Effective planning and accurate analysis are essential for a company's success in finance. One way to ensure this is by using the right financial planning and analysis (FP&A) tools. In this guide, we'll walk you through the top 10 budgeting softwares of 2023, highlighting their key features and benefits.
Understanding FP&A Tools
Before diving into the top 10 tools, it's essential to understand what FP&A tools are and why they play a critical role in financial planning and analysis.
Budgeting softwares are not just software solutions that help companies streamline their financial planning, budgeting, forecasting, and analysis processes. They are powerful tools that enable finance professionals to create accurate financial models, analyze data, and make informed decisions based on real-time information. These tools help finance professionals identify trends, patterns, and insights that would be impossible to detect manually.
FP&A tools have become essential for maintaining a company's fiscal health and ensuring they are on the right track towards achieving their financial goals. They help finance professionals make data-driven decisions that can significantly impact a company's bottom line. With FP&A tools, companies can create more accurate financial forecasts, identify growth opportunities, and mitigate risks.
What are FP&A Tools?
FP&A tools are software solutions that help finance professionals to manage and analyze financial data. These tools are designed to automate many of the repetitive tasks that finance professionals perform, such as data entry, data consolidation, and report generation. By automating these tasks, finance professionals can focus on more strategic activities, such as analyzing data and making informed decisions.
FP&A tools come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are designed for small businesses, while others are designed for large enterprises. Some are cloud-based, while others are installed on-premises. Some are designed for specific industries, while others are more general-purpose.
The Importance of FP&A Tools in Financial Planning and Analysis
The increasingly complex economic environment and rapidly evolving business landscape have only underscored the importance of FP&A tools. Companies can improve their financial processes, optimize resources, mitigate risks, and enhance department collaboration.
Furthermore, FP&A tools can lead to better decision-making, increased accuracy in financial planning, and, ultimately, improved profitability and growth. With FP&A tools, finance professionals can create more accurate financial forecasts, identify growth opportunities, and mitigate risks. They can also collaborate more effectively with other departments, such as sales, marketing, and operations, to ensure that all business aspects align with the company's financial goals.
In conclusion, FP&A tools are essential for any company that wants to maintain its financial health and achieve its financial goals. By automating many of the repetitive tasks that finance professionals perform, these tools enable finance professionals to focus on more strategic activities, such as analyzing data and making informed decisions. With the right FP&A tools companies can improve their financial processes, optimize resources, mitigate risks, and enhance collaboration between departments, ultimately leading to improved profitability and growth.
Key Features to Look for in FP&A Tools
When it comes to financial planning and analysis (FP&A), having the right tools can make all the difference. With the increasing complexity of financial data and the need for accurate forecasting, choosing an FP&A tool that meets your organization's unique requirements is essential. Here are some key features to consider:
Data Integration and Connectivity
A robust FP&A tool should be able to integrate seamlessly with existing systems and data sources. This feature enables finance professionals to access and combine data from different sources, ensuring accuracy and consistency across the organization. Connectivity with enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and other data sources helps streamline workflows and improve efficiency. Moreover, the tool should be able to handle large volumes of data without sacrificing speed or accuracy.
Forecasting and Budgeting Capabilities
Effective forecasting and budgeting capabilities are essential in an FP&A tool. These features help finance professionals create accurate financial models and budgets for various scenarios, allowing them to plan for potential changes in the business environment. Advanced tools use machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to improve the accuracy of forecasts, helping companies stay ahead of the competition. Additionally, the tool should be able to handle complex financial calculations and provide real-time updates on budget performance.
Reporting & Visualizations
Reporting and visualization features help finance professionals communicate complex financial data to stakeholders quickly and effectively. FP&A tools should offer various customizable reporting options, such as dashboards, charts, graphs, and tables, to ensure all organization members easily understand financial insights. Moreover, some tools offer real-time reporting, allowing users to access up-to-date information on the go. The tool should also provide the ability to drill down into data to identify trends and outliers.
Collaboration and Workflow Management
Collaboration and workflow management features enable seamless communication and collaboration between team members, departments, and stakeholders. These features can help streamline the financial planning process, track the progress of tasks, manage deadlines, and, overall, improve the efficiency of your organization. The tool should provide a centralized platform for team members to collaborate, share files, and communicate in real time. It should also provide the ability to assign tasks and set reminders to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Security and Compliance
Finally, given the sensitive nature of financial information, FP&A tools must prioritize security and compliance. Look for tools that offer advanced data protection, encryption, access controls, and compliance with relevant industry standards and regulations. The tool should also provide audit trails and logs to track changes and ensure accountability. Additionally, the tool should be able to support multi-factor authentication and provide role-based access to ensure that only authorized personnel have access to sensitive financial data.
Considering these key features, you can choose an FP&A tool that meets your organization's unique requirements and helps you make.
Top 10 FP&A Tools of 2023
Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) is an essential function for any organization, and the right tools can make all the difference in streamlining processes, increasing accuracy, and driving better decision-making. With a better understanding of the key features to look for in FP&A tools, let's explore the top 10 options for 2023 to help you make the best choice for your organization.
Causal is a flexible and intuitive business planning platform built for modern companies (from Seed to IPO and beyond).
It’s our #1 choice for FP&A software.
Causal is a flexible business planning platform with a dynamic modeling engine, letting business leaders plan with accuracy and confidence. With out-of-the box reporting and strong collaboration features, users can automate and distribute models and reports within an hour after signing up:
Here’s a quick overview of Causal’s key features:
- Model dynamically with the most powerful modeling engine in the industry - eliminating the need for any work in traditional spreadsheets
- Write human-readable formulas to build and update models 5x faster than Excel/Sheets
- Run multiple scenarios in 3-clicks to effectively compare different hiring, growth, and revenue plans
- Integrate directly to your ERP, HRIS, CRM and G-sheets, and drill into transactions behind each number in one 1-click
- Share interactive dashboards and forecasts with executives and department leaders
- Restrict access for each user with user-level permissions
- Sign up for free and start getting value from day 1. Connect data, create reports and start modeling.
- Get started quickly with 4-6 week implementation. You’ll be up and running in days and become a Causal expert simultaneously.
Causal offers multiple pricing tiers based on company size, requirements and features needed.
- Startup Plan - ideal for CEOs, founders, and finance teams at 10 to 50-person companies. This is a great solution for early-stage companies who want a centralized view of cash, runway and performance
- Growth Plan - ideal for finance leaders at 50 - 100 person companies. This is the right solution for Series A & Series B companies who are looking to connect financial and operational data and have multiple users in the platform
- Enterprise Plan - Ideal for planning leaders at 100 - 1000 person companies. This is for Series B+ companies who are looking to plan dynamically using ERP, HR, CRM and warehouse data while sharing performance and inputs across the org.
For larger enterprises looking to manage complex, long-term transformations, Anaplan could be the ideal FP&A solutions provider.
It features a Hyperblock calculation engine designed for crunching massive data sets rapidly and accurately—all while building collaboration among teams via its intuitive user interface. To top it off, they offer customized apps tailored to fit your organization’s needs!
Should you opt for Anaplan, brace yourself for costly implementation & carrying costs since their services are best suited to big businesses with ample resources. You’ll have to spend more time on implementation, pay for ongoing support and potentially hire exclusively to manage the platform.
Workday is an enterprise-level FP&A software provider that prides itself on its modeling, planning, budgeting, and forecasting capabilities. Workday's Adaptive Planning solution offers some of the most sophisticated models in the industry, providing a wealth of data that can help drive informed decision-making.
One of the standout features of Workday Adaptive Planning is its intuitive interface, which makes it easy for end-users to navigate and leverage its many capabilities. The software is also highly flexible, able to work seamlessly with various data storage configurations, including on-premise, hybrid, and cloud environments. Additionally, the solution provides a range of APIs that users can leverage to customize their workflows and integrations.
Compared to competitors, Workday Adaptive Planning stands out for its robust feature set, ease of use, and ability to support FP&A transformations for larger enterprises. This software provider is an excellent choice for businesses looking to streamline their reporting processes and gain deeper insights into their financial data.
Planful is a leading provider of cloud-based FP&A software that specializes in continuous planning. Their innovative platform offers a comprehensive suite of capabilities, including both structured and dynamic planning, consolidation, and account recs. By combining the financial requirements for structured planning with the business's need for dynamic planning, Planful's continuous planning platform facilitates strategic decision-making with speed, confidence, and precision.
Planful's platform is especially relevant for finance professionals, who can utilize its capabilities to manage cash flow, workforce reporting, financial reporting, annual operating planning, monthly close and consolidation, and multi-dimensional analysis.
Datarails is a cloud-based FP&A platform that delivers a powerful automation solution, capable of integrating seamlessly with your existing internal systems, such as your CRM, GL, ERP, and HR data. One of the standout features of Datarails is its ability to provide real-time data analysis, giving you accurate insights on variance analyses and version histories with just a click. With actionable insights revealed via data, Datarails empowers you to confidently make informed decisions.
While Datarails has many benefits, being aware of a few drawbacks is essential. For example, it is only compatible with PC and Excel and is not designed to work with newer technology, which limits integration opportunities. Furthermore, the software has a relatively steep learning curve. However, for companies seeking top-tier FP&A support, Datarails remains a strong option, offering powerful automation capabilities and the ability to access valuable insights from your data.
Cube is an FP&A software specializing in automating data inputs and streamlining reporting processes for mid-market companies. With its advanced automation capabilities, Cube eliminates the need for rote data inputs and allows users to consolidate data more efficiently.
In addition to its automation features, Cube offers strong customer support, ensuring users can quickly resolve any issues they encounter. The software also allows for creating shareable templates and audit trails, enabling users to collaborate effectively and track changes throughout the reporting process. With a focus on leveraging effective KPIs, Cube provides users with valuable insights that can inform decision-making.
Compared to other FP&A software providers, Cube stands out for its user-friendly interface, ease of use, and ability to support mid-market companies. While it may not offer the most comprehensive functionality, it remains a highly effective tool for companies across various industries looking to streamline their reporting processes and take advantage of automation opportunities.
Vena is a comprehensive planning platform that unites people, processes, and systems. With pre-built solutions designed to automate time-consuming tasks, Vena allows users to spend less time checking and more time driving business growth. The software offers a range of capabilities, including financial planning and analysis, integrated business planning, financial reporting, regulatory compliance reporting, and financial close management.
Vena's focus on supporting overall growth is reflected in its platform's capabilities, which provide users with valuable insights and actionable information. The software is often called a "growth engine" due to its ability to help companies drive business expansion.
Vena offers "pre-configured" FP&A software for finance professionals that provides a prescriptive approach to corporate performance management. However, the software can be easily customized to meet specific business needs and industry requirements, allowing users to leverage the platform's full capabilities to support their financial reporting and analysis needs.
Vena is not compatible with Mac and is better served for established companies that love Excel, and want to keep using its familiar UI, with the power of a database behind it.
Prophix provides powerful Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software to automate repetitive tasks and empower finance teams to focus on high-value activities. With Prophix's solutions, teams can automate budgeting, planning, consolidation, and reporting, reducing the risk of errors and improving profitability. Prophix offers both cloud and on-premise solution options, providing flexibility for businesses of all sizes.
Prophix's solutions automate repetitive budgeting tasks and business processes for finance professionals, such as data imports, report generation, and allocations. The software also features advanced capabilities that enable users to detect and surface unusual transactions using text or voice.
Prophix is an ideal solution for companies with slow, manual, repeatable FP&A processes that can be easily automated using the software's pre-built functionality. With Prophix, businesses can streamline their financial processes and achieve greater accuracy and efficiency in their reporting and analysis.
Oracle Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS) is a powerful solution designed to provide operational planners with the flexibility, scalability, and control to plan effectively. With built-in best practices and high configurability, this solution can be used out of the box or further enriched to meet your unique requirements.
For Finance, Oracle PCBS offers business process frameworks that address various planning needs, including strategic modeling, financials, workforce, projects, and capital. These frameworks can be used independently or combined with customized processes to deliver value quickly and efficiently.
Oracle PCBS is best suited for large enterprises that require a comprehensive financial and operational planning solution and have already invested in Oracle back-office infrastructures.
OnPlan is a financial modeling tool designed by financial leaders. It enables companies to thoroughly evaluate and adjust to new opportunities and challenges. OnPlan integrates with multiple ERP, HCM, and CRM systems, providing a comprehensive and holistic view of the entire organization from a single source.
OnPlan is built on the latest cloud-scale database technologies, ensuring reliable performance, even when working with data-intensive or complicated models. It is a top-rated and versatile FP&A solution, easy to use and flexible from the beginning. OnPlan is perfect for small to mid-sized companies that need robust analytics capabilities, a flexible API, and user-friendliness to speed up adoption by end-users.