Selecting software for accounting and financial management can be difficult since there are so many options available today. There are many great financial software applications available from traditional ERP software vendors such as Microsoft Dynamics, Sage Software, Infor, and literally dozens of vendors. There are also niche and vertical accounting software publishers who specialize in small industry segments providing deep vertical functionality.
There is also a new wave of cloud-based accounting software vendors such as Freshbooks, Xero, NetSuite, Intaact, Acumatica, and literally dozens more.
For most small businesses, any financial management software will handle at least 80 percent or more of their basic needs. What truly sets accounting software vendors apart is that last 20 percent of functionality and the company behind the product.
Some of the major factors that you should consider when selecting accounting software include the development platform, deployment options, publisher’s investment in the financial management software, multi-company capabilities, general accounting software features, and third party add-ons.
Many financial software publishers continue developing add-ons on top of older products. While well-established with deep functionality, these products may be nearing the end of their life. It’s important to ask publishers what code lurks underneath the covers and find out if they have plans to replace the product or to overhaul the product in the future. Reputable software publishers and resellers will be honest but you should also talk with partners and other customers to confirm what they’re telling you is true.
It used to be that companies didn’t want their intellectual property exposed online to the outside world. That’s why so many companies have been leery to adopt cloud-based technologies. But consider that most companies utilize online banking, many use hosted CRM solutions like Salesforce.com or SugarCRM, and companies have been conducting business via electronic data interchange and ecommerce for years. In today’s world, implementing a completely hosted or web-based financial management software is not unheard of and in most cases, can be very cost-effective and more secure than a premise-base accounting software application.
For many companies, basic general ledger, accounts receivable, and accounts payable features will support their needs. We’ve seen companies as large as $80 million running on QuickBooks effectively. These larger companies have relatively basic accounting needs and in almost all cases are integrating a line of business application (such as project accounting, distribution, manufacturing, etc.) with the backend accounting software. With that said, not having a key feature could spell disaster for your company and you need to fully-understand your financial management software needs. An ERP Evaluation Guide is available to help you identify the major features that you may need.
Another thing that companies evaluating accounting software too often fail to consider is the availability of third party products. Many newer accounting software vendors have a small third party developer community and there are few products available to extend the core financial management software. More established accounting software publishers have extensive third party development programs and literally hundreds or thousands of commercially-available extensions – many of which can become core features to resolve major problems within your business.
e2b enterprise represents a variety of accounting software products recognizing that each has it’s strengths and weaknesses. Below is a summary of each product and a high-level overview of each financial management application.
Sage 100 ERP is the most general of the accounting software products we represent. It is rock solid with a very large third party development community and tens of thousands of installations in virtually any industry imaginable. Sage continues to invest in Sage 100 ERP having brought it forward with a new business application framework available on a Microsoft SQL database in either a hosted or on-premise deployment. Sage 100 ERP is a safe bet for most any business outgrowing Intuit QuickBooks. The accounting features are more than adequate and compete head to head with comparable solutions in the lower midmarket space.
Sage ERP X3 and Epicor ERP both include more sophisticated accounting software modules designed for multi-company environments where inter-company transactions need to flow between companies for purchasing, sales, manufacturing, and financial transactions. While both of these products are most often sold to manufacturers, there is no reason why either of them shouldn’t be considered for companies looking for a pure accounting software system with General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, and Purchase Order capabilities. In fact, many of the manufacturers using these two products selected them over the competition because of the strong underlying accounting features.
Selecting the right accounting software can be very difficult. Remember that most companies keep their accounting software for at least 5 years and typically for up to 10 years. The financial management software you select today will impact a lot of decisions you make in the next decade and can help you grow your business – or it can detract from your ability to serve customers, to compete in the market, and to manage your business effectively.
Contact us today for a free personalized evaluation of accounting software products. We’ll help you identify your requirements and select the financial management software that’s right for you – today, and for the next 10 years.