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Best Alternatives for Cube FP&A Software

Looking for the best alternatives for Cube? We’re here to help. Few companies grow without careful financial planning and cash flow management. Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) teams assist companies with budgeting, forecasting, and analysis that support the CFO, CEO, and Board’s corporate decision-making.  Financial planners rely on FP&A tools to analyze every department and […]

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Uri Kogan

January 27, 2021 2 min read

Best Alternatives for Cube FP&A Software

Looking for the best alternatives for Cube? We’re here to help.

Few companies grow without careful financial planning and cash flow management. Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) teams assist companies with budgeting, forecasting, and analysis that support the CFO, CEO, and Board’s corporate decision-making. 

Financial planners rely on FP&A tools to analyze every department and present stakeholders with an overview of the organization’s risks and opportunities. Spreadsheets are the most common tool used, but rely on manual data entry and copy-pasting, which lead to time-consuming and costly errors. A lot of common financial analysis tasks like variance analyses, rollovers, and visualizations of different time periods and data sets, have to be rebuilt, over and over. Modern tools combine the familiar Excel format with the speed and power of consumer apps to solve these issues and present data in a clear, visual format that stakeholders can access at any time. 

One tool used by FP&A professionals is the Cube FP&A platform. Cube promises effective modeling, forecasting, and collaboration through data processing and presentation features. Cube has a number of alternatives that are also worth a look, including OnPlan, Centage, Mosaic, Jirav, and Limelight. Some might be a better fit for your business. This article compares the various options available to help you pick the best solution. 

Disadvantages of Using Cube

Cube is a solid FP&A management software platform. It provides real-time financial and/or operational data for analysis and planning. While Cube claims it saves time and reduces errors by combining the familiar Excel format with performance software, users report that Cube isn’t intuitive and has a steep learning curve. 

Here are some reasons to consider alternatives to Cube:

cube
Cube

Cumbersome Fixes

Cube uses an information aggregation model. When mistakes crop up, users find them difficult to fix. Extra entries have to be overwritten instead of erased. 

Data Presentation 

Many users report that it is difficult to tailor your data and financials to your preferred view. Cube provides implementation consultants to resolve the issue, but it is not a plug-and-play solution and takes effort to adapt.

Complexity

Financial managers state that they had difficulties using Cube in the early stages. It’s not as intuitive as OnPlan or Mosaic and requires an onboarding specialist to implement, which drives up costs and wastes time. 

Speed of Implementation 

While it’s a one-off event, the loading process is extremely lengthy and frustrating, leading to downtime. Financial teams have to plan implementation carefully to avoid disruption during the month- or year-end close. 

Stability

Users report bugs and errors more frequently with Cube than other FP&A solutions. Others say Cube needs additional features and development. 

Pricing

While Cube offers discounts to start-ups, the software is expensive and complex compared to similar solutions like OnPlan. Essential plans start from $850 per month, and the Premium plan is $1,850 per month. The company does not release the cost of its Enterprise-level pricing tier without a formal quote request. 

Alternatives to Cube

Before digging into some of the alternatives to Cube, let’s recap the disadvantages: 

  • Fixing errors is unnecessarily complex.
  • It is difficult to present data in a representative way without intervention from Cube’s consulting team.
  • The tool isn’t intuitive to use and comes with a learning curve. 
  • Implementation is slow and requires professional onboarding assistance. 
  • The solution isn’t very stable and needs regular bug fixes. 
  • Pricing is complex and non-transparent. 

If these disadvantages give you pause, look at some of the alternatives to Cube. Some solutions are more affordable and reliable. 

#1 — OnPlan 

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. OnPlan is one of the most flexible and powerful SaaS 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 supports integration with several third-party applications and systems, including ERP systems, customer relationship management, and business intelligence systems that include QuickBooks, Salesforce Sage Intacct, NetSuite, Xero, and others. Pricing is available on a simple monthly subscription basis with world-class support. 

Like Cube, financial planners can use OnPlan to create strategic plans and analyses, synchronize information across systems into a single, centralized data repository, or perform what-if scenario planning to test new opportunities or risks with a few simple clicks.

onplan
OnPlan

While OnPlan and Cube are very similar in functionality, OnPlan is a better value, faster, and easier to use. OnPlan uses Excel formats and an intuitive user interface that shortens the learning curve and gets teams up and running in a matter of days, not months. Companies realize the value of OnPlan much faster than the alternatives. 

Key Features 

  • Rapid onboarding in days, not months or weeks, to realize value faster
  • Seamlessly integrate data from Excel, Xero, Google Sheets, Zapier, Google Analytics, Salesforce, and several other ERP, CRM, and HR systems
  • Organization-wide collaboration without manual inputs or validation required
  • Permission-driven management solution to control access and reduce errors
  • Robust BVS analysis to correct operational insight and provide helpful insight into the issues driving your business
  • Real-time insights and predictive analytics for rapid decision-making and increased profitability
  • Scenario analysis to compare multiple options and outcomes
  • Tailor-made dashboards by team or person that change automatically when your model does

Use Cases

  • Budget vs. Actual analysis to catch and rectify errors and uncover fraudulent activities 
  • Intuitive, contextual, and custom modeling provides the insight needed to steer the business
  • Budgeting and rolling forecasts
  • What-if scenario planning to analyze threats and opportunities
  • Benchmarking across the organization
  • Track KPIs across departments and the entire organization to stay on course throughout the year 

#2 — Centage Planning Maestro

Centage Planning Maestro is a cloud-native financial intelligence, planning, and analytics platform. 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. 

Like OnPlan and Cube, companies make forecasts using several variables with Centage Planning Maestro. Teams make and compare assumptions through what-if scenario analyses and present data using visualization tools. 

centage
Centage

Planning Maestro includes ad hoc reporting capabilities, access, and version controls, asset lifecycle management tools, cash management capabilities, and KPI tracking. Centage is applicable to multiple departments and companies. Centage also has the edge over Cube as it offers easy-to-use pre-built modules and templates without depending on proprietary scripts or formulas that you must maintain. The company uses wizards to guide clients through the budgeting, planning, and reporting process, which minimizes the need for implementation support. 

However, some negative reviews highlight integration failures and customer support issues. This is a considerable failing for a software solution that is a little more cumbersome to manage than its competitors. Data governance is a particular problem spot, as users note that data governance, version control and updates are tough to manage. Planning Maestro isn’t the most user-friendly option on this list either; navigation and reporting are complex and hard to understand for many users. 

Key Features

  • Cloud technology optimized for agility and scale
  • Integrates with most data sources and management systems
  • GAAP-compliant calculations
  • What-if scenario planning capabilities

Use Cases

  • Revenue planning
  • Headcount modeling 
  • Simple export/import of data from multiple sources
  • Integrated income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow reporting

#3 — Mosaic

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. 

mosaic alternatives for cube
Mosaic

The software’s automation features save time by reducing manual inputs and providing users with the ability to reconcile and update forecasts. Its ability to integrate with data source systems like the sales pipeline or accounting records powers the financial forecasts compiled by the software. Multiple modeling scenarios are available. 

While Mosaic is useful, creating custom reporting metrics, such as KPIs like NPS scores, is not easy. This gives OnPlan an advantage over Mosaic. Mosaic’s dashboards receive high praise, but they are not exportable, complicating reporting. Many users say that the many limitations give the impression of a tool still in development, but new feature releases have been few and far in between. 

Key Features

  • What-if Scenario Planning
  • Permission-based access controls
  • Ad hoc reporting and queries
  • Budgeting and forecasting
  • Collaboration tools
  • Dashboards

Use Cases 

  • Collaboration between finance and other departments to manage cash and allocate resources more efficiently
  • Real-time actionable insight into initiatives tied to business goals
  • Forecasts powered by clear assumptions
  • Cross-functional planning and reporting through democratized financial data

#4 — Jirav

Jirav is a budgeting, forecasting, reporting, and dashboarding solution. The company offers a user-friendly interface and native integrations to increase data visibility. The company targets smaller businesses with 5-500 employees. 

jirav alternatives for cube
Jirav

Businesses can use Jirav to create workforce, sales, and business plans through a driver-based modeling engine. Like OnPlan and Centage Planning Maestro, the tool has robust data visualization capabilities and KPI monitoring. Jirav is more affordable than Cube but still pricey for SMBs.

Unlike some other solutions that combine spreadsheets with a modern application interface, Jirav replaces spreadsheets. This will make the learning curve steeper for some. Like Mosaic, the tool is very limited in terms of its reporting capabilities. Dashboards are hard to understand and customize, and formulas may be too simplistic for your needs. While the move away from Excel spreadsheets is perhaps an understandable positioning move (creating something new is often associated with creating something better), in practice it complicates matters for FP&A professionals that are familiar and comfortable with spreadsheets. In this instance, the familiar might be the preferred option as finance professionals end up reverting naturally to Excel and abandoning the tool along the way. Unless you are already familiar with Jirav, it’s going to be harder to learn and adapt to. 

Key Features 

  • What-if scenario planning
  • Budgeting and forecasting
  • Asset lifecycle management
  • General ledger
  • Goal setting and tracking capabilities 
  • Key performance indicator monitoring
  • Scorecards 

Use Cases

  • Create multi-scenario forecasts
  • Structured growth planning
  • KPI tracking 
  • Budgeting, reporting, and forecasting across multiple departments/clients in a single platform

#5 — Limelight

Limelight is a modern, web-based financial planning and reporting platform that offers data integration, collaboration, and reporting. Limelight describes their user base as “Finance & FP&A teams who have outgrown their spreadsheets.” Limelight integrates with ERP software for real-time planning and forecasting. Limelight centralizes data and increases collaboration between departments. 

limelight alternatives for cube
Limelight

While Limelight is a good forecasting and planning tool, most teams use it as a workforce planning tool, which is by far its most advanced and practical module. Limelight gives companies more accurate projection capabilities into the workforce by using employee-specific data linked to actual payroll data (ADP). This allows companies to view both historically paid hours and project-specific hours logged by employees into the future. 

It’s useful for companies that use seasonal workers, as it enables employee counts, accurate paid time, and more. 

While clients say that customer support is good, implementation is difficult and prone to errors over time. While Limelight is a good workforce planning tool, Cube, OnPlan, and the other tools mentioned in this review have better analytical and planning features. Limelight does not purport to drill down into the finer details and its reporting capabilities can be extremely limited. Users may find that they outgrow Limelight fairly quickly, particularly if they grow or expand the business. 

Features 

  • KPI monitoring
  • Payroll management
  • Performance metrics
  • Reporting/analytics
  • Version Control
  • Scorecards 

Use Cases

  • Workforce planning
  • Goal setting/tracking across departments
  • What-if scenario planning to evaluate opportunities 

Final Word

Financial analytics and reporting can help business leaders gain new insights, evaluate opportunities and make confident decisions. Financial planning and analysis tools help companies align with strategy and operations to maximize results and drive accuracy and accountability across departments. FP&A teams can present data in an attractive and easy-to-understand visual format that increases understanding and accelerates the decision-making process. 

Many of the alternatives to Cube have similar features but vary dramatically in terms of their flexibility, ease of adoption, and implementation. 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 possible option for your business needs. 

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Ed note: Want to dive deeper into essential FP&A topics? Check out OnPlan’s most popular posts of all time here:

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About Author
Uri Kogan

Uri Kogan leads marketing and go to market strategy at OnPlan. Uri brings experience as a B2B SaaS marketing executive at a number of high-growth companies, including Nuxeo, where he created a new category of Product Asset Management, leading to a 12x ARR exit, and AppZen, where he led AppZen’s entry into the AP market and served as interim CMO. Earlier in his career, Uri led software marketing teams, incubated new services products, executed turnarounds, and led award-winning global supply chain initiatives at HP. Uri holds a B.A. in economics and a B. Music in opera performance from Northwestern University, and an MBA from Kellogg.

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