5 Accounting Software Solutions For Enterprises

Enterprise accounting goes beyond core accounting and includes other key business processes that impact on accounting. These include finance management, inventory control, order and purchase, payroll and human capital management and so on. We can say that they are enterprise resource planning or ERP as these solutions expand their capabilities to encompass the critical areas of running the business.

If you’re a mid-sized business with an increasingly complex operational expenses and revenue streams, it’s time to prepare to consolidate your business processes. The common problems of companies reaching the enterprise level is, according to CPA Practice Advisor:

  1. the difficulty of integrating their accounting with invoicing and payments (68%)
  2. managing costs (35%)
  3. learning the system (18%).

They’ll need an enterprise accounting solution or ERP to streamline processes, consolidate data and automate recurring tasks.

In this article, we discussed five accounting software for enterprises and their unique features and functions. These solutions excel in core accounting, but they go beyond it. To help you appreciate each of these enterprise solutions, we’ll guide you first on the fundamentals of large enterprise accounting and what to expect from it.

What does enterprise accounting software do?

Accounting software for enterprises go beyond core accounting tasks. They provide features that streamline, consolidate or automate other business processes that are key to accounting. In fact, these solution are also called enterprise resource planning or ERP because they encompass almost all business processes in a company. These include the following main functions:

  1. Billing & invoice. Automate payments, invoice creation and send alerts and notification to clients.
  2. Budget and forecasting. Calculates the financial performance of previous year versus this year’s estimated budget to come up with a forecast.
  3. Fixed asset. Manages resource allocation and depreciation value of fixed assets, among others.
  4. Payroll. Streamlines processes for employee wages, benefits, print checks and compute tax commitments.
  5. Inventory management. Provides a system of stock control to manage inventory and reorders, while preventing over- and under-stocking.

There are plenty of benefits in using an enterprise accounting software: visibility, automation, streamlined processes, cross-departmental collaboration, etc. In essence these benefits address the top three concerns of CFOs based on an IBM study, “Pushing the Frontiers.” These are: “measuring and monitoring business performance, providing inputs into enterprise strategy, and developing talent in the finance organization.”

“Pushing the Frontier,” IBM, 2014.

How to select an accounting software for large enterprises?

Getting an enterprise accounting solution is a milestone for a company; hence, careful considerations must be taken. Here are a few of the things you should consider:

  • Integrated modules. The solutions should feature an integrated set of modules even if they are sold separately. That gives you a unified platform for accounting and other business processes, making work across the organization smoother and seamless.
  • Customization. The system should allow an elbow room to let you configure some of the functions and processes. Either via an API key or add-ons, customization ensures the system adapts to your workflows and you optimize its tools.
  • Ease of use. The system should have an intuitive interface and navigation, and, overall, designed for the non-technical and non-accountant user like CEOs, COOs and line managers.
  • Security. Especially for cloud-hosted solutions, security should have control permissions, backups and encryption to protect sensitive files.
  • Mobile access. Consider getting an accounting software with mobile apps or at least have mobile-responsive interface. This helps you access important data even while you’re outside of the office, like during a meeting or attending a conference.

Top 5 Accounting Software for Enterprises

1. Intacct ERP

Intacct A/R dashboard.

Intacct ERP is an enterprise system class that features basic accounting, fixed assets, project management and workflow automation. It is a utilitarian ERP designed for non-technical users with focus on financial processes and business visibility.

By automating financial processes like consolidating accounts payables and accounts receivables and organizing entries in the general ledger, the software helps accelerate work turnaround times. As a cloud-hosted ERP, Intacct makes it easy also for users to pull up financial data anywhere from various desktop or mobile devices. Income vs. expense reports, revenue trends and other financial reports are quick to access when you need them, for example, in meetings or presentations.

Additionally, the software has sophisticated reporting. Financial reporting can be customized based on your settings to filter the metrics you just need. You can also set your dashboard for at-a-glance insights, displaying on one panel the important numbers like balance sheets, revenue pattern, win-loss rate, project progress and other daily issues that require close monitoring.

Conversely, the dashboard links to detailed reports, so from the same window you can open a report to investigate the figures closely. You can optimize this feature, for example, by posting daily revenues with link to their breakdown like cost of sale, source and net margin.

Another key feature you’ll like with this software is its Dimensions. It allows for an efficient way to manage a general ledger. Chart of accounts can be easily set up to help you gauge the overall business health. You can use Dimensions to filter fixed assets in different locations or view revenue by source, customer, collectively or separately. Dimensions also pull real-time data to update the numbers you’re looking at. You’ll have plenty of ways to look at the business and find insights that would have been hard to come by with spreadsheets.

Intacct ERP makes compliance easy and accurate with its tools like auto-tax calculator, multiple sales tax and 1099 support. It also gives you global flexibility with multi-currency support and bank reconciliation.

What is unique about Intacct?

  1. Intuitive and easy to use. Simple setup, easy-to-follow navigation bar, well-structured chart of accounts and quick report generation.
  2. Fixed assets are easy to monitor. Visibility on your assets in different locations and throughout its depreciating stages.
  3. Regulatory compliance is simple. Subscribes to multiple GAAP sets, meets tax books, auto-tax calculator for accurate reporting.

  4. Subscription billing is automated. Streamlines bill-to-payment processes and automatically update account balances.

  5. Easy revenue management. Accounts receivable and accounts payable tools make capital management easy to monitor and update.

  6. Greater inventory control. Inventory management provides real-time updates.
  7. Accurate material planning. Purchasing tools specific to accounting and material planning.

2. Microsoft Dynamics GP

Microsoft Dynamics GP is both on-premise and cloud-hosted.

Microsoft Dynamics GP is the old guard in the category that’s respected for its end-to-end solution. An ERP designed for mid-market companies, the software is also popular among large enterprises for the reliable vendor behind the name and among corporations with systems based on the Microsoft ecosystem. The software is available as a licensed on-premise system with a cloud-hosted version but scaled down features. You can purchase it via a Microsoft Perpetual Licensing or through SaaS subscription.

The Dynamics line actually consists of multiple editions, each one targeting a niche. Dynamics GP is positioned for expanding companies, especially those that are looking to centralize departmental functionalities amidst a growing operational complexities. It’s well suited for manufacturing, professional services, logistics and nonprofits. The other Dynamics editions include: Dynamics NAV, Dynamics SL, Dynamics 365 Enterprise Edition and Dynamics 365 Business Edition.

As fully integrated ERP, Dynamics GP offers advanced features beyond accounting, including in areas such as:

  • Financial management
  • Inventory management
  • Business intelligence and reporting
  • Sales and service management
  • HR and payroll

Microsoft Dynamics GP can be quite limited if you have non-Microsoft, and worse competing, legacy systems. Mac users need to set up a Terminal Services or virtual Windows to run Dynamics CP because the software lacks a Mac native client platform. But even as the software is based on the Windows platform, it has cross-device capability via cloud when you use a supported browser, namely, any of the popular OS.

As for customization, it doesn’t have the flexibility of its younger cloud-based competitors. Microsoft Dynamics GP require a separate purchase of the Configuration Pack featuring a customization and integration suite. Customization is a bit technical and is best suited for companies with an I.T. unit.

What is unique about Microsoft Dynamics GP?

  1. End-to-end infrastructure. Includes key operational modules like fixed asset, inventory control, HR and payroll and sales and service management.
  2. Business analytics. Features Microsoft Business Analyzer with integrated SQL and Excel reporting, making the software one of the best in its niche for business intelligence.
  3. Payroll. Integrated payroll system ensures smooth transactions between HR and accounting.
  4. Cash flow management. Allows for forecasting and summarizing inflows versus. outflows, a key tool to everyday operations.
  5. Field service. Has dispatching and depot management capabilities.
  6. Requisition management. Set approval workflows and alerts.
  7. Job costing. Helps you manage time, expense and put WIP on projects.
  8. Material planning. Advanced tools to help you forecast consumption vis-a-vis purchase and production planning.
  9. Sales forecasting. Run historical predictive analytics for insights.
  10. Work order management. Features routing and status management.
  11. Collaboration platform. Provides unlimited workstation portal for teams.

3. NetSuite ERP

NetSuite dashboard showing weekly stats.

Netsuite ERP is a cloud-hosted ERP system regarded for its depth and highly configurable features. Much of the customization hinges on it being a part of the NetSuite infrastructure. The suite is designed for fast-growing mid-sized businesses and can scale to the requirements of large enterprises. This software has state-of-the-art UI and streamlined navigation tools built on user-friendly processes. Although small businesses may use it, the system is not for companies looking only for basic accounting.

The system has advanced functionalities and is commonly used for financial close, revenue management, fixed assets, order management, billing, inventory management and expense management.

Moreover, Netsuite ERP features a rule-based algorithm for financial reporting that is synchronized and set based on country regulations, making it compliant with global accounting protocols. It also allows for organizational wide KPI visibility, from the executive board down to the frontline staff. The software is also capable of multi-book accounting.

Leveraging its infrastructure, NetSuite ERP can be expanded to include CRM and online shopping functions via the NetSuite Ecommerce. Likewise, there’s a wide array of add-ons to extend its capabilities through the SuiteCloud Platform including for setting up an integrated development environment, an ecommerce front-end/back-end builder and integrated analytics.

What is unique about NetSuite ERP?

  1. Organizational wide visibility. Critical financial performance insights are quickly shared with decision-makers and key players for strategic planning and major decisions.
  2. Streamlined supply chain. Provides for “procure-to-pay” process with self-service capabilities for suppliers and collaboration platform for vendors and partners.
  3. Quote-to-quote process. Provides for order-to-cash process, greatly fast tracking the  sales cycle and payment turnaround.
  4. Streamlined fulfillment. Smoother flow from customer order to product or service delivery with capabilities to reconcile shipping data and reduce fulfillment conflicts.
  5. Financial planning. Features what-if case modeling for budget forecasts, annual targets and other insight-based projected financial outcomes.
  6. Revenue recognition management. Compliant to accounting standards and financial reporting schedule.
  7. HR capital management. Helps you manage and plan a scalable, diverse and remotte workforce.
  8. Adapts to subscription-based revenue model. Automates recurring revenue streams with full visibility on customer interactions and information.
  9. Global support. SuiteSupport provides multi-level support worldwide.

4. FinancialForce Accounting

FinancialForce dashboard.

FinancialForce Accounting is built on the strength of the Salesforce platform, a cloud pioneer and one of the better known vendors of sales, marketing and other SaaS solutions. FinancialForce is designed with financial management organized around the customer experience, along with services, sales, marketing and HR. All customer-related data including accounting processes are connected into a single platform, thereby, giving the company clear visibility of data and workflows that impact on customer journeys. Similarly, with a single perspective of customer engagement, employees, managers, partners and products are better aligned, branding key messages are consistent, as well as internal communications are on the same book if not page. The ERP system is ideal for mid-sized businesses with increasingly complex operational processes, making it suitable also for large enterprise situations.

FinancialForce features enterprise-class core finance and accounting tools for accounts receivable, accounts payable, revenue recognition and spend management. The solution also features integrated CRM, HRM, inventory and project management modules that are charged separately. With the ERP built on a unified Salesforce platform, departmental boundaries are taken down to pave way for organizational wide collaboration, reporting, analytics and streamlined workflows.

Aside from accounting and financial management, here are the key features of FinancialForce Accounting:

  • Salesforce CRM
  • Project management
  • Resource management
  • HRM
  • Workforce management
  • Talent management

Interestingly, the modularized approach suits companies with tight budgets. It allows you to build an ERP one function at a time. Likewise, you can extend or customize FinancialForce capabilities to your evolving needs with 2,000 apps in the Salesforce.com ecosystem.

What is unique about FinancialForce ERP?

  1. Leverages the Salesforce suite. The system is built on Salesforce1 Platform which integrates CRM, HRM, inventory and project management
  2. 360-degree visibility of customers. It’s built around customer interactions, information and transactions and aligns financial management with a sales-oriented perspective.
  3. Order and billing tools. Streamlines cash payment and revenue recognition processes without re-entering data in other Salesforce apps.
  4. Easy to scale. Build an ERP one module at a time or scale its capabilities by integrating any or a number of apps in the AppExchange which hosts 2,000 business apps.

5. QuickBooks Enterprise

QuickBooks Enterprise Income vs. Expense dashboard.

QuickBooks Enterprise is all that you’d expect from the ubiquitous accounting tool, only this time with enterprise-class features and more power. It’s aimed at medium-sized companies that want to scale to enterprise-grade accounting systems. Contractors, manufacturing, wholesale, nonprofits and retailers will find this upgraded software adaptive to their unique processes.

If you’ve been using QuickBooks as an entry-level accounting software, you’ll find the enterprise version familiar but a little complex. It has more storage capacity, advanced inventory management and multiple entities support, but, overall, the interface and navigation remains classic Quickbooks.

QuickBooks Enterprise is an on-premise solution with a cloud version. It’s bundled as an end-to-end solution, featuring key functions as: reporting & finance, inventory, sales & customers, purchasing & vendors and payroll & employees.

Managing finances is streamlined with QuickBooks. The software lets you input all revenue-related transactions in one place, so you have full visibility on your income. Visibility further extends to other aspects of the company’s finances, with you having access to more than 130 reports like statement of cash flows, profit and loss, forecast vs. actual budget and A/R aging detail. You can also automate expense tracking and bill payments, as well as monitoring of tax deductible expenses.

Moreover, the accounting software makes it easy to manage inventory tasks by centralizing inventory items and reports in one location via the QuickBooks Inventory Center. It helps you monitor stocks quickly and manage reorders on a needs-basis.

You can also track sales rep performance and expenses and monitor leads using the QuickBooks Lead Center. The software also features payroll and productivity tools, making it a truly enterprise system.

What is unique about QuickBooks Enterprise?

  1. Full visibility on all your income streams.  Income Tracker provides for end-to-end visibility on your revenue-related transactions in a single location, including from multiple banks and accounts
  2. QuickBooks community. Get access to industry-customized reports from the QuickBooks community of users and consultants, over 138 reports like Profit & Loss, cash flow statements and forecasts.
  3. Advanced inventory tool. Features bin location tracking, barcode scanning, FIFO inventory costing, serial number or lot tracking and multi-location inventory
  4. Field service management. Features billing and mobile payment and work orders & scheduling.
    Advanced pricing. Helps you compute quantity discounts, manufacturer markdowns and price changes by class.
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