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Best Alternatives for Limelight FP&A Software

Looking for an alternative for Limelight? You can start here.

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Uri Kogan

January 27, 2021 2 min read

Best Alternatives for Limelight FP&A Software

Looking for alternatives for Limelight? We’re here to help.

You may be familiar with the adage, “Knowledge is power.” This statement could not be more true than in modern, complex business environments where you have to make decisions quickly, even with high stakes at play. 

Business leaders need insight into financial and operational information across their entire organization. They need to understand the risks and opportunities and their impacts on their operations and budgets before pursuing them. They need fast, accurate reporting and total transparency.

Cleaning and extracting spreadsheets data is tedious, labor-intensive, and error-ridden. Finance departments have to evolve beyond these manual inputs and outputs to better manage their environments’ complexities. 

The only tools that can provide that information and ease of use are FP&A (Financial Planning and Analysis) platforms, but choosing and implementing an FP&A solution isn’t as straightforward as it may seem. 

limelight
Limelight

These tools can vary dramatically in performance, reporting, data visualization capabilities, price, and features. FP&A teams have to choose their solutions carefully with many new entrants on the market. 

One such solution is Limelight. Limelight connects data and people by providing a single, centralized depository from multiple source systems for all your data. Limelight offers automated data consolidation, reconciliation, and analyses. Business leaders gain a 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. However, if you need more than standard workforce planning from your FP&A system, several alternatives outperform Limelight. 

Let’s look at a few reasons Limelight may not be the best solution for your organization.

Disadvantages of Using Limelight

Limelight is a solid FP&A product, but it is still very new and in development. Much like Mosaic, the product shows promise, although it requires additional functionality and development. Here are some of the reasons why Limelight might not be sufficient for your needs: 

Challenging to Set Up

Unlike tools like OnPlan or Cube, Limelight 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. 

User-friendliness

Setting up report books functions, identifying errors following failures, and outputs to Excel are not as user-friendly as other functions. 

Implementation 

Like Cube, Limelight requires IT and customer support for a successful implementation. This can be costly and time-consuming.

Speed and Performance

Limelight’s slow load times are significant for teams, especially when working with large files. Users report data stability issues as well. 

Scalability

Several clients have mentioned that the system worked well initially, but as their business matures, performance lags dramatically, and data pulls become cumbersome. 

Complexity

Limelight’s workforce planning module is useful but complex and difficult to set up. Users report that creating an environment with limited input options/permissions is difficult, which can break the calculations. 

Setting up a Report Books Function

The report books functionality in Limelight has been particularly challenging and while Limelight has worked on improvements, setting up a book, identifying errors, and outputs to Excel remains challenging. 

Ability to Drill Down Into Data

Limelight doesn’t claim to drill down into the finer details of your data, and as an FP&A professional, that may or not work for you. Many finance professionals may not find this a disadvantage, but even more may soon outgrow the tool without it. 

Alternatives to Limelight 

Limelight may or may not be a good solution for your company, but it’s important to evaluate the disadvantages before making a final decision: 

  • Limelight is challenging to set up.
  • Lack of permission management and access control can lead to data errors.
  • Limelight is less user-friendly than other solutions.
  • Implementation requires IT support and intervention.
  • Company growth impacts speed and performance. 
  • Performance issues hamper your ability to scale. 
  • Unnecessary complexity in its basic functions.
  • Flaws in its report books functionality.
  • Inability to drill down to the finer details. 

Limelight has potential, but the alternatives on this list offer more features and better performance at a similar price point. 

#1 — OnPlan 

OnPlan is a highly rated financial planning and analysis platform that offers powerful analytics and forecasting capabilities along with world-class customer support. 

Unlike Limelight, which requires companies to pull in additional IT support, OnPlan offers support and customization from the start to help companies with implementation. Implementation and usage can occur in a matter of days, not months. OnPlan’s familiar Excel spreadsheet format and full support for spreadsheet formula logic dramatically reduces the learning curve, makes it a cinch to adopt, and delivers value immediately, without compromising performance. 

OnPlan comes with powerful forecasting, budgeting, and visualization capabilities. Companies can integrate OnPlan with their ERP, HRIS, and CRM systems, including QuickBooks, Xero, Salesforce, Sage Intacct, and many more. Data views make it easy to share all the data needed, and nothing that isn’t, across departments to improve collaborative planning and reporting. Instead of reaching out to your marketing, sales, and other departments for data inputs, spreading your communication across various channels and sources, you can reach instant and total alignment. OnPlan offers greater collaboration so that teams can access and discuss metrics, ask questions, and resolve issues in a single space. 

onplan limelight alternatives
OnPlan

OnPlan’s intuitive visualization capabilities help you compile, arrange, and arrange data with just a few clicks, viewing all your financial information from a single source, and delivering it to presentations automatically. 

Financial managers can use what-if scenario planning to test new opportunities and risks, and gain insight into cash flow, workforce management, and other areas of interest. Unlike Limelight, access is strictly permission-based. This reduces the likelihood of errors and broken calculations creeping in, so you maintain accuracy and control over your data. 

OnPlan is often compared to enterprise-grade Adaptive Insights, but it comes in at a fraction of the price. 

Key Features 

  • Integrate with major data sources 
  • Realize value in a matter of days
  • Improve collaboration between departments 
  • Reduce errors and manual inputs save time
  • Control your environment without impacting productivity with permissions management 
  • Democratize financial data and improve transparency
  • Built-in budget vs. actuals, scenario, and predictive analysis
  • Custom dashboarding
  • Propagate changes to your GL into your models automatically

Use Cases

  • BVA analysis that detects issues and errors early on 
  • Custom modeling with a few clicks 
  • Ad hoc reporting, budgeting, and forecasting
  • What-if scenario planning to test new threats and opportunities

#2 — Cube 

Cube is similar to OnPlan in that it maximizes the familiarity of Excel to accelerate adoption and improve ease of use and adoption. As a SaaS FP&A platform, Cube follows a simple subscription model. 

Like OnPlan and Limelight, Cube centralizes and democratizes financial data and provides greater visibility for various departments. Cube integrates with several financial and business applications.

On the downside, Cube (like Limelight) requires onboarding assistance to get started, which comes at a considerable cost and may cause delays. Cube also doesn’t respond well to changes in your data structures, like your G&L, which trip up a lot of FP&A systems. 

Users of Cube have also complained that fixing errors are unnecessarily complicated and even the most basic data presentation needs some intervention from the implementation team. It’s a little disconcerting, considering that there are several reviews floating around saying that implementation is a little slow and cumbersome. If you need to hit the ground running, it may be better to use Mosaic or OnPlan.  

cube limelight alternatives
Cube

Key Features

  • Data consolidation and streamlining 
  • What-if scenario 
  • Imports/exports 
  • Spreadsheet interface
  • Dashboarding and reporting

Use Cases

  • Revenue planning
  • Financial forecasts
  • Visualization of data in custom dashboards
  • Cross-functional and ad-hoc reporting 

#3 — Centage Planning Maestro

Centage has been in the market for a long time, making it less prone to the performance issues plaguing Limelight. The platform includes features like ad-hoc reporting, asset lifecycle management, a general ledger, centralization, and dashboards. 

Centage has simplified usage by implementing pre-built templates and modules, along with set-up wizards to guide clients through the initial installation process. This hands-off approach may appeal to some, but there is a caveat: some users have complained that implementation doesn’t always go smoothly. This wouldn’t necessarily be a deal-breaker, but unfortunately, they also report that their customer service leaves a lot to be desired. 

Budget Maestro - Centage
Centage Planning Maestro

You can use Centage Planning Maestro in conjunction Centage Budget Maestro for your general accounting software needs. Users already using Budget Maestro will find Planning Maestro familiar. 

Centage lets Finance teams make and compare assumptions and test various scenarios to predict their impact. Data appears in an attractive visual format. 

That doesn’t mean that Centage Planning Maestro doesn’t have disadvantages. Users report difficulty creating and sharing reports (for the web version, in particular). Models require significant regular maintenance, which can be time-consuming and lead to errors. Updates can be hard to manage in general.

Key Features

  • Cloud-native
  • Integrations with many business systems
  • Performance management
  • What-if scenario planning, forecasting, and budgeting
  • Integration with Centage Budgeting Maestro 
  • Templates

Use Cases

  • Revenue planning and forecasting
  • Cash flow and workforce management
  • Data import/export/visualization
  • Balance sheet, income statements, and general ledger 

#4 — Mosaic

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 but still have several usable modeling scenarios.

Mosaic

Mosaic is limited in its custom reporting, integration, and dashboarding capabilities. Its dashboards are more advanced than the likes of Jirav, but it can’t compare to OnPlan or Centage. 

Like Limelight, implementation can be cumbersome and may require outside support from a consultant. While the price point is attractive, the product is still largely in development and requires a lot of fine-tuning. Integration and customization options are very limited and some users report frustration with the pace of new feature releases. Overall, Mosaic is a good starter option, but FP&A users may outgrow it very quickly. 

Key Features

  • Access controls 
  • Templatized modules 
  • Ad hoc reporting and collaboration tools 
  • Centralized data 
  • Customizable, visual dashboards

Use Cases 

  • Gain actionable insight into financial and business data
  • Manage cash flows and resources more efficiently
  • Budget vs. actual analysis
  • Forecasting 
  • Reporting

#5 — Jirav

Jirav is a cloud-native financial forecasting and planning platform aimed at small businesses. Users can integrate the software with several data sources commonly used in small businesses, including ERP systems. 

Jirav includes forecasting, modeling, dashboards, KPI tracking tools, general ledger, and more. If you are in the market for an entry-level solution at a lower price, Jirav is not a bad bet. However, it’s really lightweight. It has many features in common with many of the tools reviewed in this article but falls short in terms of performance. Its limitations are particularly apparent when it comes to data inputs for custom reporting — a very manual and time-consuming process that often defeats the time savings the software is trying to achieve. General reporting functionality leaves a lot to be desired as well, as users say it is “restrictive”. 

Jirav
Jirav

Jirav is also different from the likes of OnPlan and others that embrace and enhance the familiar Excel format. While this might resolve some issues, it increases the learning curve and slows adoption. 

Many users say that using Jirav feels like using a beta version of a product rather than a finished solution. 

Key Features 

  • Scenario planning and forecasting
  • KPI tracking capabilities 
  • Scorecards
  • General ledger, balance sheet, and income statement
  • Cash flow management
  • Reporting 

Use Cases

  • Workforce management
  • Multi-scenario forecasting
  • Budgeting and forecasting
  • Reporting through customizable dashboards 
  • Centralized data to improve collaboration between departments 

Final Word

FP&A software solutions can 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. Your business will be more nimble and data-driven — but only if you choose the right tool. 

You have to choose a solution that can consolidate and integrate your data without sacrificing user-friendliness or compromising speed and performance. Some of the platforms we review have powerful features but require a lengthy implementation processes that can tie your data up for months at a time. Others are affordable and fast, but less user-friendly than you might like. 

Whichever solution you choose, we hope you have the information you need to evaluate Limelight and its alternatives. As we said, knowledge is power! 

***

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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