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Vena vs. Planful: Compare Features, Integrations, Reviews & More

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Whether they’re budgeting, reporting or forecasting future trends, modern FP&A teams need the right corporate performance management (CPM) tool to do their jobs right.  

Thankfully, teams have a range of options to choose from. Today, there’s a wide array of corporate performance management solutions on the market, each purporting to give your company the insights it needs to chart its path to success. But each also has their own strengths and weaknesses, bringing different advantages to the table. In the end, the right solution for your business will depend on your own needs and goals.  

But, assessing all the platforms on the market and comparing them against your objectives can take time you don’t always have. So, to get you started on your search, let’s look at two of the most popular CPM platforms on the market today: Vena vs. Planful.  

We’ll take an honest look at how each measures up, diving into their key features along with what customers have to say. 


Vena vs. Planful: At a Glance 

  Vena  Planful 
Key Features and Use Cases  Vena offers a native Excel interface and central database, with automated workflows, pre-built templates, audit trails, version control and collaboration features for budgeting, forecasting, scenario planning, financial close management and financial reporting. 

Vena offers one unified platform for all the above use cases, connected by a single database. 
Planful makes it possible to compile data and use it for analysis and decision making, with automation and collaboration features, managed workflows and templates. It’s used for budgeting, forecasting, scenario analysis, financial reporting and financial close management. 

Given the database architecture, however, the data does not flow organically between the planning and reporting models. 
Integrations  Vena integrates with general ledger, ERP, CRM and HRIS solutions, as well as homegrown systems, CSV and flat files using APIs, native connectors, ETL and Microsoft PowerAutomate.  

Vena is also deeply integrated within the Microsoft 365 Suite, with native connections to Excel, PowerPoint and Power BI.
Planful integrates with finance and accounting, marketing automation, ERP, CRM, IT, HRIS and ATS systems. 


Planful leverages both pre-built connectors and open-access RESTful APIs.
Ease of Use  Vena’s native Excel foundation and central database, as well as easy-to-use templates and preconfigured reports, make it easy to pick up quickly. Review sites consistently rate Vena high in ease of use.  Planful states that users can get up and running with little IT intervention and quick time to value. It has preconfigured templates and integrations, with favorable ratings for ease of use across review sites. 
AI Capabilities Vena Copilot is the only GenAI copilot purpose-built for FP&A teams and the organizations they support. Vena Copilot gathers data, generates reports, analyzes trends, optimizes forecasts and answers complex business questions.   

Vena Insights embeds Microsoft’s best-in-class AI and machine learning (ML) technology via Power BI to support predictive analytics and anomaly detection.  
Planful Predict’s suite of AI and ML powered solutions—including Signals and Projections—extends Planful’s automation capabilities and provides insights and recommendations in near real time. It looks for patterns, detects anomalies and provides intelligent forecasting recommendations.  
Pricing  Vena offers customers two packages to choose from, with pricing available upon request. Planful pricing is not available publicly. 
Customer Support  Vena is rated highly in the area of customer support, with 24-hour online and phone support available five days a week. The Vena Support Portal also provides videos, FAQs and community guidance, with further product training available through Vena Academy. Extended support is available through the Premium Support Plan.  Planful offers a customer community and the Planful Academy for training and courses. Product help is available within the platform. 


Key Features and Use Cases 


Built around a familiar Microsoft Excel interface, Vena’s complete planning solution offers corporate performance management functionality designed specifically for FP&A and accounting teams. Its centralized database provides a single source of truth for financial and operational data, with automation and AI capabilities that add efficiencies to financial planning, operational planning and reporting processes.  
Beyond Excel, Vena also works seamlessly with Microsoft products like PowerPoint, Power BI and Microsoft Fabric to create compelling data visualizations, centralized data sets and powerful data-driven storytelling

Vena’s automated workflows, pre-built templates, audit trails, version control and collaboration features all help drive agile, business-wide planning, with easy-to-use solutions for: 

Budgeting and Planning 

The platform helps reduce budget cycle times and create budgets based on any requirement: top-down, bottom-up, zero-based or driver-based. Vena’s easy-to-use interface also means budget contributors can make their inputs directly themselves, saving your team the typical back and forth. 

Forecasting and Financial Modeling  

Vena empowers integrated financial statements, rolling forecasts, what-if analysis and unlimited modeling capabilities. With Vena, it’s easy to add dimensions to your data model for new accounts, departments and budget scenarios, giving you the flexibility to plan alongside changes in your business. 

Financial Reporting and Analysis 

With Vena, your FP&A team can build accurate reports in less time, create ad hoc reports on the fly and drill down to unlock strategic insights. And with Vena Insights, Vena’s intelligent reporting and analytics solution, you can reduce the burden on your finance team by empowering the broader business with self-service analytics and easy-to-consume dashboards.  

Financial Close Management 

Vena’s end-to-end financial close software streamlines processes such as financial consolidations, account reconciliations and tax provisioning—shortening the close cycle and improving transparency.  


Planful’s financial performance management software enables collaboration across stakeholders, making it easier to align decision making with strategy and execution. It makes it possible to compile data from multiple source systems and use it for analysis and decision making. 

Automation and collaboration features speed up financial processes, with pre-built templates and managed workflows that help drive business insights across a variety of use cases, including:  

Planning and Budgeting 

Planful helps teams gather data and makes collaboration easier throughout the budgeting and financial planning processes to drive insights, analysis and faster decision making.  


Planful helps empower rolling forecasts, continually rolling planning periods and adjusting key drivers to build continuous insights aligned to current market and business conditions. 

Scenario Analysis 

The platform makes it possible to quickly analyze and plan across a multitude of possible scenarios, for more agile financial planning.  

Financial Reporting 

Planful offers financial and management reporting that’s automated and secure, with collaboration and drill-through capabilities as well as ad-hoc analysis.  

Financial Close Management 

The Planful platform helps teams avoid manually reconciling accounts during financial close, offering tools for account reconciliation automation and end-to-end task management to save time and mitigate risk. 




Vena is able to integrate data from across your source systems into a centralized database that automatically refreshes your templates with the newest information. This is made possible using APIs, native connectors, ETL and Microsoft PowerAutomate. Integrations include: 

  • General Ledger and ERP: Including NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics Business Central, GP and SL, Sage Intacct, QuickBooks, Certinia, Oracle and more, to ensure you’re working with the most up-to-date numbers
  • CRM: To connect to solutions such as HubSpot and Salesforce, incorporating customer, prospect, pipeline and marketing data into your reporting.
  • HRIS: To bring in data from HRIS and payroll systems such as ADP, Ceridian, Workday, Peoplesoft, Paylocity, Paycomm and Bamboo.
  • Homegrown Systems: To bring data into Vena quickly and securely from homegrown systems, SQL databases and data warehouses.
  • Excel, CSV and Flat Files: To import Excel, CSV and flat files from local systems or cloud storage applications like Dropbox, OneDrive, SFTP and SharePoint.
  • Microsoft PowerPoint: To integrate live Vena data into presentations, enabling better data-driven storytelling.
  • Microsoft Power BI: To empower better data visualizations, shared dashboards and access to wider data sources. 


Planful has 1,400+ pre-built connectors (offered through a third party, Boomi) and a full set of open-access RESTful APIs that make it possible to integrate with common data sources, including: 

  • Finance and Accounting Systems: Including general ledger systems and other data solutions like Sage Intacct, QuickBooks, Oracle and Workday
  • Marketing Automation Solutions: Including Salesforce, to automatically calculate marketing ROI
  • ERP, CRM and IT Systems: Including Acumatica and NetSuite, to access operational, sales and infrastructure data in near real time
  • HRIS and ATS: Including Paylocity and ADP, to integrate compensation, hiring and planning data 

How the Technology Works 


Vena offers one unified platform for all your use cases—from core financial planning processes to broader operational planning processes like workforce planning and financial close management. All connected by a single database. 

The platform is built around a native Excel interface, with data pulled from and synced back to Vena’s central analytical data model, CubeFLEX™. All the while, users continue to interact with that data in Excel—meaning there are no new formulas to learn. 

Vena also offers a robust audit trail and allows you to drill back into your history to see where all of your values came from.  


Unlike Vena, Planful doesn’t have a native Excel interface, though it does have plug-ins for both Excel and Google Sheets—namely, in the case of Excel, the AirliftXL add-in tool, which facilitates communication between Planful and Excel. 

Compared to a native Excel approach, however, this can be more limited in terms of the features and formula functions it offers. Instead, Planful seeks to become an Excel replacement, providing its own spreadsheet interface. 

The Planful platform is separated into two modules: structured planning and dynamic planning, which creates additional complexity in how data models and processes work together. As one G2 review puts it, this “creates an administrative burden and can create performance bottlenecks in some instances.” 


Ease of Use  


Vena’s foundation in Excel—a tool most financial professionals already know well—makes it easy to pick up quickly, contributing to its ease of use. It also offers secure and centrally controlled templates and reports built with best practices in mind, designed to get you up and running quickly.  

In fact, Vena has higher “Ease of Use” ratings than Planful across G2 (where it rates 8.5/10), Capterra (4.5/5) and Software Advice (4.5/5). One Software Advice review calls Vena’s interface “impressive and intuitive.” 

A G2 commenter calls the “integration process and ease of use of Vena … the best. Being able to quickly adapt to make fast reports is impactful when it comes to business decisions.” The reviewer continues: “It makes budgeting and forecasting simple by making one single source of truth that reflects changes others have made.” 


Planful expresses that users require little IT effort to get up and running and advertises quick time to value and an effortless user experience. Like Vena, it also has pre-built templates to draw from. 

Planful also has favorable ratings when it comes to “Ease of Use” across G2 (where it rates 8.1/10), Capterra (4.1/5) and Software Advice (4/5).  

One Gartner reviewer says there is “a learning curve to using the software,” while a second reviewer states: “Planful is very easy to get up and running with, delivering value in short order.”  

“This is an easy-to-use platform that allows us to create and manage budgets, utilize rolling forecasts and manage our workforce,” another G2 customer comments.  


AI Capabilities  


Vena has two AI-based solutions: Vena Copilot and Vena Insights.  

Vena Copilot 

Vena Copilot for FP&A is the only GenAI copilot purpose-built for financial planning teams and the organizations they support. It draws on the combined power of Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service advanced AI models—including GPT-4—and Vena’s central analytical data model, CubeFLEX™. 

Using the most intuitive interface there is—natural language—Vena Copilot can gather data, generate reports, analyze trends, optimize forecasts, answer complex business questions and more.  

Easy to set up without the use of IT, data scientists or AI engineers, Vena Copilot lets you create and train custom AI models to improve your analysis and empower anyone to work with your data. It integrates seamlessly with Microsoft 365 and provides security, compliance and privacy capabilities. 

Vena Insights 

Vena Insights is an intelligent reporting and analytics solution offering embedded Power BI alongside best-in-class AI and machine learning technology. It lets finance teams apply predictive analytics and anomaly detection to root out inefficiencies, isolate key business drivers, look for trends and compare scenarios. 


Planful offers the Planful Predict suite of AI-powered solutions, including Signals and Projections. The AI suite is based on a natively integrated artificial intelligence engine that extends Planful’s automation efforts and provides insights and recommendations in near real time. 

Predict: Signals 

Predict: Signals looks for anomalies in your data, to identify risks and outliers—including broken formulas and data errors—so that your team can fix them before they’re reported.     

Predict: Projections 

Predict: Projections applies machine learning to review millions of data points in service of automating budgeting and forecasting for faster and more accurate planning.  




Vena’s pricing is available upon request. Two unique price plans are available: 

  • The Professional Package comes with a dedicated Customer Success Manager, Standard Support and access to the Customer Portal.
  • The Complete Package comes everything in the Professional plan, along with Vena Insights, as well as Premium Support, Expert Managed Services and access to a Sandbox Environment.  

To determine your potential return on investment (ROI) with Vena, you can calculate the annual estimated benefits your business will achieve with our Business Value Calculator.   


Planful’s pricing is not available publicly. 


Customer Support 


Customers can choose from two Vena support plans: 

  • Standard Support Plan: Includes worldwide 24-hour, Monday through Friday online chat and phone support, as well as access to the Vena Support Portal, which features online videos, FAQs and user guides. Customers also get 24/7 application monitoring, unlimited case submissions and a dedicated Customer Success Manager. 
  • Premium Support Plan: Provides all of the above, as well as after-hours support and accelerated response times. Telephone support hours are also extended to 24/7 for critical concerns. 

With Vena Academy, you can get additional product training and continued learning across a range of subjects in finance and operations. 

Vena is rated higher than Planful in the area of “Customer Support,” “Quality of Support” and “Support and Vendor Satisfaction” across G2 (where it has a rating of 8.9/10), Gartner (4.4/5) and Capterra (4.5/5). On Software Advice, both Vena and Planful have the same rating (4.5/5) for “Customer Service.” 

“The experience has been amazing,” one Capterra reviewer writes. “The team that assisted with the implementation was great, the sales team was extremely helpful, and the after care has been phenomenal.” 


Planful offers its customers a customer community, as well as the Planful Academy for Finance and Marketing, which features a range of product training and courses. There is also product help available directly within the Planful platform.  

On Gartner, one reviewer writes: “I really appreciate how responsive and helpful the customer support team is. Most issues and questions they respond back to within 1 hour.”   

But, another G2 reviewer also states: “I think the support team could be more helpful.”  


Vena Reviews 

“If you know Excel—you'll be able to master Vena! The ease of use is amazing and the possibilities are endless in how you use this tool. 

There are very few cons with this tool. I would say that the implementation is intense but that's by design. No one wants to be implementing the tool as they go!!” 


“The best part about Vena is the versatility of the implementation of the solution. The software can be adapted to any type of company even to the ones with the most complex behaviors. The implementation is easy … compared to other systems it has a very nice integration with your already existing Excel models, so it is very user friendly.” 


“It's a straightforward tool that allows me to perform multiple tasks in one panel, it has effective formulas, allowing me to perform qualitative and quantitative analysis with greater precision. In addition, when delivering these reports, I can reflect them in graphics that are easy to understand for others while still respecting the presentation’s professionalism.” 


“Vena is simple to use and gives us the flexibility to build our forecasting/reporting process to meet the demands and expectations of the business. The ability to create and build our own reports to be able to report on individual businesses but then bring it all together to give a consolidated view is extremely powerful and means we can get any data out quickly and easily. The support team are friendly and are on hand to resolve any issues we have in an efficient manner, understanding our set-up and the problems we are trying to solve. All our business leaders and finance team use Vena to manage their numbers, using the workflows to review and sign-off on a monthly basis. It is used daily by all stakeholders and it has given time back to the leadership team to focus on more strategic activities as they now trust in the data that they receive.  



Planful Reviews 

“I love how it makes FP&A reporting so much more streamlined and automated. I don't have to spend as much time creating reports. Instead, I can use my time more effectively on analysis and inquiries.” 


“Once you learn how to use Planful, it becomes more intuitive and provides a number of features to allow you to easily load and consolidate multiple companies.” 


“Used this software to simplify reporting from eight companies with varying charts of accounts and 10,000 accounts to a single, comparable reporting structure. Greatly reduced effort and time spent on consolidating and preparing financial reports.” 


“The application made reporting a piece of cake with automated distribution. The planning tool helped us standardize our budgeting process and we're very impressed with the workforce planning module that helped us easily manage our headcount and compensation estimate.” 



Vena vs. Planful: Which Is Best for Your Team? 

So which platform should you choose for your team—Vena vs. Planful? Well, that depends on your overall needs and what you’re using it for.  

The size of your business and the industry you operate in will play into your ultimate decision.  

According to G2, Planful’s market segment is evenly split (at 47% each) between mid-market and enterprise businesses, and the platform is especially popular in the computer software and hospital/health care industries. 

Vena’s market segment, on the other hand, leans more towards mid-market, with a 60% mid-market segment and 22% enterprise. Vena works with businesses across a range of industries, including banking and credit unions, SaaS, manufacturing, professional sports, healthcare, not for profit, real estate and construction and professional services and has a series of preconfigured solutions to support these use cases. 

Vena’s ease of use and native Excel foundation are also particularly advantageous to teams that are short-staffed, work with a multitude of stakeholders outside of the finance department or have less technical prowess. Vena Copilot’s AI capabilities also help teams do more with less and provide a solution that can be used organization-wide to gain insight into the business’s performance.  

Larger companies find value in both Vena and Planful, with their choice often depending on factors such as their level of Excel adoption and the degree of flexibility and control they seek to retain.

Specifically, companies that heavily rely on Excel and prioritize maintaining ownership over their processes often gravitate towards Vena due to its Excel-based platform, which seamlessly integrates with their existing workflows and offers a high level of customization and control. 

In either case, we hope this overview helps you on your journey to finding the right CPM solution for your business. 


Want to see Vena in action? Request a demo. 



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About the Author

Nicole Diceman, Director, Product Marketing, Vena

Nicole Diceman is Director, Product Marketing at Vena. With a proven track record of driving product strategy and direction, she is heavily involved in driving new product ideas and development efforts and is closely aligned with customer needs and requirements. With her extensive knowledge and experience in product marketing, FP&A and the Vena platform itself, Nicole is a regular contributor to the Vena blog and often speaks at virtual and in-person events to share her ideas. A powerful advocate for product marketing innovation, Nicole is always on the lookout for creative new ways to bring additional value to Vena customers.

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