Budgeting and Forecasting Software

Get the best budgeting and forecasting software for your business. Compare product reviews, pricing below. Read our buyer’s guide for more help.

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Budgyt is a cloud-based software solution that replaces clunky spreadsheets with an intuitive budgeting tool to create budgets faster, more accurately and more reliably. This solution works for clients in any industry who…
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$ · · · ·
Starting Price
$99/month
Client OS
Web, Windows
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Adaptive Insights provides business planning through corporate performance management (CPM), sales planning, and workforce planning. The Adaptive Insights Business Planning Cloud leads the way for people in companies to…
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$ $ $ · ·
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Imagine your Income Statement integrating with your Balance Sheet and generating up-to-date Cash Flow Statements as often as you need them. Now add rolling dynamic forecasts with “What if” scenarios that let you see the…
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$ $ $ · ·
Client OS
Windows, Web
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
Designed as a Microsoft Excel add-in that is fully integrated to your ERP’s general ledger accounts, balances, and transactions. It is very easy to learn and use and you can take advantage of all of Excel’s functionality. The…
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$ $ $ · ·
Client OS
Windows
Deployment
On-Premises
Solver is a Corporate Performance Management (CPM) solution for mid-market enterprises. The developer is at the forefront of CPM technology with deep ERP integrations. Solver BI360 includes Web and Excel interfaces. BI360…
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$ $ $ $ ·
Starting Price
$312/month/user
Client OS
Android, Web, Windows, iOS
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
Within one single product BOARD offers all the functionalities needed to build any Business Intelligence Software and Corporate Performance Management application solutions, without the use of any programming. Its…
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$ $ $ $ ·
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Web, Windows, iOS, Android
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Cloud or On-Premises
Take control of the budget process and bring strategic insight to business planning with Sage Budgeting and Planning, an enterprisewide, purpose-built budgeting and planning application. With Sage Budgeting and Planning, you…
Budget Maestro offers mid-market companies a more efficient and reliable way to budget and plan. The software automates many of the time consuming and error-prone tasks associated with using spreadsheets and generates more…
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$ $ $ · ·
Starting Price
$10,000/year
Client OS
Windows, Web
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
When it comes to cloud planning and analytics, don’t compromise. IBM Planning Analytics goes beyond simply automating your planning, budgeting and forecasting processes. It provides self-service analytics to all of your…
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$ $ $ $ $
Starting Price
$867/month
Client OS
Mac, Web, Windows
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
PlanGuru is budgeting, forecasting and planning software designed to help small and medium sized businesses prepare their budgets and forecasts in a fraction of the time they would spend in their spreadsheet software…
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$ $ · · ·
Starting Price
$99/month
Client OS
Windows
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
PROPHIX is a multi-user financial software application used by thousands of users worldwide for Budgeting, Planning, Financial Consolidation, Management Reporting and Analysis. PROPHIX offers the familiarity of a…
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$ $ $ · ·
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Mac, Web, Windows, iOS, Android
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Cloud or On-Premises
Budget Reporting allows companies to create budgets in multiple ways and allows multiple users to access the data at the same time. This program removes the need for multiple excel spreadsheets, complex macros, and the…
TIBCO Spotfire is an analytics platform that delivers visual, predictive, & streaming analytics. Data Discovery; Predictive Analytics; Big Data Analytics; Location Analytics; and Enterprise Scale Analytics. Industry-neutral…
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$ $ · · ·
Starting Price
$1,300/year/user
Client OS
Mac, Web, Windows, iOS
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
CONTROL integrates all financial management functions, processes, and data. It provides one shared repository of business rules and data and one point of maintenance eliminating disconnects or different versions of the truth…
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$ $ $ $ ·
Client OS
Windows
Power BI from Microsoft is a suite of business analytics tools to analyze data and share insights. Power BI dashboards provide a 360-degree view for business users with their most important metrics in one place, updated in…
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$ $ $ · ·
Starting Price
$10/month/user
Client OS
Web, Windows, iOS, Android
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
How can the effect of future capital expenditure and disposals be predicted accurately? The answer is with RAM’s Forecast4000 module. This powerful management tool quickly and easily models and stores “what-if” scenarios for…
Client OS
Web, Windows
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
PowerOLAP delivers advanced budgeting and forecasting, real-time analysis and reporting directly from databases, using the familiar Excel spreadsheet. Finally, one simple solution. PARIS Technologies, Inc. has integrated its…
Client OS
Windows, Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
The control center of the CMiC system, CMiC Project Controls provides all of the essential tools a company needs to run their organization efficiently. Covering the entire financial lifecycle of the project, CMiC Project…
Client OS
Linux, Mac, Web, Windows
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Since a real estate developer’s needs differ from other types of construction companies, their software needs are different as well. Budgetrac is a cloud-based, comprehensive Real Estate Development software created…
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$ $ $ · ·
Starting Price
$1,600/year/user
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Abila MIP Fund Accounting is a configurable fund accounting solution that allows you to report and track information that is most important to you, your board and your supporters. To help you deliver on your mission, our…
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$ $ $ · ·
Client OS
Windows
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises

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Budgeting and Forecasting Software Buyer’s Guide

A realistic budget will help your business plan for the future. You’ll be able to improve business decision-making with accurate and relevant financial information. Being able to anticipate demand and expected revenue will help you decide how many new employees to hire, how many products to manufacture, or how many materials to purchase.

Budgeting and forecasting software coordinates financial planning activities, as well as tracks and reports on actual financial progress. This guide will help you select the right budgeting and forecasting software to improve the predictability of corporate expenses and create efficiency in the budget creation and tracking processes:

What Is Budgeting and Forecasting Software?

Budgeting and forecasting software assists with the creation and management of detailed corporate financial plans. Historical data and estimates of future market conditions are used to approximate a company’s future revenues and expenses.

Budgeting and Forecasting Software Features

Functionality Definition
Departmentalized budgeting Departmentalized budgeting provides the ability to create hierarchically categorized budgets organized by units such as business department, location, or cost center
Budgeted versus actual comparisons The ability to compare budgeted figures versus actuals relies on the import of GL data and enables improvement monitoring of corporate performance against goals
Collaborative budgeting Collaborative budgeting features supports document management functionality that allows multiple individuals to contribute to budget creation
Budget approvals Budget approvals functionality allows for the authorization of budgetary plans by users at pre-defined user privilege levels
Versioning Versioning capabilities allow for non-destructive storage of multiple budget versions and tracking features to document changes to budget plans
Rolling budgets Rolling budgets allow for dynamic revision/extension of budgets to refresh budgets for a consistent period of time from the present moment

Types of Financial Forecasting Methods

  • Quantitative Forecasting: With quantitative forecasting, historical data is used to calculate predicted future demand. Types of quantitative methods include time series and causal methods.

  • Qualitative Forecasting: Qualitative forecasting methods are subjective and based on judgment and opinions from the sales team, consultants, or industry experts. Types of qualitative forecasting include the consensus method, Delphi technique, survey or research method, and sales force estimates.

Static Budgets vs. Rolling Forecasts

  • Static Budgeting: Static budgets are typically set once a year and are not intended to deviate for the remainder of the budget period. An estimate of the upcoming fiscal year’s expenses and revenue is formulated before the year starts.

  • Rolling Forecasting: Rolling forecasts predict revenue and expenses over a set period of time. The time period continuously rolls over, adding on another month after the current month passes, so it always covers the same timeframe (i.e. 12, 24, or 36 months). The predicted results are based on data from year-to-date results and your original budget. Rolling forecasts are constantly updated to reflect events and sudden changes in your business.

What Does Your Business Need?

  • Startups and Small Businesses: Startups and small businesses should look for a lower cost budgeting solution that will help manage and track revenue and expenses. Most startups won’t have historical data, so forecasting functionality isn’t a requirement. As your business grows, however, forecasting will become a more important feature. If you already have an accounting software system in place, you’ll also need a solution that will easily integrate with it.

  • Medium-Sized Businesses: Mid-sized businesses should look for a software solution that has predictive budgeting, forecasting, and financial reporting capabilities, so you can track business performance and plan ahead.

  • Large Businesses: Large companies with multiple departments or facilities to manage should look for software featuring departmentalized budgeting and collaborative budgeting. With departmentalized budgeting, businesses create a separate budget track and report on financial progress of specific departments or locations. Collaborative budgeting allows multiple individuals to contribute to the creation of budgeting plans - this is useful if you have multiple locations nationwide or even worldwide.

Can QuickBooks Handle Budgeting and Forecasting?

Adding a new budget to QuickBooks Online
Adding a new budget to QuickBooks Online.

QuickBooks can handle basic budgeting and forecasting. Startups and small businesses looking to move away from Excel spreadsheets can get away with using QuickBooks Online Plus or Advanced to set up budgets to monitor current and historical data for the business’s revenue and expenses - the Budget vs Actual reports will help you make informed business decisions.

QuickBooks Desktop Premier, Accountant, and Enterprise feature cash flow forecasting to help businesses predict incoming future revenue over a specified period of time. Currently, QuickBooks Online does not handle cash flow forecasting.

Free Budgeting Software

While free budgeting software options do exist, they are typically for personal budgeting. These solutions are used for personal finance and help people achieve savings and retirement goals. Some popular free budgeting solutions include Mint, BudgetPulse, and Personal Capital.

When you consider budgeting software for your small business, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a free option that includes all of the functionalities you need like credit card processing and year-end reporting. Most of the information found in this guide will refer to business budgeting and forecasting software and their importance.

Budgeting Software vs. BI Tools

Budgeting software uses financial information to plan future budgets based on expected revenue and expenses, as well as track financial progress.

BI tools also analyze financial data. However, BI tools also take into account non-financial data to plan for future growth. Examples of non-financial data include: how long it takes for a product to be built, the parts or materials used to create the product, and how many products were produced per hour per employee. Advanced reporting functionalities in BI tools will also help you make informed decisions for hiring, taking in new customers, and buying new equipment.

Common Pain Points Solved

  • Human error in the data entry process: Budgeting and forecasting software streamlines the budgeting process. Recurring expenses can be saved in the system to be included in the reports as needed and calculations are automated to reduce human error. Budgeting software also keeps data more secure and data can’t be overwritten or deleted easily compared to budgets in Excel.

  • Creating budgets is time-consuming: The right budgeting and forecasting software solution will save time in the budget cycle. You’ll be able to reuse relevant data from previous years, as well as quickly import data from integrated accounting software.

  • Cloud-based budgeting and forecasting software: Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) are predicted to continue to move to cloud-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions. An article from Jedox predicts that by 2020 there will be more expenditures on cloud-based software than on-premise solutions.

  • Replacing annual budget processes: According to a 2013 article on ThomasNet.com, 60% of business spend more than 3 months putting together their annual budgets. Companies are replacing annual budget processes with rolling forecasts to save time by continuously planning for the future.

  • Automating planning, budgeting, and forecasting processes: FSN’s study: The Future of Budgeting, Planning and Forecasting, found that 82% of CFOs listed automating planning, budgeting, and forecasting processes as a top technology priority for their business over the next 3 years.

Benefits of Budgeting and Forecasting Software

Create Reliable Forecasts

Budgeting and forecasting software will give you a better handle on expected revenues and expenses. Software modules use a combination of approaches to create financial forecasts. The key components of creating a budget are inputting accurate historical information and querying users for estimates of future financial conditions. Budgeting software programs provide a framework for reinforcing budgeting best practices. Ensuring the inclusion of all relevant data and collecting information from distributed sources can be deceptively difficult tasks.

Any budget relies on user-created estimates. Budgeting programs can help turn guesses into expectations by requiring estimates at a more granular level and integrating margin of error controls. Once data has been translated into predictions for financial outcomes, actual earnings and expenses can be compared against the predictions to monitor business progress.

Avoid Time-Consuming Manual Processes

Manually creating effective budgets can be very difficult and time-intensive. Companies have limited confidence in hand-created budgets due to concerns that the historical information is incomplete or inaccurate.

Budgeting software allows direct data imports from integrated applications such as the general ledger and other key accounting applications. Automatic data entry prevents the kind of errors introduced by manual re-keying.

Planning for unexpected external factors is a difficult task. Budgeting software can help you easily correct for external factors like inflation.

One of the main advantages of using budgeting software is the cost savings. Creating budgets can be one of the most time-intensive tasks for executives. Budgeting software will help you eliminate the reliance on cumbersome spreadsheets. For anything but the most basic budgeting needs, spreadsheets use dozens if not hundreds of formulas and macros. One mistaken keystroke can spoil weeks of careful preparation.

Increase Collaboration in the Budgeting Process for More Accurate Forecasts

Budgeting software also promotes collaboration.

Each employee may have responsibility for different segments of your financial data. If you need to receive input from multiple employees, using a manual approach to creating budgets can easily become impractical. You’ll likely be spending unnecessary time standardizing information into normalized formats. Furthermore, creating a budget is often a process that depends on working through multiple versions. Passing information back and forth multiple times can easily drain resources and generate costly delays. Instead, you need one single updatable version of the truth.