The 10 Best FP&A Software Tools: A Guide for 2021

Brian Shin 0

FP&A software helps CFOs, finance leaders, and Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) professionals help ensure the financial health of their organizations by tracking and analyzing current results and planning future performance.

These modern tools help teams streamline, automate, and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of their tactical and strategic efforts.

This guide provides an overview of the top 10 FP&A software providers in the space.

What is Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A)?

FP&A is the budgeting, financial forecasting, and financial analysis & decision-making that support the financial health and strategy of every company. This team is responsible for a variety of activities, including periodic financial close and consolidations, strategic and annual planning, monthly forecasting, cash flow forecasting, financial reporting, financial modeling and what-if scenario planning and analysis.

It’s the job of the FP&A team to understand the financial performance of the company – past, present, and future. They apply context and narrative to what is happening in the business and why it’s happening. Their comprehensive financial lens allows them to spot new opportunities and anticipate unexpected threats to position the company for success. This puts them at the strategic center of the organization, with business leaders all over the company looking to them to provide critical insights and recommendations on how to navigate the business forward.

How Do You Do Financial Planning and Analysis?

FP&A is responsible for coordinating and collaborating with the entire business to collect financial and operational data, analyze financial performance, model potential plans and decisions, create periodic financial reports, provide strategic recommendations to business leaders, and much more. This team is responsible for keeping the organization in good financial health and making good financial decisions. 

FP&A typically has two key roles: managing the periodic financial close and consolidation, and financial planning, forecasting, and analysis to facilitate better organizational decision making. To achieve those ends, FP&A does the following:

  1. Works across the business to collect, aggregate, understand, and analyze financial data. 
  2. Collaborates with the business and executives to develop plans, budgets, and forecasts and explain variances.
  3. Analyzes corporate activities and periodic performance to publish financial reports and communicate the organization’s overall financial health.
  4. Provides detailed analysis of financial performance and decision guidance to the business, executives, the board of directors, and others. 
  5. Projects future business performance with financial, sales, and performance forecasts and scenario plans.
  6. Analyzes and guides the allocation of assets and investments to achieve overall corporate financial goals and business objectives.

The 10 Best FP&A Software Tools

FP&A has traditionally been executed using large, complex, and interconnected offline spreadsheets. Perhaps no other business team has a more entrenched relationship with Microsoft Excel than FP&A. While in some ways Excel is a match made in heaven for finance professionals (easy to use, naturally designed for financial data and calculations, flexible for any financial model, etc.), it also comes with some major flaws that create big problems and inefficiencies at scale (highly manual, stale data, not easy to share and collaborate, few controls, etc.).

To help solve these ubiquitous challenges, a number of software providers set out to build new solutions to help FP&A teams do their jobs better, faster, easier, and more confidently.

Very robust and capable solutions come from both progressive, innovative software startups and large, established enterprise software vendors. However, each FP&A solution vendor is focused on different market segments and takes a different approach to how they help FP&A teams. Some are best for those in larger enterprises with big IT budgets, others are suited for existing customers of a software provider, and still others are ideally suited for those that want more flexibility in their software strategy. All you need to do is find the right one! 

These are the top 10 FP&A software providers, with details on their key features, benefits, pricing, and more.

Cube

cube fp&a software

Cube offers faster, smarter, simpler FP&A tools and is our #1 choice for FP&A software. Cube provides a cloud-based FP&A software platform that helps finance teams plan more, report faster, analyze smarter, and collaborate everywhere.It eliminates the manual work, and provides the real-time insights finance needs to guide the business forward with speed and agility. What makes Cube so compelling is how it pairs the flexibility and familiarity of your spreadsheets with the control & speed of performance software. Cube gets you up and running in days, not months, which means faster time to value at a lower cost. Its platform connects with any source system, any browser, and any sheet in minutes, so you can use all the tools you love without compromising.

Best For:

Cube’s simple and intuitive experience makes it a great choice for mid-market companies that want to get started fast with scalable, enterprise-grade technology at a reasonable price.

Cube specifically provides automated data consolidation, sharable planning templates, customizable dashboards and reports, scenario planning and analysis, bidirectional Excel and Google Sheet integration, approval workflow, drill-throughs and audit trails, user-based controls, and centralized formulas and KPIs. These FP&A software features translate to easier reporting and KPIs, more accurate forecasting and budgeting, faster close and consolidation cycles, and collaborative teamwork for more control and fewer mistakes.

Integrations:

Cube is built to work directly with most finance and business systems including ERP, CRM, HRIS, Business Intelligence systems, and more. Cube has bi-directional integration with Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel, which gives customers an incredible amount of versatility to choose the user experience that is right for them and their business teams.

Pricing:

Cube offers multiple pricing tiers based on company and size, FP&A needs, and advanced capabilities. They also promise a deployment that lasts just days, not months, and which can be done without consultants. Pricing tiers include:

  • Entry-level discounts of up to 70% for startups and companies with less than 50 employees.
  • Essential capabilities for small finance teams looking to improve speed, accuracy, and scalability.
  • Premium capabilities for growth-stage companies looking to scale reporting, planning, and performance.
  • Advanced capabilities for large, pre-IPO, and public companies needing enterprise-grade features for best-in-class performance.

Cube vs. Anaplan:

Cube offers a simple and intuitive experience designed expressly for mid-market companies. Anaplan is designed for large enterprise customers that have a strong IT team. If you’re part of a small but growing FP&A team, and don’t have a huge team of IT and project management resources to spare, Cube is the better choice over Anaplan.

Workday Adaptive Planning

workday adaptive planning fp&a software

Workday Adaptive Planning, formerly Adaptive Insights, provides enterprise planning software designed to upgrade planning, modeling, budgeting, and forecasting. Their solutions cover financial, workforce, and sales planning to promote collaboration across the enterprise without manual spreadsheets or clunky legacy systems. Workday Adaptive Planning for finance is an enterprise performance management solution.

Workday Adaptive Planning for finance specifically provides flexible, scalable financial planning and analytics for large enterprises; powerful modeling for any size business; reporting that’s easy to use and always up to date; and real-time financial consolidation that accelerates your financial close. The solution also covers FP&A solution needs for modeling, collaboration, analytics, management reporting, board reporting, scenario planning, and financial consolidation.

Best For:

Their strong capabilities outside of Finance and FP&A make Adaptive Planning a good choice for large enterprises seeking a transformational, company-wide FP&A solution.

Integrations:

The Workday Adaptive Planning integration framework works seamlessly with cloud-based, on-premise, and file-based applications.

Pricing:

Workday Adaptive Planning offers pricing packages that take into account package and features, company size, and seat types. Prices are not listed on their website.

Adaptive Planning vs. Anaplan:

Anaplan and Adaptive Planning are both tailored towards large enterprises with significant resources. Teams seeking to transform how the entire enterprise approaches financial planning, Anaplan is a good choice. Those looking for a solution that goes far beyond just FP&A might do well to consider Adaptive Planning.

Anaplan

anaplan fp&a software

Anaplan lets you mobilize complex scenario planning to the smallest detail, intelligently forecast the biggest picture, and empower teams to make decisions faster. Their enterprise-wide solutions connect your strategy to your outcomes and layers in accountability connected to a single source of truth

For Finance, Anaplan specifically provides FP&A solutions to connect your people, data, and plans across your organization to empower the right decisions quickly. Capabilities include planning, budgeting, and forecasting; specialty finance planning; and operational planning, which deliver better and faster decision-making; automated cost management practices; and connected financial and operational plans.

Best For:

Anaplan is great for large enterprise customers that have a strong IT team ready to lead an enterprise-scale transformation initiative.

Pricing:

Anaplan offers basic, professional, and enterprise packages with a complex array of included features, integrations, and capabilities. Prices are not listed on their website.

Anaplan vs. Planful:

Anaplan and Planful both focus on bigger organizations, with Anaplan aimed at large enterprises and Planful suited for large companies and smaller enterprises. Both are suited to big FP&A teams, but Anaplan also requires more IT support. Those with an appetite for a comprehensive deployment project would do well to consider both Anaplan and Planful.

Planful

planful fp&a software

Planful offers a cloud FP&A software platform focused on continuous planning. Their solution covers structured and dynamic planning, consolidation, and reporting. Planful’s continuous planning platform marries finance’s need for structured planning with the business’ need for dynamic planning, which elevates the financial conversation, and helps you make better decisions more quickly, confidently, and strategically.

For Finance, Planful highlights use cases for managing cash flow, workforce reporting, financial reporting, annual operating planning, monthly close and consolidation, and multi-dimensional analysis. Previously known as Host Analytics, the company rebranded in early 2020 and is focused on mid-market customers.

Best For:

Planful is ideal for larger companies with big FP&A teams that want to expand their scope of influence beyond Finance.

Pricing:

Pricing tiers and details are not listed on their website.

Planful vs Adaptive Planning:

Planful and Adaptive Planning are both tailored towards bigger companies and enterprises with available IT and project management resources, plus the ability to engage implementation consultants and support. Adaptive Planning can help support larger digital transformations, while Planful is better for FP&A teams looking to expand their influence.

Vena

vena fp&a software

Vena offers a complete planning platform designed to bring people, processes, and systems together. They offer pre-built solutions to automate time-consuming tasks so you can spend less time checking and more time doing. Specific capabilities include financial planning and analysis, integrated business planning, financial reporting, regulatory compliance reporting, and financial close management. Vena focuses on helping companies support overall growth, and refers to their platform as a “growth engine”.

For Finance, Vena offers “pre-configured” FP&A software that provides a prescriptive approach to corporate performance management, but can be customized to meet specific business needs and industry requirements.

Best For:

Vena is ideal for companies that need the fixed process and planning guidance of pre-built FP&A solutions, or that have the resources to uniquely customize those pre-built solutions for their own needs.

Pricing:

Pricing tiers and details are not listed on their website.

Vena vs. Cube:

Cube enables FP&A to continue working as always while boosting efficiency and effectiveness through smarter, simpler planning, analysis, and reporting. Vena enables a template-driven approach to standardize and add structure to FP&A. Cube is the better choice for FP&A teams who know what they’re doing and want to be better, faster, and more accurate in those efforts.

Prophix

prophix fp&a software

Prophix offers Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software to improve profitability and minimize risk by automating repetitive tasks so FP&A can focus on what matters. Their solutions help teams budget, plan, consolidate, and report automatically. They also offer cloud or on-premise solution options.

For Finance, Prophix provides solutions for automating repetitive budgeting tasks and business processes. such as data imports, report generation, and allocations. Prophix also offers the ability to detect and surface unusual transactions with text or voice.

Best For:

Prophix is best for companies that have slow, manual, repeatable FP&A processes that can be easily automated, and which can be replicated using the solution’s pre-built functionality.

Pricing:

Pricing tiers and details are not listed on their website.

Cube vs. Prophix:

Prophix offers automation of structured, repetitive tasks, such as data imports and report generation. For FP&A teams who want to expand, improve, and accelerate their strategic efforts, Cube is the better choice for offering more FP&A capabilities along with the power to automate tasks that consume valuable time.

Oracle Essbase

essabase fp&a software

Oracle Essbase gives organizations the power to rapidly generate insights from multidimensional data sets using what-if analysis and data visualization tools. It is a business analytics solution for analysis, reporting, and collaboration across all lines of business within your organization. You can interact with Essbase through a web or Microsoft Office interface to analyze, model, collaborate, and report.

For Finance, Oracle Essbase would complement existing FP&A tools with deeper analytics and modeling capabilities. It is not a Finance-focused solution.

Best For:

Oracle Essbase is ideal for very large enterprises with deep IT resources that already have a robust FP&A solution in place, have analysis teams seeking targeted analytics and modeling tools, and are already invested in Oracle back-office solutions.

Pricing:

September 2020 Pricing for Oracle Essbase starts at $2,900 per named user, plus $630 for updates and support, plus $138,000 for a processor license, plus $30,360 for processor license and support.

Oracle Hyperion

oracle hyperion fp&a software

Oracle Hyperion Planning is a centralized planning, budgeting, and forecasting solution that integrates financial and operational planning processes and improves business predictability. It supports

enterprise-wide planning, budgeting, and forecasting using desktop, mobile and Microsoft Office interfaces. It also provides a robust modeling framework

that helps develop reliable financial forecasts based on sales and operational assumptions to produce cost effective enterprise alignment.

For Finance, Oracle Hyperion Planning allows you to align financial plans, models, and forecasts across cost centers and lines of business for faster decision making. Oracle Hyperion Planning is a component of Oracle’s broader solution for Enterprise Business Planning.

Best For: 

Oracle Hyperion Planning is ideal for very large enterprises with a strong IT team seeking a broad performance planning management solution that is integrated into existing Oracle enterprise solutions.

Pricing:

Oracle Hyperion pricing is based on named users plus updates and support. Additional processor licensing plus processor updates and additional support begins at close to $50,000.

Oracle PBCS

Oracle Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS) empowers operational planners with

flexibility, scalability and the ownership to plan the way they want, while still offering the transparency and control required for corporate finance. This solution combines built-in best practices with high-configurability by providing an innovative configuration framework that can be used out-of-the-box or further enriched for your unique requirements.

For Finance, Oracle PCBS includes business process frameworks that can be used to address your planning needs: strategic modeling, financials, workforce, projects, and capital. Each can be used in their entirety or mashed-up with configured processes to quickly deliver value to your planning.

Best For:

Oracle PCBS is ideal for very large enterprises seeking a solution for financial and operational planning, and that have already invested in Oracle back-office infrastructures.

Pricing:

Pricing tiers and details are not listed on their website.

Netsuite Planning and Budgeting

oracle netsuite fp&a software

NetSuite Planning and Budgeting enables organizations of all sizes to quickly adopt a world-class planning and budgeting application offering market-leading functionality across lines of businesses. Planning and Budgeting automates labor-intensive planning and budgeting processes and centralizes company financial and operational data, so finance teams can quickly and easily produce budgets and forecasts, model what-if scenarios and generate reports within one collaborative scalable solution.

For Finance, NetSuite Planning and Budgeting standard edition can facilitate both company-wide and departmental budgeting with pre-built reports, templates, and capabilities. A premium edition offers a planning and budgeting solution developed for a handful of specific industries, such as nonprofit, software, agencies, and services. The premium edition must be implemented by expert NetSuite Services consultants.

Best For:

NetSuite Planning and Budgeting is best for large companies and enterprises in a limited set of industries and that have NetSuite solutions already deployed in other areas of their business.

Pricing:

Pricing tiers and details are not listed on their website.

Conclusion

So which FP&A software solution and vendor should you choose? That depends on your needs, size, and the software already deployed in your back-office.

For mid-market companies looking for an intuitive and feature-filled FP&A software that combines the spreadsheet user experience they love with the power and scale of a cloud platform would do well to consider Cube. Cube’s simple and intuitive experience makes it a great choice for modern, progressive Finance leaders at mid-market companies that want to get started fast and have the ability to easily scale as needed.

Those that already have Oracle or NetSuite deployments should check out their FP&A tools. Larger, global enterprises with a robust IT team and an appetite for large software deployments would do well to consider FP&A tools from Workday Adaptive Planning and Anaplan. CFOs looking for rigid, template-driven FP&A software should check out Vena. Larger companies with big FP&A teams and processes might consider Planful.