Planacy vs the competing alternatives
Alternative to Planacy?
There are many companies offering various services and softwares within budgeting and forecasting today. For those of you who’ve just entered the jungle of systems hoping to find a solution for financial planning, it can be hard to know which system that is best suited for your business. In this article, I present Planacy’s position compared to some of the competing alternatives and their strengths and weaknesses. Hopefully, this comparison with alternatives to Planacy will help make your decision easier.
Which system is the best alternative for you?
The world events of recent years have resulted in increased expectations and demands on constantly updated financial forecasts. This, in turn, has led to increased demands on the FP&A function (read more about this in The State of Corporate Financial Planning 2023), while the market for budgeting and forecasting systems has continued to evolve.
The systems of today, both the older ones and the more modern ones, all have their respective strengths and weaknesses depending on your demands and goals. The best choice for your business depends on factors such as:
- The size of your business
- Which data you need in the process
- How many people that are involved in the process
- Which degree of automation you require
- Whether you work driver-based or not
- Whether you work centralised or decentralised
As you can see, there are many factors to consider and as a customer, you have to decide which factor is the most important one for you in order to work efficiently and successfully with your financial planning processes.
Below, we’ve divided the alternatives into four categories: ERPs, the older dragons, the local options and the more modern platforms. The largest and most used alternative though, is of course Excel. In this article we will focus on the types of softwares, but if you’re curious about whether it’s time to leave Excel, you’ll find a guide with 7 signs here.
Something that could be viewed as an alternative to Planacy is your ERP. They often offer some modules for budget and forecast, but these are usually oriented towards accounting and offer limited abilities to automate and work driver-based and decentralised.
If your ERP offers a module for budgeting and forecasting, it can be a viable alternative to implementing a system. That is if you need a less complex solution and if those within the FP&A function primarily want to save time on automating the data outcome on account level. An ERP rarely offers features powerful enough for driver-based work. Companies often outgrow the ERP module as soon as the logic complexity or driver-based elements increase, or when you have a greater need for input from the organisation.
The modules offered by ERPs and consolidation systems aren’t broad or powerful enough compared to the categories below. Even Excel almost always does a better job.
The older dragons
Within the category “the older dragons” there are several systems with powerful functionality that contribute to more efficient work with budgeting and forecasting. Listing all of the alternatives along with all of their strengths and weaknesses while taking all of the different types of conditions into consideration is almost impossible. So, we will only list the most common and strongest players on the market. That is, the systems that can handle a significant degree of customisation, logic and complexity but that might not always be known for being fast regarding implementation and changes in the process. Hence the name “the older dragons”.
SAP, IBM, OneStream, Solver och Jedox
SAP, IBM, OneStream, Solver and Jedox are all older, early on-prem systems with a global presence. These companies often focus on large enterprises and offer products that can be customised according to the business and processes of their customers. There’s not much that these systems can’t solve regarding functionality. However, these systems often require extensive – very extensive – implementation projects and maintenance. Of the systems mentioned above, only SAP and Solver are categorised as leaders by G2 as of June 2023, and they received this categorisation largely due to their market presence, especially within Enterprise. G2 is the world’s biggest platform for authentic software reviews from users.
Even in Sweden we have some dragons. Hypergene has developed and refined their product for a long time, and today, they offer a relatively comprehensive system for budgeting and forecasting in combination with business planning and basic business intelligence. Hypergene has a strong position within the public sector with municipalities, government and universities, as well as energy and real estate companies. However, they have a weaker position in the private sector, especially in the mid-market. Like the more prominent global players, Hypergene can handle most customisations and logic, but consultants often have to spend a considerable amount of time maintaining the solution.
Mercur is the antagonist of Hypergenes going back more than 50 years. The company has a broad product where the financial planning is part of a larger entity. In the last decades, they’ve had a strong position within the housing, real estate, energy, insurance, and industry sectors. But just like Hypergene, they are weaker within the mid-market. Their decision-making product offers sophisticated and equally customisable support for budgeting and forecasting processes, but just like the other broad alternatives within the same category, Mercur’s solution requires substantial consultant services for customisation and maintenance.
It’s also worth mentioning that neither Hypergene nor Mercur has qualified for the budgeting and forecasting category on G2.
The local Planacy alternatives
Every geographic market has a couple of systems offering different services within financial planning, and Sweden is no exception. According to us, there’s three completely different systems that can work as an alternative for some. All of these local Swedish alternatives have yet to be qualified for G2.
Oxceed has a simple, stripped-down, stylish product that has invested wisely in a user-friendly interface. They focus on simplifying reporting of accounting and KPIs for smaller companies, where data collection is done according to standardised methods from the accounting systems. Oxceed has a strong offering for those who wants to focus on automation of reporting and at the same time get a simple interface for input on the budget and forecast. Their customers usually use Fortnox, Visma, Björn Lundén or a similar accounting system and often have a less complex planning need. As the need for more data-driven planning increases, the system becomes too narrow as it lacks powerful support for driver-based elements, which medium to large enterprises typically need.
Konstrukt is another small, Swedish company that, with its background in data and analysis, has created a system to complement business intelligence. Konstrukt has drawn inspiration for their interface and integrated applications from Qlik Sense, which can be perceived as both pleasant and user-friendly but from a planning perspective it can create solutions that are difficult to navigate. Konstukt offers driver-based planning models to a certain degree, but it’s not fully adapted to the type of solutions that larger companies often need. The company is relatively small, with about seven employees, but delivers appreciated solutions to various industries.
Effectplan was previously the antagonist to Planacy, as they had a clear vision and expanded their business relatively quickly. Their business idea originated from ERPs, but the company has been sold twice in two years and today, they’re a part of a business area within Visma with six employees. Effectplan has a reasonably comprehensive product for smaller companies that do not require automation or complex driver connections. The customers can administer large parts of the solution and settings themselves, however, the setup is more accounting-oriented, and the functionality for more driver-based work is limited. Given Effectplan's shrinking size, there is also some uncertainty about the continued development of the product.
The modern platforms
Modern and dedicated systems focusing on data-driven work that streamlines financial planning have become increasingly common in recent years. Medium to large sized companies need to streamline and automate their processes and at the same time enable more continuous work with financial planning – especially since the demands for constantly updated forecasts have increased significantly in the recent turbulent years.
There are several strong systems that Planacy can undoubtedly be compared to and which also serve as a good source of inspiration for the continued development of our product. Planacy is, and will continue to be, the entrepreneurial challenger on the market and offer a leading platform for the mid-market. As the only Scandinavian software, Planacy has also been named a G2 High Performer within the budgeting and forecasting category.
The clear leader in this category. Anaplan has a strong product and a comprehensive offer focusing on large enterprises and supply chains. However, this usually requires one or more dedicated internal system owners who spends considerable time managing the system.
A classic CPM platform that has powerful support for budgeting and forecasting as a part of their offer. In recent years, Board has slipped in the rankings compared to other alternatives, and thus, they are no longer a G2 leader.
A more modern alternative that, in just five years, has established a strong position, especially in reporting and analysis. Therefore, they have a weaker and slightly less developed offer for budgeting and forecasting. However, they have a clear vision and will contribute to the development of the FP&A software market.
A broad platform for Financial Performance Management. Their offer includes many elements, from accounting and monthly financial statements to reporting and planning, where budgeting and forecasting is a part of several different offers.
Planacy vs. the leading alternatives
With a 100% focus on driver-based budgeting and forecasting, Planacy streamlines and automates the work for both FP&A and the businesses as a whole – which our high customer satisfaction and overwhelmingly positive G2* reviews clearly prove.
Planacy distinguishes itself from the competing alternatives by streamlining the entire planning process with best-practice modules. We also offer powerful support for automation, as well as advanced and customised driver logic with flexible distributions and calculations. The platform can seamlessly be integrated with various ERP:s and the market’s leading business intelligence platforms in order to simplify and streamline your work – both for business controllers as well as the entire company. Another strength is our unbeatable time-to-value through fast implementation projects and, in comparison to the competing alternatives, low management and maintenance cost. This allows you to get started with Planacy in just a few weeks. With Planacy, you get a future-proof platform that can grow and evolve together with your business and financial planning processes.
In the illustration below we have highlighted the parameters considered to be the most important when choosing a budgeting and forecasting software, based on user-generated feedback from G2's 2023 Summer Report. The illustration clearly shows that Planacy can be compared to the older dragons and the more prominent global leaders.
So, which system should you choose?
The short answer – it depends.
Do you want to work driver-based with a software that offers a high degree of automation and streamlines your work with budgeting and forecasting? Do you want to raise the quality of the financial forecast and simultaneously enable more agile and frequent work? If so, you need a system that focuses on solving just that. As the summarizing guide above shows there are several options on the market. With a passion for simplifying financial planning together with a focus on providing an unbeatable time-to-value, it is our firm belief that Planacy has a solid and competitive offer. Get in touch, and we'll be happy to demonstrate Planacy's strengths and how our platform can help you simplify and streamline your work with financial planning.
* G2 is the largest and most trusted aggregator for authentic software reviews, used by more than 80 million people annually to make better investment decisions. Take a look at Planacy's G2 page here