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Stephanie Bartlett | Jun 20, 2024

5 Best EPM Software for Higher Education

Today, higher education institutions require robust systems and processes across all levels to drive agility, transparency and reduce risk. Finance teams are looking to move away from the constraints of legacy systems, tedious manual processes and inefficient analytics tools.  Institutions thus turn to the best Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) for higher education solutions to automate processes and mitigate those challenges. 

EPM software forms a management layer above all transaction systems providing a level of agility and visibility now critical for any institution that wants to successfully handle the non-forgiving complexities of growth and change. Here, we’ve curated the best EPM software solutions for Higher Education based on their features, customer reviews and industry recognition.

To compile this list, we’ve considered software that meets the following qualifications:

What is EPM software?

EPM Software solutions are designed to help organizations effectively manage and analyze their performance data to achieve the strategic objectives they have set.  An EPM solution integrates and analyzes data from many sources, including, but not limited to, ERP systems, HR and Student applications, data warehouses and also cloud and external data sources.  The typical management processes included in EPM solutions are: Goal Setting, Modelling, Planning, Financial Close & Consolidation, Reporting and Analysis.

EPM solutions typically include the following capabilities:

Ultimately, EPM software provides management with data analytics and insights across multiple operational systems and processes. EPM solutions provide agility in forecasting and strategic planning, reporting and decision-making.  And they help organizations create alignment across the institution.

Not sure what EPM software solution best suits your institution?  You’re in the right place!

The Best EPM Software for Higher Education

1. OneStream

OneStream is a leading enterprise Finance solution trusted by institutions.  It offers a comprehensive platform that uniquely unifies financial consolidation, planning, reporting and analysis.  OneStream’s a modern Finance platform built to handle the complexity of colleges and universities and help them gain agility and increase transparency.  With robust budgeting features, OneStream offers the following benefits to colleges and universities (see Figure 1):

  • Unifies all financial and operational data
  • Allows colleges and universities to accelerate and simplify planning processes across the budget office and different business units.
  • Embeds AI for better decisions and productivity.
Figure 1: OneStream Higher Education Analytics Dashboard

OneStream’s unified platform enables Finance and Operations teams to better collaborate and deliver a single source of truth.  Having that single source eliminates the complexity of multiple solutions, interfaces and integrations.  Not to mention, institutions can also avoid the heavy cost and duplication of data and metadata while avoiding time-consuming processes and upgrades.

With a built-in data quality engine and pre-built connectors, Finance is in control, providing a strong, flexible foundation in data quality that’s ERP and source system agnostic, as real-time as needed, with drill down and drill back to any source, providing auditability across all close, planning, reporting and analysis processes and actionable insights behind every number.


  • Highest customer success rate.
  • Intuitive platform with a logical, efficient and modern user experience.
  • Comprehensive platform that supports planning and reporting processes.
  • Ability to support complexity, growth and evolution of institutions over time without reimplementing or adding more technical debt.
  • Built-in self-service reporting, dashboarding, ad-hoc analysis and deep integration with Microsoft Office in one platform – from balance to transactional details with seamless drill down and drill back to supporting details for transparency, auditability and actionable details behind every number.


  • Implementation may require additional time and resources.
  • While OneStream is user-friendly, mastering the design and advanced features may pose a slight learning curve for these organizations.
  • Despite growing popularity, 100% customer success of over 1400+ customers, OneStream may have a smaller but growing market presence compared to a few other alternatives.

2. Oracle EPM

Oracle EPM is a suite of business applications designed for end-to-end management of enterprise-wide consolidation, close, financial planning & forecasting and performance reporting. Oracle is similar to SAP, with legacy solutions from their acquisition of Hyperion with end of support in 2035 for Hyperion HFM and Hyperion Planning. Their suite of applications is being redeveloped on the Cloud, consisting of individual best-of-breed solutions for each core management process.


  • A comprehensive suite covering budgeting, planning, forecasting and advanced analytics, providing the breadth of capabilities for EPM and are well known based on the reputation of Hyperion Solutions
  • Integration with Oracle solutions (ERP, HCM, CRM…) and databases and a robust solution for master data management, data integration and data quality
  • A large customer base and global network ensure access to a pool of skilled professionals, services, partners and domain expertise.


  • Multiple, fragmented solutions require complex integrations across solutions to reconcile actuals with plans and bring in financial and operational data to support the end-to-end consolidation, close, financial and operational planning and reporting processes.
  • Limited live references and few peer reviews/insights are available for the cloud EPM solutions.
  • Implementation may require significant time and resources.


With the end of support of SAP’s legacy EPM solutions – BPC and BFC (BusinessObjects Financial Consolidation) set for 2030, SAP’s go forward solutions for EPM are a combination of SAP Group Reporting embedded in S/4HANA for consolidations and SAP Analytics Cloud for financial and operational planning. 

SAP S4/HANA Group Reporting is an enterprise solution for consolidations and since it is part of S4HANA, it leverages a combination of features of Group Reporting for consolidations and S/4HANA for core close capabilities. SAP Analytics Cloud is a cloud-based platform for planning, business intelligence (BI) and predictive analytics, enabling organizations to visualize, plan and make data-driven decisions.


  • Both solutions run on the same S/4HANA technology to streamline integration with SAP ERP systems, making it an ideal choice for organizations deeply embedded in the SAP ecosystem.
  • SAC offers flexibility in modeling and reporting, catering to diverse business needs.
  • SAP customers benefit from SAP’s global footprint, ensuring access to a vast pool of skilled professionals and SAP domain knowledge.


  • Customers will need to move to S4/HANA and upgrades can be challenging with known impacts on the agility Finance needs to change to Group Reporting for close and consolidation processes.
  • Although both Group Reporting and SAC are on S4/HANA, they are still separate solutions, technologies and tools that need to be implemented, integrated and maintained.
  • Requires multiple complex integrations across solutions to reconcile actuals with plans and to bring in non-SAP financial and operational data to support the end-to-end consolidation, close, financial and operational planning and reporting processes.

4. Workday Adaptive Planning and Consolidation

Workday Adaptive Planning covers planning, consolidation, analytics and reporting functions and is built on a proprietary In-memory database enabling collaboration and real time updates in a browser user interface similar to that of a spreadsheet and supports integration of data from ERP.


  • Similar to SAP and Oracle, Workday offers a full stack ERP, Human Capital Management, Peakon Employee Voice, Strategic Source and Adaptive Planning for business process support and CPM/EPM
  • Easy integration with Workday Finance and HR.
  • Intuitive and user-friendly interface, reducing the learning curve for users and facilitating easier adoption across different departments.


  • Fragmented, multiple solutions and technologies require multiple complex integrations across solutions to reconcile actuals with plans and to bring in financial and operational data to support the end-to-end consolidation, close, financial and operational planning and reporting processes.
  • While positioned as a comprehensive set of capabilities, Workday Adaptive has a limited data model for all CPM/EPM processes and has limited data integration capabilities for managing multiple ERP and other source system data integrations needed for all EPM processes.
  • Best known as a planning solution, built in consolidation capabilities are weak, especially for complex global consolidations and limited close capabilities, other than what is built in Workday Financials.

5. Anaplan

Anaplan is a cloud modeling technology that enables planning, budgeting and forecasting on a single platform.  The solution serves clients in an array of verticals and functions, including Finance, Sales and Marketing, Supply Chain, HR and Workforce.


  • User-friendly browser interface.
  • Flexible modeling that supports a broad set of planning use cases.
  • Professional services team that works alongside its partner network to ensure implementation support.


  • Extra time and resources potentially needed to scale and evolve with institution to update and/or connect modules in response to changes.
  • Limited financial intelligence in platform, requiring everything to be developed each time.
  • Best known as a planning solution, built in consolidation capabilities are weak, especially for complex consolidations and limited close capabilities.


Choosing the right EPM Software is essential for institutions looking to move beyond legacy/manual processes and evolve to a modern EPM solution. Each of the Top 5 solutions featured in this blog post offers unique features and benefits, catering to the diverse needs of institutions across industries.

However, one financial budgeting software solution stands above the rest if you’re looking to streamline back-office Finance processes and significantly increase confidence in reporting and planning.  OneStream ultimately offers the best software to handle your institutions evolving needs, no matter how complex.

Learn More

To learn more about how organizations are managing the complexity in their EPM processes, check out our whitepaper titled: Taking Performance Management to the Next Level with Intelligent Finance.

And if you’re ready to take the leap from spreadsheets or legacy EPM solutions and start your Finance Transformation with OneStream, let’s chat!

Learn More About OneStream for Higher Education

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