A Full Review of Adaptive Planning by Workday [2021]

Brian Shin 0

This is a full, complete, and honest review of Workday Adaptive Planning, formerly Adaptive Insights. The solution is typically referred to as Adaptive Planning, or simply, Adaptive.

What is Adaptive Planning?

Adaptive Planning is a software tool for Finance and FP&A.

Adaptive Planning is similar to FP&A tools like:

This review covers the features, capabilities, and benefits of Adaptive Planning as a solution for Finance and FP&A to assist with financial planning, financial budgeting, financial forecasting, financial reporting, financial modeling, financial scenario planning, and more. Read on to learn all about Adaptive Planning pricing, pros and cons, alternatives, features, and more.

If you’re unfamiliar with Finance and FP&A software, read our review of The Top 10 Best FP&A Software Tools.

Adaptive Planning Review

Everyone in Finance or FP&A is familiar with Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheets. However, since those spreadsheet tools tend to limit Finance and FP&A, and require much manual effort, you’ve likely researched software solutions specific to financial teams and processes. This guide covers one such popular financial planning tool.

Adaptive Planning provides financial planning solutions and enterprise planning software designed to modernize financial planning, modeling, budgeting, and forecasting. The company offers specific solutions to cover financial planning, workforce planning, and sales planning. These financial tools promote collaboration across the enterprise without manual, error-prone spreadsheets or inflexible, clunky legacy systems. Adaptive Planning for finance is an enterprise performance management software solution.

Adaptive Planning is geared towards large enterprises, midsize to large companies, and divisions of large enterprises. Their solutions specifically help larger companies that are struggling with the challenges of manual financial processes, data inaccessibility, data inaccuracy, limited scalability, weak data visualization, inefficient collaboration, disconnected spreadsheets, and insufficient professional development for FP&A. Adaptive Planning is also suited for companies who already use other Workday solutions. 

FYI: If you’re in FP&A, you should try Cube. Sign up today for your free FP&A solution demonstration from Cube.

Enterprise Planning Software

Adaptive Planning for finance specifically provides:

  • Flexible, scalable financial planning for large enterprises and divisions 
  • Powerful business modeling
  • Easy to use reporting
  • Real-time financial close and consolidation

Adaptive Planning also includes FP&A solution needs for financial modeling, collaboration, analytics, management and board reporting, scenario and what-if analysis, and more. Here are a few of the specific financial planning tools offered by Adaptive Planning

  • Headcount Planning
  • Revenue Management
  • Expense Management
  • Financial Close
  • Capital Management
  • Profitability Analysis
  • Balance Sheet & Cash Flow

Adaptive Planning is best for larger companies seeking strong capabilities outside of Finance and FP&A, making it a great choice for enterprises working to transform their financial processes companywide.

While Adaptive Planning pricing is not listed on their website, the company does offer two pricing tiers, standard and enterprise, which vary based on features, solutions, your company size, and the types of users you plan to have working with this financial planning solution. 

To compare Adaptive Planning prices, Cube is transparent about the financial planning solution pricing for their faster, smarter, simpler FP&A solutions.

Industry-Specific Features

Adaptive Planning provides financial planning solutions for more than 10 specific industries. Details on Adaptive Planning industry-specific FP&A and financial planning solutions include:

  • Software Industry: Adaptive Planning for software companies helps FP&A at SaaS companies plan, monitor, and analyze subscription bookings and revenue. The financial planning solution provides capabilities for software companies which cover financial budgeting, financial reporting, and more.
  • Healthcare Industry: Healthcare FP&A have been challenged with constantly changing laws, regulations, and care options. It’s unsustainable for healthcare companies to run financial plans on spreadsheets. Adaptive Planning for healthcare lets FP&A see deep into their business to improve financial planning, financial reporting, and more.
  • Business Services Industry: When business services are spread across customers, clients, and projects, it’s challenging to do financial planning on spreadsheets. Adaptive Planning gives business services firms the power to manage personnel, projects, financial planning, and other FP&A processes to the cloud.
  • Manufacturing Industry: The past year has upended supply chains, customer operations, and consumer demand, so manufacturing financial planning has struggled to adapt. Adaptive Planning gives manufacturers a financial planning solution to improve financial reporting, operating plans, headcount plans, production plans, and capital expenditure plans.
  • Retail Industry: Retail is experiencing unprecedented challenges as consumers move away from bricks-and-mortar stores and look for easy, compelling e-commerce retailers. Adaptive Planning provides retail financial planning solutions for retailers’ complex needs. It can be used by store managers for financial and headcount planning, by corporate finance and operations to model new locations, and by FP&A for retail financial planning.
  • Financial Services Industry: Strong regulatory oversight can bog down FP&A at financial services firms. Adaptive Planning offers an enterprise planning solution specifically for financial services companies to manage FP&A, financial reporting, and even compliance.

Adaptive Planning Alternatives

There are many alternatives to Adaptive Planning financial planning solutions, especially for FP&A and Finance at smaller and midsize companies. You can read more in this review of The Top 10 Best FP&A Software Tools. However, a few FP&A planning solutions worth checking out are:

Adaptive Planning: Financial Planning Review

Adaptive Planning offers specific functionality for financial planning. This is an enterprise performance management (EPM) solution designed to enable enterprise-wide financial planning and financial reporting. The solution claims to reduce reporting times while offering no-code customizations. 

FYI: For real-time financial planning to stay ahead of today’s fast-based business world, look into Cube financial planning solution. Their financial planning tools eliminate version control issues, automate data collection, and accelerate your entire financial planning process.

Adaptive Planning Features

Adaptive Planning provides enterprise-grade financial planning features, such as:

  • Annual Planning: Build annual plans using real-time, enterprise-wide data.
  • Budget Planning: Determine your goals, build allocation scenarios, allow for flexibility, and keep track of actuals to plans. 
  • Financial Analytics: Use visualizations to empower the business with financial metrics and analyses. 
  • Rolling Financial Forecasts: Integrate business and financial solutions to ease data collection and access.
  • Financial Modeling: Be more collaborative in financial modeling to connect data, departments, and budgets.

Adaptive Planning Pricing

Adaptive Planning prices their financial planning solutions with different packages (standard and enterprise) that take into account needed features, your company size, and the types of users who will access Adaptive Planning. Users are segmented by full users, contributors, and viewers. Specific prices are not listed on their website, however. They do offer a free trial. Unlimited integrations are included in pricing, but only for midsize and larger enterprises.

Adaptive Planning also offers a planning-only price for current users of their Workday HCM and Workday Financial Management solutions. 

Adaptive Planning Pros

  • Great for bigger companies and enterprises.
  • Integrated financial reporting that can be updated automatically. 
  • Faster financial consolidation and financial close.
  • Industry-specific financial planning templates and functionality.
  • Good for companies who already use other Workday solutions.

Adaptive Planning Cons

  • Opaque pricing leaves ultimate costs unknown.
  • Limited plan options give customers little choice in what features they choose to buy.
  • Enterprise focus adds many features and capabilities not needed by small and midsize FP&A teams.
  • Too many features, user types, and solutions may overwhelm those seeking just a financial planning, reporting, and modeling solution.

How to Use Adaptive Planning

Adaptive Planning requires potential customers to call for more information or register online for a free trial. Companies cannot get started immediately. 

Who is Adaptive Planning For?

Adaptive Planning is best for large company FP&A and enterprise FP&A. The solution’s strong capabilities beyond just Finance and FP&A make Adaptive Planning a good choice for those that have the support of a robust IT team and are seeking to transform how Finance and FP&A collaborates with, and operates across, the entire enterprise.


Adaptive Planning is a robust financial planning tool which can help large corporations and enterprises in a number of industries transform their financial planning processes. 

For midsize companies looking for a fast, intuitive, and comprehensive FP&A financial planning solution that combines the spreadsheets you know and love with cloud power and scale, consider Cube. Cube delivers an intuitive financial planning solution for today’s connected Finance leaders. It’s specifically designed for midsize companies to get started almost immediately and easily scale as your business grows.