What is Budgeting Software?
Budgeting software is any computer program that helps an individual or business design, manage, monitor and alter their budget. Examples of software range from Microsoft Excel on one end to SAP on the other end. In this article, we will examine and compare various types of software for budgeting purposes.
Types of budgeting software
There are two main categories of budgeting software: business and personal. Business software is typically significantly more complex and more expensive and often requires a high degree of customization. Personal software, on the other hand, can be much simpler and more affordable. This guide will examine options on both sides, starting with business software and then moving on to personal.
Business budgeting software
Below is a non-exhaustive list of popular software options for businesses. Depending on the size of the company and the complexity of its needs, some options may be better than others. Please read each description carefully to find out which could be a good fit for your company.
List of business budgeting software solutions:
- Abila MIP Fund Accounting
- AccuFund Accounting Suite
- Acumatica ERP
- Adaptive Insights
- Budget Maestro
- BudgetPak by XLerant
- Deskera ERP
- Financial Edge by Blackbaud
- QuickBooks Enterprise
- Sage Intacct
- SAP Anywhere
- SAP ERP Core Finance
- VersAccounts Small Business Cloud ERP
Personal budgeting software
Personal budgets are very different from business budgets, not only in the level of complexity but also for the purpose they serve. Most people know they need to have a budget (and stick to it!) but most don’t want to go through the process of making one. In order to make the entire process a little easier, you may want to consider a personal budgeting software to help you along the way.
Below is a non-exhaustive list of personal budgeting software:
- Money Dance
- Money Dance
- Personal Capital
- You Need a Budget (YNAB)
Software and the Budgeting Process
For most people and businesses, budgeting is a continuous process and something that should be revisited as regularly as possible.
For companies, the process typically includes an annual kickoff meeting where the Budget Head is appointed, tasks are delegated, and the annual planning calendar is developed.
Throughout the year, actual results will be compared to the budget, and they will be evaluated using variance analysis.
A software program may be an integral part of this entire process, aiding with the collection of data, analysis of results, and presentation of financial reporting.
Image source: CFI’s Budgeting Course.
Excel vs. Software
You may be surprised how many companies still use Microsoft Excel as their primary budgeting tool. Even though it may seem strange, the unlimited flexibility and sheer simplicity of MS Excel make it something that people just can’t help reverting to.
By using Excel, a financial analyst has full control and full visibility into the numbers. One area where software comes short is that it can be something of a “black box” that can’t be fully audited (or at least, it’s difficult to audit).
While specific budgeting software offers many wonderful benefits, for the financial analyst, Excel is still likely to be a major part of your life.
Thank you for reading this guide on budgeting software. CFI is the official global provider of the Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)™ certification program, designed to help anyone become a world-class financial analyst. To keep advancing your career, the additional CFI resources below will be useful: