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7 best finance reporting software: A buyer’s guide for 2024

Get actionable insights faster with the right finance reporting software

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As businesses grow, financial data becomes more and more complex for spreadsheets. It is not only time-consuming but also involves manual interventions, making it prone to errors. Finance leaders and teams, irrespective of the size of the organization, are hard pressed to deliver accurate forecasts, generate actionable insights and make data-driven decisions—often with limited resources. 

These reporting automation tools provide crucial insights into financial performance, helping businesses review current performance against the target, make the necessary course corrections, and allocate resources efficiently, ensuring that CFOs and finance leaders can deploy their energies and time on making informed strategic decisions.

Financial reporting tools allow you to create, analyze, and present financial statements and reports—including 3-statement model reports, e.g., P&L or income statement, balance sheet statement, and cash flow statement along with other dashboards and non-financial reports/information required for the business—in real time. 

In this guide, we have detailed seven of the best finance reporting software tools on the market in 2024. For each platform, there is a summary of key features related to finance reporting with a few pros and cons highlighted, which might be helpful as you evaluate your options.


The best finance reporting software compared

Choosing the best financial reporting tool for your business involves considering several features, such as native integrations, automated 3-way financial statements, variance analysis, interactive dashboards among a host of others. 

Here, we have reviewed and compared a range of first, second, and third generation solutions to help you find the best fit for your business requirements (from startups to scaleups and enterprises).

The table below is intended to give you a high-level, side-by-side comparison of seven financial reporting tools as the starting point, followed by a more detailed discussion.

Software/
Platform
DrivetrainDatarailsVenaCubePlanfulWorkday Adaptive PlanningAnaplan
Price
$$
$$
$$
$$
$$
$$-$$$
$$$
Best for
SMB to  Mid-Market
SMB to  Mid-Market
Mid-Market
SMB to  Mid-Market
Mid-Market
Mid-Market to Enterprise
Enterprise
Type of FP&A solution
3rd
Generation
3rd
Generation
2nd
Generation
3rd
Generation
2nd
Generation
2nd
Generation
2nd
Generation
Native
Integration
200+ OOTB integrations
70+ OOTB integrations
Few native integrations
22 OOTB integrations
100+ OOTB integrations
7 OOTB
integrations
10 OOTB
integrations
Dynamic Dashboards
Automated real-time financial statements & reports
On-demand Custom metrics
Collaboration with access control
Budget variance analysis
Scenario planning & modeling
Predictive Forecasting
Multi currency support
unknown
unknown
Security & compliance
In-house implementation
yes
yes
unknown
unknown
unknown

Drivetrain is a Gen 3 FP&A software. It is a simple yet powerful platform for CFOs and finance teams for building financial models, flexible budgets, present board-ready reports, and What-If analysis tools.

With Drivetrain, you can easily consolidate your financial and business data (without IT support) and track all key financial and non-financial metrics in real time, on a single platform. This saves you the trouble of manually pulling and reconciling data from different sources..  

Drivetrain’s powerful and scalable multidimensional modeling capabilities enables you to build complex financial models and custom financial reports for real-time analysis and accurate forecasting at a much faster pace, in a single place.

Price: 

$$

Best for: 

Small and Mid-market

Pros:
  • Self-service interface (ranked #1 on G2 for ease of use)

  • Easy-to-use contextual collaboration feature with Slack integration

  • Real-time budget vs. actuals analysis with drill-down to transactional level

  • Best-in-class interactive visualizations

  • Automated 3-model statements

  • Custom report builder

  • Quickly roll-forward actuals

  • Agile planning and forecasting

Cons:
  • Heavily focused on B2B businesses

Key financial reporting features in Drivetrain:
  • Rapidly deployable native integrations

  • Built-in consolidations

  • Custom analytics

  • Scenario Planning and What-If Analysis

  • Automated metric calculations

Datarails is a solid lightweight Excel-based tool that supports several FP&A use cases—budgeting and planning, financial forecasting, variance analysis, and automated report generation. Users can continue to use their existing financial models in Excel. It also uses AI/ML algorithms for predictive analytics and financial insights.

Price: 

$$ 

Best for: 

Small and Mid-market

Pros:
  • Automated records for data accuracy

  • Native Excel for faster implementation

  • Workflow collaboration

Cons:
  • Lacks a native Google Sheets integration

  • Users report the tool often freezing in the middle of an operation

  • Limited scalability and visualizations

  • Limited customization options

Key financial reporting features in Datarails:
  • Data visualization tools

  • Financial data analytics

  • Monthly reports

A heavily edited screenshot of the DataRails product showing the Collection Management feature with some workflows and commenting options.

Vena offers integrated business planning, financial reporting, regulatory compliance reporting, and financial close management—that can be customized for specific business needs and industry requirements. The tool was developed for Microsoft365 and comes with Power BI embedded to enhance functionality with native Excel—to cater to users who prefer spreadsheets but need it for more complex calculations.

Price: 

$$ 

Best for: 

Mid-market

Pros:
  • Secure templates for data protection

  • Version control

  • Compatible Excel interface

Cons:
  • Technical skills needed to set up templates and reports

  • Cash flow model is limited

  • Takes too long to run/load large and complex workbooks

  • Users have reported implementation times running longer than estimated by several months

Key financial reporting features in Vena:
  • Flexible reporting

  • Financial planning and analysis

  • Automated financial reporting

Vena product screenshot showing the status tracker for 2020 annual budget.

Cube is a spreadsheet-native FP&A platform that helps businesses and finance teams streamline financial forecasting, workflow management and budgeting operations. On the Cube platform, companies don’t fundamentally change how they work, as it integrates smoothly with Excel and Google Sheets.

Price: 

$$ 

Best for: 

Small to Mid-market

Pros:
  • User-friendly user interface and controls

  • Simple formulas for making reports (Custom formulas not needed)

  • Data automation and consolidation

  • Native Google Sheets integration

Cons:
  • Lack of flexibility in Excel reporting

  • Limitations with regard to drill downs

  • Reports require heavy formatting to be presentable

  • Not intuitive for non-finance users

  • Multidimensional analysis capabilities are limited to 8 top-line dimensions

Key financial reporting features in Cube:
  • Automated data consolidation

  • Multi-scenario analysis

  • Native Excel, Google Sheets and other integrations

  • Customizable dashboards

  • Centralized formulas and KPIs

Cube product page powered by Flatfile showing the "Upload your conversion rates" page

Planful distinguishes itself from other financial reporting platforms with Planful Predict, which combines the data manipulation capabilities of FP&A tools with AI (more so than Datarails). It is aimed at top-level executives, such as CFOs and CEOs, to enable faster and more insightful decision-making and strategic planning.

Price: 

$$ 

Best for: 

Mid-market

Pros:
  • AI-enhanced financial and operational planning

  • Extensive integrations to consolidate data across systems

  • Easy to work with once set up and not requiring any changes

Cons:
  • Has a longer implementation time

  • Collaboration is complex

  • Template setup is challenging

  • Setup can be challenging given the high number of customizable fields that leaves many users overwhelmed and requiring dependency on third-party system integrators

Key financial reporting features in Planful:
  • Financial close management

  • Financial consolidation

  • Workforce planning

  • Cash flow forecasting

  • Data visualization

Planful Predict product page showing advanced fill feature showing budget projections

Workday Adaptive Planning (formerly Adaptive Insights) is a second-generation web-based FP&A tool that has been around since 2003. While it has many features with robust capabilities, it’s built on a tech stack that is dated. This is reflected in its interface and workflows that increases total cost of ownership and time to value.

Price: 

 $$-$$$

Best for: 

Mid-market

Pros:
  • Financial close and consolidation

  • Real-time analytics and insights

  • Flexible budgeting, scenario planning, and reporting options

Cons:
  • Costly maintenance and technical support with the implementation quality dependent on how well the third-party system integrator understands your business model

  • Offers only 7 pre-configured data connectors. This invariably results in long implementation times (~6 months and above) for companies that have business systems outside of the ones supported resulting in delayed time to value

  • Users have reported challenges with Netsuite ERP integration and a significant lag in saving data inputs

  • High total cost of ownership

Key financial reporting features in Workday:
  • Annual planning and budget planning

  • Financial analytics

  • Rolling financial forecasts

  • Financial modeling

Workday product screenshot showing a top down plan with the Revenue Targets tab highlighted. It contains a table for revenue targets by departments, a chart showing revenue targets by region, a pie chart of the revenue share by various regions and a scorecard showing the annual target

Anaplan is categorized as a second-gen FP&A tool, and is well-suited to enterprise businesses, particularly Fortune 2000 companies. It provides AI/ML features to generate financial insights.

Price: 

 $$$

Best for: 

Enterprise

Pros:
  • Flexible and powerful software for scaling

  • Strong adaptability to business and data structural changes

  • Sophisticated what-if scenario modeling

  • Integration with other CRM and financial systems

Cons:
  • Steep learning curve and implementation time in comparison to other software

  • Can be challenging for new users using large models

  • High total cost of ownership and designed for large enterprises

Key financial reporting features in Anaplan:
  • Forecasting

  • Compensation plan modeling

  • Scenario modeling

  • Anaplan Data Hub

Anaplan product screenshot showing a Top Line Revenue Summary with a stacked chart split by different revenue types, Group KPIs, P&L summary table and a line chart showing Total Revenue over some period

Drivetrain vs. the field: Why Drivetrain is the best finance reporting software solution

Finance teams need a tool that is both powerful and scalable, as well as simple and efficient, enabling not only finance users, but non-finance users in an organization to deliver strategic impact with faster, better, proactive decision-making.

The information compiled in this guide is intended to give you a better understanding of the kinds of features you would look out for in a finance reporting software, per your business requirements.

The finance reporting software we’ve compared here are divided into two main categories—those that offer custom-built proprietary calculation engines for large-scale, complex financial modeling, along with those that use native Excel spreadsheets as the base and enhance its features and capabilities to make it more flexible.

Among these FP&A tools, Drivetrain has a distinct advantage. Drivetrain provides integrated planning, real-time monitoring and advanced analysis capabilities at scale in an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. It not only provides a highly scalable and powerful calculation engine, but also offers a delightful, easy-to-use spreadsheet-inspired UI, that uses plain-English formulas and budgeting templates for quicker time to value.

Therefore, with Drivetrain, you get the best of both worlds – a powerful, yet simple SaaS budgeting software solution.

Discover how Drivetrain can accelerate your financial reporting process

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How to choose the right financial statement reporting software for your business

What is finance reporting software?

Financial reporting software is a specialized tool or system that enables businesses to automate financial processes, manage financial data, ensure data accuracy and integrity, and monitor the financial health of your company. These tools help you generate comprehensive financial statements and reports in real time, including three-statement model reports (P&L or income statement, balance sheet statement, and cash flow statement) along with other crucial dashboards (such as board and investor reports, annual reports and more) and non-financial information needed for the business.

Top 4 benefits of using financial reporting software

As your business grows, the need to control and stay on top of your finances and targets also increases. Financial reporting software enables you to make fully informed business decisions as it gives you access to crucial information, whenever and wherever you need it.

A third generation FP&A platform with excellent financial reporting capabilities is extremely beneficial in this regard.

Automated data consolidation and data validation

More often than not, sourcing and reconciling the data from various sources is a highly time-consuming and manual process, prone to errors and inaccuracies. Therefore, the main requirement of finance teams from any financial reporting software is to be able to automate the data consolidation and validation process, in a bid to accelerate the close cycle. This ensures a single version of truth for the entire company, allowing stakeholders to focus on strategic decision-making, instead of worrying about data accuracy/integrity.  

Real-time visibility into your business

The other benefit of using a financial reporting software is it enables finance leaders with detailed insights into their financial performance, including revenue, expenses, and profitability, in real time. It streamlines on-demand reporting for the entire organization, and ensures that finance teams and the leadership have easy access to KPIs, metrics and trends, and reports through customizable dashboards—which is crucial for informed decision making and strategic planning.  

More time for strategic planning

A robust finance reporting software can take care of all your legwork by automating all the time-consuming, tedious and error-prone manual tasks and reports, thereby ensuring you and your organization's finance team have more time to work on strategic planning, actionable insights and high-value activities for business growth.

Forecast faster and with more accuracy

Most finance reporting software include forecasting and budgeting capabilities—rolling forecasts (roll-forward periods when each reporting period closes), roll-ups, and predictive forecasting—ensuring finance leaders are well-equipped to create accurate financial projections and plan for future growth. These tools also have the capability to automatically update forecasts, based on any changes in actuals in your underlying data sources, and then reflect the updated forecast on your dashboards instantaneously.


What are the different types of finance reporting software?

Most finance teams focus their energies on data gathering and data consolidation. While the familiarity of spreadsheeting is a big plus when creating annual reports, budgets and forecasts, it does have limitations.

Since they require manual entry of data, making it more error prone, data integrity and accuracy becomes a big issue. Also, each department and team has their own preferred models and spreadsheets for budgeting and reporting, so reconciling all of it into a single source of truth for the organization can be a long-drawn process.

These challenges led to the creation, and continued evolution, of modern FP&A software or strategic finance software. In this section, we have compared seven of the best financial reporting tools on the market currently, indicating the maturity of each in terms of their FP&A features. Here we’ll take a look at the degree to which each solution relies on spreadsheets.

Source: Adapted from FP&A software classifications developed by Paul Barnhurst (The FP&A Guy).

Software/
Platform
DrivetrainDatarailsVenaCubePlanfulWorkday Adaptive PlanningAnaplan
Web application that replaces spreadsheets
Web application that integrates with spreadsheets
Application uses a spreadsheet for calculations
Add-in for spreadsheet applications

Real-world use cases for a finance reporting software like Drivetrain

We lost two to three working days each month in extracting data from the ledgers into Excel, analyzing the numbers and building the P&L.

We had to repeat the process every time new entries were added or changed. Just reviewing the data to ensure we had the right numbers used to take up to four hours of our time.— Naga Subramanya, Associate Director of Finance, Airmeet

The biggest challenge for the finance team at Airmeet, a premium events and experiences platform, was that most of the financial operations were done on spreadsheets. The process for getting accurate, real-time insights into their financial and business health was tedious and time-consuming. The finance team had to manually consolidate MIS data—cutting and pasting data from multiple sources—making it more prone to errors and largely unproductive.

Aman Bafna faced similar challenges at Mindtickle, a market-leading sales readiness platform. As the Business Operations Lead, he needed real-time visibility into business critical metrics, but there was no single source of truth. Every quarter, his team spent an inordinately long time manually consolidating data into Excel from various sources—BambooHR, NetSuite and Salesforce—to calculate a few metrics and put together a Board-ready report. This caused a serious problem with data accuracy and resulted in discrepancies while preparing reports.

Both Naga and Aman needed a fast and flexible finance reporting and monitoring solution, purpose-built to prepare timely and accurate financial reports, and track progress against targets in real-time—without relying on IT or expensive data analysts and consultants.

This is where Drivetrain stepped in.

On the Drivetrain’s platform, the finance team at Airmeet was able to automate data consolidation and rollups in real time, for faster finance reporting and expense analysis, saving over 5 days every month. Drivetrain also freed up time for the finance team to collaborate with each budget owner, finalize budgets, and implement their forecasting models, saving four weeks in a year. This has given Airmeet’s FP&A team more time for strategic analysis and making faster ROI-based decisions—thanks to less manual spreadsheet work and more accurate data.

At Mindtickle, Drivetrain automated the data gathering and consolidation process for Mindtickle’s sales, marketing and revenue operations teams with a central database, enabling faster budget vs. actuals reporting & analysis.

They can also create custom reports faster and drill down to see the data behind the numbers, reducing the time and being prepared for answering critical business questions,and making Board-ready presentations in a few hours (previously, it took them ~3 weeks.

With faster and better access to key metrics that were previously hard to obtain, the Mindtickle team used Drivetrain to come up with accurate forecasts. They now have a monthly reporting cycle and have also built a weekly forecast model—by merging data from three business systems.

Features

1. Native Integrations

Without native integrations, real-time financial reporting can be challenging for finance teams. Integration with source systems eliminates the need for manual entry of data (and the resulting errors), thereby making more time and effort friendly.

Since SaaS businesses rely on a variety of systems for data, such as CRM, billing, and accounting, seamless integration helps ensure accurate and consistent financial reporting in real time across all the systems.

Software/
Platform
DrivetrainDatarailsVenaCubePlanfulWorkday Adaptive PlanningAnaplan
Native integrations with top 6 ERPs
Native integrations with top CRM, HRIS, Billing & BI tools
Integration with Excel and Google Sheets
Excel/CSV
upload
download

2. Dynamic dashboards

Visualizing financial data helps easily comprehend complex financial information quickly, and enables companies identify trends, patterns, and outliers more easily, to make netter, informed decisions.

Specifically, SaaS companies typically track a range of metrics related to user acquisition, retention, churn, and revenue. Customizable dashboards allow them to monitor these metrics and track the performance of their subscription-based business model effectively.

Software/
Platform
DrivetrainDatarailsVenaCubePlanfulWorkday Adaptive PlanningAnaplan
Drill Down to Transaction-Level
Drill Down by Any Dimension
Global- and Report-Level Filters

Text Callouts/Notes in Dashboards

3. Automated real-time financial statements & reports

At any given time, SaaS companies handle large volumes of data. Automation streamlines the financial reporting process, by eliminating manual entries and reducing the risk of errors—saving hours for finance teams and improving efficiency and accuracy.

It collects and processes data automatically from your source systems, provides real-time insights, and helps you get a report at any time, enabling rapid decision-making. This gives you timely insights into financial performance, allowing for quick adjustments to strategies and tactics

Software/
Platform
DrivetrainDatarailsVenaCubePlanfulWorkday Adaptive PlanningAnaplan
Reporting templates
unknown
unknown
Automated
3-statement model statements
Custom Financial Reports

4. On-demand metrics

Any sophisticated FP&A software should allow you to track financial ratios  and business metrics in real-time. It should also give you the chance to automate calculation of any custom metrics, e.g., runway, cash in the bank, sales pipeline, bookings, CAC, retention, burn, net dollar retention, etc.

Software/
Platform
DrivetrainDatarailsVenaCubePlanfulWorkday Adaptive PlanningAnaplan
OOTB financial ratios and business metrics
OOTB SaaS metrics
(ARR, Runway, NRR, Burn Multiple, Payback Period, and 40 more)
Automate and track custom metric calculations

5. Collaboration with access control

User access controls and other permissions ensure that only authorized users are allowed to view and manage sensitive financial information, to prevent data breaches and unauthorized transactions.

Software/
Platform
DrivetrainDatarailsVenaCubePlanfulWorkday Adaptive PlanningAnaplan
Commenting Threads
Fine-Grained Role Based Access Control
Slack Notifications

6. On-demand variance analysis & reporting

Given the recurring revenue model of SaaS businesses, accurate forecasting and budgeting are essential for planning growth strategies, resource allocation, and investor relations. The FP&A software should enable you to build and automate your statements with a self-serve interface to perform actuals vs. budget and actuals vs. forecast analysis instantly, without any interventions from data analysts or IT. It should also help you create detailed variance reports.

Software/
Platform
DrivetrainDatarailsVenaCubePlanfulWorkday Adaptive PlanningAnaplan
Actuals vs. budget analysis
Actuals vs. forecast analysis

7. Scenario planning & modeling

Scenario planning guides businesses through considerable uncertainty, by contemplating various paths of possibilities. Forecasts usually have inherent errors; the actual results may differ from what was anticipated.

To manage this uncertainty, finance professionals need to understand multiple scenarios and their drivers. They also need to manage multiple scenarios on demand, collaboratively and quickly (in real-time). A finance reporting software can help address this through forecast analysis, without involving data analysts or IT.

Software/
Platform
DrivetrainDatarailsVenaCubePlanfulWorkday Adaptive PlanningAnaplan
In-Memory Multidimensional Calculation Engine
Multiple scenario planning
Unlimited planning window (long range planning)
Custom data modeling
Model templates
unknown
unknown

8. Security & compliance

SaaS businesses handle sensitive customer data and must comply with regulations, such as GDPR and PCI DSS. The software should adhere to industry regulations and provide robust security measures to protect sensitive customer and financial data, and maintain trust.

Software/
Platform
DrivetrainDatarailsVenaCubePlanfulWorkday Adaptive PlanningAnaplan
SOC 2 Type II
ISO 27001
unknown
Fine-Grained Role Based Access Control
Audit trails

9.Onboarding, training & customer success

Reliable customer support and comprehensive training, along with easy access to best practices and resource documents, helps users maximize the value of the finance reporting software. It ensures that users can effectively utilize and leverage the software for their business requirements, as well as address any issues as they occur.

Software/
Platform
DrivetrainDatarailsVenaCubePlanfulWorkday Adaptive PlanningAnaplan
Implementation time
4-6 weeks
unknown
> 2 months
>2 months
>2 months
> 4 months
> 6 months
In-house implementation
Yes
unknown
No
unknown
unknown
No
No
White-glove onboarding
Self-service management (admin)
Dedicated customer support/success

FAQ

1. How can you choose the right financial reporting software?

Here are some essential considerations to help businesses make an informed choice regarding finance report software:

  • Identify your needs: Assess your organization’s specific reporting requirements. Determine the types of financial reports you need, the complexity of data consolidation, and the level of customization required to meet your unique business needs.
  • Scalability: Consider the scalability of the software. Ensure that it can accommodate your business’s growth and handle increasing data volumes as your company expands.
  • Integration capabilities: Check whether the financial reporting software can integrate with your existing accounting systems, ERPs, and other relevant applications.
  • User-friendly interface: Look for a user-friendly interface that allows both finance professionals and non-technical/non-finance to navigate the platform, access insights, and create reports easily.
  • Data security and compliance: Ensure that the reporting tool adheres to industry standards and regulatory requirements to protect sensitive financial information.
  • Reporting flexibility: Customizable templates and interactive visualizations ensure that you can present data in a way that is easily understandable by your stakeholders and the board.
  • Customer support and training: Adequate support and training ensure that your team can effectively use the software’s features to their full potential.
  • Cost and ROI: Consider the total cost of ownership, including licensing fees, implementation, and ongoing maintenance.
  • User reviews: Check for user reviews and recommendations on reliable platforms to gain insights into the software’s performance, reliability, and customer satisfaction.

2. Are there different types of finance reporting software?

There are three major types of financial reporting software:

  • Accounting software with reporting features: These software solutions provide a comprehensive view of the company’s financial health, making it easier to assess performance, identify trends, and track expenses. Accounting software is a fundamental tool for businesses to manage their financial transactions and records. Popular accounting software tools typically include reporting features, allowing users to generate essential financial statements, such as balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow reports.

  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software: ERP software is a comprehensive suite that integrates various business processes, including finance, accounting, human resources, and inventory management. This integration ensures that financial reports are accurate, up-to-date, and accessible across the organization. Within an ERP system, financial reporting modules play a critical role in consolidating data from different departments and entities.
  • Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software: CPM software is designed to help organizations plan, budget, and forecast their financial performance. These tools go beyond basic reporting, offering advanced analytics, scenario modeling, and forecasting capabilities. It is particularly valuable for businesses seeking to optimize their budgeting processes and achieve greater financial efficiency.

3. Who are the typical users of finance reporting software?

Any stakeholder interested in the financial health and performance of their organization, such as CFOs and their finance teams, executives, department leaders, and investors, even non-finance users.

SaaS strategic finance goes far beyond just budgeting…

A modern FP&A software platform purpose-built for SaaS strategic finance can set the stage for predictable, accelerated growth. Here are a few resources to help you learn more about how to do that through budgeting and other important FP&A processes.

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