Editor in Chief (interim) AccountingWEB
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Help for accountants seeking planning tools

3rd Oct 2018
Editor in Chief (interim) AccountingWEB
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Cloud forecasting tools
Cloud forecasting tools

AccountingWEB is proud to announce the publication of user-powered software reviews comparing the leading planning and analysis applications used by accountants.

Our new comparison of the top forecasting, planning and analysis applications (FP&A) is based on more than 250 individual product reviews posted in the Accounting Excellence Awards software survey. The FP&A edition is accompanied by two other category comparisons: expenses management and practice management software.

Each product has been rated by users for functionality, support, ease of use and value for money and their willingness to recommend the product to other users. We are taking the data that determines who wins the Accounting Excellence software awards and using it to help the wider population of accounting software buyers to find the right product.

The rating questionnaire remains open and will be used to update individual product pages with new reviews and insights from users.

Other app comparison sites are available, but what makes AccountingWEB’s software reviews different is that they focus in on the products that are most regularly used by accountants and draw on hundreds of individual product assessments.

The results are compiled in a quick-reference comparison table that lets you filter the list down to the types of functionality and customer profile you are looking for.

As part of the information exchange to gain access to this research, you can unlock warts and all assessments of individual applications by sharing your details with AccountingWEB.

The information you provide through the software survey allows us to monitor what’s happening in this fast-moving market.

The FP&A adoption curve is beginning to follow the path we saw in the SME accounting market during 2007-9 when disruptive new cloud entrants started to challenge the desktop market leaders. It’s a slower burn, but the proportion of accounting software respondents using forecasting, planning and analysis (FP&A) software continues to show consistent, long-term growth, rising from 8.5% of the accounting software population in 2017 to 11% in 2018.

And as we recently reported, forecasting tools for practitioners are leading the adoption curve with accountants in mid-size and large businesses beginning to come up on the rails. Drawing on both Accounting Excellence Award data and our software survey, the chart below shows that more than one in five of our entrants this year said they were using some kind of analytic app – a 30% jump on last year, when many practitioners were distracted by the impending Making Tax Digital regime for income tax (since delayed until 2020 or beyond).

The blue line on the chart below traces the leading edge practitioner trendline. Below that is a red line showing the figure for FP&A app use as a percentage of the overall accounting software population in our software surveys, and the lowest (green) line illustrates a subset for mid-market and enterprise accounting software users.

Forecasting, planning & analysis software use 2013-18

Forecasting, planning and analysis software adoption trends 2013-18

The FP&A software landscape is a patchy one. With just 328 responses gathered in this category, it can be harder to match the detail we can provide on more mainstream applications. Our survey drew only a handful of ratings for reporting and analysis modules built into existing accounting systems and DIY Excel analysis tools. There was a smattering of Power BI users among the responses, so it will be interesting to track whether Microsoft’s secret weapon begins to exert an influence in this market in the coming year.

However, there were enough responses to focus in on the apps that matter most to accountants, and what we found was that much of the growth in this market is being fuelled by specialist cash apps Float (2017) and this year's category winner, Fluidly, which together accounted for half of our survey respondents in the FP&A category this year.

To find out more detail about all the leading apps in this sector, visit our new forecasting, planning and analysis (FP&A) software reviews page.

Replies (1)

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By Michael Ford
04th Oct 2018 10:31

Probably need to add Castaway Forecasting into the selection list.

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