Considering Jirav or looking for alternatives? Learn more about your options below.
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If there’s one thing we’ve learned in recent years, it’s that things can change in an instant. Companies can’t rebound from poor decisions as easily as they did twenty years ago, but at the same time, they have to be able to make crucial decisions in an instant. There is no room for guesswork or gut instinct in business anymore. Business leaders depend on their FP&A (Financial Planning & Analyses) teams to provide the data they need to make the right decision at the right moment.
FP&A teams use scenario planning to determine an opportunity or identify the impact of a threat to a business. Workforce management tools and apps can determine how much budget you’d need for staff in peak seasons, while forecasting tools can provide a roadmap into the company’s financial future.
There are several new FP&A tools on the market, but not all are equal. As an FP&A manager or CFO, you need speed, flexibility, scalability, and above all, user-friendliness. If teams find the new FP&A solution cumbersome or difficult to use, they won’t be able to use it effectively (or at all). On the other hand, usability shouldn’t be a trade-off for performance and analytical capabilities. The best FP&A platforms do both.
Jirav is one of the newest FP&A platforms on the market. You can integrate Jirav with several commonly used software solutions and data sources, and It also comes with forecasting, modeling, dashboarding, and KPI tracking capabilities. However, Jirav is different from some FP&A systems because it requires moving away from spreadsheets. While many Finance professionals have a love/hate relationship with spreadsheets, they extremely familiar with Excel. Some FP&A platforms, like OnPlan for example, either integrate with or emulate Excel and Google Sheets to leverage its advantages. Jirav takes a different approach.
While this can solve some of the common issues encountered with spreadsheets (e.g., errors, complexity), it lengthens the learning curve for employees considerably, and can dramatically constrain flexibility.
While Jirav is a promising solution, some flaws may make their alternatives a better fit for your business. This section will explore the disadvantages of using Jirav in greater detail.
Jirav doesn’t allow bulk uploading. If users create custom tables using Excel data, each line must be input manually and not just copy-and-pasted. This can be extremely time-consuming and may lead to errors.
The dashboard’s basic and visual data representations might limit you. Tiles within dashboards are limited, too, making it difficult to consolidate all of your data in a single dashboard.
Jirav 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 forecast, the prior year, and budget in a single report, which may not suit your financial reporting 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 (like if-then statements). Additionally, you can export values but not formulas to Excel. Calculations within reports are also limited.
Users report that Jirav can slow, especially for accounts with large charts.
Jirav is not a spreadsheet-based system. While some users prefer this, others may find the learning curve too steep.
To recap, here are some of the reasons users are moving away from Jirav:
Jirav is a basic and affordable entry-level FP&A solution. If your needs are a little more complex, or if you anticipate scaling your operations, you may want to consider some of the alternatives on the market.
OnPlan combines your existing spreadsheets and data sources with a comprehensive analytics hub to deliver fast, transparent financial insight across the organization. OnPlan focuses on the end user, with ratings to match. They aim to deliver a tool that is useful, robust, scalable, and easy to use from the very beginning so that customers can realize the value of the solution as soon as possible.
OnPlan is a good fit for small and midmarket companies, as well as divisions of enterprise organizations. It’s one of the more feature-rich solutions on the market, with seamless integration capabilities and a clean and user-friendly user interface designed to accelerate adoption by new users.
Unlike some of the other solutions reviewed, the OnPlan team is extremely hands-on for a SaaS solution. Instead of leaving customers to handle their own setup and implementation, they provide best-practice guidelines based on customer goals and information. The company holds a 5-star customer service rating on Capterra, and the depth of their customer relationships are apparent from reviews that mention OnPlan team members by name.
OnPlan collects and democratizes data from multiple sources within the organization. This includes integrations with systems like Salesforce, Quickbooks, Netsuite, Xero, and Sage Intacct so that you can analyze and use all of your data (HR, Sales, CRM).
While OnPlan’s usability is comparable to Jirav, the system is much more powerful. You can use OnPlan for strategic analyses, visualization, and what-if scenario building.
Whereas Jirav pushes users away from spreadsheets altogether, OnPlan enhances them. This shortens the learning curve and helps teams derive value from the solution in a matter of days, not months.
Centage Planning Maestro has been on the market for a while and was one of the earlier cloud-based financial intelligence platforms on the market. Like OnPlan, users can create and compare various assumptions through what-if scenario testing.
Unlike Jirav, there are several options for data visualization, and reporting capabilities have evolved. Centage comes with several out-of-the-box features, including cash management, KPI tracking, asset lifecycle management, and more. Centage also comes with pre-built modules and templates.
While Centage has been a trusted solution for some time, users have highlighted a lack of customer support and integration failures that could not be resolved. However, judging by customer reviews, the real pain point with Centage the need for regular model maintenance and bug fixes. While updating and maintaining your product is usually a good sign, Centage users have complained that it takes too much time and is far too complex. There are also a few users who have complained about user-friendliness. Creating reports is difficult, navigation is complex and cluttered, and version control is hard to manage, which impacts speed and accuracy in a negative way.
Mosaic is an entry-level finance platform used for planning, forecasting, and reporting. The platform consolidates information from various sources (ERP or CRM data) into a centralized, cross-functional view. Teams across departments can use Mosaic’s dashboards to get an overview of their financial and operational environment.
Mosaic has several useful automation features to save time and money. It also has the edge over Jirav as multiple modeling scenarios are available.
Unfortunately, when compared to tools like OnPlan, Mosaic is still quite limited in terms of its custom reporting capabilities and integration with internal performance indicators. Mosaic’s dashboard features are more advanced than Jirav but less flexible than OnPlan or Centage. Setting up Mosaic can be complex, and there is a learning curve for most financial professionals, which 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 is a solid option if you are on a budget, but FP&A professionals are bound to outgrow it.
Cube is a financial planning, forecasting, and reporting platform. It has an advantage over Jirav in terms of its powerful data visualization capabilities and its use of the familiar Excel spreadsheet format to reduce the learning curve associated with adopting new software.
Cube centralizes data for departments to encourage collaboration. Teams can view, access, manipulate, and extract financial and operational data for review and/or reporting purposes. Like OnPlan, users can integrate with several business and financial applications.
There are some disadvantages to using Cube. Cube isn’t straightforward to set up compared to OnPlan. It’s not intuitive and presenting data is particularly complex, which is not a small disadvantage if you consider that most users adopt FP&A tools like Cube in order to improve communication and reporting between departments. Most companies require onboarding assistance and IT support which comes at an additional cost and may also cause delays. The learning curve may be a little steep for most users, even seasoned FP&A professionals.
Limelight is a web-based financial intelligence platform. Like many of the alternatives discussed in this article, Limelight increases firms’ ability to collaborate, view, analyze and share data.
Limelight integrates with HRIS, ERP, and CRM data sources for forecasting and real-time planning. Limelight is similar to Jirav in many ways but comes with a highly rated workforce planning tool that matches employee data to ADP data.
Aside from its robust workforce planning capabilities, Limelight is relatively lightweight as an analytical and forecasting tool. Users have said that customer support is good, but implementation is complex. The software is also prone to bugs and errors. Like Mosaic, Limelight is a solid starter option, but FP&A professionals may find that they hit serious performance issues as their business scales up. Unlike OnPlan and Cube, it’s very hard to drill down into the finer details using Limelight.
Your FP&A team can provide the insights you need to make business-critical decisions with greater confidence. It’s important to find a solution with powerful analytical capabilities that isn’t too complex for your teams to use.
While Jirav is a fair solution, it is limited. Companies that have evolved beyond the most basic FP&A calculations find the tool lacking. Other solutions offer far more complex calculations without compromising on performance or usability.
Before making a final decision, weigh up all alternatives in terms of cost, capability, and customer service. The solution you choose has to have top marks in every category.
I really love the user interface, modularity, and power of the platform. It makes a very complex process much easier to manage. I love the fact it tracks your updates so you can see people’s thinking at various points in time.
Head of FP&A, Redbubble
OnPlan gives me peace of mind which in itself is worth the price. I don’t have to worry about version control or someone inadvertently corrupting a calculation in our model. I “fly” ImplantBase using OnPlan as my instrument panel, it tells me how fast I can go and how close I am to the treetops. Crucially, it allows us to more quickly get to the answers we need.
OnPlan is our go-to source for key operational data. It puts key information at our executives’ fingertips so we can make faster and better data driven decisions. OnPlan has helped eliminate hours of manual labor and allows us to create tailored dashboards that can be shared with key stakeholders across the company.
VP of Finance, Welkin Health
We have regularly hit our numbers since moving to OnPlan. I now have confidence in our forecast, and our Board members are much happier. The direct integration with Quickbooks saves us a ton of time. But the two critical issues it has solved is making sure we don’t run out of cash, and having a trustworthy forecast that we can base decision making on.
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