Looking for the best financial planning software? Check out Playbook.
No matter who you are, what your annual household income is, or where you live, budgeting is a crucial skill. Budgeting can help you recognize where your money is going, curb excessive spending, build better saving habits, and move you more effectively towards your retirement or other long-term financial goals.
The right financial planning software can help make budgeting easier and can help you visualize your expenses more effectively. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best financial planning software currently available on the market along with more information on how to recognize the next great financial planning program.
Quick Look: Best Financial Planning Software This Year
- Best for New Investors: Playbook
- Best for High-Value Investors: Empower (formerly Personal Capital)
- Best for Direct Look at Spending: Quicken
- Best for Comprehensive Financial Planning: eMoney
- Best for Making Finances Accessible: MoneyGuide Pro
Best Financial Planning Software
We've compiled a list of the top financial planning software you can use.
1. Best for New Investors: Playbook
Who’s it for: Anyone who wants to monitor their accounts and create a financial plan
Price: $19 per month for Essential, $59 per month for Playbook Plus
When you register with Playbook, you gain access to a financial platform that connects to your accounts and helps you chart a course to financial success. You set your risk tolerance and goals using a simple questionnaire, and you can adjust your investment strategy as much as you need.
Playbook doesn’t charge you a percentage of your AUM to manage your financial goals—charging a flat fee instead. For $19 per month, Playbook takes care of the planning so that you can get back to your daily routine. And, you can reach out via phone or email if you have questions about your account.
- Provides access to personalized financial advice and guidance
- Offers automated saving and investing
- No investment miminum
- No AUM fees
- Users can cancel anytime
- Offers 7-day trial period only before the monthly subscription fee is billed
2. Best for High-Value Investors: Empower (Formerly Personal Capital)
Who's it for? Beginning-to-intermediate planners who want an affordable way to coordinate their accounts
Price: Free, premium features vary
Empower, formerly known as Personal Capital, is an account aggregation software that offers users a single solution to coordinate multiple bank accounts. You can move between bank accounts with a single click or swipe and the software also offers comprehensive retirement planning advice (including a calculator to determine how much you need to save annually to retire on time), a fee calculator to identify where you’re losing money on overdraw and late fees, and budgeting tools that allow you to organize expenses by date, type, and transaction amount.
Empower offers both desktop and mobile app compatibility, which makes it simple to track cash flow and expenses no matter where you go. Empower's software is free, but you’ll need to pay an additional fee to access some of its wealth management tools.
- Convenient and user-friendly interface
- Offers a wide range of financial planning tools and resources
- Offers personalized recommendations and financial advice
- Allows data integration from multiple bank accounts
- Some features and resources may require a subscription or additional fees
- 0.89% annual management fee for the first $1 million
3. Best for Direct Look at Spending: Quicken
Who's it for? Intermediate-to-advanced financial planners
Price: Software packages start at $24 for an annual subscription
Quicken’s financial planning software packages offer a comprehensive set of tools, from budget creation to debt tracking and even investment coaching and advising.
More advanced users will love Quicken’s Excel compatibility which allows them to perform calculations and quickly import data into Quicken’s system. The software’s corresponding app is also powerful, mirrors compatibility from the desktop platform and even allows users to send and pay bills on the road—unlike some other tools, which water down functionality on the mobile platform.
Quicken is one of the more expensive personal finance management options on the list; software packages start at $24 billed annually. However, for hands-on personal planners and independent contractors who want to take a more proactive role in their financial health, Quicken’s suite of tools may be worth the investment.
- Easy to use and navigate
- Provides comprehensive overview of your finances
- Real-time tracking of expenses and spending habits
- Requires subscription or purchase fee
- Limited customization options for budgeting and planning
4. Best for Comprehensive Financial Planning: eMoney Advisor
Who’s it for? Financial professionals, firms and enterprises of all sizes
Price: Inquire for rates
eMoney Advisor provides a comprehensive planning-led platform that offers a different kind of experience and takes planning relationships to the next level. As client needs evolve, eMoney’s scalable solutions allow financial advisors to easily graduate them from a streamlined, goals-based approach to the industry's most sophisticated advanced planning solution—all from a single platform. By using eMoney, financial advisors are able to bring client conversations to life with interactive and collaborative experiences that promote engagement and utilization, and foster deeper understanding and stronger relationships.
eMoney’s solutions and services enable advisors to plan across the client lifecycle, engage clients meaningfully, manage their practice efficiently and effectively, streamline technology, and grow their business. More than 70,000 financial professionals across firms of all sizes use the eMoney platform to serve more than 4 million households throughout the U.S.
- Provides accurate and up-to-date account information
- Offers comprehensive budgeting and expense tracking features
- Can be overwhelming or time-consuming to set up and maintain
5. Best for Making Finances Accessible: MoneyGuide Pro
Who's it for? Professionals who want advanced features and a fun client experience
Price: Prices start at $1,400 for an individual annual subscription
MoneyGuide Pro is a powerful yet user-friendly tool for the professional who needs to track and categorize expenses for a client but who finds standard Excel spreadsheets boring and unengaging.
MoneyGuide Pro’s platform is designed to show clients the fun side of finance. One of its most unique offerings is the “Play Zone,” where clients can change portfolio options to see the projected effects. The software keeps the “tough stuff” behind the scenes, giving the financial advisor control over what the client sees and what decisions he or she can make. MoneyGuide Pro also offers a less intensive myMoneyGuide version, which is designed to be used as a sales presentation tool.
MoneyGuide Pro offers a wide range of functionality but is designed for use by financial advisors. Casual budgeters and planners who are tracking their own finances will likely find MoneyGuide Pro’s suite of tools overwhelming, and most beginner and intermediate budgeters would be better off with a simpler choice. However, for the seasoned money management professional, MoneyGuide Pro offers a powerful teaching tool that can help make budgeting and financial planning easier to understand for clientele and also makes life easier for the planner.
- Offers comprehensive financial planning tools and features
- Access to a wide range of investment options and strategies
- Offers real-time portfolio management and investment tracking
- May be expensive, especially for individual users
- May not be suitable for individuals with very simple financial situations
How to Choose the Best Financial Planning Software for You
Finding the right software the provides the best financial planning solution can be challenging. Before you commit, make sure the program addresses the following:
Features That Fit Your Needs
The best financial planning software programs appeal to a niche segment of the market. They nail down what it is that they want to do and they perfect these features instead of spreading themselves too thin.
That being said, not all financial planning programs will fit the need of every individual or company.
For example, if you’re a business owner or independent contractor who’s constantly recording expenses, you’ll need a more in-depth categorization system than someone who just wants to spend a little less on takeout every month. Thoroughly read through your financial planning software’s list of key features to ensure that it has everything you need and doesn’t have so many extra features that it’s overwhelming.
Financial planning software is supposed to make your life easier, not add extra learning steps to your to-do list. The best financial planning software programs combine functionality with fashion, offer a simple and aesthetically pleasing design that’s easy to use and navigate.
Check out a few YouTube tutorials from vloggers who have experience with the software to see just how user-friendly the program is in real time.
Do you need to budget on-the-go? If you’re a frequent traveler, tracking and planning your finances on the road may be a necessity.
The best financial planning software programs offer mobile compatibility in the form of complementing iOS and Android that mimic the functions and features of desktop versions.
Some software manufacturers have even ditched the desktop altogether and only offer mobile use, though these programs are inherently limited in their offerings.
Forget expensive financial advisors. The digital age has made it easier than ever to handle your own financial planning. These days, you can even plan your own retirement from the palm of your hand or from the comfort of your home office. Choose a financial planning tool or take a course on investing and you’ll get your budget in order and take control of your household’s financial health.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best financial planning tools or apps available for individuals?
There are several great financial planning tools and apps available for individuals. Some popular ones include Playbook, Empower and Quicken. These tools provide a range of features such as budgeting, expense tracking, investment management and goal setting. They help individuals gain a better understanding of their finances, track their spending, save money and make informed financial decisions. Ultimately, the best financial planning tool or app will depend on an individual’s specific needs and preferences.
How do I choose a financial planning software?
When choosing a financial planning software, it is important to assess your needs and goals, consider your comfort with technology and budget, research the reputation of the software provider, and take advantage of free trials to test out the software before making a decision.
What platform do financial advisors use?
Financial advisors use different platforms to assist with managing their clients’ financial needs. These platforms include financial planning software, investment management platforms, customer relationship management platforms, online trading platforms and robo-advisors. The choice of platform depends on the advisor’s preferences, client needs, and regulatory requirements.