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Budgeting and Forecasting Software

Like many budgeting programs, business forecasting software reduces the opportunity for potential human error. Because budgets are formulated by the recording of business data, human error can drastically affect the budgeting process. Negligence and typos can easily destroy the validity of budget strategies. With the right system, however, automated reminders can ensure that the user knows when to input key business information for budget analysis.

Highest User Rated
The top products as rated by users. When reviewing a product, users are asked to asses the product’s overall quality, ease of use, features & functionality, customer support and value for money.

BillQuick

4.50 (223 reviews)

"I purchased my first licenses of Billquick reluctantly, as an overpriced timesheet management system for my very small business and quickly began fighting to make it meet my partners needs for invoicing our clients. It was not pretty and there were times when we had serious discussions about whether this was the right fit for me. but the BQ team didn't give up and I am glad I did not. One advantage of a rough start was the opportunity to get to know and really appreciate the exceptional quality, skill, and patience of the support team assembled for BQ clients. Over the years, we have struggled and grown and improved our skills and processes together, and that is one of the exceptional things about this software and this company. They really do listen to their users and try to incorporate our priorities and needs into the upgrade process. The program is feature rich, and most companies won't need to use every feature that is available, but there are convenient and graceful ways to make each person's interface efficient, streamlined and comfortable. When the same program is usable for an intern on his first day and our power user when she is invoicing you know it is easy to use. I used to wish Quickbooks would get a better time management and invoicing capability so I could stop buying Billquick, but now I am trying to get rid of Quickbooks! The network versions work well, I can access the program over a VPN, and I have gone months without calls to the Support Team lately. Having grown from 5 to 30 employees since becoming a customer, I have to say, Billquick has been part of our path to success."

Barbara

July 2020

Rated Best Value for Money
The top products rated the best value for money by users. When reviewing a product, users are asked to assess the product’s overall quality, which includes assigning a specific rating for value for money.

2020 Budgeting & Forecasting Software Pricing Guide

Learn about the key aspects of accurate software pricing before you make your purchase decision.

  • Pricing models & ranges

  • Unexpected costs

  • Pricing of popular systems

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NetSuite is a business management software suite offered as a service that performs enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) functions. It is a horizontal package designed for an extensive r... Read more

45 recommendations

FINSYNC provides multi-user cash flow management in the cloud to US-based small and medium-sized businesses. Businesses can upgrade from payments to invoicing, bill pay, payroll, project tracking, time tracking, expense... Read more

4.50 (7 reviews)

41 recommendations

Multiview Financials is the flagship ERP system developed, sold, implemented, and supported by Multiview Financial Software. Multiview is designed for organizations ranging in size from rapidly growing small businesses to large... Read more

4.50 (10 reviews)

39 recommendations

Sage Intacct is a provider of cloud-based financial management and accounting software. Sage Intacct's software solution is suitable for small to midsize accounting firms and can provide finan... Read more

23 recommendations

AccuFund is an online accounting and financial reporting solution designed specifically for the nonprofit industry. Integrated into one, AccuFund's Accounting suite helps nonprofit organizations and government agencies report f... Read more

4.00 (26 reviews)

16 recommendations

Aplos fund accounting is a cloud-based system designed specifically to serve the needs of churches and nonprofit organizations. Aplos fund accounting is available on a standalone basis or within an integrated suite with online ... Read more

16 recommendations

Budgyt simplifies the budgeting process for both businesses and non-profits. It is a user-friendly interface hosted on the cloud so that multiple users can work on the same budget, at the same time, using the same format. Admin... Read more

5.00 (16 reviews)

14 recommendations

Vena is a financial planning and analysis (FP&A) solution that helps businesses across various industry verticals to manage different business operations such as budgeting, planning, revenue forecasting, and more. V... Read more

4.50 (12 reviews)

13 recommendations

Your cloud-based, all-in-one business management solution. Striven is ready for your business right out of the box. With fully integrated accounting, CRM, inventory, project management, human resources features, it's the only s... Read more

5.00 (12 reviews)

13 recommendations

Jedox is a cloud-based Enterprise Performance Management software solution that delivers self-service budgeting, planning, and forecasting across finance, sales, HR, and other business functions. Companies of all sizes and indu... Read more

4.50 (56 reviews)

11 recommendations

Financial Edge NXT is a cloud accounting solution from Blackbaud that provides transparency across teams, security, compliance, and reduces the need for manual processes. The system is a fund accounting solution that provides a... Read more

10 recommendations

Workday Adaptive Planning, founded in 2003, provides a web-based system for budgeting, forecasting and reporting. The solution is suitable for a wide variety of company sizes. Delivered over the Web in a software-as-a-service (... Read more

9 recommendations

Purpose-built to meet the needs of the modern nonprofit and government agency, MIP Fund Accounting® empowers organizations to track by fund, manage restrictions based on unlimited funding sources, and meet complex reporting... Read more

4.00 (65 reviews)

9 recommendations

PlanGuru is an on-premise business planning and budgeting solution for small businesses and nonprofits. The solution helps accountants to build financial forecasts, prepare budget analysis and address financial constraints of s... Read more

4.00 (54 reviews)

9 recommendations

Centage’s Planning Maestro is a cloud-native planning & analytics platform that delivers year-round financial insight, transforming how companies budget, forecast and report performance. Centage delivers a lev... Read more

4.00 (40 reviews)

9 recommendations

Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne is a cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and supply chain management solution that provides ERP applications and tools for finance, consumer goods, human resources, distribution and ma... Read more

8 recommendations

Jirav is a cloud-based financial planning and reporting solution that is designed to give businesses the proper tools to examine historical data and build accurate financial models and plans. With Jirav, users are able to accur... Read more

5.00 (11 reviews)

8 recommendations

Limelight is a cloud-based accounting solution which caters to businesses in manufacturing, insurance, higher education, healthcare and telecom. The solution allows users to manage orders, track failed transactions, manage bill... Read more

4.50 (19 reviews)

5 recommendations

Fintainium is a cloud-based platform built for businesses looking for a comprehensive accounts payable, accounts receivable, and consumer payment solution. The Fintainium Payment Hub consists of payment, invoice, and business i... Read more

5 recommendations

FinancialForce Financial Management (FM) is a cloud-based system built to provide a complete financial management solution for sales and services-orientated companies of all sizes. FinancialForce FM has several inherent... Read more

4.00 (42 reviews)

4 recommendations

Popular Budgeting & Forecasting Software Comparisons

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Your Guide to Top Budgeting and Forecasting Software, undefined

Software Advice uses reviews from real software users to highlight the top-rated Budgeting and Forecasting Software products in North America.

Learn how products are chosen

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“Usability” includes user ratings for Functionality and Ease of Use.

“Customer Satisfaction” includes user ratings for Customer Support, Likelihood to Recommend and Value for Money.

Reviews analysis period: May 2020

Buyer's Guide

Last Updated: July 9, 2020

Financial planning software applications utilize historical data and estimates of future conditions to track a company’s financial progress and compare it to business expectations. The long-term survival of a business depends on its ability to establish a budget and operate within its confines. With the help of business budgeting software, businesses can forecast likely future expenses, establish more precise and realistic budgets and have a greater chance of achieving ongoing profitability.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Budgeting and Forecasting Software?
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Benefits and Potential Issues
Market Trends to Understand
The Vendor Landscape

What Is Budgeting and Forecasting Software? 

Like many budgeting programs, business forecasting software reduces the opportunity for potential human error. Because budgets are formulated by the recording of business data, human error can drastically affect the budgeting process. Negligence and typos can easily destroy the validity of budget strategies. With the right system, however, automated reminders can ensure that the user knows when to input key business information for budget analysis.

Effective business budget software can also automatically import data directly from integrated accounting applications, including the general ledger, ERP system and HR system. This automated importing strengthens consistency and completeness for data analysis that is reliable and error-free. In addition, the ability to connect and interact with other programs provides consolidated data collection, as well as a variety of different ways to complete the budgeting and forecasting process.

Collaboration in budget formulation becomes much easier with the use of budgeting and forecasting solutions. When certain areas of a company’s budget are headed by different individuals, manual collaboration can be troublesome. But with business forecast systems, the budget approval process can be standardized to improve organization and communication. Hypothetical forecasting also allows for the inclusion of complex or often-forgotten factors like inflation. These scenarios improve general awareness of potential obstacles ahead, providing greater foresight in budget formation.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Although some of the most important points of the budgeting and forecasting process are the same across industries, different organizations have different priorities and requirements in finding the right system. Here are the main categories of buyers:

Small businesses. Small and fledgling businesses may want to pay particular attention to a user-friendly interface or more intuitive presentation styles, which can produce easily understandable graphs and charts. Budgeting is a critical feature here, but often forecasting capabilities and needs are somewhat limited, due to costs and lack of historical data.

Mid-sized and growing businesses. Slightly larger and rapidly growing businesses can benefit from a system that adds forecasting features to help predict future growth and sales based on past patterns. A common mistake for growing businesses is to assume that last year’s surge will carry over into this year. However, many different factors play a part, and the ability to predict changes in those factors can prevent massive overinvestment in your company’s infrastructure.

Large corporations. Large companies with dozens or hundreds of different departments create a whole other level of complexity in the budgeting and forecasting process. They need something that can handle multiple types of expenses and multiple sources of revenue, all coming from different users in different departments. This information needs to be integrated in a seamless, intelligent way.

Benefits and Potential Issues

A strong budgeting and forecasting system improves accuracy for budgeting and long-term business development planning.

Improved accuracy. The tight deadlines and overtime hours associated with the budgeting cycle make it an error-prone process, but a single human error can have a massive impact on a company’s profitability. A good budgeting program eliminates most of the opportunities for calculation errors, increasing overall accuracy of the process.

Faster and simpler. Budgeting and forecasting software contains high-level functionality specifically dedicated to this purpose. This saves time on process creation (no need to create an Excel file), allows for data to be saved and reused year over year and makes the budgets easier to manage and amend. Overall, this can halve the amount of time spent on the budget cycle.

Report consistency. These solutions connect employees across the enterprise, ensuring that the budgets have the same readable format no matter who prepares them.

Better forecasting. Computer forecasting programs use complex algorithms that are designed to predict future expenses and sales based on past data. This makes for more accurate forecasts and long-term success.

Market Trends to Understand

Changing markets. The whole point of forecasting is to predict the unpredictable, which is to say rapidly changing markets. Since market trends in your industry are constantly changing, it’s important to select a forecasting solution that can account for these changes.

Increased vertical specialization. Over time, budgeting and forecasting software has become increasingly specialized, adding value according to unique workflow types. Systems are catering to the specific needs of the medical industry, nonprofits, construction companies, engineering firms and others. So if industry specialization is important to you, keep this in mind when evaluating systems.

Increased specialization by industry. Increasingly, consumers are demanding more industry-specific features, and vendors are listening. Products that were once “horizontal”—such as Sage MAS 90/200, QuickBooks and Microsoft Dynamics—are increasingly adding new vertical features to cater to buyers’ specific industries. Make sure to keep a lookout for features that fit your particular industry when investigating tools and solutions.

Software as a service (SaaS). SaaS lowers costs and speeds up implementation for buyers by offering Web-based software that doesn’t need to be installed on-premise. This is more cost effective for smaller buyers. It’s typically offered on a annual or monthly subscription basis, helping firms anticipate and control costs.

The Vendor Landscape

There are a number of considerations when selecting budgeting and forecasting software:

  • Is the system user-friendly: accessible charting/graphing capabilities, online user forums, troubleshooting applications?
  • Does it provide a variety of hypothetical situations for forecasting things like inflation?
  • Can the program involve multiple users for collaboration purposes (i.e., intra-software messaging, multiple users by department, automated combination or comparison of multiple budget submissions)?
  • Does the solution effectively provide reminders for adhering to deadlines?
  • To what degree is the software capable of interacting with important accounting applications or modules, such as general ledger, HR etc.?
  • Does the price range justify the features?
  • Does the program encourage and give reminders for frequent data entry to ensure precise and consistent information storage?
  • Does the software effectively analyze past business performance?

These are some of the major players in the budgeting and forecasting applications market:

Small businesses PlanGuru, Budget Maestro, Epicor
Medium-sized & growing businesses Planning Maestro, Epicor, Adaptive
Large corporations Adaptive Planning, Epicor