Best Financial Planning Software

Financial Planning Software

Are you planning on computerizing the finance of your company? A financial management tool can create uniformity across every department in the enterprise by implementing orderly procedures regarding the management of financial transactions and related activities. Moreover, companies can centralize the entire financial information, making it readily accessible to end-users across every business unit as well as branch offices. However, the task of finding the right financial planning software for advisers is a challenge due to the vast availability in the market. GoodFirms has, thus, cataloged the best financial management software based on their overall service and performance to ease your work.

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List of Financial Planning Software for Adviser | Best Financial Management Software

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List of Financial Planning Software for Adviser | Best Financial Management Software

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Buyer’s Guide

Buyer's Guide to Financial Planning Software

From a business or an individual perspective - financial planning has always been considered as THE most vital aspect of planning for the future. With the twists and turns in global economic forecasts, maintaining control over finances has become paramount.

This Buyers Guide on Financial Planning Software seeks to aid users in their quest for digital tools to help businesses (as well as independent users) gain control, effectivize, and collectively increase their financial planning capabilities. This will greatly aid business and personal prosperity. 

GoodFirms has published this resource featuring the features, benefits, costs, and other related information to ease your purchase decision process of the financial planning system. This will enable you to choose the best possible software for your organization.

What is Financial Planning?

A financial plan is the most crucial aspect of an overall business plan,  as it specifies the avenues - resources, activities, and investments - into which businesses must distribute funds to meet the organization's strategic goals.  

Financial planning is a process by which companies analyze the business environment and determine how best to deploy the capital required to meet the objectives and vision of the organization. The planning process takes into account: 

  • Analysis of the quantity and quality of resources required to achieve specific progress.
  • Formulation of a budget. This determines how to allocate funds to resource acquisition or service and investment.  The firm’s financial goals are the foremost thought while accomplishing this task. 
  • The source of funds to meet the financial requirements to achieve goals (Owned Capital v/s Borrowed Capital)
  • The time frame to accomplish the financial objectives 
  • Risks and mitigating factors to affect business performance on the financial front. 

Good financial planning crystallizes to form a great financial plan. The planning process results in the creation of policies that help administer funds needed by an organization to meet its business goals in the future.  

Financial planning must include details on investments, cash flow, debt, and other monetary resources at the disposal of the company to help meet both short-term and long-term objectives.

What Are The Types Of Financial Planning?

While there are a plethora of types and modes of financial planning for individuals, the categorization is relatively straight-forward for business. There are three types of financial planning modes - 

  • Short-Term Financial Planning: Carried out for a short period of time, i.e., just six months to one fiscal year, this type of financial planning involves the management of short-term deficits and immediate working capital needs (Inventory, Raw Materials, Debtors, etc.). There is lesser ambiguity involved as one can plan for market trends in the near future. However, the plans are subject to change as per investment opportunities and financial constraints. 
  • Medium-Term Financial Planning: This type of financial planning generally considers a wider time-frame of between two to five years for financial strategy execution. Here, the focus is on investing and improving assets, bettering process structure, innovative research, and development, etc. 
  • Long-Term Financial Planning: Focussing on the financial outlay of the organization for a period beyond 10 years, long-term financial planning looks to match the ambitions of the company’s overall objective with necessary financial bandwidth. This includes focussing on mergers and acquisitions, long-term capital planning, etc. 

Why Is Financial Planning Considered The Backbone Of Business Strategy?

An unsuccessful business will always point its finger at a flawed business strategy execution for its demise. However, beyond execution, business strategy is dependent on accurate planning throughout all verticals of the businesses, especially the financial division. Here are a few reasons why important financial planning goes a long way in securing the business strategy: 

  • Financial planning helps create a budget through which businesses can plan for the judicious use of funds for different verticals. Calculating miscellaneous expenses, taxes, salaries, etc., early gives organizations a head start. Even the marketing and sales teams, the operations department, and IT whizzes depend on financial planning to help them execute their tasks as per a fixed budget to achieve short and long-term business strategies.  
  • A direct off-shoot of budgeting is resource planning. Through financial planning, businesses are capable of being sure of the quantity and quality of resources they can opt to deploy. The resources may be human capital or equipment. This is particularly important to execute business strategy. 
  • Financial planning also helps with forecasting and profit estimation. We can estimate the total output at a particular level of investment (resource allocation, research, etc.) and prepare for proportional profits, based on prevalent market conditions. 
  • Financial planning also gives organizations a birds-eye view of the total assets and liabilities on its balance sheet. Building a good business strategy depends on the maintenance of two fundamentals, i.e., reducing liabilities (loans) and increasing assets. Any miscalculation here results in a complete down-turn of business performance.
  • An important aspect of business strategy is investments. They may be monetary (bank bonds, etc.) or investment in equipment upgrades or investment in better systemic processes.

How Does A Miscalculated Financial Plan Affect A Business?

Businesses depend on an exceptional financial plan to lead them on the path to profits and productivity excellence. A miscalculation in the financial plan has disastrous effects. Some of them are as follows -

  • Undercooked budgets that result in poor financial judgment 
  • Poor resource planning due to excessive or deficient which ruins business performance
  • Lack of insight on business investments and improvements  
  • Incorrect communication with stakeholders on business objectives and achievements 
  • Miscalculated financial forecasts result in profit reduction. 
  • Logjam in the workings of multiple departments owing to the poor financial outlay 
  • Spiraling increases in liabilities (debt) which may force business closure
  • Lower working capital which puts pressure on other resources 
  • Constant scrutiny of medium and long-term strategies to push businesses into uncertainty.

What Are The Challenges Associated With Financial Planning During Unprecedented Global Circumstances?

Crises represent opportunities for the best minds to come up with innovative solutions. However, unprecedented global circumstances - such as the dotcom bubble burst of the early 2000s and the economic depression of 2008 - offer a different kind of headache to financial planning. 

With a major (often negative) shift in global economic conditions, businesses need to adapt - especially on their financial front. Financial plans made prior to such circumstances need refreshment. Some of the challenges faced associated with financial planning in such circumstances are as follows: 

  • Complete realignment of financial strategy considering prevalent business scenarios
  • Formulating entirely new forecast models for business performance 
  • Discarding previous investment schemas & creating new ones with reduced budgets 
  • Recalculating budgets of departments that may meet objectives and those that may not  
  • Financial planning for newer revenue streams 
  • Dynamic improvement on reserve Cash Management
  • Lower Margin for error
  • The necessity to relook at investment options and plan for lower risk almost immediately

What Are The Essential Tools Businesses Should Implement To Grow Their Financial Planning Practices?

Financial planning requires the right degree of knowledge and assistance to develop sound strategies for businesses to prosper. Tools and toolkits have been created to assist financial planners within organizations to perform their duties. 

Some of the most important tools for businesses to grow their financial planning practices include: 

  • Accounting Tools 
  • Budgeting and Forecasting Software
  • Cash Flow Analytics and Management 
  • Financial Reporting Dashboards and Analytics platforms 
  • Expenditure analysis tools 
  • Market analysis tools
  • Payroll analysis software

What is Financial Planning Software?

Given the incredible expanse of business operations in the 21st century, it is imperative to implement technology into any financial planning mode. This reduces ambiguity and bolsters the recording of various financial metrics and motives. Thus arose Financial Planning Software. 

Financial management software helps organizations maintain strict financial adherence to objectives - aiding in the creation and maintenance of a budget, controlling expenditures, monitoring investments, as well as financial planning for future business operations. 

All of these are just a microcosm of the functionality of the software. Any financial planning tool ultimately looks to ensure the business is profitable but allocating funds to the right purposes. Financial software highlight key outlooks for the business such as:

  • Current Financial strength of the firm
  • Financial business goals 
  • Timeline of investments needed into important sections of the business
  • Business Risk Calculation
  • Type of investments to be made for business performance enhancement

What’s more, you ask? Individuals, besides organizations, require guidance in sound financial planning for their future. Financial planning software for individuals is the answer they are seeking.

What Is The Need For Financial Planning Software?

As businesses seek growth, especially in a dynamic environment like today, the need to maintain financial equilibrium is greater than ever. Some of the key reasons for businesses to invest in good financial management systems are as documented below. 

All businesses need to maintain strict adherence to their formulated budget. Any digression in doing so could be fatal for business objectives. Financial planning systems help keep budgets in check. 

With an increase in business inflows and outflows, it becomes imperative to maintain records for taxation purposes as well as impeccable accounting standards. Some of the best financial planning software assist flawlessly in this regard. Reporting and analytics tools, as well as exceptional tracking modes (expenditure tracking, etc.), help firms maintain a firm grip on their finances. 

One of the core reasons for businesses to exist is to generate profit for their stakeholders. As the world evolves toward a more sustainable model, the business models need considerable refurbishment too. This usually takes the form of investment in key processes, equipment, and monetary tools. Financial planner software ace this test by providing key insights on methods to increase inflow, and by that virtue, monetary profits. 

Financial planning platforms also highlight risks involved in certain business processes (from a financial aspect), while highlighting clear options to cut expenses down such avenues. One can also optimize financial plans based on the reports generated by the financial management system software. The data from such reports is safely stored for future reference. 

Furthermore, there are several management tools (cash management) that both individual financial advisors and financial specialists within organizations use to plan and perform financial activities.

Features of Financial Planning Software?

Some of the most important features of an online financial planning tool are as follows - 

  • Accounting Integration: Finance software solutions usually replace multiple and discrete accounting software systems with an integrated accounting tool to perform functions such as order keeping, costing, and other important accounting services. 
  • Budgeting and forecasting: A finance management tool usually helps formulate budgets that keep in mind the best performing verticals and the amount of investment required to achieve a level of performance that reflects potential and market scenarios. Forecasting is also a vital feature as financial planning software can easily plot a course for business verticals at specific levels of investment. 
  • Expenditure Tracking: Even free financial management software has the capability to track & record a business’s outflows to ensure all sums to be disbursed are done so efficiently, following strict timelines.  
  • Investment Management: Besides premium versions on the market, free financial planning software should also be capable of helping businesses understand the different channels into which they should invest capital to achieve business objectives. 
  • Risk Management: The degree to which risk is incorporated into the business operation and revenue generation is dependent on the firm. Maintaining investment and operations efficiency with risk inclusive factors is important. 
  • Cash Management: Managing the inflows and outflows of cash (digital or currency notes) in an organization is important. Popularly called working capital, cash management techniques in the financial planning software help businesses understand the obligations they can fulfill immediately with their reserves as well as showing how to maintain savings.
  • Revenue Recognition:  A Generally Accepted Accounting Procedure (GAAP), the Revenue recognition feature in best online financial planning platforms helps organize and account for revenue from different sources. 
  • Tax Management: The financial planning software must help showcase avenues where tax can be scrupulously saved and what the companies outflow to the government are through its business lines.

What Are The Advantages Of Financial Planning Software?

Some of the most important advantages of Financial Software Solutions  are as follows: 

  • Financial Reporting and Analytics 
  • Easy and accurate  Budgeting and Forecasting 
  • Tax Report Analysis 
  • Investment tracking and analysis tools to increase profits
  • Error-free Analysis of financial plans 
  • Good financial planning software helps eliminate miscommunication and increases collaboration between teams 
  • Real-time financial information updates 
  • Time-saving features include extraction of data and automated calculations to speed up the process of financial planning
  • Centralized storage to facilitate quick access to important financial reports and data
  • Cash flow analysis to estimate and increase profit margins 
  • Strategic planning of assets, liabilities, and expenditures to plan for different market scenarios

How Much Does The Financial Planning Software Cost?

Financial planning software for consumers - whether businesses or individuals - are priced differently based in features, creator organization, and subscription models.

Some of the best free and open Source Financial Planning Software solutions can help those with less budget or run a start-up small scale business. 

HomeBank is a finance management tool that offers a free version with fuller versions needing subscription at an affordable price. WealthTrace is another competitor that charges a more affordable price of $229 per year.  Moneytree is, by far, one of the most popular software on the market. It offers a 14-day trial period for the use of its software followed by a base plan starting at $495 per year. 

Renowned Financial Planning firm Envestnet has created its own software MoneyGuide, which offers a 14-day trial period with custom pricing that depends on the number of users. Right Capital is one of the most premium financial planning software on offer here, coming in at $124.95 per month. 

OnTrajectory is one of the most affordable financial planning systems available, priced at just $9 per month, and $ 5 per month (paid annually after discount). 

Most, if not all of, the other software listed on GoodFirms, require a personal consultation before prices can be decided.

Why Consider Goodfirms' List Of Top Financial Planning Software?

We at GoodFirms have created a comprehensive list of Financial Planning Software. This resource has been created with the sole purpose of documenting the functionality of financial planning tools, which will greatly aid users in their final buying decision.  

Besides features and benefits alone, this buyer’s guide presents important information on the necessity for businesses to have financial planning systems, as well as average costs associated with different versions. 

We have listed out Free and open source Financial planning software, as well as premium financial planner tools. If you feel you need to parse through different kinds of software, our software directory will have all the information for your perusal. Do read!