivery Assurance team offers support throughout implementation. Adaptive offers a 24/7 community of support and customer care, however, specific service levels vary based on the subscription tier.
Though the onboarding process is well-supported, the initial setup can be time-consuming, and it may take some time to realize a return on the investment. Some clients have reported implementations of over a year.
Additionally, some clients have complained that Adaptive tends to plan system updates during budget season, which potentially wastes time during the busiest periods.
Adaptive does not make its pricing publicly available and does not appear to offer a free version. They do have a free trial available upon request.
It’s unknown if Adaptive offers different pricing tiers for their software, however, we do know that there are different pricing levels for service plans. Whether there is an implementation fee or if the cost of the software is billed monthly or annually is also unknown.
Adaptive bills itself as an enterprise-level platform suitable for large, highly dynamic organizations, although it does also provide solutions for medium-sized businesses.
Below are some of its promoted use cases to give you a better idea of the needs that Adaptive can meet:
Workday Adaptive Planning is a solid budgeting and forecasting tool that can track KPIs across the organization. It’s also suitable for reporting at all levels, ranging from the boardroom to individual departments.
While Adaptive Planning promises greater agility and collaboration, some disadvantages could hinder your progress, including:
Whether Adaptive is the right solution for you will depend on your team’s familiarity and existing experience with the Workday suite, as well as your available budget and time resources.
Disclaimer: The information below is accurate as of November 18, 2022.
Anaplan is a cloud-based and highly adaptable planning solution suitable for enterprise-level organizations. It claims its primary goal is to connect people with data and plans, enabling dynamic, collaborative, and participative financial planning and feedback across large organizations.
Being adaptable and scalable, Anaplan can help growing organizations save considerable time and effort. It offers straightforward, logic-driven modeling and forecasting solutions that enable secure and flexible planning and scenario testing within a secure environment.
As with any new technology, Anaplan comes with a learning curve. Depending on your team’s familiarity with Anaplan and similar software, the adoption timeline will vary.
Anaplan doesn’t use a familiar spreadsheet format or languages like competing platforms. Instead, Anaplan has its own unique, proprietary language, which very few financial executives have encountered before. Therefore, some users report that the successful adoption of Anaplan takes considerable time and resources.
Customers choose Anaplan for its ability to deliver a real-time cloud-based environment to power decision-making across the entire organization.
Some of the features that make Anaplan scalable and adaptable include:
Despite creating a robust collaborative and connected platform, Anaplan’s extensive feature list may present a few drawbacks. While Anaplan’s ability to forecast at a granular level is impressive, it’s also a disadvantage as the detail can lead to models that are overly complex to adopt and difficult to maintain securely.
While speed isn’t a widely reported issue, too many users working on the same model can lead to reduced performance in saving data inputs. Structural changes, like updating formulas, can take several minutes to save if multiple processes are concurrently running within the same model.
As mentioned, the fact that Anaplan uses a proprietary language is perhaps the most significant pain point for companies using Anaplan as they need to devote significant time familiarizing themselves with it.
Anaplan offers ongoing customer support via phone, chat, and email. They also maintain a thorough portal of documentation, cases, and community support.
As for onboarding, Anaplan appears to offer a comprehensive customer success journey. Anaplan customers are assigned a Customer Success Business Partner to help with implementation and training. The Anaplan Academy is available for customers to become platform experts, maximizing their successful adoption.
Despite the extensive customer training and support, Anaplan implementation can reportedly take several months, requiring the ongoing support of an Anaplan consultant. If you need to hit the ground running and realize the benefit of your FP&A solution quickly, Anaplan may not be the ideal fit compared to alternatives with a more familiar interface.
Anaplan does not make its pricing publicly available, though it does publish its pricing structure. The platform offers three pricing tiers—Basic, Professional, and Enterprise.
The Basic level offers essential modeling and planning features, while the Professional and Enterprise plans offer additional security and compliance features, like Audits and App Lifecycle Management. The Enterprise plan also includes the highest level of customer care, known as HyperCare.
It is unknown whether there is an additional implementation fee or how the billing cycle is administered. There also doesn’t appear to be a free trial or free version of the software, but customers can request a demo to try the platform if interested.
Anaplan is best used within an enterprise environment, though its Basic or Professional plans may be suitable for medium-sized businesses.
Anaplan focuses on use cases outside FP&A and Supply Chain, making it overly complex for users who want a specialized tool. It’s also best suited to standardized units, departments, or products that require collaboration among multiple people, like forecasting a stress analysis in a volatile environment.
For examples of how Anaplan is best implemented, consider some of its use cases published on its website:
Anaplan is less suitable for companies with unclear business processes, as you need to define this before implementation, or for unstructured data processes due to data sizing constraints.
Anaplan is an innovative and powerful tool that businesses may find can genuinely transform financial modeling within their enterprise. Its Connected Planning approach helps large companies modernize and streamline their processes, focusing on strategic improvements to existing ways of performing FP&A activities.
However, Anaplan is not considered the most user-friendly or intuitive modeling tool. The complexity of the solution and the resource requirements make it a less feasible option for small and medium businesses or enterprises that want to stick with familiar user experiences.
In summary, a few of Anaplan’s main drawbacks include:
Whether Anaplan is the right solution for you will depend on your organization’s size and budget, as well as your team’s confidence in adopting a complex, new platform.
Disclaimer: The information below is accurate as of November 21, 2022.
Centage’s FP&A tool is called Planning Maestro. It’s a cloud-native financial intelligence, planning, and analytics platform that offers an intelligent analysis of a company’s financial health. The platform provides insight into an organization’s financial health at a glance, which allows them to react quickly to market changes and evaluate new opportunities.
Centage Planning Maestro has several valuable features, including ad hoc reporting, KPI tracking, cash management tools, what-if scenario analysis, and data visualization capabilities. The platform’s Budget Maestro also offers rudimentary planning capabilities.
Centage Planning Maestro has been on the market for a while and was one of the earlier cloud-based financial intelligence platforms available.
Centage comes with several out-of-the-box features, including cash management, KPI tracking, and asset lifecycle management, making it easier for smooth adoption.
Centage has simplified usage by implementing pre-built templates and modules, so there’s no need to depend on or maintain proprietary scripts or formulas. The platform also uses wizards to guide clients through the budgeting, planning, and reporting process, which minimizes the need for support.
Despite the guidance throughout the platform, users report that navigation from screen to screen is complex, and the system isn’t as intuitive as advertised. Some reviews say that there is a long learning curve, which can cause frustration, especially in the beginning.
The Centage platform includes features like ad-hoc reporting, asset lifecycle management, a general ledger, centralization, dashboards, access and version controls, cash management capabilities, and KPI tracking.
Here is a breakdown of some of the most attractive Centage features:
Though Centage presents an attractive suite of features for FP&A professionals, there are a few reported shortcomings. Though integrations remain one of the most essential FP&A tool features, Centage users have reported integration failures. Ongoing model maintenance and bug fixes also occur regularly and have been reported to be complex and time-consuming.
Some users have reported that routine data maintenance is tough to manage and that adding new accounts and data is a cumbersome and lengthy process. For example, getting information into Excel is not as straightforward as desired. Financial models also require significant regular maintenance, which can be time-consuming and lead to errors.
Despite one of the key features being financial reporting, users report difficulty creating and sharing reports—for the web version, in particular. In general, users have found it challenging to run reports or extract data using Centage.
Additionally, low performance and editing complicate version control, which is not ideal considering how important accuracy is in an FP&A environment.
Centage offers customer support in the form of chat, email, and phone. They also publish a Help Hub of resources, which is available 24/7.
When it comes to onboarding, one of the appeals of Centage is that it uses a setup wizard to guide new users through the implementation process. This makes onboarding an intuitive and straightforward process, without the need for significant support. This hands-off approach is appealing, but some users have complained that implementation doesn’t always go smoothly.
For hands-on help with onboarding, Centage offers the Maestro Care support plan for Enterprise plan customers. Maestro Care includes a dedicated product advisor and phone line, as well as quarterly Health Checks to ensure customers are maximizing the software’s capabilities.
Centage does not make its pricing publicly available, but it does publish its pricing structure. The platform is available on three plans—Standard, Professional, and Enterprise.
The Standard plan includes most of the financial planning and reporting features, but is limited in the more advanced features, many of which can be purchased as single add-ons. The Professional plan includes the workflow management features that the Standard plan doesn’t, while the Enterprise solution differs from the other plans in support and customization levels.
It is unknown whether there is a separate implementation fee or how billing is issued. There also does not appear to be a free trial or free version, but interested teams can request a demo.
Centage is applicable to multiple departments and companies and is not limited to enterprise-level businesses. Some of the industries that Centage caters to are finance and insurance, healthcare, manufacturing, and software.
A few of the applicable Centage use cases include:
Centage Planning Maestro is cloud-native, which allows organizations to scale and rapidly adapt to a shifting market. The platform comes with many features and capabilities, including financial planning, modeling, and reporting.
Despite being a straightforward and feature-rich solution, Centage does have some notable drawbacks:
Choosing a solid FP&A solution is vital to your organization’s financial success. To decide whether Centage is the right solution, carefully consider your organization’s current FP&A needs, as well as your budget and time resources to ensure you find the right tool for you.
Disclaimer: The information below is accurate as of November 21, 2022.
Cube is a financial planning, forecasting, and reporting platform used by FP&A professionals. It promises effective modeling, forecasting, and collaboration through data processing and presentation features.
Cube provides real-time financial and operational data to departments for analysis and planning and comes with robust visualization features. Cube uses an Excel format to save time and reduce staff time to adopt the software.
Cube maximizes the familiarity of Excel to accelerate adoption and improve ease of use. It also leverages powerful data visualization capabilities to help users navigate the software more intuitively and efficiently.
However, compared to some alternatives, Cube isn’t straightforward to set up—even for seasoned FP&A professionals. The data presentation can be overly complex, which can hinder communication and reporting between departments.
Cube is probably best used by tech-savvy companies. FP&A professionals without a technical background may find the platform tough to grasp, especially in the beginning.
Cube is a solid FP&A management software platform with many of the features that finance professionals expect from financial planning and modeling software.
Some of the key features that users enjoy about Cube include:
The above suite of desirable features is not without its limitations. Since Cube uses an information aggregation model, users find it difficult to fix mistakes when they crop up. Extra entries have to be overwritten instead of erased. Cube also doesn’t respond well to changes in your data structures, like your GL, which trip up a lot of FP&A systems.
The software itself is reported to be error-prone with possible lengthy loading and processing times. Users have reported that fixing errors is complicated and needs some intervention from the implementation team.
Despite having personalized dashboard capabilities, many users report that it’s difficult to tailor your data and financials to your preferred view.
All Cube customers have email, phone, and chat support. They also have access to additional support options that include pre-made templates, a knowledge base, and a Slack community of finance professionals.
All Cube customers have access to training and implementation support to assist with the onboarding and adoption process. Despite claims of implementation taking under two weeks, customers report that onboarding can be complex. Many companies require assistance and IT support to get acquainted with the software. Often, this comes at an additional cost and may cause delays.
As a SaaS FP&A platform, Cube follows a simple subscription model of three tiers.
The Essentials plan starts at $1,250 per month for two admin and two contributor accounts. It includes basic features like unlimited scenarios, spreadsheet integrations, and templates.
The Premium plan starts at $2,450 per month for three admin and five contributor accounts. It includes the same features of the Essentials plan plus a Dedicated Success Manager, FP&A best-practice reviews, and multicurrency capabilities.
The Enterprise plan starts at $3,750 per month for customized user accounts. It includes the same features as the Essentials and Premium plans, as well as a custom package that highlights the features and capabilities that are most important for the customer’s success.
Customers can also purchase certain features as add-ons as well as pay for additional users or workspaces. Information about an implementation fee is not available. It is unknown whether a free trial or free version is available, but customers can request a demo to see the software in action.
Because Cube offers three different pricing tiers, their software is suitable for teams ranging from small finance departments to medium-sized businesses to IPO and public companies.
Some of Cube’s use cases include:
Cube is an FP&A tool that helps professionals save time and reduce errors through a host of features that streamline planning, modeling and reporting, and allow for cross-departmental collaboration. Despite its popular capabilities, Cube has some drawbacks.
Below is a recap of Cube’s main disadvantages:
When making a decision, look for a tool that is easy to set up, implement and maintain over time. Your requirements are unique, and whichever solution you choose should be the best.
Disclaimer: The information below is accurate as of November 21, 2022.
Jirav is one of the newest FP&A platforms on the market. It’s a cloud-based financial planning and forecasting solution aimed at smaller businesses. The company offers a user-friendly interface and native integrations to increase data visibility.
Jirav comes with forecasting, modeling, dashboarding, and KPI tracking capabilities, as well as a general ledger. The platform allows users to integrate the software with several data sources commonly used in small businesses, including ERP systems.
Compared to other tools designed to resemble Excel, Jirav is a platform that has moved away from the spreadsheet model, leaving it to personal preference whether finance professionals prefer it over other FP&A tools.
Jirav has a clean and intuitive interface that many tech-savvy professionals will find easy to adopt.
However, unlike some of the other tools, Jirav doesn’t attempt to integrate or emulate the spreadsheet format but replaces it. For small companies that have always relied on Excel and similar tools, this spreadsheet replacement can create a steep learning curve. Unless you are already familiar with Jirav, it may be difficult to learn and adapt to.
From budgeting, forecasting, and scenario planning to data visualization and KPI monitoring, Jirav offers all the essential and user-friendly features that finance professionals can expect from an FP&A tool.
Using Jirav, you’ll find key features like:
Though Jirav bills itself as an “all-in-one” financial planning solution, the software has some limitations. The primary Jirav modeling engine is considered by many to be limited, and growing companies may find they quickly outgrow its capabilities.
Its limitations are particularly apparent when it comes to data inputs for custom reporting. It’s reported to be a manual and time-consuming process that doesn’t result in the time-savings professionals are looking to achieve.
The general reporting functionality also falls short of many users’ expectations, as reviews say it’s restrictive. Jirav also doesn’t allow reporting on actuals, and users can only view two comparisons at a time. For example, it’s impossible to view actuals against a prior year’s forecast and budget in a single report.
Dashboards are also said to be hard to understand and customize, and formulas may be too simplistic for your needs. Many companies need to use more complex formulas than Jirav allows, especially when it comes to dashboards. Jirav does not allow for multi-layer formula creation, such as if-then statements. Additionally, you can export values but not formulas to Excel.
Jirav offers its customers Advanced and Premium support, but it’s unclear the level of support offered by each and whether phone, email, and chat are available and when. The website also hosts a Help Center with resources on the software’s functions, including how to do reporting, use dashboards, or perform modeling.
Professional and Enterprise customers receive implementation support and training, but Starter customers only have access to the Help Center.
Jirav offers three tiers of subscription pricing.
The Starter plan costs $500 per month and has features geared toward short-range planning at the company level. It allows for only two users and three custom dashboards and reports at a time.
The Professional plan costs $12,000 annually and has features suitable for mid-range planning and the departmental level. Professional plan customers can have up to five users and eight dashboards and reports.
The Enterprise plan is available through custom pricing only. All features are enabled, which makes this plan suitable for businesses that need long-range financial planning at the departmental level. Enterprise customers can have up to 15 users and 16 custom dashboards and reports.
Only the Starter plan comes with a free trial, which is available for 14 days.
Jirav’s range of features and pricing plans makes it suitable for organizations with 5 to 500 employees.
Some of the use cases that demonstrate the types of needs Jirav caters to include:
Jirav is a basic and affordable entry-level FP&A solution that can provide the insights you need to make business-critical decisions with greater confidence. However, companies that have evolved beyond the most basic FP&A calculations may find the tool lacking.
In summary, some of Jirav’s limitations are:
To decide whether Jirav is right for you, it’s important to think about both your current and future financial planning needs. Choose a solution with powerful analytical capabilities that isn’t too complex or simplistic for your team to use.
Disclaimer: The information below is accurate as of November 22, 2022.
Limelight is a web-based financial planning and analytics platform that provides centralized data across various functions and departments to improve business planning and enhance strategic initiatives. Business leaders gain comprehensive insight into the performance of various departments from a single source of truth.
Most users say that Limelight’s most impressive feature is its workforce planning module, which provides accurate insights and projections into employee counts, paid time, and values. If workforce planning is your single biggest pain point, Limelight might be a good solution. It’s suitable for companies that employ seasonal workers to handle peaks in demand, like retailers.
Limelight’s interactive dashboard and clean navigation make it a relatively easy software to learn and manage. However, despite its simple and clean layout, the functionality is perhaps not as user-friendly as desired.
Limelight’s workforce planning module is useful but complex and difficult to set up. Users report that creating an environment with limited input options or permissions is difficult, which can break the calculations. Several clients have mentioned that the system works well initially, but as their business matures, performance lags dramatically and data pulls become cumbersome.
Limelight is an FP&A tool that offers basic planning, forecasting, and budgeting features. It also boasts multiple integrations for efficient business operations and a strong emphasis on performance tracking. However, its most popular feature is its workforce planning module.
Below are some of the top sets of features you’ll find when using Limelight:
Beyond its robust workforce planning capabilities, Limelight is relatively lightweight as an analytical and forecasting tool. It doesn’t claim to drill down into the finer details of your data, and as an FP&A professional, that may not work for you. Some finance professionals may not find this a disadvantage, but even more may soon outgrow the tool without it.
The software is reportedly also prone to bugs and errors. FP&A professionals may find that they hit serious performance issues as their business scales up. The slow load times are a significant drawback for teams, especially when working with large files. Users report data stability issues as well.
Limelight also doesn’t use permission-based access management. Creating an environment that is “unbreakable” is simply not possible without these controls, especially if you have several end users providing inputs.
Limelight provides limited information on its available avenues of customer support. It is unknown the extent of support that’s available with each subscription package and whether there is an implementation team to support customers with onboarding.
Publicly available reviews have indicated that customer support is good, but implementation is complex. Limelight does publish a Learning Center with case studies, webinars, and guides.
Limelight does not provide transparent pricing but it does publish its subscription structure.
There are three pricing tiers to choose from—the Essentials, Advanced, or Custom packages. All packages come with the same access to features, and there are no restrictions on the number of budgets, forecasts, or reports you can access. Limelight starts at five users with the ability to scale and add new licenses.
Limelight indicates on its website that there is an implementation fee on top of the subscription, but the cost for this is unknown. They also suggest that discounts can be available for volume pricing or non-profits. It is unknown whether a free trial or free version is available, but interested customers can request a demo.
Limelight describes their user base as “Finance & FP&A teams who have outgrown their spreadsheets.” However, given its limited focus on financial planning and analytics features, Limelight is most suitable for smaller companies with basic budgeting and forecasting needs.
Due to its well-developed workforce management module, Limelight is recommended for companies that rely on a fluctuating workforce, like retail organizations.
Some of the main use cases for Limelight include:
Limelight is a modern, web-based financial planning and reporting platform that offers data integration, collaboration, and reporting. It’s a solid FP&A product, but it is still very new and in development. With its heavy focus on workforce management, it may or may not be a good solution for your company.
Overall, the main disadvantages to be aware of with Limelight include:
The best FP&A software solutions should do a lot more than just budgeting and forecasting. Choosing the right solution can improve your people and process planning, help you manage cash flow, and use what-if scenario planning to evaluate new opportunities as they arise.
Disclaimer: The information below is accurate as of November 22, 2022.
Mosaic is an FP&A solution that uses dashboards and reporting tools that provide insight into the operations of your business. The platform is cloud-based and designed for agile planning, but its real strength is automating and reducing manual inputs. Users can easily reconcile and update their forecasts faster than in Excel and multiple modeling scenarios can be used.
Mosaic gives organizations a holistic view of their business through simple dashboards and other visualization and reporting tools. Mosaic replaces Excel’s manual inputs with automation and data integration. Customers use Mosaic to reconcile and update forecasts, track KPIs, and generate useful reports.
Mosaic can integrate with several resources within your organization, including financial systems, CRM, or HR systems.
Mosaic uses a visually appealing layout to present data and reports. It also offers many flexible features that make the software useful.
However, if you are a smaller company with limited experience with FP&A and business intelligence solutions, this flexibility can pose a challenge. Presenting inexperienced staff with too many options can result in a convoluted and difficult-to-use system.
It’s also been reported that some of the main functions, such as creating custom metrics reports using KPIs like NPS scores, are not easy to grasp.
Mosaic is a strategic finance platform used for agile planning and reporting. The platform consolidates information from existing systems in a single, cloud-based and cross-functional view. Mosaic is useful for gaining holistic insight into an organization via easy-to-understand dashboards.
Below is a breakdown of some of the top Mosaic features:
Mosaic can be a valuable tool, but its primary disadvantage is its limited customization capabilities. It’s not possible to customize graphs and charts according to your brand guidelines and colors. And though Mosaic’s dashboards receive high praise, they are not exportable, complicating reporting.
Additionally, tracking internal KPIs is not easy, so companies will need additional systems to manage and track scores like NPS and other performance indicators. Finally, customers have reported that software errors cause downtime and they can be difficult to troubleshoot. Bugs often require a time-consuming call to customer support.
It is unclear the level of support that’s available with a Mosaic subscription. The company does not publish information about the type of support channels that are available to customers. Mosaic does have a Resource Center with a metrics catalog, templates, and webinars.
Mosaic claims to offer a smooth onboarding process that can get customers up and running in as little as 24 hours after integrations have been established.
Publicly available customer reviews claim that setting up Mosaic can be complex. This can result in a learning curve for most financial professionals that extends the time to value considerably. Many Mosaic users find that they need to lean heavily on customer support, not only during implementation but during the entire customer lifetime.
Mosaic does not make its pricing publicly available, but it does provide information on its pricing structure, which consists of three plans.
The Analytics plan is limited to analytics and reporting features only. The Planning plan includes features like financial modeling and scenario planning but not the analytics functions. The Analytics & Planning plan combines all the available features, allowing finance teams a fuller range of strategic financial decision-making.
It is unknown whether the platform charges an implementation fee or how billing cycles are administered. There does not appear to be a free trial or version available but customers can request a demo.
Mosaic is a platform designed for finance teams of various sizes and needs. Given its limited customization and operational planning features, many FP&A professionals are bound to outgrow it.
Some of the main uses cases for Mosaic include:
Mosaic is an affordable but basic financial planning, forecasting, and reporting tool that provides a holistic overview of financial and operational data for your teams. It comes with several handy automation features that can save time.
Despite its advantages, Mosaic has some challenges, which include:
Mosaic is a good fit if you’re looking for a basic solution. However, if you need greater capabilities and a more reliable product, it’s important to consider some alternatives.
Disclaimer: The information below is accurate as of November 23, 2022.
Planful, formerly Host Analytics, is one of the most popular end-to-end financial tools on the market. As a cloud-based financial modeling tool, Planful provides data that enables business-wide agile planning and decision-making.
Planful aims to improve productivity and speed across the organization. Launched with the promise of streamlining organization-wide planning, budgeting, consolidation, and analytics for CFO and financial professionals, Planful is a robust solution for enterprise-level companies.
Planful’s use of visually appealing and customizable dashboards makes it an attractive platform to use and understand. With a similar syntax to Excel, the platform is simple for most users to navigate.
Despite its aesthetic qualities, Planful features have been reported to be lacking in user-friendliness. With limited automation options, using Planful FP&A features can be time-consuming. Data integration and setup can take several months to perfect and users report that after months of usage, the product still feels unintuitive to operate.
Planful aims to improve productivity and speed across the enterprise. The features and functionality are designed to eliminate manual processes and provide ad hoc analyses that can save companies time.
A few of the most important features of Planful include:
While reporting is one of the most well-liked features of Planful, the most common complaint is regarding the user-friendliness of formatting and exporting reports. Users say that report formatting is inefficient compared to Excel, and some users report that formatting doesn’t pull through during the export to Excel.
To set up reports, Planful uses a dropdown menu to add rows and columns, which is reported to be unintuitive and challenging to manage. Some users find it difficult to set up a report template, yet you cannot do calculations without first setting one up. Further, not all modules have the same reporting tools.
Finally, users have reported performance issues when using larger datasets. Data pulls are not immediate, which can cause frustration, particularly when inaccuracies slip in.
Planful customers get access to phone, chat, and email support. The platform also offers a training academy and a community support platform called Engage. Customers can work with a Customer Success Manager and engage Planful’s suite of professional services to help ensure they’re maximizing their investment.
Because Planful doesn’t publish details about its available plans, it’s unknown what level of customer support, training, and implementation help is accessible to all customers.
Planful does not make its pricing structure publicly available, and the types of plans it offers are unknown. It is unknown whether there is a set-up fee or the type of billing cycle that’s administered.
Planful does not appear to offer a free trial or make a free version available. Interested customers can request a demo to try the product out.
Planful is a robust tool suited to enterprise-level organizations with a thousand employees or more. Its combination of FP&A features and sales and workforce planning tools helps larger organizations streamline their operations and position them to be more strategic.
With this in mind, some of the applicable use cases for Planful include:
Planful is a financial planning and modeling tool with operational management capabilities. Geared toward enterprise-level organizations, Planful can help large companies remain agile and strategic. Despite its robust suite of features, Planful has some drawbacks.
To recap, some of the downsides of the Planful platform include:
Planful works best with large enterprise companies with the implementation and infrastructure resources. When choosing an FP&A tool, consider the level of user-friendliness needed for your team and the level of data you’ll need to integrate to ensure the software works optimally for you.
Disclaimer: The information below is accurate as of November 23, 2022.
Vena streamlines and centralizes budgeting and workflows and simultaneously leverages the familiarity of Excel. Because of its focus on Excel, Vena is almost infinitely flexible.
Vena can manage annual budgets and conduct monthly, yearly or quarterly forecasts, analyses, and actuals. Business leaders use Vena collaboratively to gain insight into their budgets, while FP&A managers can use the tool for variance analysis or gain a centralized, single view over the financial operations of the business.
Vena lives right within Excel, meaning most financial professionals will find it easy to use and simple to adopt. Companies can develop models and manage workbooks in a foolproof way. Even if budget owners make errors, it’s not possible to inadvertently break the tool.
Despite its familiar Excel structure, customers report that it takes some time to adapt the software to the needs of their business. Even after customers go live, they often find they’re still dependent on consulting resources to really get the full benefit of the solution. Some customers complain that the over-reliance on customer support to get tasks done is time-consuming and frustrating.
Vena is popular among FP&A managers as it offers useful tools like variance analysis and BvA capabilities. Though you can use Vena for budgeting, forecasting, and various analyses, its strongest advantage is the ability to collaborate across departments. This allows every business leader to better understand the motivation behind their allocated budgets.
Below are some of the top features to expect from Vena:
Despite its comprehensive suite of features, Vena does have its downsides. Its most significant drawback is that its performance can be slow when loading a large amount of data to the grid. Individuals that work with large files find that copying and pasting information is slow and cumbersome to manage.
Further, creating complex templates can take a long time to set up and open. Once the templates are set up, users find it difficult to change and update them without dialing tech support to add new requirements.
Vena offers its customers ongoing email and phone support with dedicated support lines for North American and UK or international customers. Additionally, Vena manages a helpful Customer Portal with how-to, tips, and FAQ content and hosts a Vena Academy and Forum for further training and knowledge sharing.
Customers can choose their support plan—either Standard or Premium. The Standard plan offers comprehensive support during business hours, while the Premium plan is an after-hours and accelerated response solution.
As for implementation, it’s unclear how deployment is managed and whether customers are assigned a dedicated Customer Success or Product Manager. Some customers have reported that deployments can take months and rely heavily on consultants.
Vena does not make its pricing publicly available, so it’s unclear whether there are different plans available. Standard and Premium support packages are available at an unknown cost. It’s also unknown whether there is a separate implementation fee on top of any subscription cost.
Vena does offer a 7-day preview and guided demos are available to interested customers.
FP&A professionals use Vena as a solution to manage annual budgets, forecasting, and actuals. Because it gives department heads insight into their budgets, it serves as a cross-departmental tool that improves collaboration among teams, especially enterprise organizations.
Some of its apparent use cases include:
Vena is a helpful tool for variance analysis, catching errors and excess spending, and providing a centralized, clear view of the organization’s financial operations. Yet, the platform is not without its disadvantages.
Summing up, the drawbacks of using Vena Software include:
Vena is a trusted and reliable financial planning and analysis tool, but it may not be suited to small and medium-level organizations. Before deciding, identify your team’s specific needs from an FP&A tool to determine which solution is best for you.
Selecting the best FP&A tool for your company is a complex decision. Whether you’re moving away from a spreadsheet-based system or find yourself in growth mode, you need a solution that can scale in a structured and controlled way. However, that’s far from the only criteria you should consider when making your choice.
Financial planning and budgeting software should be easy to use for everyone at your company, including non-finance people. They should enable cross-company collaboration, save your FP&A team’s time by automating repetitive tasks, and help you adopt what’s known as a “strategic finance” mindset.
Strategic finance is a way to transform previously siloed processes and functions into a unified, integrated view of your operational and financial performance. The approach is based on having an overview of how all aspects of a business are intertwined and affect one another.
A strategically-minded FP&A function empowers all senior decision-makers by helping them make more data-driven decisions. This is possible with the help of a modern FP&A platform capable of helping you prepare, update, and present data with the click of a button.
Given how many moving parts you have to consider, and the fact it’s a decision with long-term consequences for your team, it’s easy to lose track of what to focus on. To help mitigate these risks in choosing the best FP&A software for you, consider these six most important factors comparing your options.
The most important aspect of choosing the best software for FP&A is finding a solution that allows you to create forecasts that evaluate a range of potential scenarios and sensitivities and automate the process.
The business environment can change rapidly. When you need to update multiple scenarios, doing so manually can hinder response times. It may even require you to wait for the person responsible for models to run the sensitivities. Manual scenario updates delay your decision-making process, as you don’t know what course corrections are needed until scenarios are updated.
Rather than relying on manual modeling, FP&A tools can accelerate the process, allowing you to run scenarios more quickly than with spreadsheets. The tool automatically propagates structural changes from your base case model to all scenarios.
Scenario planning becomes much simpler once you have a system you’re comfortable with and that’s understandable and flexible. More importantly, the best FP&A software should help you easily communicate your findings to decision-makers, even if they’re not very technical. Simplifying board-ready scenarios speeds up decision-making and reassures your key stakeholders about the actions to take.
What is FP&A software’s biggest advantage? One of the most important characteristics of the best FP&A software is the ability to integrate with other tools and data sources. Ideally, you want a single source of truth providing you with live data, without the need for manual input.
Integrations and automation minimize the risk of human error, saving your FP&A team a lot of time that can be used for more valuable activities.
One of the unique strengths of great financial planning and reporting software is that it combines the power of databases with the simplicity of using a spreadsheet. Your organization can benefit from integrations with common data sources, such as Quickbooks, Salesforce, Hubspot, BigQuery, SnowFlake, and others without having to sacrifice the practicality of Excel and Google Sheets.
Thanks to integration capabilities, you’ll no longer have to stitch fragmented, siloed data or manually update historical information. Instead, an integrated solution automates much of your team’s repetitive tasks and ensures there are no errors in your data.
Apart from cost- and time-savings, your organization can also better focus on more important activities, such as identifying trends and their causes and improving the accuracy of the model.
If you’ve ever shared information through Excel or Google Sheets, then you understand the workarounds required to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information, like salary data. With no real ability to restrict role-based access, your only option is to pull out the sensitive data and store it in a different spreadsheet, increasing the likelihood of corrupted data from broken links.
With the right FP&A software, protecting data while enabling collaboration is straightforward. For example, it lets you give anyone on your team customized, role-based privileges. Your team is free to share and access the data they need without the danger of compromising sensitive information.
Another strength of top FP&A software is that it shows you a timestamp and audit trail for every login and action in the system. This means that if there multiple people access or change data, you’ll be able to see which users performed what behaviors.
You can glean other valuable insights from this capability, including understanding how often your staff uses the software. If you notice that someone has not logged in for a while, talking to them may be the best way to increase collaboration at your company.
While Excel and Google Sheets do offer certain audit functionalities, they can’t restrict information based on role and, therefore, can’t protect sensitive information.
Another huge advantage of financial budgeting and forecasting software is the ability to create tailored visualizations and reports with real-time data at the click of a button. Giving stakeholders role-specific dashboards that connect the dots between operational metrics and their financial implication help to present the story of the business and support decision making
For example, the dashboard of a Head of Sales could help her understand how changes to quota or sales ramp will affect factors like:
The CFO’s view could show how the same sales modeling assumptions affect cash balances and overhead costs. And the CEO could see the effect on Net Dollar Retention and ARR, along with key metrics from across the business. Insights like these can support capital raise discussions with potential investors.
Overall, an FP&A tool can automate board reporting for your company and provide powerful visualizations tailored to specific roles on your team. It presents a single source of truth and streamlines comparing scenarios and variance analysis.
As your organization grows, your needs will become more complex, which is why the best financial planning and analysis software for startups might not be the best tool for seasoned enterprises. The only sustainable way to support continued business growth is by finding an FP&A tool capable of extending your models in a structured way.
Scaling up comes with certain challenges. The more services or product lines you introduce into your offering, the more difficult it becomes to update your models manually. Some of the critical challenges involve ensuring data integrity and single-person dependency. With startups, there’s usually just one person who knows where all the inputs are, making administrative-level controls essential.
A high-quality FP&A tool allows you to scale up much more efficiently because it’s built to support growth in a structured fashion.
After implementation, you can quickly run or update scenarios, which is crucial for companies in growth mode that constantly have more and more data points to process.
According to the 2020 Pulse of Performance Management Survey, “ease of use” was the most important FP&A software feature for survey participants. Additionally, when asked to identify the pain points with their current budgeting systems, the top three responses were “labor-intensive,” “takes too long,” and “not easy to administer.”
It’s certainly true that some FP&A tools have historically required learning new programming syntax in place of standard Excel and Google Sheets formulas. Many of them also have clunky interfaces that require significant effort to make a simple change. Some systems have a heavy reliance on ongoing services and long implementation periods.
While these drawbacks might be acceptable to massively complex Fortune 500 companies, fast-growing and smaller companies can’t support this kind of burden. Luckily, the best of the latest generation of FP&A software systems have a flatter learning curve and are accessible to all users—even those not familiar with spreadsheets.
The most intuitive FP&A solutions offer driver-, assumption-based, and time-based calculation sheets that allow you to see GL accounts, income statement lines, headcount, and more. And the data is displayed in user-friendly and familiar rows, with cells containing standard spreadsheet formulas, dropdowns, dates, long text notes, checkboxes, and more.
In some FP&A tools, customized dashboards allow non-finance staff to look at the data they need without having to dig deep to find it. The fact that users can generate reports and presentations with the click of a button also makes the user experience and onboarding process much simpler.
Another thing that defines a great financial budgeting and forecasting software solution is its adaptability. Instead of forcing you to do things a certain way, it adapts to your needs. All of this contributes to a more streamlined user experience and easier onboarding for both finance and non-finance users.
The best FP&A software solution for your organization should support your finance and business growth goals.
The best FP&A software solutions make scenario planning and forecasting easy, integrate with your existing software ecosystem, promote collaboration while protecting data sensitivity, and scale with your business. Importantly, the right FP&A software for your team will support you through implementation and beyond.
To try one of the most advanced, high-performing, and feature-rich FP&A software solutions on the market, request an OnPlan demo today.
Have our product experts guide you through an intuitive, intelligent, and streamlined financial planning and forecasting tool that was made for finance professionals by finance professionals. Discover more about what OnPlan has to offer by taking a tour of the platform features.
Get a high-level overview of the top FP&A tool on the market and learn how to choose the right one for you. Not enough time to read right now? Download this guide for free!
November 30, 2022 10 min read
This program will benefit both OnPlan and QuickBooks customers by allowing them to combine their operational and financial data to make better decisions. Moreover, it means that QuickBooks largest customers will be able to continue to use the existing software they love (e.g., HubSpot, Rippling, Airtable, etc.) and get all the benefits of a full blown ERP without sacrificing flexibility and the ease of use of modern planning and analytics technologies.
October 19, 2022 1 min read
Strategic thinking, storytelling, problem-solving, and objectivity are four soft skills that set aside the best FP&A analysists. Here’s why.
June 17, 2022 1 min read
Create an impactful board report from your CEO or HR department
June 17, 2022 2 min read
Learn how OnPlan gives your model superpowers.Book a demo