Best financial planning software 2018

Budgeting is a constant concern for every CIO. You need to keep costs under control while investing in innovation and saving enough cash to be ready for any change in plans.

Financial planning software can make this tough task much easier. The products range from one tool in an extensive business suite to products designed specifically for enterprise budgeting, with typical functions including budgeting, forecasting, financial reporting, and analytics,

Here's our pick of the best budgeting software for CIOs.

Read next: Best open source project management tools

What to look for

What to look for

If your work involves business outside the UK, you'll need to take account of the financial implications in all the relevant countries. Global ambitions need a multinational solution to account for different currencies, taxes and regulations.

Detailed financial analysis can be confusing if it's poorly organised. Look for a solution with a depth of information that suits your needs, in a user-friendly interface that is comprehensive and easily customised, whether you want a quick overview or to delve deeper into specific details.

Be clear about what exactly it is that you require. Common features include creating budget plans, management dashboards, projecting future scenarios, generating statistical overviews and reports.

Some systems come with an enormous range of additional functions but require a major commitment to implement and manage effectively through training and administration. A simpler solution may fulfil all your needs more efficiently.

Adaptive Insights

Adaptive Insights

Adaptive Insightsproduces a range of powerful but user-friendly FP&A (financial planning and analysis) and business budgeting tools in a cloud-based corporate performance management software package called the Adaptive Suite.

The software is divided into three key sections: Adaptive Planning, which automates budgeting and forecasting to improve productivity, Adaptive Reporting, for self-service reporting and financial analysis, and Adaptive Discovery, a selection of analytics tools and visual dashboards.

The Adaptive Suite is available for a free 30-day trial. Contact the company directly for full details on pricing and implementation services.

QuickBooks
© Intuit

QuickBooks

For basic budgeting needs and small businesses, there are few better options than QuickBooks. The company claims to be the world's number one online accounting software, with more than two million QuickBooks customers globally.

Users can create and send invoices, track cashflow and mileage, get detailed breakdowns for self-assessment, calculate and track VAT, run payroll and invite an accountant to collaborate on your QuickBooks accounts.

QuickBooks comes in three separate pricing plans: Self-Employed, at £6 per month, is ideal for freelancers and independent contractors. Essentials, at £15 per month, and Plus at £25 per month, are better options for small businesses and VAT registered companies.

Acumatica
© Acumatica

Acumatica

The web-based applications in the Acumatica cloud suite include some impressive budgeting capabilities alongside numerous other business features in a flexible pricing model that lets users select the parts of the packages that most appeals to them.

The financial planning functionality is an impressive feature in its own right. Project Accounting applications cover expense management, advanced billing, tracking and reporting, WIP (work-in-progress) support and time and expense management.

The additional Financial Management tools include personalised dashboards, a centralised database and integration of financials with other business areas. For international businesses, there are also multi-currency, multi-language and multi-company capabilities.

Intacct

Intacct

With a company name that blends "internet" and "accounting", it should be of little surprise to learn that Intacct is a cloud-based financial management and accounting system.

Intacctis a complete ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) suite, but unlike most of its competitors is built for finance. The online accounting software comprises a multi-dimensional general ledger with flexible reporting power and activity automation.

The software is an excellent option for CIOs who have outgrown QuickBooks but are not quite ready for more expensive and complicated products such as Acumatica. The affordable package lets users more functionality in future when required. Contact the company directly to request a price quote.

Xero

Xero

New Zealand-based software company Xero produces another cloud-based accounting option that's a favourite with smaller enterprises looking for real-time financials in a simple solution.

The Xero mobile app lets users send invoices and create expense claims wherever they are. Features include online invoicing for fast payments with updates sent when they're opened and the import and categorisation of your latest bank transactions.

For CIOs considering a transition from Sage or Quickbooks, Xero has a free conversion offer that will have two years of transactions ready and waiting when you first log in.

The full range of features available depends on which of three price plans you choose: Starter, for £10 per month, Standard for £22 per month, or Premium, for £27.50 per month.

AccountMate
© AccountMate

AccountMate

AccountMateclaims to be the world's most customisable accounting system due to the source code enabling it to be modified to meet individual requirements. Customers can install and implement the software based on their specific business needs and budget.

Enterprise users have the choice of two different products: AccountMate Enterprise 2016, for companies with hundreds of concurrent users, and AccountMate Enterprise 2016 Express for small businesses seeking a fast but affordable solution for up to five concurrent users.

Both include an Accounts Payable module to manage payments, Bank Reconciliation to monitor cash flow, a Consolidated Ledger to present financial statements and reports, a General Ledger to manage transactions and a System Manager to control the software. Contact the company directly for full pricing details.

NetSuite
© Oracle

NetSuite

The comprehensive ERP package provided by NetSuite serves a multitude of business needs, but the financial management component is an impressive budgeting solution on its own that can seamlessly integrate with the other NetSuite features.

NetSuite promises improved business performance with real-time metrics and role-based dashboards, accurate, detailed reporting and accelerated financial closing that remains compliant with the applicable rules and restrictions.

Features include core accounting functionality, billing management capabilities, revenue recognition management to ensure industry compliance and report results and the Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) solution for risk and regulatory management. Arrange a free product tour to learn more the software and its pricing.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

Related Slideshows