Budgeting, like dieting, can be challenging—it requires both emotional commitment and self-restraint. But to run a successful business, you need to plan, forecast, and manage a budget. 📝
Luckily, these days, you don’t have to do it by yourself—there are plenty of business budgeting software tools 🛠 available to save you time and burdensome administrative work.
Here at Relay, we help small businesses manage their finances through better banking. After seeing first-hand the struggles that can come with small business budgeting, we decided to put together this guide on the best budgeting software tools.
In this article, we’ll cover:
First things first, before we dive into our recommendations for the best small business budgeting software, we need to understand what it is. 👇
What is business budgeting software?
Businesses of all sizes benefit from financial discipline. But it's hard to grasp your bottom line without understanding your small business's income and expenses. Fortunately, the right business budgeting software provides a comprehensive financial overview.
Budgeting tools help you track spending, set your pricing, manage cash flow, and automate tasks while minimizing errors.
But just like small business budgets vary, so do budgeting software solutions. Some tools focus on day-to-day financial management, while others offer advanced planning and auto-generated financial statements (e.g., profit and loss, balance sheets, cash flow reports).
From simple spreadsheets like Google Sheets and Excel to cash flow forecasting and advanced modeling tools, budgeting software can help you manage cash flow and plan for the future.
Benefits of budgeting software
According to data from a report by Clutch, nearly 50% of small businesses did not create an official budget in 2021. When you consider that 99.9% of all U.S. businesses are small businesses, the number of companies not using a budget is quite high. And these businesses could be missing out on some serious financial benefits. 🙌
Simply put, business budgeting software helps business owners manage their money more effectively. But that’s not the only reason why businesses invest in these tools. Small business budgeting software can also help you:
Improve the accuracy of financial planning and financial reporting
Integrate your planning and budgeting strategies across finance teams
Manage cash flow and create pricing plans
Consolidate financial data
Organize financial data across multiple dashboards
Protect sensitive information with cloud-based software security features
Simplify bookkeeping tasks with software integrations for business bank accounts
Streamline financial reporting for all team members
Collect better financial data and make informed decisions
Track your spending and accomplish your small business’s financial goals
The best business budgeting tools for small businesses
We know researching budgeting tools can be time-consuming. That’s why we did some of the homework for you! We’ve compiled a list of the best business budgeting tools for small businesses.
These software solutions seriously need to be on your radar. Here you’ll find business budgeting software solutions that offer everything from simple tools to track spending to advanced cash flow forecasting services. 🔍
Let’s dive in! 👇
Who's it for: Businesses of all sizes looking for accounting software, too (or who are already using QuickBooks Online!)
QuickBooks Online is a small business accounting and budgeting tool used by small business owners and their accountants all over the world. QuickBooks Online is one of the most robust accounting tools in the market and comes packed with budgeting features, such as expense tracking, budget plans, and custom reporting.
One downside of QuickBooks Online is that those who don’t have formal financial training may experience a steep learning curve with this software. 😬 However, many users feel it’s well worth the time and effort required to properly leverage this software.
That’s because Quickbooks Online offers so many user-friendly functions, like all-in-one accounting tools. Not to mention, multiple users can easily collaborate, allowing you to streamline otherwise complex financial processes.
There are tax prep features for self-employed users and tons of free resources available on their website and across the Internet. Given the many features that this budgeting software offers, it’s easy to see why so many small businesses–and their accountants–love Quickbooks Online.
Simple Start plan: $15/month
Essentials plan: $30/month
Plus plan (unlimited features): $40/month
Advanced plan (additional automation and access features): $100/month
Who is it for: Small businesses looking for accounting software, too (or who are already using Xero)
Accounting software makes it easier to manage your books. Xero is a well-known, cloud-based accounting software. It offers many built-in budgeting features for small businesses.
Due to limited reporting features, this software may only work for small companies and medium-sized businesses. 🤔 That said, Xero offers basic budgeting functionalities, providing the simplicity and flexibility many small business owners need.
Xero makes it easy to generate budget reports, track your spending and earning, and generate accurate accounting reports. Plus, finance teams can increase visibility with Xero’s robust partner integration options. ✅
Who's it for: Small businesses looking for accounting software (or who are already using Freshbooks!)
Freshbooks is a relatively newer player in the cloud-based accounting space, but like many of its direct competitors, the platform also offers basic business budgeting tools for small businesses. With FreshBooks, you can create and view estimates and manage your budget efficiently with their expense tracking system. 📊
Freshbooks is ideal for businesses that conduct project-based work. Not only can you create customized budgets for each project, but you can also track time, project management performance, and profitability within the software.
While there are limited features for complex enterprise budgeting needs, Freshbooks offers users many benefits. For instance, you can track and generate income statements, balance sheets, and other financial documents. 🗂️
Plus, easy-to-use features–like project-based reporting and time tracking–streamline the budgeting process and provide helpful insights to help you boost your bottom line.
Lite Plan: $6.80/month
Plus Plan: $12/month
Premium Plan: $22/month
Who's it for: Businesses looking for basic FP&A features
Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) tools help companies perform planning, forecasting, reporting, and analysis that support vital business decisions. FP&A relies heavily on data and reporting, which is precisely what Budgeto specializes in doing.
This financial management platform is used by small businesses to create annual budgets, financial projections, and financial reports, plus to manage cash flow. 💸
Keep in mind that Budgeto doesn’t currently offer CSV data import services, nor does it have auto-save features. It’s a relatively new software tool that lacks some of these more advanced features.
But it’s still a good option if you’re looking for budgeting features like financial reporting, financial analysis, cash flow forecasting, and financial projections. The good news is you can also import data from programs like Quickbooks Online and Xero. 💻
14-day free trial
Basic plan: $25/month and options to a max of $45/month
You Need a Budget (YNAB)
Who's it for: Small businesses who need help with FP&A tasks
If you’re creating your first budget and have no idea where to start, then You Need A Budget (YNAB) is the app for you. This popular personal finance tool also offers small business budgeting software solutions.
YNAB is easy to set up, syncs with all your bank and credit card accounts, and will guide you through the process of creating your first budget. 💰
YNAB was first created to help with personal finance needs. That said, this tool may lack some business features that other software tools offer.
Still, YNAB offers tons of user-friendly features for small businesses. You can create real-time financial data reports or track, manage, and pay off business-related credit card debt. Plus, you can budget anywhere, anytime, in YNAB’s easy-to-use mobile app.
Free 34-day trial
Who's it for: Businesses who need help with FP&A tasks, too
Not confident with your financial knowledge? Do you hate spreadsheets? If so, then LivePlan may be the perfect budgeting software for you.
LivePlan takes you step-by-step through the process of creating the powerful financial reports you need for your business plan—simply fill out all the questions they ask you, and their system will do the rest. 📊
LivePlan’s built-in formulas generate highly accurate reports and automated financial statements. You can create a complete financial forecast and sharpen your financial reporting skills with LivePlan’s database of 500+ sample financial reports. But keep in mind that integrating Quickbooks Online or Xero may require a plan upgrade. 💰
Standard: $20/month when billed monthly
Premium: $40/mo when billed monthly
Who's it for: Businesses that need advanced forecasting features
Cash flow and forecasting software is used to plan financial resources needed to support future business activities. This type of software allows companies to estimate future expenses, projected pricing plans, and potential revenues across different departments.
Float is a project tracking, visual forecasting, and budget management software that helps provide more clarity to your company’s budgets and cash flow. 💡
Keep in mind that Float’s services are future-forward. So, it’s not ideal for day-to-day or week-to-week financial forecasting and planning.
While pricing can get expensive, Float offers tons of helpful services, such as visual reporting, cash flow forecasting, expense tracking, and integrations for QuickBooks Online, Xero, and FreeAgent. ✅
14-day free trial
Who’s it for: Project-based businesses like agencies and consultancies
Scoro combines budgeting features with other tools to manage your entire company in one system. You can also manage expenses and resources, analyze financial data, and manage project budgets all in one dashboard.
Combined with its project management tools, this makes Scoro perfect for agencies and professional service firms that work on a project-based model. 💻
However, since Scoro was built for agencies and consultancies, it may not be ideal for other business types. For example, there are some sales pipeline forecasting limitations.
That said, Scoro makes it easy to access information by combining budgeting, CRM, and project management tools. This all-in-one budgeting solution also offers features like budget planning and forecasting, financial reports and analysis, a KPI dashboard, and project-based budgets. 📝
14-days free trial
Essential Plan: $28/month/user when billed monthly
Standard Plan: $42/month/user when billed monthly
Pro Plan: $71/month/user when billed monthly
Ultimate Plan: Price available upon request
Workday Adaptive Planning
Who's it for: Enterprise companies that need a comprehensive budgeting tool
If your business is growing and you need budgeting software that’s more customizable to your needs, then this enterprise solution may be what you’re looking for. 🔎
Workday Adaptive Planning is an enterprise planning software solution designed for businesses of all sizes (including small businesses, startups, medium-sized businesses, and more).
This software makes consolidating any number of spreadsheets and other sources of data a breeze. You can organize, plan, model, budget, and easily analyze your financial data once it’s in Workday. 🙌
Its comprehensive budgeting and forecasting tools include revenue management, capital management, expense management, and financial statements. Easy-to-produce balance sheets let you track cash flow data in a few clicks. Plus, visual spreadsheets–like Excel syncs–and presentation dashboards provide excellent financial insights.
Since the features are so expansive, there may be a steep learning curve when you first start using this tool. That said, it’s typically a better fit for larger businesses due to the cost and services.
Pricing available upon request
Who's it for: Larger businesses that manage tech stacks
Cube provides a 360-degree view of business finances with tools for data management, reporting, analysis, planning, and modeling. For companies that use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, Cube can be that tech stack connector providing a single source of truth for all your data. 💻
Cube is ideal for larger businesses with ERP and can be very costly. Still, some businesses choose Cube because it allows them to pull data from CRM, ERP, and other tech stacks into an intelligent spreadsheet reader. 📊
Financial planning features, like performance management and reporting, help businesses track revenue projections in real time. Plus, Cube provides an auto trail of data so you can see who, when, and why a change was made, thus allowing teams to collaborate seamlessly across departments.
Cube Go: starts at $1,500/month
Cube Pro: starts at $2,800/month
Cube Enterprise: custom plans and prices
Who's it for: Larger businesses with complex budgeting needs
Prophix is a corporate performance management (CPM) software that provides organizations with tools to gather, analyze, and report financial data. Prophix automates data collection, providing businesses with consistent, accurate, and real-time information that can be used for daily, monthly, or long-term financial planning.
Prohpix offers robust features that can be overwhelming at times. That said, this somewhat costly software is ideal for larger businesses.
Cube can produce complex financial reports and conduct advanced analytics. Users find Cube’s clean interface and clear visuals easy to review. Plus, Cube offers dashboard views that let you drill down into data at a granular level.
Cube’s security features are great, too. For instance, Cube offers strong encryption to protect your financial data. It also offers in-house implementation, team onboarding, and seamless Microsoft 365 data integration.
Available upon request
Who's it for: Larger businesses in need of forecasting services
Planguru offers dynamic financial planning, cash flow forecasting, and business budgeting services. It helps businesses gain in-depth financial insights—this software even allows you to test the future financial impact of certain decisions before you make them.
Planguru’s complex templates may intimidate some users. Plus, some small businesses may find the plans to be too expensive. That said, Planguru offers some great features–such as dynamic, real-time financial forecasting, flexible budgeting structures, and a custom Excel report builder.
Single Entity: $83/month; add $25/month for additional users.
Multi-Department Consolidations: $250/month for up to three users; add $25/month for additional users.
Who is it for: Businesses of all sizes that use spreadsheets
If you love Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets but want something more advanced, there’s Tiller. It takes all of your information—from your bank accounts, credit cards, and investment accounts—and feeds it directly into a Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets file. From there, you can design your own spreadsheets or use their pre-made budgeting templates.
Tiller is best suited to those who want simplicity. What it lacks in advanced planning features, Tiller makes up for in practical, day-to-day offerings.
Tiller auto-pulls and categorizes transactions from the bank and syncs them to Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel. You can use prebuilt templates for budgeting and expense tracking.
Plus, Tiller lets you create custom auto-categorization rules and set up daily emails summarizing your transactions. You can rest easy knowing your data is protected with Tiller’s bank-grade encryption, too.
30-day free trial, then $79/year
Alternatives to small business budgeting software
Business budgeting software tools are great to have in your financial arsenal. But a business banking platform can help take your cash flow to the next level. That’s where Relay comes into the picture.
Relay is an online banking and money management platform designed for small businesses—and it’s a great solution to help you stick to your budget, once you’ve made it.
Or, if you feel overwhelmed by budgeting software and spreadsheets, Relay is also a good alternative. With Relay, you can open 20 individual business checking accounts. Then, you can organize your cash across accounts dedicated to different types of expenses, like payroll and operating expenses. 🗂️
This kind of budgeting is often called envelope budgeting or multiple bank account budgeting. It’s a simple method of business budgeting that allows you to see where you’re at with your cash at a glance–so if you’re trying to make a spending decision, all you need to do is open your mobile banking app and see how much money you have left in that category’s checking account.
With Relay, there are no minimum balance requirements and no fees. Plus, you can issue up to 50 physical or virtual debit cards to organize your business spending even further!
Business checking built for business owners
No account fees or minimum balances; 20 checking accounts; 50 virtual and physical debit cards. Open account 100% online.Learn more
If you’re interested in implementing your budget with Relay, you can sign up here (completely online) in just 10 minutes. 💸
The bottom line on small business budgeting software
And there you have it, a complete buyer’s guide for the best small business budgeting software! You should now have a much better understanding of your available options and be one step closer to making the best decision for your business. Good luck! 🍀