From our friends and Modern Marketing Partners and Brittenford Systems, this latest comparison of the leading cloud accounting or ERP solutions may surprise you. While NetSuite and Intacct might seem to have similar features and pricing, and software reviews suggest parity, upon closer comparison, one solution emerges as the clear winner from a total cost, reporting, and productivity basis.
Founded in 1998, NetSuite was the first cloud-based ERP, and no question, has the larger installed base. As the name suggests, NetSuite is a complete suite of solutions for ERP, CRM, PSA and E-commerce. However the suite also has a downside. There is no integration advantage to suites if you need to, or prefer to integrate with new or existing best-of-breed solutions.
While NetSuite requires vendor lock-in to the suite, or costly integration with other solutions, Intacct integrates with an ecosystem of 150 (and growing) best-of-breed solutions including Salesforce.com, through pre-packaged, configurable modules. With NetSuite, each upgrade must be re-tested and typically requires programming. In contrast, Intacct guarantees the integrity of upgrades and your customizations.
A critical factor impacting total cost is that NetSuite code is old technology—legacy code that costs reportedly 2x more to implement. NetSuite API’s, user docs and interfaces reportedly can take twice as long to implement, all adding to total cost.
Another little known fact, NetSuite requires E-commerce users to use their merchant services, charging an additional 1% transaction fee, while taking a 1% kickback for a reported $20 million in annual income to NetSuite. In contrast, Intacct users can select any merchant, and does not charge E-commerce transaction fees.
In sum, the total cost of implementation, upgrades, ongoing professional service fees, and merchant services (if applicable) are dramatically higher for NetSuite vs. Intacct. The Cloud Accounting Institute estimates that Intacct has at least 26% lower total cost than NetSuite.
Beyond cost, lets compare the reporting and productivity of NetSuite and Intacct. A little known fact is that NetSuite has only 3 standard dimensions for tracking key data, while Intacct offers up to 8 standard dimensions, and potentially 5 additional user-defined dimensions.
These differences translate into real-time visibility and business insight with Intacct. Consolidated and multiple entities, multi-book, multi-scenario and multi-currency reporting are all possible with Intacct—along with role-based dashboards tailored to key stakeholders. NetSuite canned reports require more customization, along with additional fees for the OneWorld upgrade for global needs.
Ongoing user productivity should certainly be part of the NetSuite/Intacct comparison. Here again, Intacct integration with best-of-breed solutions for CRM, budgeting and planning, expenses, procurement and other business applications support the productivity of staff and resources. As mentioned, NetSuite offers their own suite, or the added user complexity of working with both the suite and the integrated solution.
Intacct supports customized workflows for paperless processing, along with multi-ledger financial architecture flexibility, and formal controls for close and consolidation processes. Intacct easily generates consolidated AR and AP aging reports across multiple entities, in addition to financial statements.
Also affecting productivity, NetSuite requires more ongoing technical support to maintain, including database administration. Intacct requires no database administration, but only user management.
Beyond clear Intacct advantages in total cost, reporting and productivity, another difference has emerged. NetSuite has moved up-market, no longer targeting small or even medium-size business (SMB). Per the NetSuite website, NetSuite is the complete ERP solution for the world’s largest companies.
Meanwhile, Intacct maintains laser focus on building a better accounting and financial management software solution for small and medium-size businesses (SMB), which is integrated with over 150 best-of-breed solutions. With best-of-breed and partner solutions, Intacct now serves every conceivable vertical including professional services, nonprofit, technology, manufacturing, distribution, and more.
That laser focus spills over into R&D, where Intacct invests 100% on accounting and financials, not other suites, with 4 releases per year, vs. 2 for NetSuite. Intacct solution partners add an estimated 10x more investment than a “suite” vendor.
A New Leader Emerges
As a result of these total cost, reporting and productivity advantages of Intacct, along with the weaknesses and changing focus of NetSuite, Intacct is now the fastest-growing accounting/finance solution for small and medium-size businesses. Financial markets agree, with Intacct’s recent round of financing announced in February.
Intacct is the accounting/finance solution of choice for the lion’s share of today’s pre-IPO technology start-ups, as well as divisions of multinational corporations, and every size of business in between. And Intacct is surely the leading replacement solution for entry-level software like QuickBooks.
Still have questions? Contact us.
Altruas is a full-service technology consulting firm focused on providing mid-market and enterprise customers with technology solutions that accelerate their business. We focus on industry leading cloud, ERP and CRM solution implementation and integration. Our strong business acumen and technology capabilities allow us to create long-term relationships with our clients.