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The best FP&A software for your business

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The best FP&A software for your business

Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) software has become essential for business people aiming to achieve integrated budgeting and forecasting across a company and to consistently meet targets.   

FP&A teams need to effectively coordinate with business partners within the company to ensure accurate access to relevant financial and operational data. In addition to assessing financial performance, they develop budget models and many other sub-plans to inform business decisions, generate regular financial reports, and provide strategic advice. Traditionally reliant on manual methods, the rise of technology has seen the growth of digital solutions, enabling FP&A teams to operate with increased speed and accuracy while being able to share the outcomes with their business partners more regularly. 

FP&A software tools with a business Intelligence (BI) platform are the latest advancement in financial software. The incorporated BI platform allows business people to consolidate all ERP and other sources of data in one place so everyone can embrace data-driven decision-making. When all data is managed and updated constantly more people have access to accurate information which means they can view results, analyze and plan. This leads to more consistent growth and greater job satisfaction.  

There are many FP&A software solutions on the market so to choose the planning platform that is best for your business, consider some of the issues you encounter now. Is it wrangling your data, organizing your operational budgets with stakeholders, forecasting and then monitoring the actual results and preparing financial statements? Which of these areas take up your time or skew your results?  

If data is a major problem – whether that be consolidating it, or not being able to have a comprehensive read of financial and operational data you perhaps need to lean heavily on the FP&A tool with a BI base.   

If budgets are hard to create across divisions or you need to carry out sub-planning like scenario planning or headcount planning then a specialized budgeting & forecasting add-on with workflows might be necessary.   

If analysis and reporting is dependent on a small group of people, then you need to ensure that your data is easily accessible, and dashboards can be viewed on demand with up-to-date data so more people are across their business performance.   

Maybe you want all your planning and reporting to be integrated so you can create a master budget, then track it against actuals, collate into financial statements then do rolling forecasts once the books are closed each month.  

To help you navigate the best choice in FP&A, we have picked tools that have been reviewed by customers in  G2 reviews. As well as taking our word for it, you can also read what business people think is worthwhile and not so easy about each solution and determine the best fit for your business. In this blog, we outline 10 FP&A solutions that have a built-in BI platform or not, are web-based or plug into Excel as well as Excel as a standalone so that you can gauge what is available.  

  1. Phocas FP&A and BI  
  2. Vena  
  3. Board  
  4. Prophix  
  5. SAP Analytics Cloud  
  6. IBM planning analytics   
  7. Jedox  
  8. Workday adaptive planning  
  9. Cube  
  10.  Excel   

1. Phocas FP&A and BI – web-based  

Comprehensive FP&A software like Phocas offers tools that are custom-built to support the finance team and CFO, helping them connect financial performance to the wider business. It not only offers budgeting and forecasting capabilities, but also has a BI Analytics foundation as well as Financial Statement software.  

Phocas BI pulls data from your ERP and multiple other sources into one centralized platform, making up-to-date data access fast and easy for everyone. Financial Statements connect Budgets & Forecasts to dynamic profit and loss, balance sheet and cashflow statements. Reporting is automated and live actuals automatically feed back into your budgets and forecasts, enabling you to regularly compare actuals against planned performance and make quick adjustments as needed. 

Made specifically for the manufacturing, distribution or retail industries so business people have access to an all-in-one solution backed by a BI foundation. Phocas is known for its thorough implementation and ongoing customer support. 

What customers say 

Game changing business tool for reporting, forecasting and presenting business analytics. Phocas presents scheduled reports of sales performance and this is measured against a budget and forecasting data feed also within Phocas. Along with this sales trends and gap analysis is a strong feature and used daily to review sales by product as well as performance by sales person. Dashboards allow live information to be presented via screens and scheduled reports. Administration is complex but thorough, and the database and data feed section requires high concentration and understanding. Saying all of the tutorial and support is first rate, so nothing is unachievable with Phocas and its excellent team of support.
Customer review on  G2.com

2. Vena – Excel based

With a familiar Excel interface, AI-powered insights and a centralized database that connects and consolidates your data, you can improve productivity, free up time for analysis and plan for any scenario with confidence. Vena is perfect for finance and accounting teams looking for powerful, flexible and easy-to-use Excel-based FP&A software.  

What customers say

It makes budgeting and forecasting simple by making one single source of truth that reflects changes others have made. This makes accountability clear and prevents ten versions of the same template. Also, when teaching others to use templates, being within Excel and a familiar landscape makes the teaching more accessible.  

It would be wonderful to be able to have more flexibility within the ad-hoc tool, such as using attributes within them and making more specific selections.
Customer review on G2.com

3. Board – web-based

Board’s Intelligent Planning solutions help large organizations to plan smarter, enable actionable insights and achieve better outcomes. Board helps unify strategy, finance, and operations through more integrated and intelligent planning to achieve full control of performance.  

What customers say

Data and information is available for a large number of users at the same time. We can drill into the data everywhere, build our own reports and have the possibility to read from several data sources. It's becoming expensive because of the rising fee.
Customer review on G2.com

4. Prophix – web-based   

A Financial Performance Platform, to improve the speed and accuracy of decision-making within a harmonized user experience. Global finance teams are empowered to step into the next generation of finance with no reservation.  Crush complexity, reduce uncertainty, and illuminate data with access to best-in-class automated insights and planning, budgeting, forecasting, reporting, and consolidation functionalities.  

What customers say  

Prophix has changed how we create and present financials. It's been a huge help in automating our budget process! We are looking forward to transferring more processes into Prophix. Prophix has been great overall but it's a huge time commitment.
Customer review on G2.com

5. SAP Analytics Cloud –web-based   

As the analytics and planning solution within SAP Business Technology Platform, SAP Analytics Cloud supports trusted insights and integrated planning processes enterprise-wide to help you make decisions without doubt.  

What customers say

The richness of features ensures that SAP Analytics Cloud remains a versatile and powerful tool for a wide range of analytical tasks. Its user-friendly interface encourages frequent use, enabling users to effortlessly explore and analyze data on a day-to-day basis. While SAP Analytics Cloud offers a robust set of features, the implementation process may pose challenges for users. Setting up the platform can be time-consuming, particularly for those with limited technical expertise. Compatibility issues with certain databases or systems can arise, leading to complexities during the integration process. 
Customer review on G2.com

6. IBM planning analytics – Excel based  

IBM Planning Analytics is an integrated performance management platform that couches the power of the in-memory database with a native Excel interface - so you are empowered to make informed decisions quickly and accurately in today's rapidly changing business landscape.  

What customers say  

IBM Planning Analytics tackles several challenges faced by financial planning and analysis (FP&A) teams, leading to significant benefits for businesses. These include Inefficient Budgeting & Forecasting, Limited Scenario Planning and Data Accuracy and Consistency.  

Flexible product that can easily be customized to various business needs but the simplification of rule writing interface is limiting
Customer review on G2.com

7. Jedox – web-based   

Jedox is the world’s most adaptable planning and performance management platform that empowers organizations to deliver plans that outperform expectations.  

What customers say

As I was partly responsible for developing of our Finance system in Jedox, I found it sometimes too complicated from the developer's point of view. We have all our finance data at one place from all our departments around the world. These data are unified and secured, used as a single source of truth. This is good tool for both standard users and managers, different levels of security allows to involve different kinds of users depending on their needs/accesses. 
Customer review on G2.com

8. Workday adaptive planning - Excel based 

Workday business planning software enables your team to create budgets, forecasts, and models in less time and with greater accuracy, so you can focus your time on analysis and strategy. When you have up to date, reliable data, your team can focus on the story behind the numbers and can improve business decisions and collaboration. Additionally, Workday Adaptive Planning and Consolidation delivers a unified solution that enables Accounting and Finance to accelerate the close, increase planning agility and drive faster, more informed decisions 

What customers say

I like the ease of creating different versions based on different market scenarios for our annual operating plan. The reports are extremely helpful when comparing actuals versus different versions of the annual operating plan. One of my favorite features is the ability to sync with Office Connect in Excel, which is where I complete most of my budget versus actual reports and allows for real-time updates. The import features allow us to easily upload our financial data and use for more dynamic reporting purposes. It does time out quickly when unused for a brief amount of time. This can cause slight frustration when having to log back in and re-navigate to the place and filter selection that I was on. 
Customer review on G2.com

9. Cube – Excel based   

Cube is an FP&A platform that pairs the flexibility and familiarity of your spreadsheet with the control and scale of performance software. FP&A teams rely on our real-time financial and operational data access for faster and more strategic planning, reporting, and analysis.  

What customers say  

Really happy with the overall flexibility of the system, with ability to have transactional and operational data all in one place! As it is based in Excel, it is easy to look at things in different ways to quickly analyze data or change the drivers of your forecast. Needed outside help to implement to get fully up and running. Had to rebuild all forecast models in excel in a way that was compatible to load the data into Cube, which was more time consuming than anticipated. Additionally, formatting of reports does not save in Cube, so every time you go to fetch/build something from the system, you have to re-format or manually add new account to an existing report in excel. Gets tricky when business is constantly evolving/changing. 
Customer review on G2.com

10. Microsoft Excel   

Some finance professionals use Excel for practically everything. Anything from month-end close to management reporting and forecasting. In Excel, it can be tedious to constantly go back to your models, and compare your forecasted data against actuals over time. Automating this process in Excel isn’t much easier, and requires serious technical skills. The standout difference with Excel and bespoke FP&A platforms is data management.  The data in Excel is static and so the user must upload all updates manually unlike the FP& A software with BI support – data is refreshed daily or hourly. If you want to carry out scenario planning, these tasks require complex knowledge in Excel whereas in the other tools like Phocas – these applications are built-in and can be executed easily as part of the planning process.   

What a customers say

Excel can do so many things when you need to make calculations, spreadsheets or do something with accounting. Not straightforward for novice users as can be complex.
Customer review on G2.com

Choosing the right FP&A software matters

The effectiveness of a finance team relies greatly on the level of automation and use of cloud-based SaaS planning and BI tools available to them. Selecting the right FP&A tools is a significant choice, but carrying out thorough research can enhance your business. You will find the appropriate planning platform to save time and achieve better results by accessing all the necessary financial data, customizing reports and building collaborative and effective financial models and forecasts.   

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Written by Katrina Walter
Katrina Walter

Katrina is a professional writer with experience in business and tech. She explains how data can work for business people without all the tech jargon. She is always on the look out for new ways data is being used by business people to know more and be sustainable.

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