Top 6 Financial Planning and Analysis Software in 2021

Published on: September 8, 2021
Written by: Tridant

There are so many financial planning and analysis software solutions out there these days that it can be hard to know what to look for. 

So to make it easier for you, we’ve created a quick guide to the best FP&A software in 2021 that will help your business thrive.

Anaplan

Anaplan is a FP&A platform designed to connect teams, systems, and insights, across your entire organisation.

One of Anaplan’s big draw cards is its automated processes, which enable faster, more effective planning, budgeting, and forecasting. Made to improve data management, Anaplan streamlines how users import, manage, and re-purpose common data assets across multiple applications.

Built for speed, it enables users to create interactive dashboards that can be adjusted in real-time. It’s also made for collaboration: users can link operational data with financial outcomes and share information between functions, departments, and management levels in a few simple clicks.

Be aware though that some users report that the Anaplan workflow, despite being customisable, doesn’t offer set options, making it somewhat more time consuming to use and easy to over-engineer. There have also been reports that the available visualisations in some cases aren’t as mature as other platforms.

But on the whole it’s a powerful FP&A tool, with an attached App store that provides a range of pre-configured integrations to help users get more from their experience.

IBM Planning Analytics

IBM Planning Analytics is a flexible FP&A tool that runs on any cloud architecture, and uses AI to provide a platform for users to manage and automate their planning, budgeting and forecasting. Powered by TM1, it’s a powerful engine that’s ideal for small to medium organisations.

Designed to be as easy-to-use and intuitive as possible, IBM Planning Analytics works to streamline how you gather your data and delivers it in one concise platform. Made for collaboration, it helps you streamline planning by reducing information silos and improving how you share information. And its web-based interface means you can access this FP&A tool anywhere you have an internet connection. 

While some users do report a steep learning curve, the benefits far outweigh the slow start. AI-powered predictive forecasting capabilities provide more accurate and consistent forecasts for your planning, and its built-in reporting and analytics empowers you to identify, deliver, and report on the data you need, when you need it.

Workday

Workday is the leading provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources, so it’s no surprise we’re including this FP&A tool on our list.

Workday provides enterprise-wide active planning, with flexibility to plan and build modelling in real time. Powered by an intelligent, scalable, in-memory engine, this platform is designed to help organisations improve their process management, and make it easy to monitor tasks throughout the whole of the planning cycle. 

It’s easy to get started, too, with a step-by-step guide that ensures even the newest user can get a handle on it. Intuitive self-service reporting allows business stakeholders and users to create, explore, and perform granular analysis of key metrics that drive the business, all within a flexible drag-and-drop interface.

Pre-built integration options allow users to take advantage of its easy-to-use interfaces, with preconfigured connectors and open APIs that enable a seamless data connection. Its automation tools make month-end a breeze.

Some users do report that it comes with more functions than is required for their business, which can cause confusion in new users. So for smaller businesses looking to grow, training is definitely recommended. 

But as an enterprise-level FP&A tool, Workday’s customisable dashboards deliver rich insight when required, enabling seamless interaction with all available data across the entire organisation. 

Prophix

Prophix is a piece of financial planning and analysis software designed to help corporations make more informed business decisions as they scale.

Designed for optimum security, user access can be tightly managed to ensure on the right people access the data they need. 

Its powerful automation processes enable your business to streamline its workflows, making it easier and faster when managing your data consolidation, business planning, budgeting, and reporting. This also limits room for human error, providing more accurate data on demand, and in a format that makes sense to the end user.

From a user perspective, it’s designed to be as instinctive to use as possible, with an interface that mimics the look and feel of a regular Excel spreadsheet—but with far more capabilities. 

So if you’re looking for an FP&A software that delivers a better format than Excel, this may not be the platform for you. Also, while it’s highly customisable, some users report that creating and updating individual templates can be time-consuming, and that it takes a large time investment in training and implementation.

But if you’re looking for a FP&A tool that users at all levels ostensibly already understand how to navigate, Prophix may be the right FP&A platform for your organisation.

Oracle Cloud EPM

Oracle Cloud EPM is a cloud-based SaaS Enterprise Performance Management platform. Designed for enterprise-level corporate planning, this FP&A software enables businesses to streamline their financial and operational planning, by improving their reporting and consolidation, while optimising how they manage their master data.

Oracle Cloud provides two levels of their EPM service, to accommodate both medium-sized and enterprise-level businesses.

A highly customisable and flexible piece of FP&A software, Oracle Cloud enjoys a larger implementation partner ecosystem than some other platforms, which can deliver better integration of solutions.

It enables businesses to centralise their data, delivering a single source of truth that all organisational users can access, manage, and leverage (within security limits).

Some users do report complexity in the usability and data table features, and as such there may be a steep learning curve involved. So this platform is recommended for businesses with mature FP&A operations, rather than small businesses.

Board

Board offers both a standard on-premises all-in-one platform, and a cloud-based SaaS version of their FP&A software, Board Cloud. Backed by Microsoft Azure, these platforms provide strong security measures, and the reliability and performance levels you expect from a Microsoft-adjacent tool.

Built for scalability, Board features an intuitive interface that enables users to quickly and easily build reports and analyse data. You can simply drag-and-drop information sections to easily build tailored dashboards. It also allows for the building of your own tools using a code-free app builder.

As it’s backed by Microsoft you can leverage the clever Board Office add-on, which gives your Microsoft suite access to Board’s data models.

One drawback of Board’s capabilities is its limited third-party integration—it only accepts the Microsoft suite. But on the whole, it’s a powerful FP&A software that’s ideal for those already firmly ensconced in the Microsoft ecosystem.

Set your FP&A teams up for 2021 and beyond

At Tridant, we help you determine the FP&A software solutions that are best for your organisation. Get in touch with us today to discuss your business’ requirements, and schedule a solution demo with a subject matter expert.

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