Best Financial Performance Software & Buyer's Guide

Top Best Financial Performance Software & Buyer's Guide



Reliance on gut feelings and individual reports doesn’t cut it when you need to know the specifics of how your business is doing. In order to have a clear, immutable picture of business health, you need to find financial performance software to help.

Financial reporting software refers to a number of critical tools for organizations to manage their finances, understand business performance, and report financial information accurately and efficiently. It can help organizations make informed business decisions, improve financial performance, and comply with relevant regulations.

There are several types of software that can help an operator understand their financial performance, so I’ll explore the most common in this article and explain the benefits and most likely users of each.

10 Best Financial Performance Software

Here’s a range of financial performance software and a summary of the use case each one is best suited for:


Expert Pick

NetSuite

NetSuite 91

1

NetSuite is the world's #1 cloud accounting solution, providing a unified platform to streamline back-office processes to areas like CRM, inventory, and ecommerce. View Listing...

Best for end-to-end financial management.


What Is Financial Performance Software?

Financial performance software is a type of software that helps organizations manage and analyze their financial data. This can include tasks such as budgeting, forecasting, reporting, and analysis.

This type of software is typically used by finance and accounting professionals, as well as executives and managers who need to make data-driven decisions based on financial information. It’s used to accomplish a wide range of tasks, from managing day-to-day accounting processes to creating long-term financial plans for the business.

Overall, financial performance software is designed to streamline financial processes, improve accuracy, and provide real-time insights into a company’s financial health, allowing organizations to make better financial decisions and improve their overall performance.

Types Of Financial Performance Software

As I previously mentioned, there are a number of types of software that help individuals and teams analyze financial performance of a business. Here are some common types of financial performance software that people may be looking for:

  • Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) software: This type of software helps organizations create financial plans and forecasts, analyze financial data, and track performance against goals.
  • Financial reporting software: This type of software helps organizations generate financial reports, such as balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements, that can be used for internal analysis or shared with external stakeholders.
  • Budgeting software: This type of software helps organizations create and manage budgets, allowing them to allocate resources effectively and monitor spending against budgeted amounts.
  • Accounting software: This type of software helps organizations manage day-to-day accounting processes, such as accounts payable and receivable, invoicing, and general ledger management.
  • Business intelligence software: Business intelligence software helps organizations gather and analyze data from various sources, including financial data, to gain insights into their operations and make data-driven decisions.

Each type of software has its own unique features and benefits, and may be better suited for certain types of organizations or industries. It’s important to evaluate your organization’s specific needs and goals when selecting the right financial performance software for your business.

How To Choose Which Financial Performance Software To Buy

What criteria matter when figuring out the best performance software for your organization? Well, that depends. You need to understand what type of buyer you are, what you’re trying to accomplish by getting this software (and hence, which features and functionality are most important), and which other factors matter.

I’ve listed out some of the most common considerations below:

Which type of buyer are you?

Financial performance software can be used by a wide range of customers, including:

Small Businesses

Small businesses may want financial performance software to help them manage their day-to-day accounting processes, such as invoicing and expense tracking. Xero and QuickBooks are two popular options for small businesses, as they offer user-friendly interfaces and affordable pricing plans.

Large Enterprises

Large enterprises may want financial performance software to help them manage complex financial processes, such as budgeting and forecasting. Oracle Netsuite and Workday Adaptive Planning are two examples of software solutions that are designed for large enterprises, as they offer robust features and can be customized to meet specific needs.

Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofit organizations may want financial performance software to help them manage donor contributions, track grants, and create financial reports for stakeholders. Sage Intacct is a popular option for nonprofit organizations, as it offers nonprofit-specific features and can help organizations ensure compliance with accounting regulations.

Financial Services Firms

Financial services firms will likely need financial performance software to help them manage client accounts and portfolios, track performance against benchmarks, and create custom reports. Asset Vantage and SS&C Advent are two examples of software solutions that are designed for financial services firms, as they offer investment-specific features and can integrate with other financial systems.

Manufacturing Companies

Manufacturing companies may want financial performance software to help them manage inventory, track costs, and create financial reports that reflect their unique business model. Epicor Financial Management and Sage X3 are two examples of software solutions that are designed for manufacturing companies, as they offer features that are tailored to the manufacturing industry.

Key features to look for

Regardless of the specific type of software that you choose to move forward with, most users want financial performance software to help them with a core group of tasks. To get the most out of your software, check that the following features are available:

  • Built-in key performance indicators (KPIs) and ratios: these metrics are used to track, measure, and analyze the financial health of a company. A program with strong reporting tools can provide a comprehensive view of a company’s financial performance and help identify areas for improvement at a glance. The software should be able to automatically pull source data to calculate these metrics for you.

Note that the most important KPIs and ratios to track vary quite a lot between businesses and industries. If you don’t know exactly which KPIs are best for you to track, perform industry research or consider contracting an expert to find these for you.

  • Cash flow analysis: 80% of businesses go under due to cash flow issues – understanding your situation at all times can mean the difference between success and failure, regardless of your business stage. Cash flow analysis provides insight into a company’s liquidity and ability to meet its financial obligations. It also helps identify potential cash flow problems and opportunities for investment.
  • Forecasting: consider the difference in value when you ask for personal advice from a good friend vs asking for advice from a complete stranger. Your friend knows your biases, history, and thus can provide better recommendations for how you should proceed. Forecasting works the same way; the more relevant data you can collect on a business, the better your forecasts will be. Forecasting techniques help predict future financial performance based on historical data and other factors. Accurate forecasting is essential for making informed business decisions and planning for the future.
  • Financial statement reporting: The software should provide robust financial reporting capabilities, including the ability to generate customizable reports, dashboards, and statements. Whereas KPIs give you insights into specific elements of your business’ financial health, financial statements give you a holistic picture of how things are going. If the object in question was a human, KPIs might be things like blood pressure or cholesterol levels, whereas financial statements would be the results of a full physical.

Functionality to consider

The previous features are what the software needs to have. Key functionalities are what the software needs to help you do. Here are some of the most important functionality to look for when evaluating financial performance software:

  • Improved financial controls: Financial performance software should help you improve your financial controls, which helps ensure compliance with regulations and reduce the risk of fraud. This is important for maintaining the integrity of financial data and protecting the company’s assets.
  • Advanced reporting functionality: Financial performance software should help you improve your advanced reporting functionality, which helps generate accurate and timely financial reports. This is important for making informed business decisions within your business, reporting to external stakeholders, and qualifying for financing.
  • Budgeting and expense tracking: Financial performance software should help you create modules for budgeting and expense tracking, which help control spending and provide real-time transactional data. This is important for managing cash flow and identifying areas for cost savings.
  • Financial performance management: As the name implies, financial performance software should, of course, help you streamline financial management processes and provide tools for financial reporting, analysis, budgeting, and planning. While many softwares provide a lot of great features and help you do various things, ensure that you don’t end up inundating yourself with useless metrics and, instead, get access to the things that really matter.

Overall, your specific use case is going to change the order of importance for each element of functionality; you should target software that offers you the most critical functionality for you and opens up a clear pathway to improved financial performance.

Important purchase considerations

In addition to the features and functionalities of the software itself, there are other important purchase considerations when evaluating financial performance software. Here are a few of the most important ones:

  • Scalability: Will the program you choose be able to deliver valuable insights once you grow? Consider your best case scenario for growth and inquire about this situation. The ideal software can grow with your business and handle increasing amounts of data or users, as switching software in the future could become quite a headache.
  • Implementation: You should evaluate the implementation process to ensure that it is smooth and does not disrupt your business operation; while you should expect any software to take some time to implement and learn, be realistic about what your team will accept.
  • Training: You should consider whether the software provider offers training to help you and your team learn how to use the software effectively.
  • User experience: Try a demo – do you find it easy and enjoyable to use? Be realistic in this stage, as you don’t want to find yourself stuck with a program full of rich data that you don’t use in 1 year’s time. In addition to yourself, ensure that the program is intuitive and able to meet the needs of your team members who will be using it.
  • Integration: Consider this program a defacto ERP system – can it automatically integrate with and pull data from your most important programs, such as your CRM or your inventory management programs? Ensure that the program either has data consolidation included or that automations have been set up with process automation tools, as necessary manual data entry may eliminate many efficiencies that this program could ultimately provide.

By considering these additional purchase considerations, you can ensure that you choose financial performance software that not only meets your functional requirements, but also provides the best overall value for your business.

Other Financial Analysis Software

Key Takeaways

Financial performance software is designed to improve financial processes, accuracy, and provide real-time insights for businesses. Different types of financial performance software include financial planning and analysis software, financial reporting software, budgeting software, accounting software, and business intelligence software. You should consider what you need before purchasing, as these types of software meet the specific financial management needs of different organizations.

Financial performance management software provides tools for financial reporting, analysis, budgeting, and planning, helping to improve financial controls, generate accurate and timely financial reports, control spending, and streamline financial management processes. When evaluating financial performance software, important purchase considerations include features and functionality that meet specific needs.


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