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Top 10 most promising FP&A software startups for SMBs


Looking for a contemporary software solution to help you with your financial planning and analysis?


Not quite sure where to start?


No problem.


Today we’re going to be comparing 10 of the most promising FP&A software startups for SMBs right now.


Whether you're an office manager who wears multiple hats, a fractional CFO who must leverage tools to get more done in less time, or an organizational leader who's trying to drive results day-to-day, managing business finances can be a time consuming and arduous process. But with the right financial planning tool by your side the process becomes faster, easier, not to mention more accurate... especially when coupled with solid bookkeeping.


So, let’s find an FP&A solution that will help you or your finance department streamline for success.


In this article, we’ll be covering:


- What is FP&A software?

- Benefits of FP&A software for SMBs

- What to look for when purchasing FP&A software

- Top ten best FP&A software startups for SMBs


So, without further ado, let’s get started!




What is FP&A software?


FP&A stands for Financial Planning and Analysis.


FP&A software tools compile and organize business data and analytics to help teams make better financial planning decisions. FP&A software will be your first port of call for any budgeting, forecasting, or financial strategy decision making.


To assist with these core functions, many FP&A solutions offer peripheral features like financial modeling, performance reporting, and collaboration functionalities. These offer financial managers and their teams the opportunity to bridge the gap between strategy and execution, manage performance, and assess risk.


Software startups offering financial planning and analytics platforms have come on leaps and bounds in recent years. As well as precision insights and management functions, today’s FP&A solutions offer cloud-based flexibility.


That means you and your team will be able to access and collaborate on your financial planning software anytime, anywhere, on any compatible device.


Perfect for today’s increasingly hybrid workforce and for outsourced service providers like fractional CFOs and bookkeeping & accounting firms.


Benefits of FP&A software for SMBs


By making financial planning more intuitive, data-led, and streamlined, FP&A software providers offer small and medium businesses a ton of great advantages. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest perks that come hand-in-hand with a great FP&A tool.


Spot revenue trends and cost savings


Today’s FP&A software offerings are extremely nuanced. Your FP&A software will help you automate all those complex manual calculations. This not only frees up time that could better be spent on other tasks, but it also leads to additional insights that might have been missed without a data-led, automated system (not to mention factoring in human error).


Your financial and operational data can be used in synchronicity to generate detailed and comprehensive business-wide insights into every aspect of your business from sales to marketing, operations to customer relationship building. Needless to say, the more accurate your reporting capabilities, the more fine-tuned your revenue drivers.


In short, intelligent FP&A solutions will drive more revenue into your business by allowing financial planners and managers to spot issues and discrepancies immediately and make the necessary changes to maximize both operational and financial gains.


Better business insights for better business decisions


Another important benefit that comes with FP&A software integration is the opportunity it provides to generate better business insights. And, as we all know, better business insights make for better business decisions and long-term results.


FP&A software tools break-down the ‘data-silo’ culture that exists in so man organizations. In other words, FP&A software treats budgeting, forecasting, and reporting as a collaborative initiative involving insights across an entire company – not just the finance department.


For businesses managing their financial reporting manually, insights are limited. Reporting cycles tend to be slow, tedious, and not-fully representational. Manual processes aren’t capable of leveraging the vast quantities of data that software tools can simply automate.

If you’re after targeted, precise, data-led insights then automation is the only way to go.


Today’s FP&A software offer on-demand data insights and seamless integrations with many of your existing apps and business tools.


It’s a no brainer.


Futureproof your business against the odds


Futureproofing is a big buzzword these days. The pandemic accelerated the need for business-wide futureproofing initiatives by highlighting the importance of flexibility, and agility for a sustainable workplace.


Futureproofing any business means implementing technologies that allow your organization to continue functioning (as close to normal as possible) no matter the circumstances.


It also means meeting changing customer demands for on-demand services, robust customer service, and personalized, customer-centric experiences.


And the only way to roll that out on mass is with the right tech-stack supporting you and your teams.


Today’s intelligent FP&A software systems are doing just that. These tools are able to mobilize your business data to generate highly accurate forecasts, predictions, and models, based on various input scenarios.


With these models, your business decision makers will be much better equipped to implement the most useful, cost-effective, functional, and sustainable solutions. With some tools it’s even possible to implement a rolling forecast for constantly updated planning.


With the right software, the future doesn’t have to be a blind spot. You’ll be able pre-plan your steps in terms of best and worst-case scenarios way ahead of time.


What to look for when purchasing FP&A software


So, you’ve decided to implement a new FP&A software in your company.


First off, that’s a great choice.


You’re on your way to some serious improvements.


But which software solution should you choose? Picking the best of a seemingly brilliant bunch can be mind-boggling. But not all FP&A software are made equal.


You just need to know what to look for.


Don’t worry we’re here to help. To keep things simple, we recommend focusing on the follow three criteria: data integration, analysis, and reporting.


Let’s take a look at these in some more detail.


1. Data integration


Look for an FP&A software that is able to integrate data insights from multiple data sources – not solely financial. This will help create highly accurate financial models, forecasts, and projections. You’ll also want to ensure that your tool offers robust data validation processes that flags up any unusual, invalid, or missing data.


2. Analysis


The second important feature to look for in your FP&A tool is analysis performance. After all, it doesn’t matter how much data you have if you don’t assess it and derive insights from it, right? Your FP&A solution should be able to perform detailed analyses which incorporate various forecasting techniques. Look for a tool that offers you the ability to adjust key variables like seasonality spikes or big events. Other features to look out for include expense forecasting, statistical analysis, and scenario-based planning.


3. Reporting


Last, but not least, once the analysis is complete, you’ll want to generate reports and visualizations of those key insights. Perhaps you need to present them to stakeholders, clients, or simply use them as a permanent resource.


Look for an FP&A tool that helps you do this with charts, graphs, and summaries. You’ll save so much time preparing these documents which you can then spend discussing and strategizing instead!


Top 10 best FP&A software startups for SMBs


The moment of truth has arrived. It’s time to reveal the top ten most promising FP&A software startups for small and medium businesses right now. So, get prepared to take some notes, you’ll want to start comparing your options just about now.


Ready?


1. Vena Solutions

Founded in 2011 in Toronto, Canada, Vena’s FP&A solution connects people in an organization with existing business systems and data. Vena facilitates financial business planning and generates targeted, real-time data reports.


Vena works by transforming Excel into an enterprise-grade business tool working out of a centralized database. Vena will help you generated more accurate numbers and insights for your business whilst still using the Excel format that you know and love.


Pros

- Excellent workforce, finance, and resource management capabilities

- Easy and intuitive to use

- Great customer service with a responsive and technically sound support team

- Allows users to keep using the familiar feel of Excel

- Develop custom reports in-house

- Users are able to add comments and attachments

- Excellent auditing capabilities


Cons

- User experience when using tablets could be improved

- Can sometimes slow down when processing detailed reports

- The per-user pricing system can become expensive

- Template load-times can be on the slow side


Top benefits

Arguably one of the top benefits of Vena is its reporting and analytics capabilities. With Vena you’ll benefit from BI standard reporting, ad-hoc reporting, and your very own personalized analytics dashboards.


2. Vector ML Analytics


Founded In New York in 2020, Vector ML Analytics is a financial analytics tool that provides executives and analysts (primarily at banks and lending institutions) with a comprehensive view of their balance sheets. This single application uses automation to increase return, lower risk, and manage liquidity.


Pros

- Accurate calculations

- Complete transparency

- Flexible scalability

- Speed-accuracy


Cons

- This software solution is specifically for banks and lending institutions so may not meet every business’ requirement.


Top benefits

For banks and lending institutions, Vector ML Analytics is a great option. Vector specializes in dynamic, automated loan-level analytics allowing for optimized credit analytics, loan pricing, and asset-liability management processes.


3. Cube

Founded in New York City in 2018, Cube is a real-time financial planning and analysis software. Cube specializes in delivering custom reporting and targeted insights for regulatory groups, team leaders, stakeholders, and business executives.


Pros

- Easy implementation process

- Easily integrated with NetSuite

- Reduces time spent manually creating reports

- Mobilize data fast

- Great customer care team who listens to user feedback


Cons

- There are currently no live, in-person, or video-based training resources.


Top benefits

Arguably the best thing about Cube is its powerful analytics hub. Cube gets rave reviews, and for good reason. Its so easy to automate, actualize, and analyze your reports whilst communicating with your team on the cloud.



4. OneStream FX

OneStream offers performance management and financial consolidation capabilities to businesses via detailed reporting, planning, budgeting, forecasting, and analysis. This all-in-one unified platform allows businesses to view their financial and operational performance all in one place.


Pros

- Integrates with Microsoft Excel and Office

- Reduce information management costs

- Save time analyzing data

- Can be mobilized on the cloud, on-premise, mobile, or desktop.

- Comprehensive training options including in-person, live, webinar, documentation and video-based trainings.

- 24/7 support


Cons

- The software poses a bit of a learning curve

- Not all feature offerings are fully explained

- Dashboards can be tricky to navigate


Top benefits

The best thing about OneStream is its consolidation functionality. OneStream offers organizations the ability to mobilizes a truly unified system under which multiple tools and functionalities can be mobilized from one place.


5. Prophix

Prophix automates and integrates business budgeting, forecasting, reporting, and planning functionalities. This FP&A software is designed to help you formulate more intelligent business strategies and keep on track with long-term, data-led progress monitoring.


Pros

- Streamlines financial planning and analytics processes

- Excellent training resources

- Efficient data storage


Cons

- Can be confusion for non-IT specialists

- Primarily targeted at North American clients

- Some graphs and visualizations have limited capabilities


Top benefits

Arguably the best thing about Prophix is that it will help you standardize, manage, save time, and reduce human error in your reporting, forecasting, and budgeting.


6. Board

Board is a data-driven decision-making platform. With Board you’ll be able to unify your business intelligence, performance management, and predictive analytics all in one place. You’ll gain a single view of all your business information, generate actionable insights, and improve your long-term business planning and decision-making.


Pros

- Highly flexible software

- Easy to learn

- Quick report generation

- Great visualizations


Cons

- Requires someone with expertise to set up

- Cannot use code to make small changes

- Can take too long to access support

Top benefits

With Board, you’ll be able to factor in all of those business ‘what if’ scenarios with accurate financial analysis, forecasting, real-time reporting and visual analytics.


7. Workday Adaptive Planning

Workday Adaptive Planning is a financial planning and analytics software headquartered in Palo Alto, California and founded in 2003. This tool provides companies with the planning features they need to adapt quickly to changing business conditions via an active planning process.


Pros

- Versatile insights

- Ease of use

- Excellent implementation team

- Makes complicated calculations easy

- React to changing landscapes with data


Cons

- Limited formatting for reporting and display

- Limited functionality for Android users

- System updates can be disruptive


Top benefits

Workday makes it simple and easy to deal with complex financial figures and calculations quickly, simply, and accurately.


8. Anaplan for Finance

Anaplan offers financial planning and strategy support with connected signals, adaptive scenarios, planning, budgeting, and forecasting. Anaplan’s specialty finance planning function creates profitability and pricing models, and automated cost management practices for better financial decision making.


Pros

- Highly scalable

- Unified otherwise disparate processes

- Flexibility to adapt to your individual company


Cons

- Lacks native scheduling capabilities

- Limited data extraction and data formatting

- Management reporting could be improved


Top benefits

Anaplan for finance will help you unify all of your disparate software systems and processes so that you can improve the accuracy of your insights and save time in the process.


9. SAP Analytics Cloud



The SAP Analytics Cloud is foremost a data visualization tool. SAP transforms your static spreadsheets into actionable insights to help you make better decisions based on real data. With SAP you’ll be able to access key business intelligence, planning functionalities, and data-driven predictive analytics via the cloud.


Pros

- Fantastic data visualization

- Automodelling

- Big data services


Cons

- File management could be better

- Some functions are only available with designated connections


Top Benefits

SAP is one of the best software options out there if you’re looking for superb data visualization capabilities.


10. Planning Maestro

Planning Maestro by Centage is a cloud analytics and planning software that offers businesses financial insights, year-round. Planning Maestro will help you budget, forecast, and report on your business performance with sophisticated financial intelligence automations at a price that’s more accessible for SMBs.


Pros

- Powerful forecasting

- Reports can be exported to Excel

- Customizable report layouts

- Easy five-year forecasting


Cons

- Additional modules are required for the desktop client

- Lacks some workflow capabilities present in larger software solutions


Top Benefits

Planning Maestro is a great budget-friendly option for SMBs looking for a basic-level financial planning client.


Conclusion


So, there we have it. Our top ten FP&A software startups revealed. Every business is different, so there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing your preferred software. The key to finding the right tool is to know exactly what you need out of it.


 

Post-Script


If you're evaluating new accounting & finance system and you believe it would allow you to save money and get better results by working with a specialist, Rhapsodi can work in a number of different capacities to help your organization evaluate its needs, select the right solution, and implement it more quickly and painlessly.


If you'd like to discuss your project, contact us today by using the one of the forms on the site or by reaching out to Matt Duckworth at matt@rhapsodi.net or 501-270-0636.

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