Financial managers always have a lot on their plates. But especially after such an unpredictable and unsteady year for so many, the start of 2021 allows us to look ahead with a bit more foresight, and perhaps the ability to put a stronger yearly plan into action. Finance departments in particular can recognize the need for more streamlined solutions, a simplified user experience, and cloud based models that integrate easily into their existing routines. These seem like no-brainer attributes for software solutions you may be considering, but so many miss the mark.
Integrating a new financial planning software that addresses these needs allows organizations the ability to work more efficiently and to ultimately achieve their long-term goals more easily. And after a year like 2020, that’s what we all want.
What is FP&A software?
Financial planning and analysis software compiles the data and analytical processes that allow finance teams to successfully budget and forecast their business strategies.
We’ve compiled the top 7 FP&A software solutions to consider implementing into your organization in 2021.
1. OneStream FX
Built for larger corporations and global enterprises, this platform aims to simplify financial planning and performance management on large scales.
- Fast and responsive with a task manager included
- Ease of use
- Very flexible customization
- So many customization options can make it hard to know where to start
- Features on the dashboard are not always fully explained
- Some users note that setting up reports is not intuitive
With a forte in budgeting and forecasting, Vena integrates into your company’s existing systems to provide actionable long term business insights.
- High-tech and responsive customer support
- Creating in-house reports is very flexible
- Able to easily see template changes in audits, as opposed to searching through an audit log or history
- No option to run reports as a PDF
- Template loading time is slow
- Can be difficult to audit user security if over 200 users
3. Oracle Essbase
This business analytics solution works to create insights from multidimensional data sets for quick forecasts. Oracle Essbase allows users to build and test models to get the best possible predictions.
- Flexible and easy to use
- Users can easily pull financial data from their existing accounting software into Excel
- Easy to extract reports
- Some stability issues and crashing
- Can be finicky with producing reports if some fields are filled in incorrectly
Promoted as an all-in-one software to help you plan smarter, Jirav allows organizations to budget more accurately with a driver-based financial model that consolidates accounting and operational data.
- Easy to set up and integrate across teams
- Easy to customize
- Top-rated dashboard functionality features
- Limited visual representations in the dashboard
- Doesn’t handle complex formulas in dashboard tiles
Prophix is a Corporate Performance Management (CPM) platform that helps corporations make better business decisions as they scale and budgeting gets harder to tackle. WIth pre-built functionality, users can pre-populate data sets for easier forecasting.
- A virtual financial analyst that works with text and voice
- Easy organization with line item detailing
- Can set up monthly reports to be distributed automatically
- Platform takes time to learn and implement
- Graphs and other visual representation are lacking
- Unable to test out features without the risk of compromising data
This platform helps users simulate different financial situations to allow for better visibility and overall accurate forecasting.
- Easy to navigate through large sets of data
- Easy for users of all technical abilities to generate reports
- Ability to set different access levels so different users can have access to only what they are given permission to view and use
- Servers can be slow or tend to freeze
- Functions that require using formulas are not so intuitive
- Some performance delays when showcasing multidimensional databases
This solution automates financial processes and reports to consolidate and analyze financial data without having to leave the familiar environment of Excel.
- Easy adoption as users can continue to work with existing models and templates
- Quick implementation of between 6 and 10 weeks
- Competitive pricing
- Doesn’t support Google Sheets
- Lacking tutorials and other educational materials
- Infrequent updates
Additional software that packs a punch
Procurement software, while not an FP&A software solution, is an essential add-on to a financial team’s existing FP&A process. These solutions work to totally automate business’s procurement processes for greater control over the many procurement steps and stakeholders involved in purchasing. This also leads to better budgeting and forecasting like the above solutions do, but provides an additional layer of visibility, and therefore data, letting users act faster (at any point in the purchase order flow) without experiencing gaps in communication.
This ability to easily interject anywhere in the flow while all stakeholders are updated in real time is extremely valuable. It ultimately saves teams from making mistakes, backtracking, overspending, and wasting time.
CFOs and finance leads could benefit from taking a step back from their growth-oriented focus, and actually consider what might be getting in the way of a high-functioning team. Upon reflection, they often find internal communication issues as well as hiccups occurring outside of the organization, meaning once a purchase order has been placed and is with a vendor, there can be a lot of blind spots.
Approve.com provides visibility at every step, keeping approvers, requesters, and vendors connected throughout the entire flow.
- Smooth integration with existing ERP, SSO, and HR systems
- Searchable vendor list so users can select vendors they trust and are already familiar with
- Real-time visibility into each budget item’s status
- Available training resources available, including webinars, documentation, and in-person instruction
- Virtual credit card support is unavailable
With an all-encompassing solution like Approve.com, finance teams have the visibility they need to set realistic budgets and know in real time whether they will meet these budgets. It’s simple to correct actions and make adjustments accordingly even before payments go through. Paired with streamlined and accelerated operations across departments, your team will be able to align almost effortlessly to control business spend well into the future.