Updated: December 18, 2023 |

The 12 best workforce planning software for CFOs in 2024

By

Jake Ballinger
Jake Ballinger

Jake Ballinger is an experienced SEO and content manager with deep expertise in FP&A and finance topics. He speaks 9 languages and lives in NYC.

The 12 best workforce planning software for CFOs in 2024

Workforce planning is essential if you want to grow.

But it's also a difficult nut to crack.

That's where workforce planning software comes in.

  • Financially planning to scale headcount
  • Highlighting talent and skills gaps
  • Staving off overstaffing

These are all things workforce planning software will help you do.

So which tool do you go with?

We’ve collected the 12 best workforce planning tools for your consideration. Pros, cons, features, and pricing.

Let's get started.

Jake Ballinger

Jake Ballinger

FP&A Writer, Cube Software

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What is workforce planning software?

Workforce planning is anticipating future workforce needs and creating business strategies to meet them. It involves determining the right numbers and types of employees to ensure you’re adequately staffed for upcoming projects and initiatives.

The workforce planning process includes various activities such as analyzing employee turnover rates, designing compensation packages, assessing training requirements, forecasting labor demand, and more.

Workforce planning aims to visualize your current workforce and extrapolate from there to fulfill future demand.

Read more about workforce planning here.

What's the difference between workforce planning vs. workforce management?

According to ADP, workforce management has three big responsibilities:

  1. People and resource allocation
  2. Attendance tracking
  3. Legal compliance

On the other hand, the NIH Office of Management says workforce planning has the following functions:

  1. Analyzing, forecasting, and planning talent supply and demand
  2. Assessing talent and skills gaps
  3. Ensuring the organization has the correct number of skilled workers to fulfill its strategic objectives

So workforce management is more about managing people, while workforce planning is more of a long-term view. It's a higher-level view than the everyday actions and interactions of employees. 

Looking for workforce management software tools? We've got you covered.

What's the difference between workforce planning and headcount planning?

This is simpler than it appears.

Headcount planning is a subset of the workforce planning process. 

With workforce planning, you're looking at the holistic company, but headcount planning is really only concerned with the number of heads you have.

That said, the terms are commonly used interchangeably; it's not "wrong" to say headcount planning when you mean workforce planning or vice versa.

What is headcount forecasting?

Like headcount planning, headcount forecasting is a subset of the workforce planning process.

It's the process by which you plan for and predict different headcounts based on any number of variables.

We have a free template to help you start with headcount planning and forecasting.

Get it here:

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Why should you use strategic workforce planning software? 

Strategic workforce planning  software can help companies make data-driven decisions. Workforce planning tools collect all your workforce data and creates heads-up reports and what-if scenarios to help you determine who and what you’ll need in future quarters. 

With analytics and reporting capabilities, workforce planning software and workforce planning tools can provide visibility beyond headcount planning, covering areas such as employee turnover rates, skill trees, and labor demand forecasting. Companies can use this insight to adjust their plans accordingly. 

Workforce planning software also reduces the need for manual processes and tracking, saving time and resources. An automated system manages workforce planning activities so companies can more accurately track progress and identify opportunities for improvement.

What to look for in workforce planning tools

With so many entries into this product category over the last few years, buyers find themselves spoiled for choice when choosing between workforce planning software — but potentially overwhelmed with options.

While your individual business will have specific needs to fulfill its workplace planning goals, your chosen workforce planning tool should offer flexibility, visibility, and automation. 

When selecting a workforce planning solution, here are some key features to look for:

Automation capabilities: Planning software with automated systems can save time and resources by reducing the need for manual data entry and tracking.

Flexible reporting tools: Look for reporting tools that allow you to track progress and identify opportunities for improvement when workforce planning. 

Scenario planning: Workforce planning software should enable you to create heads-up reports and scenario planning to help determine who and what you'll need in future quarters.

Turnover rate tracking: As part of workforce planning, you'll want to monitor employee turnover rates, so having these analytics built into the software saves time and improves results.

Skill tree analysis: Understand how employees' skill sets fit your organization's goals as part of your workforce management strategy.

Labor demand forecasting: Gather insights on labor costs and demand so you can adjust your workforce planning accordingly.

12 great workforce planning tools for CFOs and business leaders

With so many choices, how do you decide which workforce planning software to go with?

That's why we outlined the best workforce planning software, along with pros, cons, features, and pricing.

And yes, we started with Cube. We believe that Cube is the best planning software option for most finance teams, especially those that already work in spreadsheets.

But anyway, let's get started.

1. Cube

cube-logo-2

Cube is a spreadsheet-native FP&A platform that keeps you nimble enough to match market ups and downs.

With native Excel and Google Sheets integrations, Cube is great for workforce planning because it makes it easy for business leaders to collaborate with department heads and HR. Everybody knows how to use Google Sheets.

Cube integrates with your (ERP) enterprise resource planning systems and HRIS to make pulling data easy.

You can also forecast from the base scenario, which makes playing around with headcount numbers, salary ranges, ramp times, and organizational restructuring easy.

Most teams get started with Cube in under two weeks.

Features

  • Automated data consolidation: Connect data from numerous sources for automated rollups and drilldowns.
  • Multi-scenario analysis: Allows you to model how changes to key assumptions affect overall outputs seamlessly.
  • Endless integrations: Integrations for spreadsheets (Google and Excel), accounting & finance, HR, ATS, billing & operations, sales & marketing, and business intelligence. 
  • Customizable dashboards: Gives you the full ability to build and share customizable dashboards.
  • Native Excel and Google Sheets integration: Compatible and bi-directional with any spreadsheet
  • Multi-currency support: Evaluate your financials in both your local and reporting currencies.
  • User-based controls: User controls, validations, and an audit trail ensure that the right data goes to the right people at the right time.
  • Centralized formulas and KPIs: Store all your calculations in a central location and manage from a single source of truth.
  • Drilldown and audit trail: Get straight to the transactions and history behind a single data cell in just one click.

➡️ See all of our features here.

Pros:

  • Powerful reporting and KPIs help automate and analyze important data.
  • Streamline manual data, reduce errors, and improve collaboration so you can make smarter business decisions in a fraction of the time.
  • You can easily collaborate with industry-leading FP&A experts and an award-winning support team.
  • Integrations with dozens of applications.
  • Keep real-time eyes on cash flow with easy-to-update actuals and the ability to drill down into cells.

Cons:

  • Cube works best for mid-sized businesses—it’s not a personal finances app.
  • Cube doesn't provide multilingual support right now
  • Not the best for super small companies that don't intend to grow quickly.
  • Limited customer support during non-US time zone hours.

Pricing: 

  • Starting at $1250/month for lean finance teams and $2,450/month for companies looking to scale. See detailed pricing.

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2. Planful

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Planful (née Host Analytics) is a cloud-based financial performance platform that helps organizations improve real-time resource management. Planful offers various features to help FP&A teams build strategic workforce planning and link their financial performance to their operational activities.

Features

Pros

  • Planful is a feature-rich Platform. For smaller companies, it may serve as an all-in-one financial planning tool. 
  • Flexible pricing is one of the big draws for the platform. Reviewers say their pricing is competitive and structured to grow with companies as they scale. 
  • The platform offers an advantage to Excel users who want to stay in their spreadsheets. While not truly Excel-native, the syntax for Planful will be familiar to the savvy user.

Cons

  • The wealth of features may be double-edged for smaller companies, as the options are overwhelming; even the lower price tiers may be more than they need.
  • Integration is a struggle, with some users describing implementations of 4 months and others reporting it takes up to a full year. 
  • The Planful platform is a little sluggish. Pulling data takes time, and if you need to change details or research other data, you must restart the download process.

Pricing

Planful doesn't offer transparent pricing.

3. ChartHop

ChartHop_Logo (1)

ChartHop is a platform for mid to enterprise-sized companies that need robust analytics and robust workforce planning. It offers a full suite of features, like forecasting, reporting, budgeting, and the ability to customize dashboards and data sets. Users can also leverage AI-driven insights with its predictive analytics capabilities.

The platform provides a centralized view of all organizational data from various sources, including ERP systems, spreadsheets, and databases.

ChartHop’s flexible architecture allows users to easily create their own custom reports and dashboards and develop powerful visualizations that help them make sense of it all.

Additionally, ChartHop users can access up-to-date data in real-time across all their departments and teams, so they always have accurate and current data on what’s going on at any given moment.

Features

  • Centralized data from ERPs, etc.
  • Customizable reporting 
  • Real-time data updates

Pros

  • Most parts of the system are easy to use and enable users to quickly and easily view their data in real-time
  • AI-powered data insights help decision-makers contextualize and parse information from a large dataset.
  • The company offers ChartHop at competitive pricing and value for the features provided on the platform.

Cons

  • ChartHop users have reported that the platform lacks flexibility when it comes to customizing their reports and dashboards, as well as certain visualizations.
  • The user interface isn’t intuitive, making it difficult for new users to get up and running quickly.
  • Some users have observed issues with editing or modifying data once it’s in the system. Business goals and org chart data were specifically mentioned.

Pricing

Pricing for ChartHop ranges from $8 to $16 per month. 

4. Anaplan

Anaplan_logo (1)

Anaplan is a cloud-based enterprise performance management platform that helps organizations faster decisions. It offers data modeling and analytics capabilities with an intuitive user interface that enables business users to easily create and manage sophisticated workforce planning (and other planning like finance, sales, marketing, supply chain, operations, etc).

Features

  • In-memory processing
  • Compensation modeling
  • Secure data and practices

Pros

  • Anaplan’s in-memory processing capabilities are popular with data scientists and others working with large data sets that tend to strain the system. 
  • The proprietary Hyperblock® feature is Anaplan's patented calculation engine. It allows users to create scenarios with unlimited dimensions.
  • Anaplan offers multi-device support for PC, iOS, and Android, giving every user access to data.

Cons

  • Anaplan isn’t a fan favorite with users. The platform is hard to use without in-depth training and support, which makes it hard for users to jump in and learn the ropes intuitively.
  • The platform is difficult to implement. It usually requires third-party consultants, and the implementation period can take over a year, depending on complexity.
  • Anaplan is expensive. As an enterprise-class tool, Anaplan is priced well beyond the range for most small and medium businesses. 

Pricing

Anaplan doesn’t share its pricing structure. 

5. Adaptive Planning by Workday

workday-adaptive-planning-logo

Adaptive Planning by Workday is a cloud-based budgeting, workforce planning, and forecasting tool.

This product helps businesses easily manage their budgeting and financials, streamline their workforce and operational planning, and gain real-time insights into their business performance. 

Features

  • Financial Modeling
  • Workforce budget planning
  • What-if scenario building

Pros

  • The platform offers standard, and enterprise plans with robust features and segmentation for user roles, allowing some customization of your pricing plan. 
  • The platform offers unlimited integrations on some plans. This enables automated financial reporting using info from multiple data streams.
  • Financial consolidation and close features that speed up month-end reporting and financial reporting. 

Cons

  • Tier plans aren’t flexible and are geared toward enterprises, so you may end up with more features than you need. 
  • The pricing is confusing, so you may not know the price you’ll pay without doing some research. 
  • There are no options for modular features within Workday Adaptive Planning, making it a less-competitive solution for those looking for single-use cases.

Pricing

Workday does not provide pricing information.

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6. Deel

deel-logo-blue (1)

Deel offers powerful workforce planning and management capabilities, including the ability to project people costs and staff projects quickly and efficiently.

It provides a single platform for creating job postings, finding and onboarding talent, and tracking their progress.

With Deel's easy-to-use and configurable workflows, you can accurately measure employee performance in order to make informed decisions about staffing your team.

Features

  • Direct and contingent employee support
  • Multi-national support
  • Team visualization

Pros

  • Handles direct hire, temp-to-hire, and contract-based planning for full flexibility in administering your workforce planning and management. 
  • Numerous integrations to tie in other HR and payroll functions from different microservices.
  • Includes compliance support for international hiring, payroll costs, and taxation issues. 

Cons

  • Customer service reviews leave a lot to be desired. While the initial sales process is hands-on and helpful, multiple users describe the post-sale support experience as being absent or lacking. 
  • Billing works on a calendar month pay cycle with no proration. Be sure to sign up early in the month to realize the whole value of your subscription.
  • As a younger product, users describe some rough edges in the platform design and user experience. 

Pricing

Deel starts at $49/month with full-time international hiring features and legal entity creation for $599/month.

7. Board

board-logo

Board is an "intelligent planning" system designed to get FP&A and planning teams out of spreadsheets into the Board software.

It's best for large, complex enterprise companies that need its multiple solutions, including the typical finance package and supply chain and retail solutions. It's great planning software for robust workforce planning. 

Features

  • Reporting and data visualization
  • MS Office Integration
  • Application development

Pros

  • User-friendly interface for those with some understanding of financial software platforms. 
  • Low-code experience that allows various customizations and ad hoc reporting opportunities. 
  • Strong data discovery and analysis capabilities for deep insights into financial position and future planning.

Cons

  • Users describe a steep onboarding process and learning curve for Board, so training and implementation time should factor into your decision. 
  • Limited training resources are available from within the platform and documentation. 
  • Best for financial planning power users who want to create bespoke financial apps and reporting structures.

Pricing

Board does not offer transparent pricing through its site or online. 

8. ActivTrak

activtrak-logo

ActivTrak is strategic workforce planning software that helps businesses of every size track and analyze their employee's computer usage.

This allows employers to identify and optimize best practice behaviors, measure progress toward goals, and ensure compliance with regulations.

ActivTrak also offers real-time alerts, so managers can be alerted when employees engage in risky behavior, like visiting malicious websites.

Features

  • Productivity tracking
  • Real-time analytics and monitoring
  • Audit management features

Pros

  • Easy-to-navigate user interface with expected functionality and some extras that pleasantly surprise users. 
  • Productivity tracking features allow managers to evaluate a team’s least and most productive time periods in order to create more effective internal processes.
  • Robust security features, including two-factor authentication and ActiveDirectory integrations for safe, secure access. 

Cons

  • Implementation is described as “a little difficult” by some reviewers. Others describe a lengthy implementation process that may cause user adoption issues for some. 
  • Pricing is not transparent; some users found that the total cost per license was slightly higher than advertised in marketing communications. 
  • Some users feel the platform should offer more flexibility for features like whitelisting/prohibiting access to specific websites. 

Pricing

Pricing for ActivTrak starts at $10/user per month.

9. Planday from Xero

planday-from-xero-logo (1)

Planday from Xero is a comprehensive employee tracking and workforce management software platform that helps businesses manage their daily operations and optimize their processes in a web-based solution.

The planning software offers features like project scheduling, resource tracking, timesheets, automated payments, and analytics to improve business workflow.

Planday enables HR and finance teams to collaborate with an in-platform communication function.

Features

  • Shift planning
  • Staff management tools
  • Timeclock 

Pros

  • Strong sales and customer service offering with training and access to tech personnel for easier setup and management. 
  • Smart features and capabilities that reduce time spent managing workforce scheduling and issues.
  • Helpful report customizations and views that enable performance management, scheduling, PTO planning, and financials.

Cons

  • Weak legal compliance features within the scheduling components may lead to compliance issues with scheduling, etc. 
  • No group chat feature between managers and teams - only individual direct messaging (DM) features.
  • The structure for some features is stiff, without the ability to customize based on individual needs. 

Pricing

Pricing of $3-7 per month with additional set-up fees. 

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10. Orgvue

orgvue-logo (1)

Orgvue is a workforce planning, scheduling, and management tool for employee and manager productivity.

The planning software offers users an intuitive design with an easy-to-use interface, smart features to enhance efficiency, and helpful custom reports. 

Features

  • Workforce visualization
  • Organizational design
  • Mergers and talent acquisitions tools

Pros

  • Robust customization features packaged in an easy-to-implement platform. 
  • End-to-end workforce and employee management features help you link operational needs with data centralization.
  • Various templates for creating clean, easy-to-use reports and dashboards. 

Cons

  • There's a steep learning curve for the more advanced features and options, requiring prior knowledge of organization data systems. 
  • Large datasets (especially those including links) can lag or freeze the system. With no autosave function, staying on top of data storage is vital. 
  • The lack of integration options makes it hard to extend the total value of the software. 

Pricing

OrgVue does not offer pricing on its website.

11. Visier

visier-logo (1)

Visier is a cloud-based platform that provides an intuitive, data-driven approach to workforce analytics, strategic planning, and operational performance.

The workforce planning solution processes employee performance and engagement insights through a suite of predictive tools and AI-assisted modeling.

With its organizational benchmarking features and advanced visualization tools, Visier People helps businesses accurately analyze their workforce and make informed decisions at scale.

Features

  • Employee analytics
  • Collaboration tools
  • Acquisition insights

Pros

  • A high-level view of staffing allows you to see the entire workforce and associated data easily. 
  • Strong analytics tools that allow you to understand and contextualize the results for different metrics within your organization. 
  • Intuitive software design makes it easier for the casual user to access and derive value from the data and reporting within the system.

Cons

  • Mobile functionality is not as smooth as the web version and feels less intuitive than the full web-based centralized platform. 
  • According to multiple reviews, reporting, report customization, and export features need improvement. 
  • There are no notifications or follow-up features for time-sensitive tasks or activities that require communication. 

Pricing

Visier does not have transparent pricing. That said, you should expect to buy each product (People Cloud, Visier People, Embedded Analytics, Visier Labs) separately, adding to higher costs overall if you want the entire Visier suite of tools. 

12. SAP SuccessFactors Human Capital Management

SAP

SAP SuccessFactors Human Capital Management is an HR software suite that helps organizations automate workforce management, employee onboarding, engagement, performance and learning management, recruitment processes, and more.

The planning software includes cloud-based tools to help manage employee data, track performance metrics, and optimize the workflow of team members with its intuitive design and powerful analytics capabilities.

Features

  • Collaboration and communication tools
  • HR analytics and workforce planning
  • Employee experience management
  • Sales performance management
  • Core HR and payroll

Pros

  • Ability to view info from different business units to make better-informed decisions for workforce planning. 
  • Automated employee onboarding and offboarding features like assigned training and hosted video courses make worker transitions and better onboarding and tracking experiences easier. 
  • Seamless integration with the larger SAP environment for businesses already using other platform modules.

Cons

  • The user interface and navigation could use improvements. Elements such as pop-up modals frustrate the navigation process for users. 
  • The tool's searchability isn't as strong as it could be and can be challenging to navigate, especially for unfamiliar users.
  • System speed is a common complaint for users, especially in cases where large datasets or customizations are used within workforce planning.  

Pricing

Pricing starts at $8 per user with an annual option of $85/user.

Honorable mentions: Strategic workforce planning software alternatives

In case the top 12 workforce planning software options aren't right for your team, check out these other tools worth considering: 

  1. Vena — Workforce planning software with a focus on payroll
  2. Connecteam — Workforce planning software with shift scheduling, time tracking, and GPS location tracking
  3. Agentnoon — Best creating workforce visualizations for org ops or change management
  4. ClearCompany — All-in-one platform to align business needs with workforce planning analytics
  5. Runn — Real-time resource management and forecasting including workforce planing
  6. Lightcast — Best for in-depth actionable data by geography

Conclusion: choose the best strategic workforce planning software

Now you know all about workforce planning software.

You've reviewed twelve of the best options on the market today, and you're a little closer to making a decision.

...but if you want our recommendation, you can't go wrong with Cube for workforce planning.  

Cube meets finance teams where they already work: Excel.

Click the image below to request a demo with Cube today.

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