Skip to main content

With so many different forecasting solutions available, figuring out which one is right for you is tough. You know you want to analyze historical data, identify trends, and predict future outcomes, but need to figure out which tool is best. I've got you!

In this post, I'll help make your choice easy.

I’ve included a few different types of software on this list; some are simpler platforms intended for a single purpose, while others are more versatile ERP platforms that centralize a company’s entire operations.

I’ll break down the differences between these types of software as I review the best forecasting software.

What is Forecasting Software?

Forecasting software is a digital solution used to predict future trends or outcomes based on historical data and statistical models. It enables businesses to make more accurate predictions, identify potential opportunities or risks, and optimize planning processes.

Features that make this possible include data analysis tools, trend identification, scenario modeling, and predictive analytics.

Overall, this software enables businesses to plan proactively, make more accurate predictions, identify potential opportunities or risks, and optimize planning processes.

Overview Of The Best Forecasting Software For 2024

Based on a combination of features, user-friendliness, versatility, and value, these are my picks for the best forecasting software tools of 2024.

Best CPM software with forecasting

  • Free demo available
  • Price upon request
Visit Website
Rating: 4.6/5

Anaplan can be used for a wide variety of applications, but it’s primarily a corporate performance management (CPM) platform.

Why I picked Anaplan: I selected Anaplan because it does a great job of connecting sales planning and forecasting data with sales performance, giving teams the data they need to create targeted marketing strategies.

Anaplan also has solid demand forecasting features to help make your procurement and supply chain management processes more efficient.

Anaplan Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include sales planning (quotas, capacity plans, territory design, and account segmentation) that can tap into sales insights and analytics.

Anaplan’s Sales Performance Management application uses real-time data and AI-assisted projections to help you customize your marketing strategy based on different scenarios and demand drivers.

I think Anaplan’s predictive warnings are another feature worthy of mention. It’ll notify you of potential inventory gaps, low-stock items, excessive inventory, and other supply chain issues in time for you to actually do something about it.

Integrations include Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google BigQuery, Excel, and more.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Excellent reporting and analytics
  • Advanced forecasting and analysis
  • Extensive budgeting and planning features

Cons:

  • Steep learning curve
  • Implementation can take weeks

Best spreadsheet-native forecasting tool

  • 14-day free trial
  • Pricing upon request
Visit Website
Rating: 4.9/5

LiveFlow is a flexible financial reporting and forecasting tool that’s spreadsheet native, running right on top of popular applications, including Excel and Google Sheets.

Why I picked LiveFlow: I selected LiveFlow mostly for its spreadsheet-native design. It’s very easy to use and lets you turn your existing spreadsheets into live, scalable financial planning and analysis (FP&A) tools.

LiveFlow Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include custom dashboards that can automatically update with real-time data, plus in-sheet communication and collaboration features.

I also like that its budget vs. actual functionality is completely automated and always pulls the most recent data. You get access to a huge template library, too.

Integrations include Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel, Xero, and QuickBooks.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Versatile platform with tons of pre-built templates
  • Solid automation features
  • Great cash flow forecasting

Cons:

  • Limited integrations

Best for Excel-powered financial forecasting

  • 7-day free trial
  • Pricing upon request
Visit Website
Rating: 4.5/5

Vena provides a platform that enhances forecasting software capabilities by leveraging the familiarity and flexibility of Microsoft Excel while incorporating additional features for financial planning and analysis.

Why I picked Vena: I like that Vena builds on Excel's inherent capabilities, offering a dynamic integration that allows for sophisticated data modeling, analysis, and collaboration without abandoning the Excel environment that finance professionals are accustomed to.

Vena Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include artificial intelligence to provide insights and analysis, Vena copilot to assist with financial planning and analysis tasks, and financial models for forecasting and scenario analysis.

The platform also includes workflow capabilities that manage and automate financial processes, collaborative features, sales performance management, financial close management, and a customer portal for users to access Vena resources, including templates, company information, customer stories, video testimonials, and awards and reports.

Integrations include Oracle, SAP, NetSuite, Sage Intacct, Salesforce, QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Dropbox, OneDrive, SFTP, and SharePoint. You can also build custom integrations with Vena API.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Sophisticated financial models and scenarios
  • Familiar Microsoft Excel interface
  • Preconfigured templates and reports

Cons:

  • Setup period can take a long time
  • Mac compatibility issues

Best for advanced forecasting features

  • Free trial + free demo available
  • Pricing upon request
Visit Website
Rating: 4.4/5

Workday Adaptive Planning is an enterprise performance management (EPM) software with a versatile feature set. It’s best used by mid-market and larger firms, as they can benefit most from its collaborative, cross-departmental features.

Why I picked Workday Adaptive Planning: I selected Workday primarily because of its advanced scenario planning and analysis tools. It’s a useful platform for running what-if scenarios, allowing you to forecast the financial and operational outcomes of various production and demand conditions

Workday Adaptive Planning Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include work-anywhere deployment for remote and geographically diverse teams, data and AI-driven financial planning, and predictive analysis.

I really like Workday’s advanced scenario modeling. It’s perfect if you’re needing to test new pricing, analyze marketing strategies, or plan for other contingencies.

Its interactive data visualizations are also great for sharing findings with stakeholders.

Integrations include the Workday software suite and over 600 third-party app integrations. Workday also offers custom integration support (for a fee).

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Excellent data visualization capabilities
  • Cross-platform, access-anywhere workflows
  • Includes reporting tools

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Steep learning curve for new users

Best for business intelligence tools

  • 90-day free trial
  • From $36/user/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.2/5

SAP Analytics Cloud is part of the SAP suite and offers cost-effective business intelligence (BI) solutions. It’s designed to help teams integrate real-time data, forecasts, and projections to make more informed business decisions.

Why I picked SAP Analytics Cloud: I selected SAP Analytics Cloud because it’s an affordable entry point into BI software, starting at $36 per user per month. However, many of the more advanced planning features are only included in the more expensive plans.

SAP Analytics Cloud Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include self-service data modeling, predictive forecasting, and extended scenario planning.

I appreciate how these features combine to enable teams to better understand—and prepare for—shifts in demand and changes in customer preferences.

And given the low-cost nature of this software, SAP Analytics Cloud is an affordable entry point into forecasting software for smaller teams.

Integrations include SAP suite tools, SQL, Google BigQuery, and more.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Solid business intelligence tools at a low cost
  • Module-based pricing via SAP suite lets you build your own package
  • Competitive pricing with a free trial

Cons:

  • Limited planning and forecasting features in the base package
  • Steep learning curve

Best for startups

  • Product demo available
  • From $20 per month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.1/5

LivePlan is a unique software that’s best suited to new business operations. The software’s primary function is to help you build a business plan, complete with projected revenue and financial forecasting—and then to track actual business performance against those projected figures.

Why I picked LivePlan: I selected LivePlan because it’s cost-effective, easy to use, and specifically designed for new businesses.

Unlike many options on this list, LivePlan doesn’t require an extensive implementation period, nor does it require a big budget. Plus, the tool’s extensive business plan library makes it quite easy to get started.

LivePlan Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include a library of 500+ business plan templates, which are very helpful to get a new business off the ground. Plus, if you’re unsure about certain sections in your business plan, LivePlan gives you access to expert guidance.

Their templates also follow the Small Business Association-approved format, which may make it simpler to seek business funding.

LivePlan also makes it easy to project and forecast financial performance based on different scenarios, even for brand-new businesses without any historical sales data for the system to pull from. I also like that LivePlan lets business owners track their actual performance against both budgeted and projected amounts.

Although LivePlan doesn’t currently have any free trial offers available, they do offer a 35-day money-back guarantee—which, to me, means they at least stand behind their product.

Integrations include QuickBooks, Xero, and WinWeb. Exporting to Excel is easy, too.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Profit and cashflow forecasting tools
  • Pre-revenue forecasting features
  • Easy business plan building using 500+ templates

Cons:

  • Limited integrations
  • Limited functionality for established businesses

Best for ease of use

  • Free demo available.
  • Available upon request
Visit Website
Rating: 4.5/5

Cube is a financial planning and analysis (FP&A) software that’s spreadsheet-native. That means that it’s built to work alongside two common spreadsheet solutions (Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets).

Why I picked Cube: I selected Cube because it is the simplest to use due to its spreadsheet-native design. I also like that it has transparent pricing (from $1,250 per month), while most competitors have custom pricing that isn’t advertised upfront.

Cube Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include a spreadsheet-native design for both Sheets and Excel, which makes Cube simple to use, as well as useful operating expense planning and headcount planning features.

I really like how Cube’s spreadsheet-native design makes it simple to use, requiring minimal training and onboarding. The platform serves as a single source for comprehensive business data, which is drawn from integrated tools. It also has an impressive report builder that can help streamline your budgeting process.

Integrations include NetSuite, Sage, HubSpot, Salesforce, QuickBooks, and many more.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Easy integrations with ERP, CRM, HRIS, accounting, and BI platforms
  • User-friendly FP&A capabilities
  • Very user-friendly

Cons:

  • Multicurrency support limited to the more expensive plans

Best for real-time data integration

  • Free demo available.
  • Pricing upon request

Mosaic Tech is a strategic financial planning and CPM software solution. It has great data visualization, analytics, and planning capabilities as well.

Why I picked Mosaic Tech: I selected Mosaic Tech because its forecasting tools automatically draw in real-world data (such as sales figures) as it comes in. This allows for more accurate, more nimble forecasting, particularly for growing businesses experiencing rapid growth or significant shifts in demand.

Mosaic Tech Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include real-time analysis and forecast modeling, plus forecasting features for HR departments (like dynamic headcount forecasting).

I appreciate how Mosaic Tech’s models incorporate the most up-to-date, real-world data—and how its complementary HR tools help teams ensure staffing levels are appropriate for forecasted demand.

Integrations include Workday, HubSpot, NetSuite, Gusto, QuickBooks, and more.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • A strategic finance platform for the entire business operation
  • Infinite scenario planning incorporating real-time data
  • Simple and fast onboarding (as little as 24 hours)

Cons:

  • May be cost-prohibitive for small companies
  • Relatively steep learning curve

Best forecasting software with simple integrations

  • 14-day free trial on select plans
  • From $10,000/year

Jirav is a forecasting and financial modeling tool built for accounting and finance teams. It’s relatively simple to use and even simpler to integrate with third-party tools.

Why I picked Jirav: I selected Jirav because it’s built with simple integrations in mind. While some competing platforms require custom setup and integration support, Jirav is easy to set up with many popular business tools.

Jirav Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include pre-built formulas and templates that make financial models easy to deploy, plus advanced customizable dashboards.

I like Jirav’s versatility here. The templates and formulas mean that just about anyone can start using the software with little to no background knowledge of forecasting tools—and at the same time, Jirav has ample customization features to be utilized by more advanced users.

Integrations include QuickBooks, ADP Payroll, Excel, Google Sheets, HubSpot, Salesforce, and more.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Full-featured free trial available
  • Transparent yearly pricing
  • Easy integrations with dozens of popular tools

Cons:

  • Low user limits (2 admins max on the base plan)

Best for sales forecasting

  • 30-day free trial
  • From $25/user/month (billed annually).

Salesforce Sales Cloud is a CRM (customer relationship management) software designed to manage the entire sales operation. It combines engagement, sales analytics, forecasting, and revenue optimization into one relatively user-friendly platform.

Why I picked Salesforce Sales Cloud: I selected Salesforce Sales Cloud because it’s the #1 sales CRM globally, and it's an all-in-one platform, so it can help with managing your entire sales process.

Salesforce Sales Cloud Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include a complete customer relationship management platform combined with ample sales analytics, AI-enabled forecasting features, and sales force automation.

Its range of features makes Salesforce one of the more versatile sales software and forecasting tools on the market.

Integrations include QuickBooks, Slack, DocuSign, ActiveCampaign, Google Cloud, and more.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • User-friendly
  • All-in-one sales platform
  • Cost-effective pricing for smaller teams

Cons:

  • Dedicated solely to sales; less versatile than ERP platforms
Tools Price
Anaplan Price upon request
LiveFlow Pricing upon request
Vena Pricing upon request
Workday Adaptive Planning Pricing upon request
SAP Analytics Cloud From $36/user/month
LivePlan From $20 per month
Cube Available upon request
Mosaic Tech Pricing upon request
Jirav From $10,000/year
Salesforce Sales Cloud From $25/user/month (billed annually).
Preview Image - <h2 class="c-block__title b-summary-table__title c-listicle__title h3" > Compare Software Specs Side by Side</h2>

Compare Software Specs Side by Side

Use our comparison chart to review and evaluate software specs side-by-side.

Compare Software

Other Forecasting Software Options

If you didn’t quite find the right tool for your organization, these alternative forecasting software providers might be worth a look:

  1. Pigment

    Best for collaboration

  2. Zoho Finance Plus

    Best financial software suite with forecasting

  3. Abacum

    Best for teams with 100-500 users

  4. Float

    Best for capacity and scheduling forecasting

  5. Causal

    Best for custom data modeling

  6. Jedox

    Best for forecasting with performance management

  7. Budgyt

    Best for team-based budgeting and forecasting

  8. Abacum

    Best for headcount planning

  9. IBM Planning Analytics

    Best enterprise-level forecasting platform

Selection Criteria for Forecasting Software

The following are the primary criteria I considered when compiling this list of the best forecasting software:

Core Functionality

At its core, depending on what kind of forecasting software you need, it should enable your organization to:

  • Forecast financial performance: Forecasting software should allow you to accurately forecast estimates of future financial metrics, like revenue and gross margins, based on a wide variety of data inputs.
  • Forecast sales, revenue, and demand: Forecasting software should help teams estimate future sales figures, gross revenue, demand shifts, and more.
  • Financial budgeting: Software should help teams prepare budgets across specific projects as well as enterprise-wide financial budgets. Budgets should be based on historical data and future projections.
  • Ledger tracking: Many forecasting software will also include functionality to track accounts payable, accounts receivable, and other general ledger accounts. If the tool does not have these features, it’ll need to be paired with an accounting solution (and ideally should integrate directly with that tool).

Key Features

There are some fundamental features that are important to look for in forecasting software. While each organization will have different preferences and needs, these are the key features that most companies will benefit from using.

Features to look for
  • Sales forecasting & production scheduling: Software should be able to forecast sales estimates based on factors such as seasonal demand, pricing shifts, and historical trends. Additionally, it should have tools to help teams schedule production based on forecasted demand.
  • Budget vs. actuals (variance reports): Budgeting is a primary function of forecasting software, but the best tools also allow users to create variance reports. These compare budgets/projections to actual figures, which makes it easier to identify soft spots in forecasting and tweak future operations to better match budgeted figures.
  • Scenario planning: Forecasting software should enable teams to model scenarios based on a variety of inputs. For instance, tools should help to forecast sales based on variable pricing/discounting strategies and seasonal variables.
  • Budget consolidation: Software should be able to consolidate budget, forecasting, and planning data into actionable information to be shared with internal teams. Most organizations typically consolidate on an annual basis, but greater insight can potentially be gained by using software to consolidate and prepare reports more efficiently—and more frequently.
  • Automated data consolidation: Ideally, software tools should automate much of the data collection and integration process. They should be able to pull in data from integrated tools (CRM, POS, ERP, accounting tools, etc.) and consolidate said data in a centralized location.
  • Custom reporting: Tools should be able to export findings into user-friendly reports, which can be shared with internal (and potentially external) stakeholders. Ideally, reports should be intuitive and understandable for those without direct experience with the producing software solution.

Usability

Forecasting software should be easy to use, ideally with minimal training. Teams should also consider the number of users who will need to access and use the software, as many tools charge a fee for additional users. Finally, forecasting software should have reporting capabilities that allow users to share findings with stakeholders in a digestible format.

Integrations

To work effectively, forecasting software should draw data from your existing systems and tools, including your accounting and financial reporting platforms.

You’ll also want to consider outgoing integrations for reporting, project management, and collaboration with your teams. Ideally, integrations should be self-managed and not require too much assistance from support teams.

What are the Different Types of Forecasting Software?

Forecasting software can take a few different forms. The primary categories are outlined below.

Financial forecasting software

Budgeting and forecasting software focuses on financial details, covering revenue estimates, operating expense planning, and financial budgeting. Basic features in this realm may be included in accounting platforms, but many organizations could benefit from dedicated financial forecasting software.

Sales forecasting software focuses on the sales side of things and typically has more features for analyzing the effects of different marketing strategies (discounts, bundling, etc.). Sales forecasting tools are helpful in giving sales teams more accurate targets while also helping supply chain and production managers plan inventory levels and production targets accordingly.

Demand forecasting software focuses on the demand side of the equation, helping businesses optimize inventory levels, plan for shifts in seasonal demand, and track consumer trends and buyer behavior.

Capacity and workforce forecasting software focuses on labor, production capacity, and workflow planning while integrating projected demand and sales data. It’s useful for HR and executive teams to ensure their workforce can keep up with forecasted sales.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software offers a versatile feature set to centralize most or all of your operating and planning efforts. ERP platforms are the most expensive of the lot but also the most flexible in how they can be deployed and used.

Some software tools combine multiple focus areas, while others are dedicated to a specific feature set. The best forecasting tool for your team depends on your specific needs—as well as the size of the business, the industry, and other variables.

People Also Ask

Below you’ll find my answers to some common questions people have about forecasting software.

What is financial forecasting?

Financial forecasting is a process businesses and organizations engage in to plan out future financial projections and how those projections might influence business decisions. Forecasting involves estimating future financial outcomes for a company, a division, or even a specific project or product.

Findings from financial forecasting procedures can be used in budgeting, tax planning, and valuation.

How does forecasting software assist finance teams?

Good forecasting software helps teams by automating parts of the forecasting process, including complex calculations based on multiple inputs and variables. Software can also help teams prepare detailed reports to share with stakeholders.

How much does forecasting software cost?

Forecasting software is a broad term that encompasses a few different types of software, and pricing can vary considerably.

Many companies opt for simple financial forecasting software, which is the cost-effective option. Pricing for basic forecasting software varies based on the number of users and the scope of features you need. You can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to several hundred dollars per month (and perhaps even more, for large teams).

Large organizations often opt for full-fledged enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, which is usually quite expensive (several thousand dollars per month).

Summary

Forecasting software helps companies plan for and adapt to changes with key insights into operations, cash flow, and financial performance. But it’s important to choose a software solution that’s a good fit for your particular use case—and preferably one that also fits in well with your existing software stack. The options on this list are the best forecasting software tools on the market currently.

For more financial insight or the latest tech industry news, subscribe to our newsletter for weekly resources, podcasts, and advice from financial leaders.

By Simon Litt

Simon Litt is the Editor of The CFO Club, where he shares his passion for all things money-related. Performing research, talking to experts, and calling on his own professional background, he'll be working hard to ensure that The CFO Club is an indispensable resource for anyone seeking to stay informed on the latest financial trends and topics in the world of tech.

Prior to editing this publication, Simon spent years working in, and running his own, investor relations agency, servicing public companies that wanted to reach and connect deeper with their shareholder base. Simon's experience includes constructing comprehensive budgets for IR activities, consulting CEOs & executive teams on best practices for the public markets, and facilitating compliant communications training.