• 10 Best Business Budgeting Software Tools for 2023

PlanGuru: Income Statement

  • Detailed forecasting capabilities
  • Compatible with Excel and QuickBooks
  • Suitable for small to medium-sized businesses and nonprofits

Prophix: Unified Platform

  • Cloud and on-premise implementation
  • Spreadsheet-style interface
  • Supports all types of financial and non-financial budgeting

Budgyt: Users

  • Cloud-hosted
  • Easy-to-use by any industry
  • General ledger import/export feature

1 PlanGuru - Best Overall

2 prophix - best for large organizations, 3 budgyt - best for small to medium-sized businesses, 4 float - best for visual storytelling, 5 scoro - best for integrated financial management, 6 datarails - best for mid-sized companies, 7 mosaic - best for real-time collaboration, 8 workday - best for streamlining workflows, 9 quickbooks online - best for small businesses, 10 onestream - best for corporate finance, criteria for recommending business budgeting software, what is business budgeting software, benefits of business budgeting software, choosing the right business budgeting software, frequently asked questions, all products.

Having the right budgeting software is crucial for staying ahead of the competition and making informed financial decisions. We’ve compiled a comprehensive review of the top 10 business budgeting software solutions for 2023, highlighting their unique features and benefits to help you make the right choice.

Why We Chose It: PlanGuru shines for its detailed forecasting abilities, tailor-made for small to medium-sized businesses and nonprofits. The software plays nice with Excel and QuickBooks, making it easy to plug into existing workflows. Features like cash flow projections, financial ratios, and debt modeling allow users to manage budgets using real-time cash flow data.

Despite its power, the software keeps its pricing under wraps, which might make budgeting for the budgeting software a bit ironic. Still, for detailed financial planning, PlanGuru is tough to beat.

PlanGuru: Income Statement

Why We Chose It: Prophix stands out as the ideal budgeting software for large organizations due to its robust set of features designed to streamline complex processes. It uses OLAP technology for multi-dimensional planning, which ditches the clunky spreadsheets and broken formulas for a more seamless planning model.

Prophix also automates the cumbersome tasks of data collection, versioning, and consolidation, saving both time and resources. With built-in capabilities for top-down and bottom-up planning, organizations get the flexibility to approach budgeting and planning in a way that aligns with their specific needs.

The software excels in fostering collaboration across teams, offering functionalities like task ownership and deadline reminders to keep everyone aligned. Additionally, Prophix uses artificial intelligence to automate repetitive tasks and provide deep data insights, freeing up managers to focus on more strategic work. Its reporting features are particularly strong, enabling automated maintenance and updates, and providing actionable insights through personalized dashboards.

Prophix: Unified Platform

Why We Chose It: Budgyt offers a user-friendly interface combined with powerful budgeting features, making it ideal for small to midsized businesses. With its scalability, robust reporting tools, and real-time data updates, Budgyt streamlines budget creation and tracking, thereby saving time and reducing errors.

Its budget versioning and “what-if” analysis allow businesses to quickly adapt to market changes. Also, the software’s accessibility across devices makes collaboration easy, ensuring that team members can contribute to budget planning and monitoring regardless of location.

Budgyt: Users

Why We Chose It: Float is the go-to budgeting software for businesses that need visual storytelling to navigate their financial future. With features like real-time cash flow forecasting and project tracking, Float lets you map out your finances to steer clear of risks. Its intuitive dashboard replaces cumbersome spreadsheets, offering real-time data synced with your accounting platform for always-up-to-date visual forecasts.

What sets Float apart is its ability to model countless scenarios, answering crucial ‘What if?’ questions and aiding strategic planning. This visualization aspect is not just eye-candy; it’s a powerful tool for making informed decisions, like when to hire or how to handle cash flow gaps. Coupled with high user reviews and seamless integration with accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks, Float makes visual financial storytelling not just possible, but practical and effective.

Float: Float Cash Flow

Why We Chose It: Scoro is the top pick for businesses that want a unified solution for budgeting and financial management. With Scoro, you not only get to plan and track budgets but can also manage invoices, harness powerful reporting, and integrate with your existing accounting software. The platform provides real-time overviews of your financials, replacing the need to shuffle between spreadsheets and other tools.

What sets Scoro apart is its comprehensive feature set that goes beyond simple budgeting. The platform allows you to compare multiple budget scenarios against real revenues, costs, and profits. Its enterprise-level reporting is unparalleled, offering insights on everything from budget deficits and surpluses to real-time sales margins. Plus, its ability to divide budgets by various categories—like projects, users, or accounting objects—adds an extra layer of customization and control.

Scoro: Dashboard

Why We Chose It: Datarails delivers where it matters for mid-sized companies, specifically in project collaboration and financial management. It not only allows for forecasting and planning but brings automation and real-time updates into the mix. If your team lives and breathes Excel, you’ll find Datarails to be a snug fit.

The downside? Pricing info is MIA, which might be a deal-breaker for some. Still, for financial management that hits the sweet spot for mid-sized companies, Datarails has got the goods.

DataRails: Insights

Why We Chose It: Mosaic stands out for real-time collaboration by fostering a unified “set of truth” across an organization. Its role-based permissions and custom dashboards ensure the right data gets to the right people, eliminating informational silos.

On the decision-making front, Mosaic’s live tracking of forecast vs. actuals allows teams to respond to real-time insights swiftly, and in-app notes make collaborative planning a breeze. All of this culminates in not just sharing data, but having a two-way conversation with it, making Mosaic an ideal pick for real-time collaboration.

Mosaic: Actuals

Why We Chose It: We selected Workday Adaptive Planning as the best for streamlining workflows largely because of its versatile planning capabilities and real-time adaptiveness. The software breaks down silos with features like rolling forecasts and various budgeting approaches (top-down, bottom-up, incremental, and zero-based), allowing for a more cohesive and agile planning process.

Additionally, its driver-based expense planning and seamless integration with other enterprise solutions ensure that you’re not just planning but effectively executing and adapting those plans in real-time, ultimately making workflows more efficient.

Workday Adaptive Planning: Consolidation Report

Why We Chose It: QuickBooks Online stands out for its robust budgeting features tailored for small businesses. Automated future cash flow forecasting allows you to see your financial trajectory based on current data and market trends, helping you make informed decisions. Bank integrations streamline financial reporting by automatically pulling in transactions, saving you time and reducing errors.

With QuickBooks, you can create a detailed budget that gives you control over your cash flow, something essential when 63% of small business owners are using personal funds due to inadequate budgeting. The software is designed for accuracy and ease of use, making it less likely you’ll make budgeting mistakes while allowing you to focus on growing your business.

QuickBooks Online: Sales Dashboard

Why We Chose It: OneStream is the go-to for corporate finance thanks to its sophisticated features that support extended planning and analysis (xP&A) across multiple departments like Sales, Marketing, and Supply Chain. The software offers a unified platform for data-driven insights, allowing continuous planning and performance management. Key features like Agile Planning and Scenarios streamline the process of adapting to market changes, while its predictive analytics instantly seed budgets and forecasts without requiring technical expertise.

Not only does OneStream allow for in-depth strategic planning and modeling, it also provides extensive flexibility in how these plans can be implemented and adjusted. The platform’s Extensible Dimensionality® enables granular operational plans to co-exist with corporate and line-of-business plans, making it a comprehensive solution for complex corporate financial needs. With capabilities like “What-if” driver-based planning, you can immediately visualize the impact of your decisions, aiding in smarter, faster decision-making.

OneStream: Long Term Plan

  • Ease of Use: We look for interfaces that are intuitive and don’t require a steep learning curve. You don’t want to spend weeks training your team to use the software.
  • Integration: The ability to sync with other tools you’re already using (like QuickBooks, or even Excel) is a big plus. The smoother the integration, the less hassle you’ll have transferring data.
  • Scalability: You want software that will grow with you. If you’re a small business now but plan to expand, choose software that offers additional features you can unlock as you grow.
  • Customization: The software should allow you to tailor reports, dashboards, and other features according to your needs.
  • Real-Time Updates: Real-time data can provide you with the most current financial picture, which is crucial for making informed decisions.
  • Affordability: Watch out for hidden costs like set-up fees, additional charges for premium features, or limits on the number of users. Get a full understanding of the pricing model.
  • Security: Your financial data is sensitive. Ensure the software follows best practices for data encryption and security protocols.
  • Customer Support: Especially if you’re new to budgeting software, having robust customer support can make the transition much easier.
  • Trial Period: A free trial period or a money-back guarantee can give you the peace of mind to ensure the software suits your needs before fully committing.

Business budgeting software is a digital tool designed to automate and streamline the budgeting process. It provides a centralized platform for financial planning, tracking income and expenses, and forecasting future financial scenarios.

Unlike traditional methods such as spreadsheets, which are often error-prone and time-consuming, these tools offer advanced features like real-time data updates and integration with other financial tools to make financial management more accurate and efficient.

  • Automated Data Collection: Say goodbye to manual data entry. These tools pull in financial data automatically, reducing the chance of errors.
  • Comprehensive Reporting: Generate budget variance reports, cash flow forecasts, and other key performance indicators (KPIs) at the click of a button.
  • Time Savings: Automation and real-time updates free up your time for more strategic tasks, like long-term financial planning.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: Cloud-based solutions allow for easy sharing and collaborative editing, so everyone on the team can access up-to-date information.
  • Strategic Planning: With data and analytics at your fingertips, you can make more informed decisions faster.
  • Financial Health: Regular, precise tracking of income and expenditures helps you understand your financial standing and make adjustments as needed.
  • Scalability: As your business grows, good budgeting software will adapt, providing more robust features to meet new demands.

In summary, if you’re tired of spreadsheets or looking for a more streamlined and accurate way to manage your finances, business budgeting software can be a game-changer.

Choosing the correct budgeting software for your business hinges on several factors, including features, pricing, scalability, financial complexity, and integration options. Evaluating your specific needs and requirements is a crucial step before selecting a software solution. Don’t forget to take advantage of free trials and discounts, evaluate the complexity of your finances, and review integrations to find the best budgeting software for your business.

We hope this comprehensive review of the top 10 business budgeting software solutions for 2023 has provided you with valuable insights and guidance in choosing the best tool for your organization. Remember that the right budgeting software can significantly impact your business’s financial planning and decision-making process.

How do I create a budget for my small business?

To create a budget for your small business, commit to creating a budget, consider revenue and list costs, create profit and loss statements and balance sheets, include extra funds, and finish the budget. Negotiate costs with suppliers, estimate revenue, and factor in seasonal and industry trends. Additionally, keep separate personal and business accounts, choose a budgeting tool, project cash flow, calculate gross profit and net profit, and divide the net profit.

Is Quickbooks a budgeting software?

Quickbooks is an accounting software with budgeting capacilities that helps businesses to create and edit their budgets on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis, with data automatically pre-filled. It also enables users to compare actual income and expenses with the budgeted amounts.

What is the best budgeting tool for Quickbooks?

For the best budgeting tool for QuickBooks, I recommend Jirav ’s cloud-based planning and analysis solution to save time and add value as a finance leader, or Budgeto, an easy-to-use budgeting app. These tools offer robust features that allow you to forecast the future of your business and ask the right questions to offer the best advice to your colleagues.

What is cloud based forecasting?

Cloud-based Forecasting is a method that utilizes machine learning algorithms and predictive models to forecast the reliability and performance of cloud server systems. It is used to increase accuracy and provide customer-defined forecasting solutions for supply chain problems. Additionally, it can be used to predict future cloud cost spending based on historical data and upcoming project costs.

PlanGuru Screenshot

Workday Adaptive Planning

QuickBooks Online Screenshot

QuickBooks Online

OneStream Screenshot

We searched and searched, but we couldn’t find any products in our database that match your criteria. Perhaps our team of software experts can help? They’d be happy to provide a list of free recommendations that meet your exact requirements.

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  • Best overall: QuickBooks Online
  • Most user-friendly budgeting: Xero
  • Most scalable tool: Zoho Books
  • Best ERP: NetSuite
  • Best expense management: Spendesk
  • Best cash forecasting: Workday Adaptive Planning
  • Best for stakeholder collaboration: Cube

Turning a profit seems simple in concept: Earn more than you spend. But as anyone who’s tried to make, follow or revise a budget can tell you, it’s a bit more complicated than that. So it’s good that, these days, we can do a lot better than a box full of receipts and a messy spreadsheet. With modern financial software, teams can finally vanquish even the biggest of accounting headaches.

However, getting from stressful to stress-free requires the answers to two questions: What tools should we use, and how do we leverage them best?

That’s where this list comes in. The seven budgeting tools below represent some of the best this corner of the SaaS market has to offer. And while it’s not comprehensive, this list should give you some starting points for your own search and help highlight some of the most important aspects to consider.

Top accounting software comparison

In an effort to keep this lengthy post from stretching into a very dry novella, we’ve narrowed our criteria a bit, sidelining accounting and financial considerations like payroll, payment processing, tax reporting, etc. Instead, the tools listed below are primarily designed to aid in collecting, organizing, managing and analyzing information related to cash flow, so you can make effective decisions more easily.

QuickBooks Online: Best overall

QuickBooks icon.

Our first entry in this list needs almost no introduction, but for the sake of thoroughness, we’ll scribble one here anyway. QuickBooks, part of the Intuit family of financial apps, is used by numerous businesses across pretty much every industry and vertical. As one of the original digital accounting tools, it’s capable of quite a bit and integrates with almost everything.

While QuickBooks isn’t always the best tool for the job, especially in certain niche cases where generalized accounting software can’t fully support the needs of the organization, it boasts a feature set deep and broad enough to contend with specialized solutions anyway.

  • Simple Start: $30 per month.
  • Essentials: $60 per month.
  • Plus: $90 per month.
  • Advanced: $200 per month.
  • Management functions for income, expenses, invoices and payments, mileage tracking, contractors and more.
  • Fully integrated with all Intuit products (like TurboTax).
  • Allows users to bank with Intuit at 5.00% APY.
  • One of the most comprehensive financial tools on the market.
  • Optional add-ons to increase functionality, including payroll.
  • Offers access to expert help from seasoned accountants and finance pros.
  • Limited functionality on cheaper plans
  • Features not as specialized for use cases or industries as some apps.
  • Integrations prioritize Intuit products and add-ons.

For more information, read the full QuickBooks review .

Xero: Most user-friendly budgeting

Xero icon.

Offering many of the core features of bigger brand solutions, Xero positions itself as a tool geared primarily toward smaller businesses. With an intuitive interface, easy-to-master functionality and more affordable plans, it’s easy to see what makes Xero a good fit for that very use case.

For up-and-coming teams (even teams of one), Xero can simplify tracking bills, expenses, invoices, contractor fees and more. Higher-tier users can tap into advanced features like project tracking, analytics, multiple currency support and more. And with add-on integration with Gusto payroll, you can even take care of your W-2 staff.

  • Early: $15 per month.
  • Growing: $42 per month.
  • Established: $78 per month.
  • Hubdoc allows professionals to automatically capture bill and expense data, so you can stop carting around all those receipts.
  • Paperless records and native reporting tools make it easier to track cash flow, analyze trends and chart the course for your finances.
  • Xero offers a broader range of integration options, simplifying the process of fitting it into your current workflows.
  • Robust budgeting and accounting functionality at an affordable price.
  • Largely platform-agnostic with third-party integrations.
  • Built-in banking connections, payment processing and bill pay keep all the important data in a single place.
  • More user-friendly for non-accountants than most.
  • Most advanced features are restricted to higher-cost plans.
  • No option for additional licenses, i.e., there’s only one user account.

For more information, read the full Xero review .

Zoho Books: Most scalable tool

Zoho Books icon.

Quickbooks may seem like a behemoth in the finance space, but they’re not the only heavy hitter, and in some cases, they’re far outclassed by the breadth of offerings of a competitor. That, in a nutshell, is Zoho. While Zoho Books provides the financial tools needed to manage cash flow, budgeting and accounting tasks, the Zoho suite covers a lot more ground than just profitability statements.

With tools designed to support teams in sales, marketing, human resources, legal and even infrastructure and operations (I&O), Zoho can meet nearly any software need a growing team will have, excluding specialized tools. And because each module can be used separately, it’s perfect for teams that want their apps to scale with them.

  • Standard: $12 per team per month, or $10 per team per month when billed annually.
  • Professional: $24 per team per month, or $20 per team per month when billed annually.
  • Premium: $36 per team per month, or $30 per team per month when billed annually.
  • Elite: $129 per team per month, or $100 per team per month when billed annually.
  • Ultimate: $249 per team per month, or $200 per team per month when billed annually.
  • Can connect with any part of the expansive Zoho suite.
  • Supports a wealth of uncommon features, like recurring expenses, timesheet management and multi-lingual invoicing.
  • Free users benefit from all the most essential accounting functions and can continue to use Zoho for free until they hit $50,000 yearly revenue.
  • Some of the most expensive feature lists in the industry.
  • Free to use for many small businesses, and affordable for most beyond that.
  • Automation features can help streamline and simplify workloads for busy startup professionals.
  • Zoho tools can be added on as needed to dramatically expand functionality.
  • User counts cap out at just 15 at the highest tier. Beyond that, subscribers need to pay for additional licenses at a per-head rate.
  • Growing teams will quickly find themselves needing to upgrade their subscription to get access to needed functionality.
  • The price jump from Premium to Elite is significant, making it more costly for larger teams.

For more information, read the full Zoho Books review .

NetSuite: Best ERP

NetSuite icon.

Another tech industry juggernaut, NetSuite by Oracle, is more than just an accounting app. Similar to the wide-reaching offerings of Zoho, NetSuite offers solutions to a plethora of business needs, from enterprise resource planning (ERP) to field service management to data management and security.

Most relevant to this discussion is the ERP. NetSuite can turn mountains of illegible data into critical business insights, potentially making the difference between financial growth and catastrophe. It’s a more involved solution and better suited to larger organizations, but for teams with room in the budget and the data needs to justify it, it’s hard to beat.

  • Contact NetSuite for a quote.
  • NetSuite’s ERP is built to facilitate management of global businesses and large-scale supply chains.
  • The software is end-to-end, able to manage orders, inventory, supply chains, warehousing, procurement and finances.
  • With proper implementation, NetSuite can facilitate advanced reporting and analytics, leading to the insights needed to achieve impressive optimizations.
  • Uniquely suited to meet both the ERP and IT needs of a global organization.
  • Accounting and budgeting go hand-in-hand with first-class data management.
  • Manage every aspect of resources and logistics from beginning to end.
  • Extensive add-ons and products, covering a wide range of verticals.
  • No publicly listed pricing on their website.
  • Less effective at meeting the needs of smaller organizations.

For more information, read the full Netsuite review .

Spendesk: Best expense management

Spendesk icon.

Spendesk is a slightly different solution, offering a very particular functionality. The platform, along with its companion app and other features, is built to simplify and streamline the process of spending and expensing for business teams. Manually handling expenses, reimbursements, approvals and related tasks can be a nightmare for accountants.

With Spendesk, it doesn’t have to be. Spendesk allows managers to more effectively control spend — from how much is spent to how the money is used and beyond. It provides powerful automation to minimize labor and potential errors, and it can turn expense tracking into real-time monitoring.

  • Contact Spendesk for a quote.
  • Control expenses, invoices and company-issued spend cards from a single platform.
  • Exercise tighter control on approvals, budgets, reports and more, and get full, real-time visibility.
  • Turn month-end expense reporting into an automated, hassle-free process.
  • Specialized to solve pain points related to expense management.
  • Easily integrates into other tools and solutions to aid in facilitating automations.
  • Can even issue physical credit cards for use by company staff.
  • Limited pricing transparency.
  • Minimal functionality outside the central use case.

Workday Adaptive Planning: Best cash forecasting

Workday icon.

Workday bridges the gap between Spendesk’s laser-focused expense solution and the more broadly designed tools in this list. The reason for this is simple: by improving the accuracy of expense data and the speed at which it can be reported, teams can more effectively plan and budget in advance.

There’s more to it than that, though. Workday products cover quite a bit, including HR and industry-specific use cases like healthcare supply chain management. But the advantage is still the same. It’s strategic analytics, turning accurate and up-to-date reporting into accurate forecasting.

  • Contact Workday for a quote.
  • Solutions cover everything from financial planning to workforce planning to operational planning.
  • Faster, more accurate spend, payroll and financial data reporting helps achieve more effective financial planning.
  • Optional products include local and global payroll, talent management and employee experience.
  • Workday offers much of the same experience that NetSuite does, but it’s also geared toward midsize businesses.
  • Workday has specialized functionality to meet the needs of several complicated industries, including healthcare, life sciences, public services, hospitality, professional services and more.
  • Mobile app functionality makes it easy for every member of the team to use, and unlimited user licenses make it less expensive for them to do so.
  • Minimal pricing transparency.
  • Some businesses with less complicated needs may find that more generalized software can serve them well at a lower cost.

For more information, read the full Workday review .

Cube: Best for stakeholder collaboration

Cube icon.

Last on our list is Cube. The other entries all had one or more accounting functions that could be handled natively on the platform. Cube, on the other hand, doesn’t handle those things internally. Instead, it aggregates information from other apps, platforms and sources.

The reason for this is visibility. Cube serves as a single source of truth, leading to easier reporting, streamlined collaboration and less frustrating implementation.

  • Cube Go: Starting at $1,500 per month.
  • Cube Pro: Starting at $2,800 per month.
  • Enterprise: Pricing by custom quote.
  • Automation and integration with ERP tools, spreadsheets and much more.
  • Dedicated customer success manager to help achieve financial goals.
  • Advanced financial planning and analysis (FP&A), with visualization and reporting all in a single tool.
  • Achieve easier, more effective collaboration with less manual work.
  • Simplify reporting and increase transparency without increasing workload.
  • Boost data accuracy and maximize recency of information.
  • Highest listed starting costs.
  • Limited functionality outside the core use case.

Key features of accounting software

Now that we’ve covered the list, let’s drill down on some of the important features that frequently play a deciding role in the buying process for tools like these.

Financial planning and forecasting

Not every financial tool is designed to help you crunch the numbers and harvest insights natively. Some are just tactical in their functions: payments, payroll, general ledgers, etc. As the focus of this article is budgeting specifically, it makes the most sense that you’re on the hunt for something that helps you make future budgets more accurate and effective, so tools that omit this might be niche cases only.

Expense management

One of the biggest wrenches in the works when it comes to financial planning is expenses. It’s often difficult to determine just how much money is available when a significant number of purchases and transactions have to be reconciled at the end of the month or accounting period. Advanced expense management tools aim to alleviate some of this pressure by reducing the time spent reporting; in some cases, making expense data available in real time.

AP/AR and native payment processing

Having a single solution that can handle all incoming and outgoing transactions can do quite a bit to relieve the workload of overburdened accounting pros on the team. Better still, if those functions can be automated where appropriate.

Hey, everyone on the team is looking to get paid, right? Every organization has to handle this somehow, and integration or native functionality reduces tech stack bloat and minimizes the number of dashboards that have to be juggled.

How do I choose the best accounting software for my business?

Two major considerations stand out for a decision like this: What are your needs, and how much time and budget can you contribute to a service switch? For some, the top priority is getting a larger list of features and tools, even if it costs more in setup and migration. For others, they need a simple solution that will just drop right into their current workflow.

After all, this is the budget we’re talking about. The less time those functions and that data are in flux, the better.


While writing this article, we researched the vendors and their websites, as well as customer reviews and ratings, to gain a full understanding of where each solution fits into the market landscape — and who they serve most effectively.

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  • 7 Best Accounting Software and Services
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Home > Business > Business Startup

  • 5 Best Business Plan Software and Tools in 2023 for Your Small Business

4.5 out of 5 stars

Data as of 3 /13/23 . Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Chloe Goodshore

We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our editorial guidelines and advertising disclosure .

A business plan can do a lot for your business. It can help you secure investors or other funding. It can give your company direction. It can keep your finances healthy. But, if we’re being honest, it can also be a pain to write.

Luckily, you don’t have to start from scratch or go it alone. Business plan software and services can help you craft a professional business plan, like our top choice LivePlan , which provides templates, guidance, and more.

You’ve got quite a few choices for business plan help, so we’re here to help you narrow things down. Let’s talk about the best business plan tools out there.

  • LivePlan : Best overall
  • BizPlanBuilder : Most user-friendly
  • Wise Business Plans : Best professional service
  • Business Sorter : Best for internal plans
  • GoSmallBiz.com : Most extra features
  • Honorable mentions

Business plan software 101

The takeaway, business plan software faq, compare the best business plan software.

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LivePlan: Best overall business plan software

Data as of 3 /13/23 . Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. *With annual billing

LivePlan has been our favorite business plan software for a while now, despite the stiff competition.

There’s a lot to like about LivePlan. It has pretty much all the features you could want from your business plan software. LivePlan gives you step-by-step instructions for writing your plan, helps you create financial reports, lets you compare your business’s actual financials to your plan’s goals, and much more. And if you ever need inspiration, it includes hundreds of sample business plans that can guide your writing.

LivePlan software pricing

But the best part? You get all that (and more) at a very competitive price. (You can choose from annual, six-month, or monthly billing.) While LivePlan isn’t quite the cheapest business plan builder out there, it’s not too far off either. And if comes with a 60-day money back guarantee. So there’s no risk in trying LivePlan out for yourself.

With a great balance of features and cost, LivePlan offers the best business plan solution for most businesses.

BizPlanBuilder: Most user-friendly

Need something easy to use? BizPlanBuilder fits the bill.

BizPlanBuilder doesn’t have a flashy, modern user interface―but it does have a very clear, intuitive one. You’ll be able to see your plan’s overall structure at a glance, so you can quickly navigate from your title page to your market trend section to that paragraph on your core values. And as you write, you’ll use a text editor that looks a whole lot like the word processing programs you’re already familiar with.

BizPlanBuilder software pricing

Data effective 3/13/23. At publishing time, amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

BizPlanBuilder also offers lots of helpful guidance for actually writing your plan. It gives you pre-written text, in which you just have to fill in relevant details. It offers explanations for what information you need to include in each section of your plan and way. It even gives you helpful tips from experts, so you’ll have all the information you need to plan like a pro.

So if you want planning software with almost no learning curve, you’ll like BizPlanBuilder.

Wise Business Plans: Best professional service

  • Custom quote

Unlike all the other companies on this list, Wise Business Plans doesn’t offer software. Instead, it offers professional business plan writing services―meaning someone does all the hard work for you.

Now, you might think that sounds expensive―and you’re probably right (you have to request a custom quote for your plan). But there’s a lot to be said for expertise, and Wise Business Plans has plenty of that. Your business plan will get written by an experienced writer (with an MBA, no less). They’ll get information from you, do their own research, and then write your plan. You get one free revision, and you can always pay for more.  

Wise Business Plans service pricing

Your end result will be a polished, entirely original business plan. (You can even get printed copies.) And best of all, you won’t have to spend your precious time working on the plan yourself. Wise Business Plans takes care of all the hard parts, and makes your business look good while doing it. Sounds like a service worth paying for, right?

Put simply, if you want the most professional business plan possible, we recommend using Wise Business Plans’s writing service.

Business Sorter: Best for internal plans

Many businesses need plans to show to people outside the company (to get financing, for example). But what if you just need a plan for internal use? In that case, we suggest Business Sorter.

Business Sorter uses a unique card-based method to help you craft the perfect business plan. (You can watch a demo video to see how it works.) You’ll plan some of the usual things, like finances and marketing. But Business Sorter also lets you make plans for specific teams and team members. It also emphasizes more internal matters, like operations, that might get overlooked in a business plan for outsiders.

Business Sorter software pricing

After you’ve made your business plan, Business Sorter also helps you stay accountable to it. You can create tasks, give them deadlines, and assign them to team members―giving you basic project management tools to make sure your business plans become business actions. (Oh, and did we mention that Business Sorter has the lowest starting prices of any software on this list?)

It all adds up to a business plan software that works great for internal planning.

GoSmallBiz: Most extra features

Want to get way more than just business planning software? Then you probably want GoSmallBiz.

See, GoSmallBiz offers business plan software as part of its service―but it’s just one part of a much bigger whole. You also get everything from discounts on legal services to a website builder to a CRM (customer relationship manager) to business document templates. And more. In other words, you get just about everything you need to get your startup off the ground.

GoSmallBiz software pricing

Don’t worry though―you still get all the business planning help you need. GoSmallBiz gives you business plan templates, step-by-step instructions, and the ability to create financial projections. And if you get stuck, GoSmallBiz will put you in touch with experts who can offer advice.

If you want business planning and much, much more, give GoSmallBiz a try.

  • PlanGuru : Best financial forecasting
  • EnLoop : Cheapest tool for startups

We recommend the software above for most business planning needs. Some businesses, though, might be interested in these more specialized planning software.

Honorable mention software pricing

Planguru: best financial forecasting features.

Plan Guru

PlanGuru is pretty pricey compared to our other picks, but you might find its forecasting features worth paying for. It has more forecasting methods than other software (over 20) plus it lets you forecast up to 10 years.

EnLoop: Cheapest tool for startups

enloop logo

EnLoop doesn’t have our favorite features or interface, but it does have really, really low pricing plus a seven-day free trial. It's the most affordable software for startup business planning and still provides all the essential features like financial analysis, team collaboration, charting, and more.

Data as of 3 /13/23 . Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. * With annual billing

Several of our previous favorite planning software, including BusinessPlanPro and StratPad, seem to have gone out of business.

A business plan is a written, living document that tells the story of your business and what you plan to do with it. It serves as the source of truth for you—the business owner—as well as potential partners, employees, and investors, but it also serves as a roadmap of what you want your business to be.

Why you need a business plan

While some small-business owners don’t see the point of creating a formal business plan, it can have some concrete benefits for your business. For example, one 2016 study found that business owners with written plans are more successful than those that don’t. 1

Still too vague? Then let’s get specific.

If you ever seek business funding (from, say, banks, angel investors , or venture capitalists ), you’ll have to prove that your business deserves the money you want. A formal business plan―complete with financial data and projections―gives you a professional document you can use to make your case. (In fact, most potential investors will expect you to have a business plan ready.)

Even if you’re not seeking funding right now, a business plan can help your business. A formal plan can guide your business’s direction and decision making. It can keep your business accountable (by, for example, seeing if your business meets the financial projections you included). And a formal plan offers a great way to make sure your team stays on the same page.

What to include in your business plan

Not all business plans are created equal. To make a really useful business plan, you’ll want to include a number of elements:

  • Basic information about your business
  • Your products/services
  • Market and industry analysis
  • What makes your business competitive
  • Strategies and upcoming plans
  • Your team (and your team’s background)
  • Current financial status
  • Financial and market projections
  • Executive summary

Of course, you can include more or fewer elements―whatever makes sense for your business. Just make sure your business plan is comprehensive (but not overwhelming).

How business plan software can help

With so many elements to include, business plan creation can take a while. Business plan software tries to speed things up.

Most business plan software will include prompts for each section. In some cases, you can just fill in your business’s specific information, and the software will write the text for you. In other cases, the software will give you specific guidance and examples, helping you write the text yourself.

Plus, business plan software can help you stay organized. You’ll usually get intuitive menus that let you quickly flip through sections. So rather than endlessly scrolling through a long document in a word processor, you can quickly find your way around your plan. Some software even lets you drag and drop sections to reorganize your plan.

Sounds way easier than just staring at a blank page and trying to start from scratch, right?

Choosing business plan software

To find the right business plan builder for your business, you’ll want to compare features. For example, would you rather write your own text, getting prompts and advice from your software? Or would you rather go with a fill-in-the-blank method?

Likewise, think about the elements you need. If your plan will have a heavy focus on finances, you’ll want to choose business plan software with robust financial projection features. If you care more about market and competitor analysis, look for software that can help with that research.

You may also want to find business plan software that integrates with your business accounting software . Some plan builders will import data from Xero, QuickBooks, etc. to quickly generate your financial data and projections.

And of course, you’ll want to compare prices. After all, you always want to end up with software that fits your business budget.

The right business plan software can make your life easier. With LivePlan ’s wide breadth of features and online learning tools, you can’t go wrong. Plus, BizPlanBuilder 's one-time pricing makes it easy to invest while Business Sorter has a low starting cost. And if you're business is looking to grow, GoSmallBiz and Wise Business Plans will scale with you.

But of course, different companies have different needs. So shop around until you find the software that’s best for you and your business.

Now that you've got a business plan, take a look at our checklist for starting a small business.  It can help you make sure you have everything else you need to get your startup off to a good start!

Related content

  • 7 Steps to Build a Successful Project Management Sales Plan
  • Best Project Management Software and Tools in 2023
  • 4 Cost Management Techniques for Small Businesses

Creating a business plan can take anywhere from a couple hours to several weeks. Your timeline will depend on things like the elements you choose to include, whether you use software or hire a writing service, and how much research goes into your plan.

That said, much of the business plan software out there brags that it can help you create a fairly detailed plan in a few hours. So if you’re going the software route, that can help you set your expectations.

If you want to get the most out of your business plan, you should update it on a regular basis―at least annually. That way, you can continually refer to it to inform your company’s strategies and direction.  

At the very least, you should update your business plan before you start looking for a new round of funding (whether that’s with investors or lenders).

Thanks to business plan software, you can easily write your own business plan rather than pay someone to do it for you. And in most cases, software will cost you less than a professional business plan service.

There are some times you might want to go with a service though. If time is tight, you might find that it’s worth the cost of a service. Or if you’ve got big investor meetings on the horizon, you might want the expertise and polish that a professional service can offer.

Ultimately, you’ll have to decide for yourself whether business plan software or a business plan service will work better for your company.


We ranked business plan software and tools based on features, pricing and plans, and connections to project management and other services. The value of each plan and service, along with what it offers, was a big consideration in our rankings, and we looked to see if what was offered was useful to small businesses or just extra. The final thing we looked at was the ease of use of the software to see if it's too complex for small businesses.

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Sources 1. Harvard Business Review, “ Research: Writing a Business Plan Makes Your Startup More Likely to Succeed .” Accessed March 13, 2023.

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10 Best Small Business Budgeting Software in 2024

ClickUp Contributor

February 14, 2024

Small businesses often face tight budgets and limited resources , making every financial decision critical. While traditional budgeting methods help, they are slow, prone to errors, and need more flexibility.

If you are considering switching from conventional bookkeeping to specialized budgeting software, you’re headed in the right direction. 

A business budgeting tool will give you the insights to cut unnecessary spending and reach profitability faster. It will help you plan your small business budget to determine the sales volume to break even, the reserves you need to create, and when to hire more people.

We have listed today’s top 10 small business budgeting software options, features, pricing, and ratings. 

What Should You Look for in Small Business Budgeting Software?

3. budgetpulse, 4. freshbooks, 5. quickbooks, 7. zoho books, 9. spendesk, let your profits soar with the right budgeting tool.

Let’s explore the key features to look for in budgeting software for small businesses. These features ensure the tool will meet your current and future needs as your business grows:

  • Ease of use: Look for user-friendly software that’s easy to set up and use. Start  mapping existing processes visually to make it easier to manage your finances without any hassles from the get-go
  • Scalability: Choose software that will handle more users, track new expenses, and manage complex finances as your business expands
  • Integration capabilities: Ensure the software integrates smoothly with your existing accounting software and project management tools to keep financial data consistent
  • Financial reporting and analytics: Opt for software that offers detailed reports , customizable dashboards, and data visualization tools to identify trends and analyze expenses
  • Security and compliance: Check if the software follows industry standards for data security and complies with regulations to protect sensitive financial information

The 10 Best Small Business Budgeting Software to Use in 2024

Now that you know the features and functionalities to look for in business budgeting software, here’s the list of the top 10 small business budgeting software. 

Clickup for accounting

ClickUp combines all your company’s different functions into a single platform. Visualize all related tasks on one dashboard: marketing, finance, project management, or HR, and make changes in real-time.

Save time with AI-driven tasks and automation to focus on what’s crucial.

ClickUp’s accounting and finance project management software sets itself apart as a top-tier budgeting software that lets you perform complex financial calculations and planning efficiently. The software solution monitors your financial goals, oversees your accounts, and calculates your profits. 

ClickUp Business Budget Template

ClickUp’s templates for finance and accounting , real-time expense tracking, and collaborative budget management software are some of its robust budgeting features. It integrates versatile project management features with comprehensive budgeting tools. 

business plan budget software

Businesses managing multiple projects prefer ClickUp to ensure organized and efficient budgeting processes.

ClickUp best features

  • Customize dashboards for reports on budgets, spending, and profits 
  • Crunch numbers quickly with ClickUp’s formula fields for calculations
  • Stay organized with reminders for recurring tasks and bills
  • Gain visibility into finances via custom fields for budgeted amounts, spending, vendor info, and payment dates
  • Track monthly and yearly income and expenses effortlessly with ClickUp’s simple budgeting templates

ClickUp limitations

  • New users have reported a learning curve when using advanced features
  • Occasionally, support response time is longer

ClickUp pricing

  • Free Forever
  • Unlimited: $7/month per user
  • Business : $12/month per user
  • Enterprise : Custom pricing
  • ClickUp AI is available on all paid plans for $5 per Workspace

ClickUp ratings and reviews

  • G2 : 4.7/5 (9000+ reviews)
  • Capterra : 4.7/5 (3900+ reviews)

Budgyt Dashboard

Budgyt simplifies financial planning while maintaining the granular details of your data. 

This cloud-based budgeting application lets you streamline your budgeting processes through an intuitive interface, automate expense categorization, and get insightful financial reports.

It ensures easy data manipulation with drag-and-drop functionality. Budgyt’s API allows integration with popular financial accounting software. It currently supports Quickbooks, Xero, and ConnectWise.

Budgyt best features

  • Access historical data through general ledger data at the transactional level 
  • Calculate profit and loss by cost center and period, budget comparison, and other custom reports
  • Simplify multi-profit and loss budgeting through various filters
  • Track changes and filterable activity log
  • Go global with multi-currency capability

Budgyt limitations

  • Steep learning curve for using formulae
  • Non-profits need to customize a more detailed setup

Budgyt pricing

  • Easy : Custom pricing
  • Plus : Custom pricing
  • Pro : Custom pricing
  • Enterprise plan : Custom pricing
  • Non-profit: Custom pricing for all four plans

Add-ons pricing

  • Budgeting assessment: $699–$2,999
  • Presentation development:   $1,500–$3,500

Budgyt ratings and reviews

  • G2 : 4.8/5 (50+ reviews)
  • Capterra : 4.8/5 (50+ reviews)

budgetpulse dashboard

BudgetPulse offers free-to-use and cloud-based accounting software fit for personal use.

BudgetPulse provides basic functionalities for personal financial management. Users manually import their transactions into printable charts, reports, and graphs to understand their expenses better. It also helps users set goals and track progress toward managing their money effectively. 

BudgetPulse best features

  • Manage your budget with an easy tool
  • Import bank statements and export your data to a financial planning tool in a few steps
  • Set up online fundraising with goals and accept funds via PayPal and Amazon

BudgetPulse limitations

  • No automation or data analytics capabilities
  • All data need to be imported or input manually
  • No integration with other business budgeting software tools or banks

BudgetPulse pricing

Budgetpulse ratings and reviews.

  • G2 : Not listed
  • Capterra : Not listed

FreshBooks Dashboard

FreshBooks offers unlimited, automated, and customizable invoices and expense entries. It accepts credit card payments online and ACH bank transfers. Its project budgeting templates save time and cost for freelancers and small businesses. 

With over 100 app integrations, FreshBooks simplifies invoicing and expense management tasks.

A notable benefit of its Plus plan is that it reduces accounting errors with the double-entry accounting reports feature.

FreshBooks best features

  • Simplify cost monitoring and creation of financial statements 
  • Benefit from advanced project-based reporting and time-tracking features

FreshBooks limitations

  • Requires more support to use initially
  • Inability to scale effectively

FreshBooks pricing

  • Lite : $204/year
  • Plus : $360/year
  • Premium : $660/year
  • Select : Custom pricing

FreshBooks ratings and reviews

  • G2 : 4.5/5 (670+ reviews)
  • Capterra : 4.5/5 (4300+ reviews)

Quickbooks Dashboard

QuickBooks offers free guided setup with every QuickBooks Online plan. It lets you streamline your processes, including expenses, invoices, payments, receipt capture, and reporting.

Users leverage its AI-driven cloud-based features to track and manage everything from time and costs to salaries and employee benefits.

It supports 700+ third-party apps available on the QuickBooks App Store.

QuickBooks best features

  • Benefit from a single tool for accounting and workforce management 
  • Save time, cost, and effort by utilizing the collaboration capabilities
  • Create custom budget proposals from budget proposal templates
  • Manage your bills with automatic bank transaction categorization

QuickBooks limitations 

  • Challenging for users without a finance background
  • The Mac OS version only available in the United States 

QuickBooks pricing

  • Free trial for 30 days
  • Simple Start : $30/month
  • Essentials : $60/month
  • Plus : $90/month
  • Advanced : $200/month

QuickBooks ratings and reviews

  • G2 : 4.0/5 (3170+ reviews)
  • Capterra : 4.3/5 (6390+ reviews)

business plan budget software

Built from the ground up for the real-time needs of cloud-dependent businesses, Xero is an accounting solution with payroll, workforce management, and expense management capabilities. 

It promotes collaboration, internally and externally, with unlimited logins for each subscription tier. 

Xero’s 800+ connected apps (including Square, Constant Contact, and ADP) help small businesses seamlessly perform business operations and financial management.

Xero best features

  • Utilize automated account reconciliation by getting data from over 21,000 banks worldwide
  • Accept payments against your invoices using trusted payment processing providers
  • Gain access to over 160 currencies and learn how exchange rates and foreign currency markets affect your cash flow or profit

Xero limitations

  • Limited templates and designs for report or invoice generation
  • Need separate software to prepare sales tax returns

Xero pricing

  • Starter : $29/month
  • Standard : $46/month
  • Premium : $62/month

Xero ratings and reviews

  • G2 : 4.3/5 (600+ reviews)
  • Capterra : 4.4/5 (2800+ reviews)

business plan budget software

With its intuitive sales automation and iOS, Android, and Windows support, Zoho Books lets you streamline your transactions, track cash flows, and automate business processes.

You will also be able to connect your existing CRM, inventory, and subscription systems and generate quotes and invoices on the go.

Zoho Books connects to your bank and lets you fetch daily transactions in real time, implement payment reminders, and report scheduling and workflow triggers. It helps you create customer success case studies .

Zoho Books best features

  • Let customers approve quotes, pay bills, and provide valuable feedback
  • Calculate sales tax returns and 1099s automatically for a worry-free tax season
  • Get cash flow predictions by safely fetching transactions from your accounts and sorting them automatically

Zoho Books limitations

  • Limited customization capabilities
  • Basic reporting options
  • Limited integrations with third-party software

Zoho Books pricing

  • Free : For businesses with revenue <50K USD per annum
  • Standard : $10/organization per month
  • Professional : $20/organization per month
  • Premium : $30/organization per month
  • Elite : $100/organization per month
  • Ultimate : $200/organization per month

Zoho Books ratings and reviews

  • G2 : 4.5/5 (200+ reviews)
  • Capterra : 4.4/5 (600+ reviews)


Scoro’s detailed budget breakdowns, project cost tracking, and profitability analysis capabilities help enhance productivity and deliver projects on time. Scoro’s data-driven insights and analytics help you drive growth further by identifying areas of improvement.

Scoro specializes in catering to service-based businesses that handle a lot of disconnected systems and changing workloads that diminish profit margins. 

It eliminates the need to switch between tools and helps you manage projects, invoicing, and reporting from a single solution. 

Scoro best features

  • Accept payments from anywhere with native Stripe integration
  • Convert quotations to invoices or partial progress-based invoices for your clients automatically 
  • Manage and track your project budget , costs, orders, and budget allocation from a single platform
  • Integrate tools like Paypal, Salesforce, Trello, and QuickBooks

Scoro limitations

  • Searching and sorting features need optimization
  • Custom PDF templates limit the information that goes into a quote, an order, or an invoice

Scoro pricing

  • Essential: $26/user per month
  • Standard: $37/user per month
  • Pro: $63/user per month
  • Ultimate: Custom pricing

Onboarding pricing

  • Self-Onboarding: Free
  • Light: $1,699
  • Premium: $3,999
  • Custom: Custom pricing

Scoro ratings and reviews

  • G2 : 4.5/5 (390+ reviews)
  • Capterra : 4.6/5 (230+ reviews)


Spendesk is a spending management platform that offers complete visibility into your company’s expenditures. 

It enhances your real-time spending visibility, implements budget controls, and automates expense approvals, saving time and money across the entire spending cycle.  Spendesk combines and controls all cash flows and processes from multiple tools from a single source. It gives you control over all non-payroll spending. 

Spendesk best features

  • Automate fraud detection and use smart virtual cards to add multiple layers of security
  • Map payments to expense accounts, validate them at any time, and generate expense reports from templates automatically
  • Control cost centers, approvers, and define spending rules

Spendesk limitations

  • Users report technical issues with payment validations
  • Cannot upload documents in Word format

Spendesk pricing

  • Free : For four users, including one approver
  • Essential s: Custom pricing 
  • Scale : Custom pricing
  • Premium : Custom pricing

Spendesk ratings and reviews

  • G2 : 4.7/5 (390+ reviews)
  • Capterra : 4.8/5 (200+ reviews)


Float is a cash flow forecasting software specially designed for project-based businesses. It helps you stay one step ahead of potential cash shortages or surpluses, easily plan scenarios, and save valuable time by tracking cash flow across projects. 

Float’s real-time integration with Xero, Quickbooks Online, and FreeAgent provides daily, weekly, and monthly cash flow forecasting. 

Float best features

  • Get an overview of cash flow in real-time
  • Strategize through instant visual cashflow forecasts
  • Track projects and identify the ones that drain cash reserves
  • Create scenarios to help answer questions and make informed decisions

Float limitations

  • Limited custom views for scenarios
  • Does not support multi-currency accounts

Float pricing

  • Essential : $59/month
  • Premium : $99/month
  • Enterprise : $199/month

Float ratings and reviews

  • G2 : 4.4/5 (40+ reviews)

Small business owners’ unique needs and preferences being met are essential in selecting the best budgeting software. While it’s crucial to opt for features that help with budgeting, investing in a tool that offers much more is worthwhile.

ClickUp takes care of all your budgeting needs and is an all-in-one solution that tackles multiple challenges you come across as your business grows.

ClickUp helps teams work more efficiently and collaboratively with its connected workflows, intuitive docs, real-time dashboards, and other features. This unified platform helps teams move faster, work smarter, and save valuable time.

Users with ClickUp’s Free Forever plan can access many templates, views, and customization options. Ready to give it a try? Sign up for ClickUp now! 

Questions? Comments? Visit our Help Center for support.

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  • Free training & 24-hour support
  • Serious about security & privacy
  • 99.99% uptime the last 12 months

business plan budget software

Make better decisions, increase profit, & accomplish your goals

PlanGuru helps thousands of businesses, nonprofits and their advisors drive better decision making through these time-tested processes.

Budgeting & Financial Analytics

Set financial goals and assign accountability for results. Analyze financial performance in a timely and practical way that drives better decisions.

Rolling Forecast

Understand the full implications of your decisions on profitability and cash, before you make them. Adapt quickly and confidently to a changing world.

Strategic Planning

Define a long-term vision for your company, get everyone working in the same direction. Run what-if scenarios to evaluate risks and opportunities.


PlanGuru Software

Create more intelligent scenarios in less time using our integrated 3-Way Forecasting software and free educational resources.   Business/Nonprofit Plans   |   Advisor Plans


PlanGuru Launch

Need help getting off the ground? Our team will help you implement PlanGuru based on your time horizon and cost constraints.   Learn more about Launch

Build intelligent, dynamic financial forecasts

business plan budget software

Forecast all 3 Financial Statements

With an integrated income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement, PlanGuru provides over 20 powerful forecasting methods which allow you to project for up to 10 years. These include intelligent, turn-key methods, plus the ability to build custom business drivers, including non-financial data.

Create an Analysis in Minutes

With our general ledger import utilities, you’ll be able to import historical results in only a few minutes. On a monthly basis, with just a few clicks, you’ll be able to view budget vs actual reports and build rolling forecasts.

Unlimited Budgeting Flexibility

PlanGuru provides a flexible structure that will allow you to create simple high-level small business budget or a detailed multi-department operating budget with consolidations.

Make Better Decisions with Scenario Analysis

Our robust planning framework provides a forecasting tool that can interpret the likely financial impact of specific events with greater precision. By building scenario analysis in PlanGuru, you can make the important investments and strategic decisions with confidence that you’ve done your due diligence.

Gain Insight Previously Unattainable

With PlanGuru’s Reporting Tools, you can view the specific aspects of your business that are working and ones that are not. With that insight, you’ll be able to make the adjustments that will help your business succeed.

Features Include

  • Build an Unlimited # of Analyses per Company
  • QuickBooks, QuickBooks Online, Xero & Excel Import
  • Import up to 5 years of Actual Results
  • Budget / Forecast for up to 10 years
  • Pre-built Integrated Financial Statement Structure
  • Automatically solved Cash Flow Statement
  • Archive Budget Feature
  • 20+ Standard Forecasting Methods
  • Ability to Create Custom Methods
  • Payroll Utility
  • Forecast using Non-Financial Data
  • Sub-Totaling Feature to Group Accounts
  • Notes Payable and Line of Credit Tools
  • Consolidate Unlimited # of Projections
  • Financial Ratios
  • Business Valuation Tool
  • Engagement Tools for Professional Accountants
  • Standard Report Export to PDF, Word, & Excel
  • Custom Report Builder for Excel
  • Online Dashboard, Scorecard and Reporting Tools
  • Plus many more…

Best business plan software of 2024

For planning your business finance

  • The best business plan software in full

Best overall

Best budget, best established, best for speed, other business plan software to consider.

  • How we test

The best business plan software makes it simple and easy to plan your business finances in order to present them to a bank or investors.

The best business plan software of 2024 in full 1. Best overall 2. Best budget 3. Best basic 4. Best established 5. Best for speed 6. Other business plan software to consider 7. FAQs 8. How we test

The whole point of a business plan is that it allows you to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, not least via your Unique Selling Point (USP) ,and make product or service comparisons with competitors.

Of course, even the best business plan relies on estimates and guesstimates, as it's impossible to predict market changes, developments, and future performance under such conditions. 

Ultimately, though, a business plan will demonstratively prove why your business is a solid enough investment to risk putting money into, and shows that you have properly and thoroughly researched your market, and details the real potential of a new business opportunities.

Here then are the best business plan software providers currently available.

You can also look at our featured best free software for small business .

The best business plan software in full:

Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

Bizplan is the online business planning tool that claims usage of 30,000 startup founders from the Startups.co platform. They use a guided creator that can break the big project down into the component pieces that get tracked with a Progress Tracker, and expert guidance each step of the way including templates that can be dropped in, and completed, along with simple integration of visuals along the way.

Additional resources are also provided via the Bizplan Academy, with lessons on relevant topics, for example, “Building a Brand: How to Tell a Powerful Brand Story,” and “Critical Path Your Way to Higher Revenues,” among the many offerings. Those that need even more assistance also can take advantage of an expert consultation from a financial expert.

2. PlanGuru

PlanGuru is a comprehensive, and powerful software package in the business planning space. Education is provided via a series of case studies at their PlanGuru University and a whole slew of video tutorials.

The feature set includes flexible budgeting that can handle a simple small business, or a larger multi-department operating budget, and financial forecasting that uses multiple methods, including intelligent and turn-key methods - twenty methods in total. Historical results can also be imported with the general ledger import utility which can then applied to produce a rolling forecast. They also offer PlanGuru Launch, a service to bring in expertise and is charged per hour of assistance.

A significant downside is Planguru charges a higher cost than other software options. The cheapest option is around $75 per month for one business entity when billed annually. While there is no free trial, PlanGuru does offer a 30 day money back guarantee. 

Our expert review:

Enloop is a great choice for business planning software for the cash strapped business as it is the rare offering that has a free tier. Step up up to the next tier, and this is no barebones product, as it has over 100 currency symbols, can automatically generate bank-ready financial reports, and even has automated text writing that can sync with financial data to turn it into text. There is also a real time performance score assigned, that dynamically changes as the business plan is strengthened.  

The plans start with the Free tier, which is limited to a single business plan with simple text, no images, and does not offer any advanced features. The next plan up is the Detailed plan, that supports three business plans, and offers a significant 55% discount when paid annually, making it even better value. This plan costs around $20 per month. For a more comprehensive package you can buy the Performance plan costing around $40 per month.

Read our full Enloop business plan software review .

4. LivePlan

LivePlan is business planning software that offers a simple pricing scheme as there is only a single plan to choose from. As they have a 15+ year track record, they offer a clean and simple interface, that can create business plans that look like they were done by an expert consultant, and the software includes a live dashboard that can track day-to-day performance. Those with writer’s block will benefit from the over 500 included sample plans that can be turned to for inspiration.  

Rather than complicate things with too many tiers to choose from, LivePlan only has a single plan which can be paid for monthly or annually.

5. Business Sorter

Business Sorter promises to simplify and speed up business planning and claims to be able to flesh out a plan in an hour or two, via a novel 273 card sort system that covers many common situations.

The ability to reword cards is included, or also to add cards to the already expansive deck, so no worries if there is not a pre-made card for your situation. Unlike some sites that have videos, the educational resources here are provided as PDFs and Word files, which can be quicker to access, but harder to follow for some learners. 

The lowest tier plan, Basic is fully featured, and includes up to three team leaders. 

Read our full Business Sorter review .

We've only covered some of the most popular business plan software platforms out there, but there are a number of other notables worth mentioning, plus a wide variety of providers of business plan templates. Below we'll briefly cover a range of some of the additional options out there that are worth considering to get your business plan right.

Go Business Plans is more of a consultancy than a software solution, but is worth mentioning for the simple fact that it's one of America's biggest business plan companies. While software might be able to do the job for you, if you're looking for significant funding, it's probably useful to get some professional advice, not least in terms of strategic planning, feasibility studies, and financial projections to ensure you have a solid base for your business plan.

Wise Business Plans provides a very wide range of templates to work from in constructing a business plan. These are particularly designed with funding in mind, no matter what kind of business you run. What is especially helpful is that Wise doesn’t simply deal with business plan templates for a diverse range of business types, the company also provides plan templates for franchises and non-profits.

Plan Writers  is another bespoke service that essentially listens to what you want and then puts the plan together for you. Again, this technically falls outside of business plan "software", but the chances are you'll use a software package as a platform to build from, and Plan Writers can then help you build up from that base.

Bplans is another provider of business plan templates, but goes beyond that with additional pitch and SWOT analysis templates. There are also business plan guides, industry reports, and a free course on writing a business plan. Bplans also publishes a lot of free-to-use articles on business planning, financials, and tax reporting, to help ensure you can keep your figures and projections accurate and compliant.

A business plan is essentially your roadmap to profitability from an initial investment. Whether it's your own money, or a loan from a bank, it's still a good idea to set up a business plan for yourself.

Main things to look to are a SWOT analysis to provide an idea of your business idea's strengths and weaknesses, as well as identify a unique selling point (USP) that will give your business an edge.

While business plans inevitably demand the use of figures, and while these can be impossible to be accurate with, at least by making intelligent guesses you can set yourself targets to work towards.

That's another common feature of a plan, so that specific periods you can review your business progress and make adjustments to your plan as required. This allows you to use real figures for your projections, allowing you to better plan ahead.

You may also be interested in our featured business guides on best business laptops , best business computers and best business smartphones .

Which business plan software is best for you?

When deciding which business plan software to use, first consider what your actual needs are, as sometimes free platforms may only provide basic options, so if you need to use advanced tools you may find a paid platform is much more worthwhile. Additionally, free and budget software options can sometimes prove limited when it comes to the variety of tools available, while higher-end software can really cater for every need, so do ensure you have a good idea of which features you think you may require.

How we tested the best business plan software

To test for the best business plan software we first set up an account with the relevant software platform, whether as a download or as an online service. We then tested the service to see how the software could be used for different purposes and in different situations. The aim was to push each business plan software platform to see how useful its basic tools were and also how easy it was to get to grips with any more advanced tools.

Read how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar .

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Accounting | Buyer's Guide

5 Best Small Business Budgeting Software 2024

Updated January 17, 2024

Updated Jan 17, 2024

Published January 17, 2024

Published Jan 17, 2024

Eric Gerard Ruiz, CPA

REVIEWED BY: Eric Gerard Ruiz, CPA

Danielle Bauter

WRITTEN BY: Danielle Bauter

This article is part of a larger series on Accounting Software .

  • Quick Comparison
  • 1. Best Overall
  • 2. Best for Large Budgeting Teams
  • 3. Best for Simple Budgeting
  • 4. Best Standalone Software for Advanced Budgeting
  • 5. Best for Freelancers & Self-employed Individuals
  • Our Methodology

Bottom Line

The best small business budgeting software must let users budget income and expenses, categorize budgets in classes and locations, create budget reports, and provide different options to forecast amounts. Additionally, it should be easy to use to give users a more meaningful budgeting experience. With that in mind, here are the five best budgeting software for small businesses:

  • Zoho Books : Best overall small business budgeting software with detailed budgeting features
  • Xero : Best for large budgeting teams
  • QuickBooks Online : Best for simple budgeting
  • PlanGuru : Best standalone software for advanced budgeting
  • YNAB : Best for freelancers and self-employed individuals

Why You Can Trust Fit Small Business

We are committed to providing you with an unbiased, thorough, and comprehensive evaluation to help you find the right accounting software for your business. We meticulously and objectively assess each software based on a fixed set of criteria—including pricing, features, ease of use, and customer support—in our internal case study .

To delve deeper into our best small business accounting software, we tested and used each platform to evaluate how the features perform against our metrics. This hands-on approach helps us strengthen our accounting software expertise and deliver on the Fit Small Business mission of providing the best answers to your small business questions.

Best Small Business Budgeting Software: Quick Comparison

Zoho books: best overall small business budgeting software with detailed budgeting features.

Zoho Books logo.

  • Projects sales by a fixed amount or by percentage increments
  • Prefills budgets based on actual amounts
  • Supports exports for older Microsoft Excel versions (1997–2004)
  • Lacks advanced budgeting features like roll forward budgeting and multi-year budgets
  • Is not a dedicated budgeting software
  • Lacks complex forecasting features

Plans & Pricing

Zoho Books has six pricing plans, but the Free, Standard, and Professional plans lack budgeting features. The plans with budgeting are:

  • Premium: $70 per month for up to 10 users
  • Elite: $150 per month for up to 10 users
  • Ultimate: $275 per month for up to 15 users

You can try these plans for free for 14 days. Also, you can add more seats at $3 per user, per month.

Why We Chose Zoho Books

We ranked Zoho Books as our overall best small business budgeting software because of its flexibility and scalability. It makes budgeting easier for small businesses since there are options to add increments per budget period. This feature also autofills per period, which reduces the time spent needed to complete a budget spreadsheet even more.

Besides budgeting, Zoho Books is primarily accounting software. That’s why we find the combination of accounting and budgeting convenient because all data needed for budgeting are in the same ecosystem. The platform also has workflow rules, validation rules, and advanced inventory features that can be helpful for small business accounting. Overall, we picked it because it is easy to use, especially for DIY small business owners.

  • Our Evaluation
  • Deciding Factors
  • Budgeting Features

It received high marks in all categories, including its general accounting features and pricing. It scored better than QuickBooks Online, Xero, and YNAB in the category of basic budgeting features, like prefilling the budget based on actuals and applying fixed amounts per period, but it took a hit with its inability to produce reports, like budget by cash flow statement and budget by balance sheet. It also doesn’t let you add, edit, or delete budget line items, so if these features are important to you, we recommend PlanGuru.

Zoho Books scored a little better in the advanced budgeting features category, but its inability to create multiyear and roll forward budgets and compute business valuations lowered its score. Along with QuickBooks Online, it received the highest score for ease of use, partially because of its robust mobile app that is able to perform most of the same functions as the web interface.

  • Budget formula: Zoho Books lets you autofill budget periods by a fixed amount, specific amount, or percentage increment. This feature is good because you don’t have to do the calculations manually in a separate spreadsheet.
  • Multiple budgeting filters: You can filter specific accounts for budgeting. This feature enables you to take a deep dive into budgeting for specific accounts and transactions affecting these accounts. Zoho Books can also filter by class or location.
  • Outstanding mobile app: Zoho Books tops our list of best mobile accounting apps . You can track key performance indicator (KPI) dashboards and generate reports through the app. It also works perfectly with iOS devices since you add widgets to your iPhone’s home screen. The app can also send notifications to your Apple Watch, so you can stay on top of everything even when you’re away from your laptop.

Zoho Books budget autofill feature.

Budget Autofill Feature (Source: Zoho Books)

  • Businesses that want an easy way to budget for projects: Zoho Books lets you store the ideal amount of money you would like to spend for a project as a whole and individual tasks and staff. After you’ve set your budget, you can compare the time and cost it actually took vs the amount you set in your budget.
  • Businesses seeking integrated management software: Zoho Books integrates with other Zoho products, such as Zoho Invoice and Zoho Expense, which automates different aspects of your business. With Zoho Expense, you can create multiple budgets, restrict employees from overspending, and compare budgeted vs actual expenses.

Xero: Best for Large Budgeting Teams

Xero logo.

  • Is good for unlimited users
  • Has affordable plans for small businesses
  • Supports budget increments when creating budgets
  • Offers a wide range of integration options via Xero App Store
  • Lacks advanced budgeting features, such as roll forward budgeting and multiyear budgets
  • Has no complex forecasting features

All Xero plans include budgeting and are good for unlimited users:

  • Early: $15 per month
  • Growing: $42 per month
  • Established: $78 per month

You can try Xero for free for 30 days.

Why We Chose Xero

Xero is our top pick for large budgeting teams because it has unlimited users. Its convenient actual vs budget comparisons make it easier to access these figures without creating a separate report for it. We like this because it reduces the work needed to be done just by assembling a unique report.

Overall, pricing is Xero’s main advantage against all the picks in the guide. For only $78 per month at the highest plan, it’s by far the most affordable pick for small business budgeting (except YNAB, because it’s mainly for personal budgeting). You also get the powerful accounting features of Xero and access to Xero Advisors for assisted bookkeeping.

Along with Zoho Books, Xero received the highest overall score in our evaluation of the best small business budgeting software. We awarded it the highest score in the pricing category because of its affordability and ability to accommodate unlimited users.

Xero also ranked high with its accounting features, but it took a hit with both its basic and advanced budgeting features because it lacks many of the same features as Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online, like producing a budget by cash flow statement and a budget by balance sheet or adding, editing, or deleting budget line items. Xero also doesn’t provide telephone support, which is why we marked it down in the ease of use category. If you’re seeking a provider that offers telephone support, we recommend Zoho Books or QuickBooks Online.

For users interested in learning more about how to use Xero, check out free Xero training tutorials .

  • Budget formula: Xero’s budget worksheet lets you adjust budgeted amounts by fixed or variable amounts. The budget formula feature can be used for forecasting and reduces the amount of time needed to complete the budget worksheet.
  • Flexible actual vs budget comparisons: Xero has a more user-friendly approach in actual vs budget comparisons. You can compare actual results with budgeted amounts on the same screen where you generate basic reports. For example, you can generate an actual vs budgeted income statement in the same screen where you generate an income statement.
  • Unlimited custom reports: Xero offers unlimited custom reports, which are useful for creating specific budgets per class, location, department, or personnel.

Xero budget variance report.

Budget Variance Report on Xero (Source: Xero)

  • Small businesses seeking real-time tracking: Similar to QuickBooks Online, Xero allows for real-time tracking of income and expenses. As transactions occur, the software updates the budget automatically, giving users an instant overview of their financial position.
  • Small businesses seeking an alternative to QuickBooks Online for budgeting: We named Xero as one of our best QuickBooks alternatives because it has features very similar to QuickBooks but is considerably less expensive and includes unlimited users.
  • Fixed asset management: Xero is the only software in this guide with a fixed asset management feature, which can be helpful with budgeting. It can track fixed assets and calculate depreciation expenses automatically.

QuickBooks Online: Best for Simple Budgeting

QuickBooks logo

  • Has a vast network of QuickBooks ProAdvisors
  • Offers excellent inventory and project accounting features
  • Has an excellent bank reconciliation module
  • Provides a free template for importing comma-separated values (CSV) file budgets
  • Lacks budget autofilling based on budget formula
  • Is not ideal for making comprehensive budgets using budget formulas and percentage increments

QuickBooks Online has four plans, but only Plus and Advanced are ideal for budgeting:

  • Plus: $90 per month for up to five users
  • Advanced: $200 per month for up to 25 users

You can try QuickBooks Online for free for 30 days or sign up right away to get 50% off for three months, plus a free guided setup from a QuickBooks expert.

Why We Chose QuickBooks Online

As our best small business accounting software , QuickBooks Online offers a wide array of features in accounting and bookkeeping. Its budgeting features may not be as powerful as Xero or Zoho Books, but users can still make a simple budget. For example, you can autofill budget fields and columns, select or deselect accounts to budget, and create a budget by income statement. You can also generate actual-to-budget comparisons, budgeted financial statements, and budget reports by class or location.

We picked QuickBooks Online because of its powerful accounting features, which can complement budgeting. With the help of a vast network of ProAdvisors, your small business can access professional advisory services from certified public accountant (CPA) ProAdvisors.

In our small business budgeting software rubric, QuickBooks Online did well in the general accounting features, like accounts receivable (A/R), accounts payable (A/P), banking, reporting, and inventory. QuickBooks Online received a fairly high score for its ease of use and its access to QuickBooks Online ProAdvisors. Its pricing is above average as compared to its competitors, and it offers many self-help guides to help you get the most out of QuickBooks.

It fell short with its basic budgeting features as it lacks the ability to prefill budget based on actuals, add or edit budget line items, and adjust budgets incrementally by percentage or a certain amount. It also took a hit on its advanced budgeting features because it can’t create multi-year or rollover budgets or set budgetary assumptions. PlanGuru is the only provider we reviewed that offers all of these features.

If you’re seeking additional training resources, we recommend checking out our free QuickBooks Online training courses .

  • Budget based on actual figures: QuickBooks Online can use actual figures as a basis for your budget totals. It automatically presents actual values at year-to-date for easy referencing.
  • Auto split budgeted amounts: You can split budgeted amounts across periods on QuickBooks Online, which will automatically divide the budget totals by the number of months or quarters.
  • Budget by specific account: You select specific accounts by clicking the check box on the far left of the worksheet. This feature is helpful if you want to focus only on specific accounts instead of budgeting for all accounts.

Quickbooks budget worksheet.

Budget Worksheet (Source: QuickBooks Online)

  • Small businesses seeking a scalable plan: QuickBooks Online is suitable for a wide range of users, from freelancers to larger enterprises. Its scalability makes it a versatile solution that can grow with the needs of the user.
  • Small businesses that want to customize their budgets: QuickBooks Online users can create customized budgets based on their specific needs. The platform allows you to set up budgets for different categories, projects, or departments, providing flexibility for businesses with diverse financial structures.

PlanGuru: Best Standalone Software for Advanced Budgeting

PlanGuru logo.

  • Supports imports from Xero, QuickBooks, and Microsoft Excel
  • Includes basic to complex budgeting features, such as business valuations and growth rate formula
  • Can create multi-year budgets
  • Has a comprehensive report builder that can generate graphs
  • Is expensive for businesses with multiple departments
  • Has a steep learning curve
  • Is not ideal for freelancers

PlanGuru has no free trial but offers a 30-day money-back guarantee:

  • Single Entity: $99 per month for one user
  • Multi-Department Consolidations: $299 per month for three users

You can add more seats at $29 per user monthly.

Why We Chose PlanGuru

PlanGuru is one of the dedicated budgeting software on our list—with YNAB being the other. We chose it as a niche pick for users wanting to do a deep dive into budgeting. It contains advanced budgeting features that incorporate forecasting and projection methods, growth rate formula, and a comprehensive report building tool. It also supports imports from Xero, QuickBooks, and Microsoft Excel.

We highly recommend it as software solely for budgeting. It has a powerful report builder that you’ll not find in Zoho Books and Xero. It is ideal if you want to include more factors and assumptions when creating budgets, as it gives you more ways to manipulate your budget and gives detailed insights into specific areas of the budget.

PlanGuru is dedicated budgeting software, so it is understandable that it will have more advanced budgeting features than the accounting software in this guide. It aced our evaluation of basic budgeting features and received near-perfect marks for advanced budgeting features.

It didn’t score high in the category of accounting features because it is inherently not accounting software, although it does integrate with accounting platforms, so there is a workaround. It also took a hit in pricing and ease of use because there is a bit of a steep learning curve to get started.

  • Complex projection and forecasting methods: PlanGuru gives you more options to budget different accounts. You can project amounts using growth rates, percentages of previous account balance, rates based on historical trends and averages, or specific assumptions.
  • Comprehensive reporting: PlanGuru’s report builder lets you choose multiple chart types per report, different data types, comparison figures, and period of report. Other software on this list doesn’t have this feature, making PlanGuru more powerful in terms of reporting.
  • Flexible imports: For QuickBooks Online or Xero users, PlanGuru can still be a worthy budget software for a small business. Though PlanGuru doesn’t have direct integration with those two software, importing data is easy. You can also import using an Excel file as long as you follow the required format.
  • Excel add-on: If PlanGuru isn’t able to perform specific functions, its advanced reporting tool add-on for Excel enables users to utilize Excel’s computing power to perform complex calculations.

PlanGuru selecting projection methods.

Selecting Projection Methods (Source: PlanGuru)

  • Chief financial officers (CFOs) and budget planners: Budgeting requires extensive use of probability and quantitative techniques to produce budgets that can approximate future outcomes. CFOs and budget planners can maximize PlanGuru’s extensive budgeting features to create better budgets.
  • QuickBooks Online and Xero users: PlanGuru integrates with both QuickBooks Online and Xero as sources of historical data. Although both software providers have budgeting features, PlanGuru has more advanced features since it’s a dedicated budgeting software. By integrating PlanGuru with either QuickBooks or Xero, you’ll be able to access your data seamlessly.
  • Multiyear budgeting: PlanGuru is the only software on our list that can create multiyear budgets. If your business wants to plan for the long term, you can use PlanGuru’s multi-year budgeting functions.

YNAB: Best for Freelancers & Self-employed Individuals

YNAB logo.

  • Lets you connect multiple bank accounts and credit cards
  • Offers budget by categories
  • Manages debt, spending, and investments
  • Helps you manage personal income and expenses
  • Is only for freelancers or self-employed, not larger businesses
  • Lacks budget formula and assumptions
  • Doesn’t integrate with accounting software

YNAB (You Need A Budget) is priced at $14.99 per month or $99 per year and is good for only one user. You can try the platform for free for 34 days. There’s also a prorated money-back guarantee if you cancel the annual plan.

Why We Chose YNAB

We picked YNAB as a budgeting tool for freelancers and self-employed individuals. We know that freelancers often mix their personal and professional transactions in one or two bank accounts, and some also use personal credit cards for professional expenses. YNAB is a good choice if you don’t like maintaining accounting software but would like a platform to budget your income and expenses.

Overall, YNAB offers comprehensive features for budgeting personal and self-employed finances. It helps users determine where their income goes, how much income is allocated for expenses, and how much should be left after budgeting everything.

YNAB, like PlanGuru, is intended to assist individuals with budgeting, and partially because of that it received the lowest overall score of the providers reviewed in our guide. It received low marks in the basic accounting category, although many of the accounting functions can be accessed via an indirect integration with Zapier.

Surprisingly, it didn’t score well with basic budgeting features. It doesn’t let you import data from accounting software or import a budget from a comma-separated values (CSV) file, prefill budget based on actuals, generate budget by cash flow statement, budget by balance sheet, autofill budget fields and columns, and apply fixed amounts per period.

However, it fared better with advanced budgeting features, with the ability to create consolidated budgets, select projection methods, and set budgetary assumptions. It also took a hit in ease of use because it has limited customer support. However, it received the highest user review score among the software on our list.

  • Create and edit custom account titles: YNAB comes with a set of account titles but you can edit the titles to match your lifestyle and profession.
  • Set spending targets: If you have frequent expenses like utilities or transportation, you can set targets in YNAB on a weekly or monthly basis. For example, let’s assume you visit clients weekly. You can set a target of $200 every week for transportation expenses.
  • Auto-assign money: YNAB looks at your spending and budget targets and auto-assigns money to these expense items. YNAB automatically allocates money from your bank balance so you don’t have to do it manually. In this way, you’ll immediately see how much cash is left afterward. However, this feature doesn’t automatically deduct cash from your account—it only plans your cash outflows, so you still have to pay your bills before due dates.

YNAB dashboard.

YNAB Dashboard on Mobile and Tablet (Source: YNAB)

  • Freelancers and self-employed individuals: YNAB is a great budgeting tool if your freelancing income and expenses are mixed with personal transactions, which is why it’s ideal for self-employed individuals. It allows you to budget for different kinds of expenses, regardless of whether they’re personal or professional.
  • Planning large expenses: If you’re looking into purchasing a new car or taking on a new mortgage, YNAB can be especially helpful because it lets you plan and fund large expenses. It forces you to plan in advance and allows you to set periodic goals for funding each expense.

We have a guide on how to separate business and personal finances if you need help in this area, want to simplify tax season, and avoid potential issues with the IRS.

How We Evaluated the Best Budgeting Software for Small Businesses

In evaluating small business budgeting software, we considered pricing, basic budgeting features, advanced budgeting features, and ease of use. Here is the rubric for evaluation:

  • Accounting Features
  • Basic Budgeting Features
  • Advanced Budgeting Features
  • Ease of Use

10% of Overall Score

In evaluating pricing, we heavily considered the additional cost it would bring to small businesses. Getting a new budgeting software means more monthly or annual subscriptions. Hence, three of our top picks are accounting software with budgeting features while two are specialized software for budgeting.

25% of Overall Score

Having accounting features within the budgeting software is a big plus since it doesn’t require integration. It is also a cost saver since you get two features in one software package. We put more weight on software with accounting and budgeting features. However, we still gave points for standalone budgeting software with direct or indirect integration into accounting software.

20% of Overall Score

Basic budgeting features must include an interactive worksheet that would let users plot budgets for different periods. We also put more weight on the software’s capability to import budgets or integrate with accounting software for faster access to historical data. Other features we considered are:

  • Budgeting by income statement, balance sheet, or cash flow statement
  • Budget prefilling or autofilling for reduced data entry
  • Budget personalization such as the ability to add, edit, or delete budget line items

35% of Overall Score

Advanced budgeting features take a deeper look at more complicated aspects of budgeting. We considered financial modeling, comprehensive reporting, complex projection and forecasting methods, and multiyear budgeting. While most small businesses might not need advanced features, using advanced tools can help businesses predict future performance.

The main objective of this criterion is to evaluate the difficulty of using the software. We considered that some do-it-yourself (DIY) business owners might want to do the budgeting since they know the ins and outs of business. Hence, the user experience must not be too difficult for them, and they should be able to navigate and use all budgeting tools easily. Aside from that, we also considered user reviews, customer service, support network, and accessibility as additional criteria.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does quickbooks have a budgeting tool.

Yes, QuickBooks does have a budgeting tool that is available with the QuickBooks Online Plus and Advanced plans. The budgeting feature in QuickBooks allows users to create, track, and manage budgets for their businesses. With this tool, you can set up budget goals for income and expenses, compare actual financial data against your budgeted amounts, and analyze variances.

How do I create a budget for my small business?

First, it is important to define your business goals to identify the key areas where you want to allocate resources and focus your financial efforts. Then, list your income sources and estimate your monthly income and expenses, taking into account items like utilities, supplies, insurance, and advertising. Calculate your net income to ensure that you can plan for contingencies, and regularly review your budget so that you can adjust as needed based on income and expenses. Also, consider using accounting or budgeting software to streamline the budgeting process and track your finances more effectively.

Why use budgeting software?

It makes budgeting easier as it automatically performs the needed calculations without creating a formula. Traditionally, managers and analysts create budgets using a spreadsheet. But with complexities in formula and the need to interconnect multiple sheets, budgeting using spreadsheets can be a nightmare.

What are the types of budgets?

Budgets can be either financial or operating. Financial budgets focus on capital inflows and outflows, cash flow, financing, and investment plans. Meanwhile, operating budgets focus on operations such as sales forecasting, production planning, and resource allocation.

Overall, the best small business budgeting software has features that let users create budgets from within the platform. It should automate basic calculations and reporting formatting to make the experience easy for users. Zoho Books is our top pick because it contains the ideal blend of features for small business budgeting. Otherwise, PlanGuru is a good choice for businesses that want to perform a deep budgeting analysis.

About the Author

Danielle Bauter

Find Danielle On LinkedIn

Danielle Bauter

Danielle Bauter is a writer for the Accounting division of Fit Small Business. She has owned Check Yourself, a bookkeeping and payroll service that specializes in small business, for over twenty years. She holds a Bachelor's degree from UCLA and has served on the Board of the National Association of Women Business Owners. She also regularly writes about business for various consumer publications.

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business budgeting software tools

There are two types of entrepreneurs—those who prefer business budgeting software over spreadsheets and those who don’t.

Sure. Using spreadsheets for budgeting may sound like a good idea, but it’s also a recipe for chaos and scratched-up keyboards.

Many business owners still use spreadsheets as their primary budgeting tool; however, it takes time, and there is always the risk of human error down the road.

On the other hand, business budgeting software makes budgeting less intimidating, helping you ensure your business meets its financial goals. Luckily, many small business budgeting tools are available to make things easier and hassle-free for you.

Wondering which one to choose for your business? Here you go.

We have researched and compiled the best business budgeting software that will help you in making your decision firm.

As we dive right into the topic, let’s know what exactly are these business budgeting tools:

What is a business budgeting software?

business budgeting software is a type of accounting software that helps individuals and businesses create, manage, and monitor their budgets. It empowers users to plan their finances smoothly by estimating income, forecasting expenses, and allocating resources across various categories.

With features like automated calculations and customization options, users can streamline the budgeting process, ensuring accuracy and efficiency.

Let’s discuss all the budgeting tools in detail now:

Best business budgeting software Tools

  • Upmetrics : Startup financial planning tool
  • Xero : All-in-one business budgeting software
  • Zoho Books : All-in-one business budgeting software
  • QuickBooks : All-in-one business budgeting software
  • PlanGuru : In-depth forecasting
  • FreshBooks : User-friendly accounting and budgeting
  • Wave : Accounting software with budgeting features
  • Sage Accounting : Comprehensive financial management
  • Float : Cash flow forecasting tool
  • Futrli : For software integrations

1. Upmetrics

Upmetrics business budgeting software

Upmetrics is a popular AI-powered business and financial planning software that helps startups and small business owners write and prepare their financial budgets, statements, and business plans.

Isn’t that all basic business budgeting or planning software provided?

Well, with Upmetrics, you get AI-powered revenue and expense stream suggestions.

Well, that’s not all, this tool also helps you write the entire business plan with guidance at each step.

It comes with an AI business assistant that reads and comprehends your entire business plan and answers any questions you have regarding your finances, budgets, or business plan.

For instance, you may ask when my business will break even or ask to help you prepare a revenue-and-expense statement forecast for 5 years. You may ask anything and get answers.

If you don’t know much about how to plan your budget, then this is the must-try software. Some other features of Upmetrics include:

Best Features

  • Supports in planning and managing cash flow statements.
  • Provides a clear and accurate financial dashboard.
  • Financial forecast calculators up to 7 years.
  • AI-powered revenue and expense stream suggestions.
  • AI writing assistant to help you write your business plan.
  • Automatically generates financial statements and visual reports
  • Multilingual support to translate text in 9+ languages

Say goodbye to old-school excel and spreadsheets

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Plans starting from $7/month

business plan budget software

With the help of Xero, small businesses can make detailed budgets and plan their income & expense statements for various years. Xero facilitates expense tracking, invoicing, financial reporting, and much more.

With real-time updates, businesses can observe their financial situation continuously and make informed decisions.

Xero’s cloud-based nature also supports collaborative budget planning, allowing multiple users to work on budgets simultaneously.

With scalability in mind, Xero is suitable for growing startups, providing a robust solution encompassing various aspects of financial management, including effective budgeting.

Here is a quick overview of the features it provides:

  • Cloud-based access
  • Easy invoicing
  • Expense management
  • Multi-currency support
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Financial Reporting
  • Budgeting and forecasting
  • Payroll management


  • The introductory plan restricts the number of bills to 5 and invoices to 20 per month.
  • It is relatively more expensive than other financing tools
  • Limited customer support for the starter plan
  • There are customization limitations regarding specific industry needs or certain businesses

3. Zoho Books

Zoho Books

Zoho Books is very easy to use thanks to its user-friendly interface and intuitive features.

The budget feature is so simple — add the name, fiscal year, and budget period. Additionally, it can be integrated with your bank account, so you can import all the past transactions to make your budgeting smooth.

Customizable financial reports, including profit and loss statements and balance sheets, assist businesses in assessing their financial health against budgeted goals.

Some of the features it provides are

  • User-friendly interface
  • Budgeting tools
  • Real-time financial tracking
  • Integration Capabilities
  • Invoicing and payment tracking
  •  Bank reconciliation
  • Affordability
  • There are limited advanced features in lower-tier plans.
  • It has limited payroll features which might be an issue for companies with complex payroll features.
  • Users on lower-tier plans might encounter transaction limits.
  • The pricing structure with various plans and add-ons is a bit complex.

4. QuickBooks


QuickBooks is a popular accounting and business budgeting software. It has features that handle everything you need for budgeting, and it also provides tools for basic needs and integrations with other apps for more detailed cash flow predictions.

It provides a structured framework for precise budgeting and profit & loss over a specific period. QuickBooks also excels in bank reconciliation, making it easy to match transactions with bank feeds for accurate financial records.

It’s widely recognized in the industry, and even beginners can take a course to learn how to use QuickBooks online and understand bookkeeping.

Here are some features it provides:

  • Automated Recurring transactions
  • Integration capabilities
  • Expense tracking
  • Security features
  • Customer support
  • Some plans have transaction limits that huge businesses might need.
  • The cost of advanced plans is higher for small businesses
  • New users have to go through the learning curve before using the tool.
  • Certain features might cost you extra or would ask you to upgrade to higher plans.

5. PlanGuru


PlanGuru is a valuable tool for a small business searching for effective budgeting solutions. It helps businesses to go beyond basic budgeting and delve into financial projections.

The software allows for budget creation, offering a view of your financial goals and strategies. Keep in mind that there may be a learning curve before you start using PlanGuru.

Some of the features of PlanGuru are:

  • In-depth forecasting
  • Cash flow forecasting
  • Flexible modeling
  • Multi-year planning
  • Comprehensive budget creation
  • Intuitive interface
  • Financial ratio analysis
  • Report customization
  • Businesses with simple budgeting needs might find it complex.
  • Some users have reported that PlanGuru might need a more manual approach rather than automation.
  • PlanGuru has a steeper learning curve due to its advanced features.
  • Some of the users have reported having more advanced collaborative options that support real-time changes.

Note: They even offer an advisory plan for $99/month.

6. FreshBooks


FreshBooks is one of the excellent budgeting tools not only for small businesses but freelancers too. Its intuitive interface makes budget-making and managing smooth, even with limited accounting knowledge.

It automates many financial processes, such as recurring billing, late payment reminders, and expense categorization. This automation saves time and reduces the risk of manual errors.

This cloud-based saves time and money by integrating with over 100 apps to streamline all the tasks from invoicing to expense tracking. Additionally, using its  free invoice generator  tool, you can make personalized and professional-looking invoices without a hassle. This handy tool makes creating invoices easy, saving you time without signing up.

Here is an overview of certain features:

  •  Time tracking
  • Project management
  • Client Portal
  • Financial reporting
  • Limited advanced accounting features for larger businesses or businesses that have complex accounting.
  • Basic project management in comparison to other tools.
  • Limited inventory management for companies that need advanced inventory management features.
  • Customization options are limited compared to other tools.


Wave is indeed one of the best budgeting software that provides free accounting and invoicing services.

With its intuitive interface, businesses can easily create and manage budgets, making it accessible for those navigating basic accounting tasks.

While lacking some advanced features for financial data management, Wave’s simplicity, affordability, and focus on core budgeting elements make it a practical choice for small businesses aiming to streamline their financial management.

Below are the features that Wave provides:

  • Free accounting software
  • Free invoicing
  • Receipt scanning
  • Wave primarily relies on community-based support and lacks live customer support.
  • While Wave has some integrations, still those are not as extensive as the other advanced tools.
  • It is less suitable for businesses requiring multiple-user access.
  • Wave has fewer user permissions, which may not be ideal for businesses needing detailed control over user roles and access levels.

8. Sage Accounting

Sage Accounting

Sage is a helpful business budgeting software for small businesses. Its user-friendly interface and extensive features simplify the budget creation and management process.

The platform’s integrations with third-party applications help in enhancing functionality allowing businesses to connect with other tools.

In summary, Sage Accounting presents a comprehensive and user-friendly solution tailored to the needs of small businesses aiming for an efficient budgeting tool.

Here are some of the features of Sage Accounting:

  • Multi-user collaboration
  • Automation of recurring transactions
  • Tax calculation and compliance
  • Customizable charts of accounts
  • cash flow management
  • One with limited accounting knowledge will find it complex.
  • Compared to other advanced accounting software, Sage Accounting has limited advanced features.
  • They incur additional costs for additional users, resulting in being an expensive tool when businesses plan to expand.
  • Due to its various features, new users have to go through the learning curve to use it further.


Float is a valuable small business budget software that offers a smooth cash flow management tool. With its intuitive features and real-time cash flow insights, it simplifies budgeting.

The automated data import feature of Float ensures accurate and up-to-date financial predictions.

Float’s functionalities are not as broad as certain other software, but it provides you with a user-friendly experience. In short, it provides all the tools for small businesses to navigate their financial landscape.

Here are some other features of Float to keep in mind:

  • Real-time cash flow forecasting
  • Automated data import
  • Scenario planning
  • Customizable categories
  • Visual cash flow charts
  • Budget vs. actual comparisons
  • The tool is a bit complex to use, so you need to learn it before you start using it
  • Integrations are still not as extensive as other tools
  • Supports only single-currency forecasting
  • Does not provide any kind of direct connection with banks.


Futrli is worth considering as a budgeting tool for small businesses. It offers advanced financial planning & analysis capabilities, along with budgeting.

Its real-time cash flow forecasting ensures that businesses have a broad view of their financial health while planning or maintaining their budgets.

The platform’s integration with various accounting and financial software maintains the accuracy of financial data while importing or exporting it.

In short, it is a valuable tool for businesses thinking of gaining insightful budget planning. Some of the other features are:

  • Financial forecasting
  • Corporate performance management
  • KPI tracking
  • Business management
  • Cash flow management
  • Business reporting
  • Goal setting and tracking
  • The pricing structure is high for small businesses in comparison to other tools providing the same solutions.
  • Limited industry-specific templates, might hamper the ease of implementation for businesses with unique industry requirements.
  • Some of the advanced features are complex for small businesses that require simple financial solutions.
  • It lacks in providing dedicated project management features to manage project budgets.

How to choose the best small business budgeting software?

Choosing the best small business budgeting software needs careful consideration of the various features of all the tools available. Here are some of the points you should consider:

  • Understand your requirements : Firstly list out all the features you need from the software to make your process smooth. Also, mention the budget of your business. This will help you draw a line for what to choose and what not to.
  • Learning curve and trial periods : One of the wise decisions will be to go through the trial period while learning the tool and hire a dedicated employee or finance team that can understand and make a decision to buy the subscription or not.
  • Read reviews and consider customer support : Explore the feedback given by other users and gain insight into user experience. Consider how they support their customers and then make a decision. This will help you in making the choice.
  • Financial forecasting : Along with budgeting, ensure that the tool is providing financial forecasting features that can help understand your business goals efficiently.

So, that’s it. Keep a check on your requirements before you select any software, and most importantly, check the features they provide.

We hope you found the perfect budgeting tool in your budget for your business. It was confusing, right? Because many tools help you with various aspects of business.

Likewise, Upmetrics is one such that not only helps in financial planning or forecasting but in writing business plans too. Isn’t that amazing and a foolproof tool for the ultimate growth of your business? Well, don’t wait and sign up right away.

Build your Business Plan Faster

with step-by-step Guidance & AI Assistance.


Frequently Asked Questions

What features should i look for in small business budgeting software.

Well, you should always go for the features that your business needs, but here are some common features to look for in a small business budgeting software:

  • Income and expense tracking
  • Real-time updates
  • Collaboration tools

Can small business budgeting software help in tax preparation?

There are specific tax preparation tools that might assist you with the taxes with all the automation. But, you can prepare for taxes in the business budgeting software too with manual efforts in some tools.

Is cloud-based business budgeting software better than on-premise solutions?

Ultimately, the choice between cloud-based and on-premise business budgeting software depends on your business’s specific needs, budget, and preferences.

Cloud solutions are often favored for their accessibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness, while on-premise solutions may be preferred for businesses with specific customization requirements and those prioritizing direct control over their infrastructure.

Are there any free business budgeting software options for small businesses?

Wave and Zoho Books are some free business budgeting software that provide limited features to small businesses for free plans. Whereas, free plans might be tempting, use automation and make your budgeting process hassle-free by choosing any of the above tools.

Can Microsoft Excel be used to create a budget?

Yes, you can create a budget using Microsoft Excel, but it will not provide you with any automation. You will need to use formulas to calculate everything, which is complex again. Therefore, going with a small business budgeting software is always recommended.

About the Author

business plan budget software

Riya Shah is a skilled content writer experienced in various areas of writing, currently working with Upmetrics. Fascination with reading led her to be a writer. Highly creative, focused, imaginative, and passionate. Read more

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7 Best Business Plan Software for 2024

By Krystle Wong , Jan 01, 2024

7 Best Business Plan Software

Gone are the days of staring at blank pages and struggling to structure a business plan effectively. With user-friendly interfaces and a wide range of business plan templates catering to various industries, creating business plans that are polished, professional and data-driven can now be done in a fraction of the time.

For startups, business plan software guides them through the crucial early stages with comprehensive business plan templates and financial modeling tools. Established businesses on the other hand benefit from the software’s collaborative features, enabling seamless teamwork as they pivot, innovate and pursue new growth opportunities.

In this article, let’s delve into exploring the seven best business plan software for 2024. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur with a groundbreaking idea or a seasoned business owner ready to elevate your enterprise to new heights, these software solutions have all you need to create a solid business plan.

Click to jump ahead:

What is a business plan software?

  • 7 Best business plan software for 2024

Factors to consider when choosing a business plan software

7 steps to create your own business plan, business plan software faq, key takeaway.

A Business plan software is a specialized digital tool designed to assist entrepreneurs, startups and established businesses in creating, organizing and presenting comprehensive business plans. 

Business plan software significantly reduces the time and effort required to create a comprehensive business plan . The availability of business plan templates, financial modeling tools and automated features streamlines the process of business planning and eliminates the need for starting from scratch.

Some advanced business planning software even integrates market research capabilities. This feature provides users with access to market trends, industry benchmarks and relevant data. Access to such data helps users make informed decisions and demonstrate a thorough understanding of their target market.

7 Best business plan software for 2024 

1. venngage.


Venngage specializes in transforming traditional business plans into captivating visual stories. Visuals can communicate complex information effectively, ensuring your ideas stand out and resonate with your audience.

When it comes to business planning, conveying your ideas with impact is just as important as the content itself. In this digital age, visual storytelling has emerged as a powerful way to captivate audiences and leave a lasting impression. That’s where Venngage steps in.

With a rich library of templates, Venngage offers a variety of themes and styles to suit different industries and business types. Customize your business plans with our user-friendly drag-and-drop tools by adding your brand elements, customizing colors, fonts and visuals to make your business plan truly unique. Check out our library of sample business plans to get started today.

However, while Venngage excels in visual storytelling, it might not be the go-to tool for in-depth financial forecasts and analysis. Users seeking extensive financial modeling might want to complement Venngage with a comprehensive business planning tool.

Pricing options:

Create your first 5 designs with Venngage for free and upgrade to a premium or business plan for $10/month per user and $24/month per user respectively to enjoy premium features. For larger teams who need extra support, controls and security, the enterprise plan starts from $499/month for 10+ seats.

Can I collaborate with team members using this business plan software?

Yes, absolutely! Venngage offers collaborative features that allow you to work seamlessly with multiple team members when creating business plans. You can invite team members to join your Venngage account and they can contribute to the design process in real time. 

Can I export my business plan to different file formats?

Upgrade to a premium or business plan on Venngage to export your professional business plan to different file formats. After designing your business plan, you can choose to export it as a high-quality PDF document, which is ideal for sharing and printing. Additionally, Venngage allows you to export your business plan as an image file (PNG or JPG), making it easy to use in presentations or on your website. 

Is this business plan software suitable for startups or established businesses? 

Venngage is great for entrepreneurs and businesses looking to enhance their business plans with visually engaging infographics and visual assets.

Instead of sharing a lengthy, 50-page document that may bore your audience and fail to effectively convey your message — present your business plan with infographics. Here’s how you can create a business plan infographic that will wow your readers and showcase your business at its best. 

2. LivePlan


Source: Screenshot from LivePlan

In the realm of business planning software, LivePlan stands out as a reliable and user-friendly tool. With a focus on seamless financial forecasting and budgeting capabilities, LivePlan streamlines the planning process, helping businesses transform their visions into reality.

The software’s financial forecasting tools provide users with the ability to project revenue, expenses and cash flow accurately. This financial insight is invaluable for making informed decisions and setting realistic goals.

For hassle-free data integration, the business plan software offers seamless integration with accounting software. This feature allows users to import financial data effortlessly, saving time and reducing manual data entry.

While LivePlan excels in financial planning and user-friendliness, some users may find the customization options for design and layout to be limited. For businesses seeking highly tailored visual aesthetics, LivePlan’s template-based approach might be less ideal.

The standard plan is available at $20/month for monthly billing and $15/month for annual billing. For businesses seeking extensive financial tools to support their operations and growth, the Premium plan costs $20 for the first month and $40/month (monthly billing) or $30/month (annual billing) for subsequent months.

LivePlan facilitates seamless collaboration among users within your account, allowing multiple individuals to work on the same plan concurrently. To prevent conflicting edits, LivePlan restricts access to specific sections, allowing only one user to edit at a time while others observe the locked section.

You can export your business plan by using the print to PDF feature. This generates your plan content in a standard file format compatible with Adobe Reader and other free reader programs. Alternatively, you can export your plan to Microsoft Word (2007 or later).

A great tool for small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs looking for easy-to-use software with solid financial planning tools.

3. BizPlan by Startups.com

BizPlan by Startups.com

Source: Screenshot from BizPlan

If you’re a startup aiming to raise investments, BizPlan is the one for you. As a universal professional business plan builder, BizPlan offers the added advantage of seamless integration with all the tools within the Startups.com network.

Designed with startups in mind, BizPlan’s step-by-step approach allows you to break down the entire scope of work into manageable steps and the built-in Progress Tracker tool keeps you on track towards success.

Once you subscribe, BizPlan opens the door to utilizing all the tools offered by Startups.com, making it a one-stop shop for your entrepreneurial needs. Whether it’s lifetime access to the service, connectivity to Findable to attract financial investments, a wealth of online educational programs or the ability to connect multiple owners to a single account, BizPlan delivers comprehensive support.

While the business plan software offers an array of benefits, it’s essential to consider the possible downsides. The absence of a free version and a mobile app, along with a lack of industry-specific templates for business plans may be worth considering before making your decision

Pricing plan options:

  • Monthly plan ($29 per month)
  • Annual plan ($20.75 per month or $249/year)
  • Lifetime access (one-time fee of $349)

Bizplan encourages collaboration with partners, team members, advisors and subject matter experts by allowing threaded comments throughout the entire plan. It provides control over who can access sensitive financial data and enables convenient cloud-based access from anywhere.

Bizplan provides multiple options for sharing your business plan with others. You can generate an online version of your plan, which can be set as private by default or made publicly accessible through a unique shareable URL. Additionally, Bizplan offers the option to create a custom-branded PDF of your business plan. 

BizPlan is great for entrepreneurs and small businesses who value a vast collection of resources and need support in financial analysis.


Source: Screenshot from Enloop

Enloop emerges as one of the best business plan tools for startups, catering to entrepreneurs who crave a streamlined planning process. With the ability to automatically generate basic text for each section of your plan, Enloop saves time and effort in crafting your business vision.

A highlight of the business plan tool is its automatic generation of financial projections, offering accurate insights based on your entered data. This powerful feature empowers entrepreneurs to make informed decisions and project future outcomes with confidence.

For those with a penchant for strategic thinking, Enloop’s “what-if” scenario analysis becomes an invaluable tool. It allows users to explore various business strategies and assess their potential impact on plan outcomes, enabling sound decision-making.

Enloop doesn’t stop at generating numbers; it goes a step further by providing a business plan grading system. This insightful feature assesses plan quality, giving users valuable feedback to refine and enhance their business plans.

However, it’s essential to consider the software’s limitations as customization and design options are relatively limited. Additionally, the basic version of Enloop might not meet the needs of all users, as it lacks certain advanced features. 

  • Seven day free trial (no credit card required)
  • Detailed plan ($19.95/month or $11/month when billed annually)
  • Performance plan ($39.95/month or $24/month when billed annually)

Enloop’s online business plan writing app lets you invite and collaborate with anyone on your business plans using the ‘Invite & Share’ feature.

Enloop allows you to download your business plan in PDF format whenever you’re ready. The plans remain accessible in your paid account, encouraging regular updates to keep track of your business’s health and have an up-to-date plan ready for financing needs.

Suitable for entrepreneurs seeking a tool that simplifies financial forecasting and scenario analysis.

5. PlanGuru


Source: Screenshot from PlanGuru

PlanGuru’s standout feature lies in its ability to forecast all three financial statements – income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement so that users can make data-driven decisions.

Creating detailed analyses becomes a breeze with PlanGuru’s general ledger import utilities, allowing seamless historical data import. The software facilitates budget vs actual reporting and enables building rolling forecasts with just a few clicks each month.

Unlimited budgeting flexibility is another advantage offered by the business plan builder. Users can craft simple high-level small business budgets or delve into intricate multi-department operating budgets with ease.

With scenario analysis capabilities, PlanGuru empowers users to interpret the financial impact of specific events accurately. This feature enables making critical investments and strategic decisions with confidence, knowing thorough due diligence has been performed.

Given its sophisticated features, PlanGuru may be more suitable for financial professionals and analysts looking for in-depth financial analysis and budgeting tools. Users not familiar with financial modeling may face a steeper learning curve when utilizing Enloop’s robust capabilities.

  • Single entity ($99/month or $75/month when billed annually)
  • Multi-department consolidations ($299/month or $225/month when billed annually)

You can add up to 3 users with the multi-department consolidation plan. Additionally, all plans allow you to add on $29/month (billed monthly) or $25/month (billed annually) for each extra user.

What other apps does PlanGuru integrate with?

The cloud-based platform is also accessible as a Windows-based desktop version, giving you the freedom to choose the format that suits you best. Additionally, PlanGuru seamlessly integrates with MS Excel, QuickBooks Online and Xero, providing further flexibility and convenience in using the software.

The cloud-based version is suitable for SMBs or nonprofits budgeting for a single entity while the multi-department consolidations plan is for companies with multiple departments needing consolidated budgets.

6. Business Sorter

Business Sorter

Source: Screenshot from Business Sorter

With Business Sorter’s card sort system, crafting the foundation of your plan becomes a breeze. Featuring 273 cards covering various business situations, the business plan generator offers flexibility, allowing users to customize their plan by adding their cards or modifying existing ones, tailoring the plan to their specific needs.

The platform also provides the convenience of viewing your plan on any device, including smartphones, which not many business plan apps have. Additionally, guidance is at hand with Business Sorter as the software provides valuable tips and advice for every key step, empowering users to implement their business strategy with confidence.

While Business Sorter excels in its interactive features, it may not offer as extensive financial analysis tools as other business plan software. For businesses requiring advanced financial modeling capabilities, Business Sorter might not fully meet their requirements.

  • For small teams with up to 3 users ($10/month or $80/year)
  • For medium teams with up to 10 users ($30/month or $240/year)
  • For large teams with up to 30 users ($80/month or $640/year)
  • For enterprises with unlimited users (custom pricing)

Your business plan can be edited by only one user at a time. When a user opens a plan, it automatically locks to prevent any data loss and remains locked until the user finishes their work and exits the plan.

You can print each business plan directly from the plan summaries on your dashboard. 

Suitable for both entrepreneurs and businesses looking for an interactive and visually appealing planning approach.

7. AchieveIt


Source: Screenshot from AchieveIt

AchieveIt stands as a versatile software for business plans, designed to simplify the planning process for businesses of all sizes and planning methods. With AchieveIt, you can easily build plans, ensuring alignment and engagement among your employees and optimizing plans for seamless execution.

Regardless of your preferred planning method, AchieveIt empowers you to construct plans effortlessly, providing a flexible solution for any planning use case. The software ensures your plans are well-aligned with your organization’s objectives, engaging all team members for successful plan execution.

The business plan tool provides robust tracking and reporting features, allowing businesses to monitor the progress of their plans and measure performance against set goals. Users can create customized dashboards to visualize key performance metrics, making it easier to identify trends and insights.

That said, In comparison to most business plan software, AchieveIt’s pricing might be relatively higher with its extensive features. On top of that, for users new to strategic planning software, AchieveIt may present a learning curve during the initial adoption phase.

The business plan software packages for AchieveIt varies based on factors like organization size, required functionality and the number of users. AchieveIt being an enterprise-level software offers custom pricing to cater to the specific needs of each business. For accurate pricing details, it’s best to contact their sales or customer support team.

AchieveIt allows team members, stakeholders and advisors to have shared access to the platform, providing them with visibility into the latest updates and progress on the plans. Users can assign tasks to team members and track their progress within the platform. 

Can AchieveIt integrate with existing systems?

AchieveIt’s Data Integration API lets you import key metric data from existing systems, saving time and reducing errors by eliminating the need for data entry in multiple places.

AchieveIt is best suited for medium to large-sized businesses and organizations that require a comprehensive and collaborative strategic planning platform. It caters to teams and enterprises seeking to improve their planning processes, track performance and drive organizational alignment to achieve business objectives effectively.

No idea what your business plan should look like? Check out these business plan examples for inspiration. 

business plan budget software

When searching for the best business planning software, you may be wondering — what features should I look for in business plan software? You want to make sure it meets your specific requirements and streamlines the planning process effectively. Here are the top six factors to consider:

Ease of use

The software should have a user-friendly interface that simplifies the process of creating a business plan. Look for intuitive navigation, clear instruction and a layout that makes it easy to input and organize your information.

Features and business plan templates

Check the range of features and business plan templates the software offers. Look for a diverse selection of business plan templates catering to various industries and business types. The software should provide essential sections like executive summaries, market analysis, financial projections and more.

business plan budget software

Financial modeling tools

Your business plan software should allow you to input financial data and generate accurate and comprehensive financial projections. These business plan creation tools are vital for assessing the financial viability of your business.

Collaboration and sharing

If you’ll be working with a team or seeking feedback from others, consider software that enables real-time collaboration and easy sharing. The ability to work together seamlessly can enhance productivity and improve the quality of your business plan.

Built for fast-moving teams that need to be on the same page, Venngage’s real-time collaboration enables you to polish your design with your team in real time, leave comments on each other’s work,and save your designs in one shared folder. With your  Venngage Business  account, you can easily invite and manage your team members to collaborate on a design, all in real time.

Security and data protection

Since a business plan contains sensitive information, prioritize software that prioritizes security. Ensure that the software uses encryption and data protection measures to keep your data safe from unauthorized access.

Exporting and sharing options

Check the software’s export options. You’ll likely want to share your business plan with others, so ensure it can be exported in popular formats like PDF or PowerPoint.

Are you an entrepreneur starting a new business or expanding your existing business? This guide on how to create a small business plan might come in handy for you. 

business plan budget software

Creating business plans can be a crucial step in setting your entrepreneurial vision on the right track. To help you through the process, here are 7 steps to guide you in crafting a comprehensive business plan:

Step 1: Executive summary

Start with an attention-grabbing executive summary. This section provides an overview of your business. In your executive summary, make sure to highlight your mission, goals, products or services, target market and the unique value you offer. Keep it concise, yet compelling.

business plan budget software

Step 2: Company description

Give a detailed description of your company. Explain your business’s history, its legal structure (e.g. sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation) and the reasons why your business will succeed in the market.

business plan budget software

Step 3: Market analysis

Conduct thorough market research to understand your industry, target market and competition. Identify your ideal customers, their needs and preferences. Analyze your competitors and highlight your competitive advantages.

Step 4: Products and Services

Describe your products or services in depth. Explain their features, benefits and how they meet the needs of your target customers. Emphasize what sets your offerings apart from the competition.

business plan budget software

Step 5: Marketing and sales strategy

Outline your marketing and sales strategies to reach your target audience. Explain your promotional activities, pricing strategies, distribution channels and sales tactics. Detail how you plan to acquire and retain customers.

Step 6: Financial projections

Project your financial performance over the next three to five years. Include estimated revenue, expenses and cash flow. Detail your startup costs and funding requirements if applicable. Be realistic and supported by market research.

Step 7: Implementation plan

Create a detailed roadmap for executing your business plan. Set specific goals and milestones. Break down tasks and assign responsibilities. Include timelines and a plan for measuring progress.

business plan budget software

A great tip here is to start with a well-structured outline. This guide on how to create a business plan outline will help you in creating your blueprint to easily identify your business’ resource needs, including finances, personnel and equipment. 

Is my business data safe with business plan software?

Most reputable business plan software providers prioritize data security and employ encryption and other measures to keep your business data safe from unauthorized access.

What are the benefits of using business planning tools?

Business planning tools offer time efficiency, professional presentation, error reduction, collaborative features and accessibility, making it easier to create a comprehensive business plan that impresses investors and stakeholders.

Do I need any specific skills or expertise to use business plan software?

No, many business plan software solutions are designed to be user-friendly, requiring no specific skills or expertise. They often come with templates and step-by-step guidance to assist you through the planning process.

In the dynamic landscape of 2024, businesses are on the lookout for innovative tools to stay ahead of the curve and drive their growth. These 7 business plan software picks for 2024 offer a wide range of features, from user-friendly interfaces and real-time collaboration to sophisticated financial analysis tools and customizable dashboards.

Whether you’re looking for user-friendly platform business planning tools that aligns with your business planning processes or a business plan writing software that allows you to tailor the business plan according to your industry, goals and unique requirements — I’m quite certain I’ve got them all covered. 

The value of these business plan software options lies not only in their efficiency but also in their ability to save time and reduce errors. By integrating with existing systems through Data Integration APIs, users can seamlessly import key metric data, eliminating redundant data entry and streamlining the process.

If you’re still unsure about which is the right business plan software for your business, you can always take advantage of free trials or video tutorials and demos offered by software providers. Testing the platform firsthand will give you a practical understanding of its usability and suitability for your business.

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7 free small business budget templates for future-proofing your finances

Hero image with an icon representing a budget

As a small business owner, you're likely balling with a lot more than your personal checking account. If you don't properly manage your business finances, there's more on the line than an overdraft fee—you now have an entire organization to account for.

Small business budgets are necessary to balance revenue, estimate how much you'll spend, and project financial forecasts, so you can stay out of the red and keep your business afloat.

But creating a small business budget template isn't a small task. Since I don't have a business to run, I did the heavy lifting for you—check out these free, downloadable templates for your small business budgeting.

Table of contents:

2. Overhead budget template

3. multiple-project budget template.

4. Startup budget template 

5. Labor budget template

6. cash flow budget template, 7. administrative budget template, periodic budget reviews, how to design your small business budget plan, small business budget faq, 1. static budget template.

Best for: Multiple departments or revenue streams; Industries with complex operations

A static budget combines all the function-specific budgets a business uses into one. Typically, a static budget includes the following items (plus any other budgets your business might use):

Cash flow projections: Estimations of how much money will flow into and out of your business. They also help you decide when, how, and what you should spend money on.

Total expected spending: All estimated expenses, including labor and administrative costs. 

By integrating all of your budgets and projections, the static budget provides a full picture of your business's estimated expenses and financial strategy for the upcoming fiscal year. 

Screenshot of a static budget template.

Best for: Service-based businesses

It's easy to forget about expenses that aren't directly tied to production, like delivery charges or utilities. But these costs exist (and can add up quickly), so you need an overhead budget. A detailed overhead budget template will include:

Administration expenses

It compares your budgeted amount to actual figures (warning: it may be a rude awakening) and can help improve accuracy for future financial planning. 

Predicting overhead spending helps you plan how to use other funds more practically too—if you know how much you'll spend on overhead, you can make better business decisions. For example, you'd know whether you can afford to invest money into other initiatives like adding a delivery service or upgrading equipment.

Screenshot of overhead budget template.

Best for: Project-based industries

If you're managing multiple projects like website development or event planning, each with its own budget and expenses, you need a multiple-project budget to help keep your head on straight. This type of budget will help you track the following items per project:

Product-by-product COGS (cost of goods sold)

Labor costs

Equipment and resource costs

Indirect project expenses like travel

A multiple-projects budget establishes estimates for everything you need to get projects across the finish line. It also lets you track costs to ensure you're not spending more than you accounted for in the budget.

Screenshot of a multiple-project budget template.

4. Startup budget template

Best for: New small businesses and startups

Startups need to ensure financial success from the get-go, so they can reinvest profit into the business and potentially attract more investors. 

But unlike established small businesses, you don't have past financial data to base expenses on. That's why you need a startup budget to focus on expenses for your first year of business, including items like:

Funding from investors and loans

Licensing and permits

Logo and website design

Website domain

Business software

Security installation 

Overhead expenses

Capital expenses

Screenshot of a startup budget template.

Best for: Larger businesses with lots of employees

Unless you're a one-person show, you'll need a labor budget. And even if you are a one-person show, it's good to know if you can afford to pay yourself. A labor budget breaks down all employee-related costs like: 

Payroll taxes

Contract labor

Screenshot of a labor budget template.

Break down employee costs into direct, indirect, fixed, and variable categories to clarify how your company allocates its resources. You can also consider different scenarios more easily when you understand the breakdown of labor costs.

For example, you can simulate the impact of adding or reducing staff in specific departments or assess the effects of different compensation structures on different teams.

An accurate forecast of labor costs ensures you can sustainably meet your staffing needs and can help you make informed hiring decisions. Down the road, it can also help you determine if you can afford to give your staff raises, bonuses, or additional benefits.

Best for: Businesses with fluctuating income and expenses; Seasonal businesses; Retail

As important as it is to be mindful of how much money you're spending, you should also track how much money you're making . A cash flow budget helps estimate how money is flowing in and out of your business. It includes:

Starting balance (set at the beginning of the month, quarter, or year)

Projected cash inflow from all revenue streams

Estimated cash expenditures

Ending balance (calculated at the end of the month, quarter, or year)

This type of budget lets you proactively manage your resources, anticipate potential cash shortages, and strategize for growth. For instance, if you know you're only going to break even this year, you may wait on expanding or making a large investment. 

Screenshot of a cash flow budget template.

Best for: Businesses focused on streamlining operations

An administrative budget includes all those general expenses that the company as a whole needs to function. This type of budget accounts for: 

Depreciation expenses

Training and development

Communication expenses

Accounting fees

While you could technically include administrative expenses in an overhead budget and call it a day, a separate administrative budget gives more of an eagle-eye view of how well your business is operating. 

Without an eye on administrative costs, you may be spending unnecessarily or lose focus on areas where it'd be wiser to invest your money. In other words, you could be spending way too much on fancy pens when you should be saving up to upgrade your cash register. 

Screenshot of an administrative budget template.

A budget isn't a "set it and forget it" deal. Regular budget reviews can help you stay on track with your financial goals and respond proactively to changing market conditions. 

You should compare your estimated budget to actual spending. Then you can see where you went over and where you can splurge more. Try to review your budget monthly, quarterly, and yearly.

Monthly: Compare actual performance against your budgeted figures for the month. Identify any deviations and look for insights into cash flow, sales trends, and expense management.

Quarterly: Dive deeper into performance over the last three months. Use trends to project revenue and expenses for the upcoming quarter and identify areas for improvement.

Yearly: Reflect on your long-term financial objectives for the fiscal year. Assess the effectiveness of your budgeting strategies, and set new budget targets for the upcoming year. 

It's cliched but true: you gotta spend money to make money. But that's no excuse to start throwing cash at your business willy-nilly.

Budgeting forces you to prioritize your objectives, so you spend money on the things that matter most. Here's how to create a small business budget in four steps:

Identify your working capital for the budgeting period. Add up your current assets like cash, accounts receivable, and inventory. Then subtract current liabilities like accounts payable and short-term debt. The remaining amount is what you have left to cover your operational expenses during the budgeting period.

Separate business and personal expenses. If you haven't already, open a dedicated business bank account. This makes it easier to track, categorize, and analyze your finances.

Determine your fixed and variable costs. Make a list of costs that stay the same every month (fixed costs) and what changes (variable costs). These will change based on the purpose of the budget. For instance, a labor budget will only consider employee-related costs.

Calculate your total expenses. Add up all the costs for your business, including fixed costs, variable costs, labor, and any other applicable expenses. This total is how much your business needs to run. Any leftover money from your working capital can be allocated toward other business investments. 

Budgeting methods

If you've budgeted before and hated it, you may just have been using an ineffective budgeting method for your preferences. Here are a few budgeting methods to try instead: 

Traditional: This budget is set for a determined amount of time and uses last year's numbers as a benchmark. Once you set your budget, you don't change it unless you get approval for an adjustment.

Rolling: This dynamic approach spans a continuous time frame instead of a fixed time period. As each month or quarter passes, you add a new budget period and drop the oldest period. This lets businesses adjust projections based on real-time performance and market conditions.

Flexible: This budget changes along with your sales forecast. As real-time sales activity deviates from budgeted amounts, you recalculate the budget to reflect the new data. 

Still don't know where to start with your small business budget? Check out the answers to these common questions before you open a new Google Sheet.

What should a business budget include?

A business budget should include all income sources and expenses. Income sources could include projected revenue from sales, loans, or potential investor funding. Expenses may include items like office space rent, employee salaries, insurance, and marketing. Add anything that helps paint a full picture of your finances.

How much does the average small business startup cost?

The average small business startup costs $40,000 in its first year of business. But this will absolutely vary depending on your type of business, unique expenses, and cash income. For instance, there are multiple types of businesses you can start with $10,000 or less.

What is the best free business budgeting software?

The best free budgeting business software will depend on what your business needs, but you can try apps like Mint or Wave. Or you can use a spreadsheet—scroll up for some free small business budget templates.

Automate your small business

Knowing when or where to invest money into your business is just one of the many tasks you have on your plate as a small business owner. Learn how automation for small businesses can help take some of those recurring tasks off your hands, so you can focus on growing your business. 

Related reading:

The best free small business software

The best CRMs for small businesses

How to create effective document templates

21 free Google Sheets templates to boost productivity

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Cecilia Gillen

Cecilia is a content marketer with a degree in Media and Journalism from the University of South Dakota. After graduating, Cecilia moved to Omaha, Nebraska where she enjoys reading (almost as much as book buying), decor hunting at garage sales, and spending time with her two cats.

  • Small business
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Top 15 Business Budgeting Software Tools in 2023

Top Business Budgeting Software Tools

2. Sage Intacct

3. microsoft dynamics 365 business central, 4. quickbooks enterprise solutions by intuit, 5. xero accounting software, 6. netsuite business planning and budgeting, 7. freshbooks accounting & bookkeeping software by intuit, 8. zoho books, 10. adaptive insights by workday, 11. datarails, 12. mosaic tech, 13. prophix, 14. cube software, 15. vena solutions.

Business budgeting software tools are essential for any business, from the smallest startups to large corporations. By providing better visibility into a company's financial performance, budgeting software helps ensure that a business is using its resources in the most efficient way possible. With so many options available on the market, it can be challenging to determine the best choices for your organization.

To help narrow down your search, we've compiled a list of some of our top picks for business budgeting software tools.

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  • Share & Collaborate: Automate your data collection and validation through user controls.
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  • Visualize & Report: Generate and share reports with real-time data and actionable decisions.

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Sage Intacct Best Business Budgeting Software Tools

Sage Intacct Financial Management Software is a cloud-based solution that helps businesses track their finances and offers real-time cash flow and profitability insights. It also features budgeting tools, such as custom templates and reports, that can be tailored to your organization's needs. Sage Intacct is an excellent choice for businesses of all sizes and industries.

Sage Intacct key features include:

  • Real-time financial data and insights
  • Automated budgeting and forecasting
  • Customizable templates and reports
  • Dashboards for financial analysis
  • Multi-company consolidations

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Best Business Budgeting Software Tools

Next up is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. This comprehensive business software solution offers financial management modules and integrated planning capabilities. It also includes forecasting capabilities that help you plan more accurately for the future. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is perfect for businesses that want an easy-to-use yet robust system for tracking their finances over time.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central key features include:

  • Integrated financial management modules
  • Accurate forecasting capabilities
  • Real-time insights and reporting
  • Budgeting and cash flow analysis
  • Automated invoice processing

Quick Books Enterprise Solutions by Intuit Best Business Budgeting Software Tools

Next, we recommend QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions by Intuit. This cloud-based accounting software helps businesses manage their finances with real-time insights into their performance. It also features budgeting tools, such as customizable templates and dashboards, that can help you stay on top of your budget. QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions is ideal for businesses that need an intuitive yet powerful system for getting control of their finances.

QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions key features include:

  • Customizable budget templates and dashboards
  • Automated invoicing, payments, and collections

Xero Accounting Software Best Business Budgeting Software Tools

Xero Accounting Software  is a cloud-based system helps businesses gain better visibility into their finances. It offers budgeting tools, such as customizable templates, dashboards, and reporting features, to help you stay on top of your budget. Xero is perfect for small businesses that need a simple yet effective system for tracking their financial performance.

Xero Accounting Software key features include:

  • Customizable templates and dashboards
  • Real-time financial insights and reporting
  • Multi-currency consolidations

Top Free Excel Finance Templates and Financial Models

Top Free Excel Finance Templates and Financial Statements to help you manage your business financials, monitor performance, and make informed decisions.

Ne Suite Business Planning and Budgeting Best Business Budgeting Software Tools

Another recommendation is NetSuite Business Planning and Budgeting. This cloud-based software helps businesses plan their finances more effectively by providing budgeting tools like dashboards and custom reports. It also offers predictive analytics to help you keep a closer eye on your finances over time. NetSuite Business Planning and Budgeting is great for medium to large-size organizations that need a robust system to stay on top of their finances.

NetSuite Business Planning and Budgeting key features include:

  • Predictive analytics to help you plan better
  • Customizable dashboards and templates

Fresh Books Accounting Bookkeeping Software by Intuit Best Business Budgeting Software Tools

FreshBooks Accounting & Bookkeeping Software by Intuit is a cloud-based solution offering a variety of features, including budgeting tools, to help businesses stay on top of their finances. It also includes invoicing tools, such as customizable templates and reports, that can help you manage your budget more effectively. FreshBooks is ideal for businesses looking for an easy-to-use system with powerful financial management capabilities.

FreshBooks Accounting & Bookkeeping Software key features include:

  • Customizable templates for invoicing
  • Automated payments and collections
  • Real-time insights into your finances

Zoho Books Best Business Budgeting Software Tools

Another great budgeting tool is Zoho Books. This cloud-based solution helps businesses keep track of their finances, including budgeting and forecasting. It also offers customizable reports and dashboards to help you stay on top of your budget. Zoho Books is perfect for businesses that need an easy-to-use yet powerful system for tracking financial performance over time.

Zoho Books key features include:

  • Customizable reporting and dashboards
  • Real-time financial insights and analytics

Anaplan Best Business Budgeting Software Tools

Anaplan is perfect for businesses that need an advanced budgeting and planning solution. This cloud-based system features a powerful modeling engine that allows you to easily manage and track your finances. It also offers comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities to help you stay on top of your budget.

Anaplan key features include:

  • Advanced modeling capabilities
  • Customizable reports and dashboards

Adaptive Insights by Workday Best Business Budgeting Software Tools

We recommend Adaptive Insights by Workday for businesses that need a comprehensive business budgeting solution. This cloud-based software helps companies plan, forecast, and analyze their finances with powerful budgeting tools. It also includes advanced analytics capabilities that allow you to take a deeper look at your financial performance over time. Adaptive Insights by Workday is perfect for businesses looking for an intuitive yet robust system for managing their finances.

Adaptive Insights key features include:

  • Advanced analytics capabilities

Top Financial Planning Tools in 2023

The best picks for financial planning software tools to provide powerful insights into cash flows, budgeting, forecasting, investment strategies, and more.

Top Financial Planning Software Tools

Datarails is another great FP&A solution and Business Budgeting Software Tool. This cloud-based solution helps you efficiently manage and track your budget with customizable templates and reports. It also offers predictive analytics to help you stay one step ahead of your finances. Datarails is ideal for businesses that need a powerful yet easy-to-use system for getting control of their budget.

Datarails key features include:

Mosaic Tech Best Business Budgeting Software Tools

Mosaic is an all-in-one budgeting solution that helps businesses take control of their finances. It includes powerful tools, such as customizable dashboards and reports, to help you stay on top of your budget. Mosaic also offers predictive analytics capabilities to help you plan for the future. This software is perfect for businesses that need an easy-to-use yet powerful system for managing their finances.

Mosaic key features include:

Prophix Best Business Budgeting Software Tools

Prophix is an excellent choice for businesses that need a comprehensive budgeting system. This cloud-based solution features robust forecasting and budgeting capabilities that help companies to plan and track their finances. It also includes analytics features to help you stay on top of your budget over time. Prophix is ideal for businesses looking for an intuitive system with powerful financial management capabilities.

Prophix key features include:

Cube Best Business Budgeting Software Tools

Cube Software is another excellent business budgeting software tool. This cloud-based solution helps organizations take control of their finances with powerful tools such as customizable dashboards, reports, and analytics. Cube is perfect for businesses that need an easy-to-use yet powerful system for managing their budget.

Cube key features include:

Vena Solutions Best Business Budgeting Software Tools

Last but not least, Vena Solutions is an excellent choice for businesses that need an advanced budgeting and planning solution. This cloud-based software helps companies to plan and track their finances with budgeting tools such as scenario planning and forecasting. It also includes analytics capabilities to help you stay on top of your budget over time. Vena Solutions is perfect for businesses that need a comprehensive yet intuitive system for managing their finances.

Vena Solutions key features include:

These are just a few of the best business budgeting software tools today. With the right solution in place, you can ensure that your organization is making use of its resources in the most efficient way possible. Consider these options carefully when deciding which one to choose for your business.

By understanding the features, pros, and cons of the fifteen best business budgeting software tools on the market, businesses can make an informed decision regarding managing their finances. With the right system in place, companies can ensure they stay on top of their budget and make smart financial decisions.

By taking the time to choose the right budgeting software for your business, you can take control of your finances and make sure that you're making the most out of your resources. With the right tool in place, you can be confident that your organization is on track to achieve its financial goals.

Hady has a passion for tech, marketing, and spreadsheets. Besides his Computer Science degree, he has vast experience in developing, launching, and scaling content marketing processes at SaaS startups.

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The Best Free Business Budget Templates

Paige Bennett

Published: October 12, 2023

Business budgets are a source of truth for your income and expenses. That includes all the money you spend — from A/B testing your marketing campaigns to your monthly office rent.

Business owner creates business budget using templates

While organizing the numbers may sound difficult, using a business budget template makes the process simple. Plus, there are thousands of business budget templates for you to choose from.

→ Download Now: Free Budget Templates

We’ll share seven budget templates that can help organize your finances. But first, you’ll learn about different types of business budgets and how to create one.

What is a Business Budget?

A business budget is a spending plan that estimates the revenue and expenses of a business for a period of time, typically monthly, quarterly, or yearly.

The business budget follows a set template, which you can fill in with estimated revenues, plus any recurring or expected business expenses.

For example, say your business is planning a website redesign. You'd need to break down the costs by category: software, content and design, testing, and more.

Having a clear breakdown will help you estimate how much each category will cost and compare it with the actual costs.


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Types of Budgets for a Business

Master budget, operating budget, cash budget, static budget, departmental budget, capital budget, labor budget, project budget.

types of business budgets

Business budgets aren’t one size fits all. In fact, there are many different types of budgets that serve various purposes. Let’s dive into some commonly used budgets:

Think of a master budget as the superhero of budgets — it brings together all the individual budgets from different parts of your company into one big, consolidated plan. It covers everything from sales and production to marketing and finances.

It includes details like projected revenues, expenses, and profitability for each department or business unit. It also considers important financial aspects like cash flow, capital expenditures, and even creates a budgeted balance sheet to show the organization's financial position.

The master budget acts as a guide for decision-making, helps with strategic planning, and gives a clear picture of the overall financial health and performance of your company. It's like the master plan that ties everything together and helps the organization move in the right direction.

Your operating budget helps your company figure out how much money it expects to make and spend during a specific period, usually a year. It not only predicts the revenue your business will bring in, but also outlines expenses it will need to cover, like salaries, rent, bills, and other operational costs.

By comparing your actual expenses and revenue to the budgeted amounts, your company can see how it's performing and make adjustments if needed. It helps keep things in check, allowing your business to make wise financial decisions and stay on track with its goals.

A cash budget estimates the cash inflows and outflows of your business over a specific period, typically a month, quarter, or year. It provides a detailed projection of cash sources and uses, including revenue, expenses, and financing activities.

The cash budget helps you effectively manage your cash flow, plan for cash shortages or surpluses, evaluate the need for external financing, and make informed decisions about resource allocation.

By utilizing a cash budget, your business can ensure it has enough cash on hand to meet its financial obligations, navigate fluctuations, and seize growth opportunities.

A static budget is a financial plan that remains unchanged, regardless of actual sales or production volumes.

It’s typically created at the beginning of a budget period and doesn’t account for any fluctuations or changes in business conditions. It also assumes that all variables, such as sales, expenses, and production levels, will remain the same throughout the budget period.

While a static budget provides a baseline for comparison, it may not be realistic for businesses with fluctuating sales volumes or variable expenses.

A departmental budget focuses on the financial aspects of a specific department within your company, such as sales, marketing or human resources.

When creating a departmental budget, you may look at revenue sources like departmental sales, grants, and other sources of income. On the expense side, you consider costs such as salaries, supplies, equipment, and any other expenses unique to that department.

The goal of a departmental budget is to help the department manage its finances wisely. It acts as a guide for making decisions and allocating resources effectively. By comparing the actual numbers to the budgeted amounts, department heads can see if they're on track or if adjustments need to be made.

A capital budget is all about planning for big investments in the long term. It focuses on deciding where to spend money on things like upgrading equipment, maintaining facilities, developing new products, and hiring new employees.

The budget looks at the costs of buying new stuff, upgrading existing things, and even considers depreciation, which is when something loses value over time. It also considers the return on investment, like how much money these investments might bring in or how they could save costs in the future.

The budget also looks at different ways to finance these investments, whether it's through loans, leases, or other options. It's all about making smart decisions for the future, evaluating cash flow, and choosing investments that will help the company grow and succeed.

A labor budget helps you plan and manage the costs related to your employees. It involves figuring out how much your business will spend on wages, salaries, benefits, and other labor-related expenses.

To create a labor budget, you'll need to consider factors like how much work needs to be done, how many folks you'll need to get it done, and how much it'll all cost. This can help your business forecast and control labor-related expenses and ensure adequate staffing levels.

By having a labor budget in place, your business can monitor and analyze your labor costs to make informed decisions and optimize your resources effectively.

A project budget is the financial plan for a specific project.

Let's say you have an exciting new project you want to tackle. A project budget helps you figure out how much money you'll need and how it will be allocated. It covers everything from personnel to equipment and materials — basically, anything you'll need to make the project happen.

By creating a project budget, you can make sure the project is doable from a financial standpoint. It helps you keep track of how much you planned to spend versus how much you actually spend as you go along. That way, you have a clear idea of whether you're staying on track or if there are any financial challenges that need attention.

How to Create a Business Budget

While creating a business budget can be straightforward, the process may be more complex for larger companies with multiple revenue streams and expenses.

No matter the size of your business, here are the basic steps to creating a business budget.

1. Gather financial data.

Before you create a business budget, it’s important to gather insights from your past financial data. By looking at things like income statements, expense reports, and sales data, you can spot trends, learn from past experiences, and see where you can make improvements.

Going through your financial history helps you paint a true picture of your income and expenses. So, when you start creating your budget, you can set achievable targets and make sure your estimates match what's actually been happening in your business.

2. Find a template, or make a spreadsheet.

There are many free or paid budget templates online. You can start with an already existing budget template. We list a few helpful templates below.


You may also opt to make a spreadsheet with custom rows and columns based on your business.

3. Fill in revenues.

Once you have your template, start by listing all the sources of your business’ income. With a budget, you’re planning for the future, so you’ll also need to forecast revenue streams based on previous months or years. For a new small business budget, you’ll rely on your market research to estimate early revenue for your company.

When you estimate your revenue , you're essentially figuring out how much money you have to work with. This helps you decide where to allocate your resources and which expenses you can fund.

4. Subtract fixed costs for the time period.

Fixed costs are the recurring costs you have during each month, quarter, or year. Examples include insurance, rent for office space, website hosting, and internet.

The key thing to remember about fixed costs is that they stay relatively stable, regardless of changes in business activity. Even if your sales decrease or production slows down, these costs remain the same.

However, it's important to note that fixed costs can still change over the long term, such as when renegotiating lease agreements or adjusting employee salaries.

5. Consider variable costs.

Variable costs will change from time to time. Unlike fixed costs, variable costs increase or decrease as the level of production or sales changes.

Examples include raw materials needed to manufacture your products, packaging and shipping costs, utility bills, advertising costs, office supplies, and new software or technology.

You may always need to pay some variable costs, like utility bills. However, you can shift how much you spend toward other expenses, like advertising costs, when you have a lower-than-average estimated income.

6. Set aside time for business budget planning.

Unexpected expenses might come up, or you might want to save to expand your business. Either way, review your budget after including all expenses, fixed costs, and variable costs. Once completed, you can determine how much money you can save. It’s wise to create multiple savings accounts. One should be used for emergencies. The other holds money that can be spent on the business to drive growth.

business plan budget software

Free Business Budget Templates

Manage your business, personal, and program spend on an annual, quarterly, and monthly basis.

  • Personal Budget Template
  • Annual Budget Template
  • Program Budget Template

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Fill out the form to get the free templates.

How to manage a business budget.

There are a few key components to managing a healthy business budget.

Budget Preparation

The process all starts with properly preparing and planning the budget at the beginning of each month, quarter, or year. You can also create multiple budgets, some short-term and some long-term. During this stage, you will also set spending limits and create a system to regularly monitor the budget.

Budget Monitoring

In larger businesses, you might delegate budget tracking to multiple supervisors. But even if you’re a one-person show, keep a close eye on your budget. That means setting a time in your schedule each day or week to review the budget and track actual income and expenses. Be sure to compare the actual numbers to the estimates.

Budget Forecasting

With regular budget tracking, you always know how your business is doing. Check in regularly to determine how you are doing in terms of revenue and where you have losses. Find where you can minimize expenses and how you can move more money into savings.

Why is a Budget Important for a Business?

A budget is crucial for businesses. Without one, you could easily be drowning in expenses or unexpected costs.

The business budget helps with several operations. You can use a business budget to keep track of your finances, save money to help you grow the business or pay bonuses in the future, and prepare for unexpected expenses or emergencies.

You can also review your budget to determine when to take the next leap for your business. For example, you might be dreaming of a larger office building or the latest software, but you want to make sure you have a healthy net revenue before you make the purchase.

Best Free Business Budget Templates

1. marketing budget template.

product marketing budget

Knowing how to manage a marketing budget can be a challenge, but with helpful free templates like this marketing budget template bundle , you can track everything from advertising expenses to events and more.

This free bundle includes eight different templates, so you can create multiple budgets to help you determine how much money to put toward marketing, plus the return on your investment.

2. Small Business Budget Template

small business marketing budget template

For small businesses, it can be hard to find the time to draw up a budget, but it’s crucial to help keep the business in good health.

Capterra offers a budget template specifically for small businesses. Plus, this template works with Excel. Start by inputting projections for the year. Then, the spreadsheet will project the month-to-month budget. You can input your actual revenue and expenses to compare, making profits and losses easy to spot.

3. Startup Budget Template

small business budget template, startups

What if you don’t have any previous numbers to rely on to create profit and expense estimates? If you are a startup, this Gusto budget template will help you draw up a budget before your business is officially in the market. This will help you track all the expenses you need to get your business up and running, estimate your first revenues, and determine where to pinch pennies.

4. Free Business Budget Template

Business budget template, free

You might be familiar with Intuit. Many companies, big and small, rely on Intuit’s services like Quickbooks and TurboTax. Even if you don’t use the company’s paid financial services, you can take advantage of Intuit’s free budget template , which works in Google Sheets or Excel.

It features multiple spreadsheet tabs and simple instructions. You enter your revenue in one specific tab and expenses in another. You can also add additional tabs as needed. Then, like magic, the spreadsheet uses the data in the income and expense tabs to summarize the information. This template can even determine net savings and the ending balance.

5. Department Budget Sheet

A mid- to large-size company will have multiple departments, all with different budgetary needs. These budgets will all be consolidated into a massive, company-wide budget sheet. Having a specific template for each department can help teams keep track of spending and plan for growth.

This free template from Template.net works in either document or spreadsheet formats. This budget template can help different departments keep track of their income and spending.

6. Project Budget Template

business budget template, project budget template

Every new project comes with expenses. This free budget template from Monday will help your team estimate costs before undertaking a project. You can easily spot if you're going over budget midway through a project so you can adjust.

This template is especially useful for small companies that are reporting budgets to clients and for in-house teams getting buy-in for complex projects.

7. Company Budget Template

business budget template, company template

Want to keep track of every penny? Use this template from TemplateLab to draw up a detailed budget. The list of expenses includes fixed costs, employee costs, and variable costs. This business template can be especially useful for small businesses that want to keep track of expenses in one, comprehensive document.

Create a Business Budget to Help Your Company Grow

Making your first business budget can be daunting, especially if you have several revenue streams and expenses. Using a budget template can make getting started easy. And, once you get it set up, these templates are simple to replicate.

With little planning and regular monitoring, you can plan for the future of your business.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in September 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.


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The 7 best budgeting apps of February 2024

Ashley Barnett

Ashley Barnett

“Verified by an expert” means that this article has been thoroughly reviewed and evaluated for accuracy.

Taylor Tepper

Taylor Tepper

Published 8:00 a.m. UTC Feb. 21, 2024

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The best budgeting apps give you a measure of control over your finances, allowing you to manage your income and expenses without too much hassle at a reasonable price. We considered more than a dozen data points from 20 prominent apps to find the best one for you.

All terms and prices accurate as of February 12, 2024.

The 7 best budgeting apps

  • PocketGuard .
  • Goodbudget .
  • Monarch Money .

Why trust our banking experts

Our team of experts evaluates hundreds of banking products and analyzes thousands of data points to help you find the best product for your situation. We use a data-driven methodology to determine each rating. Advertisers do not influence our editorial content. You can read more about our methodology below.

  • 20 appsreviewed.
  • 4 levels of fact checking.
  • 15+ data points analyzed.


Free version available

Website version available, what you should know.

Consider YNAB, which is short for “you need a budget,” if you want to take a hands-on approach to your budgeting.

The platform uses the zero-based budget method, in which you assign a job to every dollar you make, such as expenses, savings and paying off debt. When you set up your account, you specify your expenses and savings goals, as well as how much money you currently have in the bank.

YNAB works differently from other budgeting apps because you only budget the money that you actually have, not future income. For instance, you’ll set a goal and then fund that goal as the money comes in, so all the money you have in your accounts is clearly earmarked by a budget category; like a virtual envelope system.

This process is idiosyncratic and takes some time to get used to.

YNAB also has features like a loan calculator and spending and net worth reports. It may require you to be a bit proactive — and spend more time in the app — than some other budgeting tools, but it also gives you a sense of control over your budgeting. It’s a more expensive option with no free version.

Pros and cons

  • 34-day free trial.
  • Can be accessed on phone, computer or tablet.
  • Ability to share your subscription with up to six people.
  • Allows for customization.
  • Higher cost than other budgeting options.
  • Requires your time and patience.



Pocketguard is an easy-to-use option that provides a simple dashboard that describes how much money you spend each month and how much you (hopefully) have left over. When you connect your bank accounts, the platform automatically detects your recurring bills and income, giving you a headstart to creating your budget.

Transactions are divided into various categories depending on the merchant, and you can add your own custom categories. You can also set up notifications that you will let you know if you are getting close to your budget in a specific category.

The In My Pocket feature shows you how much money you have to spend depending on your monthly income and expenses. The Debt Payoff Plan helps you build a personal repayment plan. Pocketguard also partners with Billshark to negotiate bills on your behalf. However, many of these features — including personal Debt Payoff Plan and setting unlimited category budgets — are only available with the premium version.

  • Free version available.
  • Tracks your recurring bills and income.
  • Features include debt payoff plan and bill negotiation.
  • Premium subscription is required for many of the more appealing features.
  • No envelope budgeting system.


If you’re planning to budget as a couple or family, Zeta offers ways to spend, save and plan as a unit. Using an envelope system, you can set money aside for upcoming bills and pay those bills via the platform, as well as set and save towards certain goals. You can also set up weekly or monthly spending trackers and get updates when money is spent or received.

Zeta works a little more like a bank than other budgeting apps in that you will have a joint account with your partner or family that you can use to make payments and deposits and write checks. Each member also gets a free debit card and there are bill pay features.

Once you have a joint account, you can also add personal accounts for free. While many of the features are available with the free version, you can subscribe to Zeta+ for more automation and card controls like spending limits.

  • Earn interest on money in your Zeta accounts.
  • Bill Pay features.
  • Most features are available with the free version.
  • Requires more of a bank-like approach than typical budgeting tools.
  • Can be costly.


Goodbudget uses the envelope budgeting method, which entails setting aside the money you need for the month, whether that’s groceries, gas or debt payments. The tool likely makes sense for people who want to budget by planning ahead instead of just tracking spending. You can add “envelopes” that are designated for your specific needs and goals.

You can’t connect bank accounts on Goodbudget, so you’ll have to manually add your account balances, transactions and debt. Adding such transactions manually can be tedious. If you want a more hands-off approach to budgeting, the app may not be for you.

Goodbudget’s premium version allows you to add unlimited envelopes and accounts while the free version is limited to 20 envelopes and one account. With the premium version, you can use up to five devices and access to seven years of history and email support. The free version only allows for two devices, a year of history and community support via discussion forums.

  • Free version offers many of the same features as the premium version.
  • Free online courses including budgeting 101 and becoming debt free.
  • Helps you create an envelope system.
  • Free version limits you to 20 envelopes.
  • Can’t connect your bank accounts.


Buddy is a mobile-only app that allows you to track your expenses and income in order to keep your spending on track. When you add an expense, you can choose a category for it, such as clothes or healthcare. You can also include notes on each expense or income you add, and there’s a budgeting section to plan ahead for the month and see how much money you’ll have remaining when you pay for rent, utilities and more.

Most functionalities require a premium subscription, including setting up multiple budgets, adding debt accounts and adding custom categories for your goals. The free version is really only useful if you want to track your transactions — and you can’t connect your bank account unless you upgrade, so you’ll have to add them manually.

The premium version comes with features such being able to see all your subscriptions in one place, additional insight into your patterns in the form of widgets and help canceling subscriptions and lowering bills.

  • Premium features include canceling subscriptions, helping to lower bills and more.
  • Can choose from a wide variety of categories for your expenses.
  • Most features require a premium subscription.
  • Mobile only.

Monarch Money

Monarch Money

If you’re looking for a comprehensive way to budget and track your finances across, it may be worth paying for Monarch Money. The platform allows you to track your bank accounts and credit cards alongside your investments (including cryptocurrency), real estate, loans and more — and it uses all this data to calculate your net worth as it changes. 

Monarch offers a ton of features, including customizable reports, goal tracking and the ability to manage all of your bills and subscriptions in one calendar. It automatically pulls data from your accounts and allows you to track your spending and forecast your future spending. You can also plan towards big expenses and even retirement. 

For no extra cost, you can invite your partner to your account and get a joint view of your shared finances. 

  • Many features that go beyond other budgeting tools.
  • Comprehensive platform you can access via your phone and computer.
  • Can be used for individuals and couples.
  • No free version.


Stash is a personal finance app that comes with tools for saving, investing and budgeting. Users can opt for automated investing or to choose their own investments from a pool of thousands of stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and use a debit card with stock rewards.

While there is the ability to budget for goals directly in your Stash banking account, the emphasis does appear to be on investing and banking more so than budgeting. If you’re looking for comprehensive budgeting tools, this may not the app for you — but if you’re hoping to start investing alongside your budgeting, it’s worth considering.

You can choose between the Stash Growth for $3 a month or Stash+ for $9. The second option offers a few extra features, including market insights and two “Kids Portfolios,” which are custodial accounts.

  • One-month free trial.
  • Lots of educational resources on the site, including for budgeting specifically.
  • Ability to invest and use a debit card with stock rewards.
  • Not as many budgeting tools as other platforms.

Compare the best budgeting apps


The ideal budgeting app has robust features that allow you to manage your money in a manner that you see fit, while not costing you so much that you’re breaking your budget to pay for it.

Of course no product can live up entirely to that ideal, so tradeoffs are required, which is why you won’t find a completely free app among our recommendations, though some products offer a gratis basic version.

This isn’t entirely bad; it’s very easy, after all, to sign up for a budgeting app out of a desire to gain control over your pursestrings, only to stop looking at the thing mere weeks after you’ve created an account. A few dollars a month, therefore, puts your skin in the game and may make you more likely to consult the app on a regular basis to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth.

As for our rankings, we looked at 20 prominent apps, and accounted for 16 data points, including cost, consumer ratings and security features. We assigned the following weights:

Account integration: 30%

We rewarded those apps that allow you to automatically sync your bank and credit card accounts, thereby ridding you of the tiresome task of manually inputting each transaction. We also looked favorably upon those apps that imposed no restrictions on app syncing.

While we recognize that there is no free lunch in life, and that a budgeting app that costs money may cause you to pay closer attention to your finances, we still believe there’s a limit to how much you should pay to track and budget your income and expenses.

Security: 15%

We gave kudos to those apps that have multifactor authentication, biometrics and encryption security options available.

Shareability: 10%

Getting on the same financial page with your spouse or partner is difficult enough already, which is why we rewarded those apps that enabled you to share accounts.

Website version available: 10%

A smartphone can be a wonderful tool, but oftentimes it is useful to consult a web-based version of the app, allowing you a more sophisticated look into your financial health.

Mobile app rating: 10%

It doesn’t matter what services a company claims it provides if you can’t make sense of those features on your phone. We rely on the wisdom of the crowd here to help us make sense of how well a particular app delivers to its customers.

What is a budgeting app?

A budgeting app is a tool you can use to keep track of your money. This includes how much you have coming in and how much is going out, including for bills, savings and other spending. 

“These apps usually link all your financial accounts so you can view everything in one place to give you a better picture on your spending and saving habits,” said Andrea Woroch, a consumer savings expert. “Some apps will suggest a budget for you based on your expenses and set spending limits on categories, alerting you when you’re about to overspend, which is helpful for those who aren’t as diligent in paying attention to daily purchases and expenses.”

Types of budgeting apps

There are a few different types of budgeting apps, including those that are paid compared to free ones. Most apps that focus on budgeting give you an idea of your income and spending habits. Then it gets specific from there.

“To make budgeting more effortless, the industry is increasingly moving towards bank linking to automatically pull transaction data,” said Emily Luk, a co-founder and chief executive of wealth-building app Plenty. “That helps reduce the work of manually inputting data and changing categories.”

Many budgeting apps are based on different budgeting systems. For instance, the wildly popular You Need a Budget ( YNAB ) centers around the zero-based budgeting method. Goodbudget uses the envelope method.

“I like apps that use zero-based budgeting methods, which assign a task to each dollar you earn,” Woroch said. “That means, even after you pay your bills and have money set aside for groceries and transportation, those leftover dollars don’t go to waste. They may be earmarked for an emergency fund, retirement savings, debt repayment and more.”

How budget apps work

Because there’s no one way to craft a budget, there’s no one set way for budgeting apps to work. 

The first thing you should do is find one that’s in line with how you want to budget. This could be zero-based budgeting, the envelope method or the 50/30/20 rule . It’s fine if you try one that doesn’t work out — that’ll give you a chance to try a new budgeting app based on a different method.

After you settle on an app, it’s time to sign up and sync accounts. 

While most folks use apps to manage their personal expenses, some apps are available to share with a partner or your household.

“Some apps allow you to sync financial accounts with other family members to help everyone get on the same financial page,” Woroch said. “With younger generations, tech and apps are the best way to get their attention so this could be a great way to engage them in household finances.”

After you sync accounts or manually add transactions, you can set up your budget. You can allot different amounts to different needs. 

Start with something standard, such as your home or car payments. Then move on to utilities, like electricity and cell phones. 

You may have a harder time setting up fixed budgets for things like groceries, dining out or shopping, which tend to have fluctuating costs. You can set an amount you’re comfortable with and then check it throughout the month to see if your spending is in line with it.

Adjust as necessary until you get to a reasonable figure. And remember you can always change it based on circumstances.

If it’s your first time budgeting, don’t get discouraged if your estimates are off base. It doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong. It often takes three or four months to get used to budgeting. It’s a skill you need to learn, just like anything else. You won’t be perfect on the first try. 

One great thing about budgeting apps is that they’re fluid, just like your finances. So feel free to make changes and goals as your life and lifestyle change.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Budgeting apps help you set realistic financial goals as well as help you monitor and track your spending. Since many households use credit or debit cards to make purchases, syncing a budgeting app to your bank accounts is easy to set up. The work comes through you and making sure your spending is in line with your goals.

You’ll need to stay on top of your finances to be successful with any budgeting app.

The best budgeting apps tend to cost something, though the price isn’t unaffordable for most. 

There will be a learning curve with any budgeting app. Many are user-friendly and easy to use, but keep in mind that they require a little bit of extra work, at least in the beginning.

Adding all your accounts and setting up different budgets and systems takes some time.

There are many different ways to budget and using an app is supposed to help you keep track of your finances. The pros of using a budgeting app include knowing what money you have coming in, where your money goes out and how to adjust your spending to meet financial goals. 

The biggest con is that the best apps aren’t free. Though if you use an app to spend less, or save more, than you otherwise would have, then the tradeoff is worth it.

Blueprint is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. The information provided is for educational purposes only and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific financial decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Blueprint has an advertiser disclosure policy . The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Blueprint editorial staff alone. Blueprint adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. The information is accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information.

Dori Zinn

Dori has covered personal finance for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Forbes, CNET, TIME, Yahoo, and others. She loves helping people learn about money, and gravitates toward topics that give people the tools they need to financially succeed. She likes writing about budgeting, college affordability, jobs and careers, and the mental and emotional impact of money.

Ashley Barnett has been writing and editing personal finance articles for the internet since 2008. Before editing for USA TODAY Blueprint, she was the Content Director for an international media company leading the content on their suite of personal finance sites. She lives in Phoenix, AZ where you can find her rereading Harry Potter for the 100th time.

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How to Create a Business Budget for Your Small Business

Hillary Crawford

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

A business budget estimates future revenue and expenses in detail, so that you can see whether you’re on track to meet financial expectations for the month, quarter or year. Think of your budget as a point of comparison — you run your actual numbers against it to determine if you’re over or under budget.

From there, you can make informed business decisions and pivot accordingly. For example, maybe you find that your expenses are over budget for the quarter, so you may hold off on a large equipment purchase.

Here’s a step-by-step guide for creating a business budget, along with why budgets are crucial to running a successful business.

» MORE: What is accounting? Definition and basics, explained


QuickBooks Online

How does a business budget work?

Budgeting uses past months’ numbers to help you make financially conservative projections for the future and wiser business decisions for the present. If you’ve had a few bad months and predict another slow one, you can prepare to minimize expenses where possible. If business has been booming and you’re bringing in new customers, maybe you invest in buying more inventory to satisfy increased demand.

Creating a business budget from scratch can feel tedious, but you might already have access to tools that can help simplify the process. Your small-business accounting software is a good place to start, since it houses your business’s financial data and may offer basic budgeting reports.

To create a budget in QuickBooks Online , for example, you break down your estimated income and expenses across each area of your business. Then, the software calculates figures like gross profit, net operating income and net income for you.

You can then compare actual versus projected figures side by side by running a Budget vs. Actuals report. Businesses that need more in-depth features, like cash flow forecasting or the ability to use different projection methods, might subscribe to business budgeting software in addition to accounting software.

If your small business doesn’t have access to these features or has simple financials, you can download free small-business budget templates to manually create and track your budget. Regardless of which option you choose, your business will likely benefit from hiring an accountant to help manage your budget, course-correct when the business gets off track, and make sure taxes are being paid correctly.

Why is a business budget important?

A business budget encourages you to look beyond next week and next month to next year, or even the next five years.

Creating a budget can help your business do the following:

Maximize efficiency. 

Establish a financial plan that helps your business reach its goals. 

Point out leftover funds that you can reinvest.

Predict slow months and keep you out of debt.

Estimate what it will take to become profitable.

Provide a window into the future so you can prepare accordingly.

Creating a business budget will make operating your business easier and more efficient. A business budget can also help ensure you’re spending money in the right places and at the right time to stay out of debt.

How to create a business budget in 6 steps

The longer you’ve been in business, the more data you’ll have to inform your forward-looking budget. If you run a startup, however, you’ll want to do extensive research into typical costs for businesses in your industry, so that you have working estimates for revenue and expenses.

From there, here’s how to put together your business budget:

1. Examine your revenue

One of the first steps in any budgeting exercise is to look at your existing business and find all of your revenue sources. Add all those income sources together to determine how much money comes into your business monthly. It’s important to do this for multiple months and preferably for at least the previous 12 months, provided you have that much data available.

Notice how your business’s monthly income changes over time and try to look for seasonal patterns. Your business might experience a slump after the holidays, for example, or during the summer months. Understanding these seasonal changes will help you prepare for the leaner months and give you time to build a financial cushion.

Then, you can use those historic numbers and trends to make revenue projections for future months. Make sure to calculate for revenue, not profit. Your revenue is the money generated by sales before expenses are deducted. Profit is what remains after expenses are deducted.

2. Subtract fixed costs

The second step for creating a business budget involves adding up all of your historic fixed costs and using them to reliably predict future ones. Fixed costs are those that stay the same no matter how much income your business is generating. They might occur daily, weekly, monthly or yearly, so make sure to get as much data as you can.

Examples of fixed costs within your business might include:

Debt repayment.

Employee salaries.

Depreciation of assets.

Property taxes.

Insurance .

Once you’ve identified your business’s fixed costs, you’ll subtract those from your income and move to the next step.

3. Subtract variable expenses

As you compile your fixed costs, you might notice other expenses that aren’t as consistent. Unlike fixed costs, variable expenses change alongside your business’s output or production. Look at how they’ve fluctuated over time in your business, and use that information to estimate future variable costs. These expenses get subtracted from your income, too.

Some examples of variable expenses are:

Hourly employee wages.

Owner’s salary (if it fluctuates with profit). 

Raw materials.

Utility costs that change depending on business activity.

During lean months, you’ll probably want to lower your business’s variable expenses. During profitable months when there’s extra income, however, you may increase your spending on variable expenses for the long-term benefit of your business.

4. Set aside a contingency fund for unexpected costs

When you’re creating a business budget, make sure you put aside extra cash and plan for contingencies.

Although you might be tempted to spend surplus income on variable expenses, it’s smart to establish an emergency fund instead, if possible. That way, you’ll be ready when equipment breaks down and needs replacing, or if you have to quickly replace inventory that's damaged unexpectedly.

5. Determine your profit

Add up all of your projected revenue and expenses for each month. Then, subtract expenses from revenue. You may also see the resulting number referred to as net income . If you end up with a positive number, you can expect to make a profit. If not, that’s a loss — and that can be OK, too. Small businesses aren’t necessarily profitable every month, let alone every year. This is especially true when your business is just starting out. Compare your projected profits to past profits to confirm whether they’re realistic.

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6. Finalize your business budget

Are the resulting profits enough to work with, or is your business overspending? This is your opportunity to set spending and earning goals for each month, quarter and year. These goals should be realistic and achievable. If they don’t line up with your projections, make sure to establish a strategy for making up the difference.

As time goes on, regularly compare your actual numbers to your budget to determine whether your business is meeting those goals, and course correct if necessary.

» MORE: Ways your small business can spend smarter

A business budget projects future revenue and expenses so you can create a smart, realistic spending plan. As the year progresses, comparing your actual numbers against your budget can help you hold your business accountable and make sure it reaches its financial goals.

A business budget includes projected revenue, fixed costs, variable costs and the resulting profits. You can also factor in contingency funds for unforeseen circumstances like equipment failure.

On a similar note...

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Best Accounting Software for Small Business (2024): FreshBooks, QuickBooks & TurboTax Review Published by Better Business Advice

Better Business Advice, a trusted source for insightful business guidance, has conducted an in-depth analysis of the top accounting software solutions for small businesses in 2024, including FreshBooks , QuickBooks , and TurboTax . This comprehensive comparison aims to assist entrepreneurs and business owners in making informed decisions to optimize their financial management processes.

Best Accounting Software:

  • FreshBooks - simple and easy to use, ideal for freelancers and small businesses
  • QuickBooks - most widely used and trusted software, best for businesses working with bookkeepers or accountants
  • TurboTax - specializes in tax preparation services, best for helping users file taxes

Better Business Advice emphasizes essential factors to consider when choosing accounting software, including business needs, scalability, user-friendliness, integration capabilities, and security features. By prioritizing key functionalities such as invoicing, expense tracking, financial reporting, bank reconciliation, payroll processing, and tax preparation, businesses can select the software that best aligns with their specific requirements and financial goals.

FreshBooks: Streamlined Solutions for Small Businesses

FreshBooks presents a specialized accounting solution finely tuned for solo entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small businesses, offering seamless management of organization, payment tracking, invoicing, and expense monitoring. Its user-friendly interface ensures accessibility, even for those without extensive financial expertise, enabling efficient financial management without cumbersome learning curves.

FreshBooks excels in simplicity without sacrificing functionality, distinguishing itself through its intuitive design and affordable pricing structures. Noteworthy features include comprehensive double-entry accounting reports, providing users with deep insights into their financial standing, vital for accuracy and regulatory compliance as businesses expand.

Moreover, FreshBooks supports diverse payment acceptance methods, facilitating hassle-free transactions with clients and customers. Its affordability makes it an attractive option for budget-conscious entities, rendering it a compelling choice for businesses seeking streamlined financial management without compromising on quality. In essence, FreshBooks emerges as a tailored, user-friendly solution adept at meeting the nuanced needs of solo entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small enterprises in their quest for efficient accounting practices.

QuickBooks: Versatile Solutions for Small to Mid-Sized Businesses

QuickBooks , a cloud-based accounting software, provides comprehensive solutions for various accounting needs. Particularly beneficial for businesses working with bookkeepers or accountants, QuickBooks offers an intuitive interface and broad feature set. Although it caters to businesses of all sizes, its relatively expensive subscription model and limited customer support options might be drawbacks for some users.

Pros of QuickBooks include its widespread usage and compatibility with bookkeepers and accountants, simplifying collaboration and data management. Moreover, its user-friendly interface facilitates easy implementation, minimizing disruptions to business operations.

However, QuickBooks does present some drawbacks. Its subscription model can be relatively expensive, particularly for businesses on tight budgets.

In summary, QuickBooks offers a robust accounting solution with a wealth of benefits for small businesses, yet it is not without its drawbacks, including cost considerations and customer support limitations. Despite these challenges, its overall functionality and ease of use make it a compelling choice for businesses seeking efficient financial management tools.

TurboTax: Specialized Tax Preparation Solutions

TurboTax distinguishes itself from FreshBooks and QuickBooks by specializing in tax preparation services, catering to both individuals and businesses. Its primary focus revolves around simplifying the often complex and daunting task of filing taxes accurately. TurboTax has garnered a reputation for its user-friendly platform, which guides users through the tax preparation process step-by-step, ensuring thoroughness and minimizing errors.

One of TurboTax's standout features is its extensive customer support, which provides assistance to users throughout the tax filing journey. This support ranges from live chat and phone support to an extensive knowledge base, offering reassurance and guidance to users facing questions or challenges.

TurboTax's specialization in tax preparation, coupled with its user-friendly platform and robust customer support, positions it as a top choice for individuals and businesses seeking assistance with tax filing.

What software do most accountants use?

Most accountants primarily use QuickBooks, a widely recognized and trusted accounting software. QuickBooks is favored for its user-friendly interface, robust features, and compatibility with various accounting needs. It allows accountants to efficiently manage tasks such as bookkeeping, invoicing, payroll, and financial reporting. With its customizable options, QuickBooks can cater to the specific requirements of businesses of all sizes, from freelancers to bigger businesses.

What is the simplest and easiest accounting software?

For those seeking simplicity and ease in their accounting software, FreshBooks is often hailed as the top choice. Known for its user-friendly interface and intuitive design, FreshBooks makes managing finances a breeze even for those with limited accounting knowledge. With its straightforward navigation and streamlined features, users can easily handle tasks such as invoicing, expense tracking, and timekeeping without feeling overwhelmed.

FreshBooks stands out for its emphasis on user experience, offering a seamless and hassle-free accounting solution. Its cloud-based platform allows for easy accessibility from anywhere, making it ideal for busy professionals on the go. Additionally, FreshBooks provides excellent customer support and resources to help users navigate any questions or issues they may encounter.

FreshBooks excels in simplifying financial management tasks for freelancers and solo business owners, while QuickBooks offers a versatile solution suitable for small to medium sized businesses. TurboTax specializes in tax preparation, providing a streamlined process for individuals and businesses to file their taxes efficiently. Each software serves distinct purposes, catering to different aspects of financial management and ensuring businesses have the tools they need to succeed.

For more information and to access the full comparative analysis, visit Better Business Advice's website .

About Better Business Advice: Better Business Advice is a business advice website dedicated to helping businesses succeed. As an affiliate, Better Business Advice may earn commissions from services mentioned in the links provided. Better Business Advice aims to provide accurate and up-to-date information to assist with research. Double-check with the service provider/institution directly as well as obtain independent financial advice prior to making any financial commitments or business decisions. The information provided by Better Business Advice does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials are for general informational purposes only.

business plan budget software

Andrew Mathews ( [email protected] )

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20240224389214/en/

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s ‘more austere’ $52.7 billion budget plan turns to big business, sportsbooks for tax increases

There will undoubtedly be sticking points for some of the governor’s priorities, including about $182 million in funding for newly arriving migrants and more than $600 million in health care costs for the undocumented..

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivers his State of the State and budget address before the General Assembly at the Illinois State Capitol.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivers his State of the State and budget address before the General Assembly at the Illinois State Capitol, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, in Springfield, Ill.

Brian Cassella, AP Photos

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday unveiled a $52.7 billion budget that includes the blueprint for a pension overhaul, funding to care for newly arriving migrants and a new set of costs for businesses.

It’s also a plan that Republicans say prioritizes the needs of migrants and the undocumented over Illinois residents.

While calling the state’s financial future “bright,” the sixth spending plan of the Democratic governor’s tenure leans on large corporations and lucrative casino sportsbooks to churn out more than $800 million in revenue for the state.

Those proposals were not mentioned in the governor’s 52-minute joint State of the State and budget address before the Illinois General Assembly.

Instead, Pritzker focused on some of his key priorities, including early education, social services and health care. He defended the state’s response to the migrant crisis — while also railing against former President Donald Trump — and the state’s Republican congressional delegation — for rejecting an immigration bill that would have revamped the country’s border policies and helped Illinois.

“Listen, maybe some of you think we should just say, ‘This is not our problem,’ and that we should let the migrant families starve or freeze to death. But that’s not what decent Midwesterners do. That’s not what leaders do,” Pritzker said. “We didn’t ask for this manufactured crisis. But we must deal with it all the same.”

  • Pritzker, Preckwinkle seek $250M more for Chicago’s migrant crisis — but no pledge from Johnson
  • Pritzker signs $50.4 billion 2023 budget that boosts early education funding — and stops state officials’ raises from breaking the law

Pritzker, who also serves as a key surrogate for President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign, also acknowledged “our immigration system has been broken for a long time.”

“No doubt, the current migrant crisis is a problem of the federal government’s making, and I mean both political parties,” the governor said.

Some Republicans groaned when Pritzker called Biden a “very good president who has rescued the economy and protected freedom.”

New revenue

The governor is projecting a 1.5% increase in state revenue for the new fiscal year, which begins July 1, for a haul of nearly $53 billion. That’s largely due to the $800 million plus in tax increases mostly targeting large businesses.

Pritkzer’s plan extends a limit on the amount of operating losses corporations can write off on their income taxes. A $100,000 cap that was slated to expire at the end of the year would be extended three years, under the plan from Pritzker's team, which aims to soften that blow on businesses by upping that cap to $500,000. The maneuver would generate another $526 million for the state, the governor's office estimates.

The governor’s office pushed back on characterizing it as a new tax, arguing the continuation of the cap on corporate tax deductions will help the state keep gaining revenue.

The governor also wants to more than double the state tax on sports betting revenue collected by sportsbooks from 15% to 35%, a proposal that’s sure to draw pushback from a rapidly expanding industry that raked in more than $1 billion in 2023. The governor’s team predicts such a hike could pump an additional $200 million into state coffers.

And he wants to lower the tax discount retailers receive for collecting sales taxes, a measure his office says would net the state an additional $101 million. In his speech, Pritzker also said he wants to permanently eliminate the 1% grocery tax. But the Illinois Municipal League already opposes that initiative — saying the tax goes entirely to local governments across the state and would cost them $325 million a year.

“This loss in revenue is entirely borne by local governments and is clearly punitive toward municipalities,” Brad Cole, CEO of the Illinois Municipal League said in a statement. “Does anybody think this is a good time to cut the city of Chicago’s revenues by tens of millions of dollars a year?”

The plan also includes transferring mass transit costs from sales tax to the state’s Road Fund, to take in an additional $175 million.

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce panned two of the revenue proposals, calling the cap “nothing more than forced borrowing of funds from Illinois businesses to finance government,” and the collection discount reduction “a stealth tax on our retail sector.”

Pension overhaul

Pritzker’s budget team is also aiming to hasten the state’s pension funding ramp with an eye toward landing another credit upgrade from Wall Street ratings agencies.

Since 1994, the state has been on a slog toward filling the gap in the grossly underfunded system to 90% by 2045. Pritzker’s team is adjusting that goal to reach 100% funding by 2048 — closer to pension goals set by many other states.

The governor’s team says they can make that happen in part with savings from paying off two other major bonds issued by the state over the next decade. Pritzker will need legislative approval for the pension proposal.

The $52.7 billion in spending amounts to an increase of about 2% compared to last year’s plan. Officials on Wednesday morning called the plan a “more austere budget than in recent years” — which also maintains a promise of fiscal responsibility. Republicans noted spending plans in Illinois, led by Democrats, keep growing.

There will undoubtedly be sticking points for some of the governor’s priorities, including funding for migrants and the health care costs for the undocumented.

The governor’s budget includes $181.7 million to continue to care for newly arriving migrants, and $629 million to continue providing health care benefits to undocumented people aged 42 and up who would otherwise qualify for Medicaid.

  • Pritzker’s budget to include plan to erase $1 billion in medical debt

Those issues drew swift rebukes from Republicans.

Illinois House Republican Leader Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, said the proposal places a burden on small businesses and is sorely lacking in reforms.

“We can’t tax our way into success. We need to have actual structural and tax reform, and we don’t see that,” McCombie said. The Republican leader also questioned whether the sports betting tax hike will be paying for “pork projects” for Democrats.

Illinois Senate Minority Leader John Curran, R-Downers Grove, argued Pritzker "just proposed raising taxes on every Illinois family struggling to make ends meet to fund the non-citizen welfare state he created.

"We have made it clear that the citizens of this state are our priority, while today, the Governor made it clear they’re his piggy bank. Our focus will remain on providing meaningful financial relief to the people of Illinois," Curran said in a statement.

Education dollars

Education funding would include $350 million towards the state’s school funding formula — although advocates have been warning they would put up a fight for more than that. The total K-12 funding under the governor’s proposal totals $10.8 billion in general funds.

The proposal also includes $400 million for year two of Pritzker’s Smart Start program, which aims to add 5,000 new slots and expand access to early childhood education. It also includes $13 million to launch a Department of Early Childhood.

The governor proposed a much more modest increase in funding for state grants for low-income college students than in previous years. Last year he secured a $100 million increase for the Monetary Award Program, or MAP grant , and this year advocates had called on him to request $50 million more. But he's asked lawmakers to approve just $10 million more for the state financial aid program, which would bring total funding for MAP grants to $711 million.

The proposed budget creates a $12 million child tax credit for lower-income families with children under age 3, for a credit of about 20% of the taxpayer’s state earned income.

The spending plan sets aside $175 million for the state’s “rainy day” fund, an emergency piggy bank that has gone from nearly insolvent in 2017 to $2.3 billion by next year, if passed by the General Assembly.

The budget also includes $10 million in federal funds to erase $1 billion in medical debt for Illinois residents — the first in a three-year plan.

Budget negotiations are expected to continue through the end of May, the deadline for lawmakers to pass a spending plan.

Contributing: Lisa Kurian Philip, WBEZ


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  27. Budget 2024: When it is and what will it mean for my money?

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