Table Of Contents
What Is Financial Planning And Analysis (FP&A)? FP&A Process: How To Do Financial Planning And Analysis Cloud Cost Management Software Accounting Software Budgeting And Forecasting Software Financial Modeling And Analysis Solutions Payroll Processing Software Understand And Optimize Your Cloud Spend – The Easy Way

FP&A tools can help your business assess, plan, and budget business activities more effectively. The tools help by automating a lot of the work involved, helping you tell where you could be losing money, and revealing additional revenue streams you can capitalize on.

At a time when SaaS competition is at an all-time high, you need all the advantages at your disposal to deliver the most value at the least cost. This can help you improve your margins, attract more investors, and generate enough profits to fund your growth.

In this FP&A software guide, we’ll share solutions to help you address different areas of your SaaS business, including cloud cost optimization, accounting, payroll, budgeting, and forecasting.

Table Of Contents

What Is Financial Planning And Analysis (FP&A)?

FP&A is a set of financial practices that include analysis, planning, budgeting, and forecasting, which explain financial performance and uncover opportunities for growth.

Financial planning and analysis goes beyond simply keeping records to examining why a company’s finances are the way they are and what that would look like in the future.

FP&A teams analyze economic and industry trends, assess past financial performance, and seek to anticipate challenges before they arise, with the goal of forecasting and influencing the future financial performance of the company.

What is the difference between FP&A and finance?

FP&A differs from traditional finance in that it takes a more strategic approach using current data, whereas traditional finance relies on historical data to tell the current financial health of the organization.

Finance has traditionally focused on tasks like recordkeeping, accounting, financial compliance, and payroll.

Meanwhile, FP&A teams review the entire financial activities of a company and create a financial roadmap. Often, the team works with other teams, such as improving cost-efficiency with engineering and product, to attain company-wide financial goals.

Take FP&A analysts at a SaaS company, for example.

They will:

  • Assess which customers, products, or software features generate the highest profit (not just revenue)
  • Communicate this to decision-makers, and
  • Help marketing and customer acquisition teams target this profitable customer segment to grow future margins
  • Or, they can recommend retiring unprofitable or the least-profitable software features in favor of funding the most used and profitable features in their SaaS product
  • Or, they can recommend gradually migrating some or all operations to the cloud vs on-premises to improve margins, service delivery, and their CapEx/OpEx profile.

FP&A analysts typically report to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), the person ultimately responsible for managing an organization’s financial health.


FP&A Process: How To Do Financial Planning And Analysis

The FP&A process does have a lot to do with traditional financial activities. But FP&A work involves more scenario planning, financial modeling, cost efficiency analyses, capital allocation (instead of just capital reporting), and uncovering new income streams.

Here’s the process real quick.

  1. Collect data – The team collects all relevant financial data from internal departments and external sources. They consolidate it so it is easy to work with, and verify it to eliminate errors.
  2. Plan and forecast – The FP&A team then works with other business units to create forecasts of each one’s business trajectory, and marry those with the entire company’s financial trajectory. They can use various techniques for this, including scenario, driver-based, and predictive planning.
  3. Budget – Based on the revenue forecast from the strategic plan, FP&A calculates how much it will cost to fund each department/team/unit’s plan.
  4. Monitor and analyze – Once funded, the FP&A continuously tracks how the budgets are being spent, looking for ways to reduce costs while increasing return on investment. doing this manually can be extremely challenging, so proactive SaaS companies use robust FP&A software to optimize their financial planning.

Here are some of the best FP&A tools for SaaS companies (we’ve organized them in categories) you can use as well.

Cloud Cost Management Software

With more software and tech companies building in the cloud, cloud cost optimization has become an increasingly crucial issue. Although cloud providers like AWS provide flexibility and easy scaling, cloud cost visibility remains rather hazy.

In addition, Kubernetes, shared costs in multi-tenant applications, and non-taggable AWS spend can all complicate cost allocation. The following cloud cost optimization tools will help you collect, understand, and act on your cloud costs.

1. CloudZero AnyCost – Hybrid cloud cost optimization solution


CloudZero is a full-fledged cloud cost intelligence platform for SaaS and tech brands.

With CloudZero, FP&A and finance teams can easily understand unit costs to inform business decisions — like how to price different tiers or which features to include in each tier.

They can also tell what and who is driving their cloud spend and why.


Unlike most cloud cost management tools, CloudZero translates cloud metrics into actionable cost insights that connect to your daily business activities. Check this out:

  • Cost per customer – Find out how much you spend to support a specific customer so you can review their contract and come up with profitability pricing.
  • Unit cost insights – Know how much each product feature, development project, team, etc., costs so you can improve efficiency and achieve economies of scale.
  • SaaS COGS analysis and reporting – Get a comprehensive understanding of your cost of goods sold to know how to improve your gross margins.
  • Kubernetes cost monitoring and reporting – Prevent cost blindspots while you embrace Kubernetes, containerized apps, and multi-tenant infrastructure. No tagging required.
  • Cost anomaly detection and alerting – Leverage real-time anomaly detection and get timely alerts when CloudZero detects unusual costs, so you can prevent overspending.

Using CloudZero AnyCost, you see your cloud costs across AWS, Azure, GCP, Snowflake, Kubernetes, and more. You can tell who, what, and why your costs are changing, empowering you to tell where you can optimize costs or increase investment to improve ROI. Schedule a demo here to see CloudZero in action.

Pricing: Custom to your cloud environment

2. ProsperOps – Autonomous AWS RIs and SP orchestration


ProsperOps is a cloud financial management tool for companies using Amazon Web Services (AWS). FP&A teams use ProsperOps to help them leverage discount programs on AWS, like Savings Plans and Reserved Instances (RIs), by committing to use specific resources over one or three years.

The tool automatically creates, manages, and optimizes a range of Savings Plans and RIs on your behalf, dynamically adapting them to your cloud environment changes, every hour. By doing this, you can derisk commitments to use specific AWS services and resources over the duration of the contract, even if your consumption patterns change.

And, if you’d prefer to also use AWS Spot instances, which are the most affordable, without the risk of disruptions, check out Xosphere.

Pricing: ProsperOps charges a percentage of the savings it generates for you

3. Kubecost – Kubernetes cost management and allocation


Kubecost targets teams that run Kubernetes with a set of K8s cost allocation, monitoring, governance, and optimization tools. With KubeCost, you can break down costs by various Kubernetes concepts, like namespace, service, and deployment, in a cloud or on-premises Kubernetes infrastructure.

You can also chargeback or showback costs based on organizational concepts like team, application, project, environment, or department. In addition, you can get recurring cost reports, with costs broken down by namespace, to track trends and efficiency.

Pricing: Team (Free), Business ($449/month – 100 nodes), Enterprise (Upon Request)

4. Harness Cloud Cost Management (HCCM)


Using tools like the Intelligent Cloud Auto Stopping feature, Harness Cloud Cost Management (HCCM) helps you control costs by dynamically shutting down idle resources. It also provides a Cloud Cost BI solution where you can monitor data, resources, databases, and other usage data.

HCCM helps FP&A analysts schedule cloud financial reports, create custom notifications and alerts, and practice cost allocation in the cloud. The platform supports several major cloud services, including AWS, Kubernetes, and Jenkins.

Pricing: Upon Request

Accounting Software

As noted earlier, FP&A covers a lot of traditional financial activities. They do this to gather accurate financial performance data to inform future plans. Here are several accounting software solutions you can look into for your FP&A work.

5. Intuit QuickBooks Online – Accounting software for small and medium sized businesses


QuickBooks helps small and medium businesses collect, consolidate, and analyze business financial performance in one place.

It is a full-featured package, complete with tools for accounting, invoicing, payroll, inventory, and tax filing. It also handles budgeting, payment processing, expense management, as well as bank account management and reconciliation. Better yet, you can manage your accounts receivable and accounts payable via Quickbooks online.

Pricing: Simple Start ($8/month), Essential ($12.50/month), Plus ($17/month)

6. NetSuite Cloud Accounting – Oracle’s all-in-one accounting tool

Oracle Netsuit

NetSuite Cloud Accounting offers businesses of all sizes a comprehensive accounting solution. With NetSuite, finance leaders can generate rich and interactive reports of their overall accounting and financial performance.

Using rules-based accounting simplifies the data entry process, making it more efficient, but NetSuite can also automate and streamline the A/P and A/R processes as well as manage local and international taxes.

Pricing: Upon Request

Budgeting And Forecasting Software

Better financial planning and forecasting begin with budgeting. A budget serves as a yardstick for comparing performance in the future.

A budget is itself a forecasting tool, but you can also generate individual forecasting reports, such as cash flow forecasts, forecasted income statements, CAPEX budgets, etc. The data from the budget is carried forward to these individual reports.

The following budgeting and forecasting solutions can help your FP&A team.

7. Cube – User-friendly FP&A solution


While many advanced FP&A platforms take weeks to get started on, additional consulting, and constant management, Cube delivers a powerful solution in an intuitive package.

Cube includes enterprise-grade financial modeling, security, consolidation, and validation on the fly. It also collects data from multiple sources, including ERP, CRM, and HRIS sources.

It promises your team will be up and running within 10 days, with full compatibility with your favorite financial management tools (including Excel, Salesforce, Tableau, Xero, Snowflake, and Quickbooks).

Pricing: Starts at $1,250/month for 2 contributors and 2 admins, unlimited scenarios, and integrations with ERPs, etc.

8. Vena – Excel based budgeting and forecasting platform


Vena Budgeting & Forecasting software speeds up your budget creation process by automating tasks, enabling data consolidation, providing templates, and streamlining FP&A workflows. With Vena, you can identify key cost drivers for your various business units and create budgets using that information.

Perhaps the best thing about Vena is its Excel-based interface. Since Excel is used by almost all financial experts, Vena can be a breeze to use. Using a single source of truth, Vena can create a real-time, long-term forecast, and finance teams can then analyze the forecast in-depth and take timely actions.

Pricing: Upon Request

9. Anaplan – Enterprise FP&A platform


Anaplan designed its financial planning and analysis solution to help medium and large businesses leverage complex FP&A workflows.

Its Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) tool facilitates multiple scenarios forecasting on a rolling basis. Alongside Anaplan’s other enterprise-wide financial solutions, you can consolidate, sync, validate, and analyze large amounts of data connected to a single source of truth.

Anaplan also enables your team to use enterprise formulas to create scalable financial models and collaborate across your business units in real-time.

Pricing: Custom pricing

10. Workday Adaptive Planning – Enterprise planning platform


Workday is a popular enterprise-level, financial planning platform. Its enterprise management cloud approach covers financial, operational, workforce, and sales planning.

To power these areas, Workday provides a set of tools to create simple to complex models, workflows, and reporting/analytics.

Pricing: Contact sales

Financial Modeling And Analysis Solutions

The following tools combine financial management processes with modern, collaborative, and cloud-based planning workflows for finance professionals.

11. Datarails – Financial analytics software with excel dode


Datarails aims to help FP&A analysts maintain their Excel financial models while automating and improving them. Datarails integrates with many of the major accounting, ERP, CRM, and data warehouse solutions available today.

After consolidating and validating your data, you decide if you want to keep rows and columns or use a dashboard to view and share your FP&A insights with stakeholders. Either way, you can quickly zoom into your data to answer specific questions in real-time.

Pricing: Custom pricing

12. Planful – Continuous financial planning solution


With this feature-rich platform, you can seamlessly integrate business and financial planning. Besides scenario analysis, Planful emphasizes continuous planning, forecasting, and reporting for marketing, HR, accounting, and FP&A teams.

Planful automates financial planning workflows, enables collaboration across departments, and is highly scalable for large organizations.

Pricing: Upon request by use case

13. Board – Business intelligence solution for FP&A work


Board offers a package of software modules and capabilities. Your team can leverage the tools for analytics, business intelligence, and performance management. Predictive analytics, dashboards, reports, data discovery, and scorecards are among its core modules.

You can integrate Board seamlessly with systems like SAP ERP, Microsoft Azure, SQL databases, and data presentation tools.

Pricing: Upon request

Other powerful FP&A tools suitable for planning and analysis include Jedox, Prophix, and Jirav.

Payroll Processing Software

Payroll processing software helps finance teams process employees’ payrolls, as well as ensure compliance and timely tax filings. They also facilitate tax planning by keeping track of tax credits and deferred tax payments.

14. Gusto – Payroll and benefits solution


Gusto packs a ton of payroll features, including talent, employee benefits, and time/attendance management. Besides, the payroll processing platform also tracks, files, and pays related payroll taxes.

Gusto’s auto calculations eliminate errors, and its integrations with major accounting software help financial leaders review, analyze, and plan their finances with precision. Moreover, your team can create reports on tax credits and tax deferrals to keep track of savings.

Pricing: Core ($39/month + $6 per person), Complete ($39/month + $12 per person), Concierge ($149/month + $12 per person)

15. ADP – Advanced payroll platform for FP&A work


ADP Payroll is an online platform that offers payroll processing services to small, medium, and even large-sized businesses.

ADP also tracks taxes and relevant credits available on behalf of employees. Besides, ADP Payroll includes tools for computing and planning retirement, insurance, and professional employee organization (PEO) tasks.

Pricing: Upon Request

Understand And Optimize Your Cloud Spend – The Easy Way

As today’s business environment becomes increasingly turbulent, you need to be able to adapt quickly based on data — not speculation. It’s hard to keep up with cloud financials when you have no idea what, who, or why your costs keep fluctuating.

Rather, you want to know precisely where you could be losing money. It’s also important to identify what could happen if you increased or decreased investments in a particular area.

Few cloud financial management systems can do that since most just show your total costs and averages, not precisely what you spent on each service, customer, team, product feature, project, etc. But CloudZero does – across AWS, Azure, GCP, Snowflake, and more platforms, too.

to see how CloudZero can help improve your FP&A program in days — not months.