So we’ve covered how to approach the problem of choosing an accounting software if you’re a small business or one-man-band. But what if your needs go beyond double entry and a small payroll function? Enter the enterprise level.
No, it’s not Captain Picard’s personal choice of software. Enterprise level accounting software is for when a business grows. For PC Magazine, that’s when a company starts doing business internationally, for others, it could be when the number of employees reaches a certain size. The common reason behind changing from a small to enterprise accounting software is that the company recognises it needs more functionality from their accounting technology.
Having multiple offices, trading internationally and paying taxes in several countries have all become commonplace thanks to our streamlined age of commerce. The internet’s impact on business has meant that even smaller companies, that just a few years ago required very little from their accounting software, now need complex financial management systems. Thankfully, those complex systems aren’t quite as expensive and difficult to use as they once were. Herein lies our key principles for judging whether a software is ‘good’ for enterprise level businesses – high-level functionality, reasonable cost and ease of use. A modular (called enterprise resource planning or ERP) approach is also something we’ll highlight as not every business requires (or wants to pay for) every function, whereas others may require more. Finally, having cloud access is all but requisite now if you’re accounting across multiple locations so all the solutions we mention will involve cloud in some form or another.
Oracle Netsuite One World
Netsuite One World is something of a pioneer in ERP. This cloud based platform manages to integrate several non-accounting specific functions such as project management, HR management and inventory in the software.This integration of functions allows accountants and managers to see and connect wider functions and follow a project’s timeline in more detail. The Netsuite project management tool is great for connecting resources with delivery. E-commerce functions are also available. ERP is certainly the platform’s strong point, but Netsuite One World also performs well in general ledger accounting and customer relationship management (CRM), although there are other software packages that are stronger in this area.
This browser based software excels in user experience (UX) and its solid range of modular features. The general ledger accounting available in Acumatica is strong, as is the inventory management.
One standout feature is the software’s dashboard delivery. The software’s dashboard reflects information relevant to the role of the user – a financial user would see vastly different (and more relevant) information than that of a stock controller. This dashboard is customisable, making transitioning from one function to another easy for those covering several roles within a company – for this reason, Acumatica works especially well for small enterprise level companies.
Thanks to its development as a browser-based solution, Acumatica unsurprisingly excels in the mobile realm. The full browser functionality can be accessed via smartphone or tablet, and Acumatica has created mobile apps with specific UX in mind.
The added ERP functions are heavily weighted towards stock management and Acumatica’s modular payment structure (pay for what you need) makes this a great option for seasonally dependent e-commerce.
That’s it for our roundup of SME accounting software options – there are plenty of other options out there that have their own strengths and weaknesses, so be sure to do some research before investing in or learning about a specific enterprise platform.