Sage Intacct is a cloud ERP system targeted at high-growth small and medium-sized businesses. Intacct includes applications for core financials and accounting, purchasing, order management, and financial reporting and business intelligence. It also integrates with 3rd party software like Salesforce.
Accounting & Budgeting Software
Best Accounting & Budgeting Software
- Best Accounting & Budgeting Software include: Financial Edge NXT, Wave Accounting, QuickBooks Desktop Pro, Sage Intacct, Xero, QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise, QuickBooks Online, Sage 50cloud Accounting, FreshBooks, MIP Fund Accounting, and QuickBooks Desktop Premier.
- A complete list of Accounting & Budgeting Software is available here.
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Accounting & Budgeting Software Overview
What is Business Accounting Software?Accounting Software records and processes accounting transactions and serves as an accounting information system from which decision makers or company accountants can monitor business processes and generate financial reports.
Their essential feature is an interactive financial dashboard with a general ledger for handling double-entry bookkeeping. Common features to this class of software are as follows:
- Means of tracking company inventory and purchase orders
- Sales tracking
- Automated invoicing
- Receipt capture via document or image processing
- Analytics for budgeting and revenue tracking
- Financial reporting
- Accounts payable/accounts receivable functions.
An automated ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system contains all of these functions (or supports integration with the requisite modules), thus these products appear in this category as well. However ERPs are often industry specific or scaled to the needs of larger companies and may represent overkill for seekers of pure and simplified accounting solutions for their business.
Some vendors offer specialized accounting software dedicated to handling the regulatory and reporting needs specific to some industries, like construction or manufacturing. Either an all-in-one solution or a package bundled with smaller, dedicated integratable modules could be the best approach, depending on business needs.
Small Business Accounting SoftwareAccounting & Budgeting Software offerings vary a great deal in complexity. Simple, inexpensive or free platforms are available for entrepreneurs and smaller companies, while medium-sized or larger companies may find use for more complex software possessing a greater breadth of features or deeper processing capacity and higher usage limit caps (like unlimited invoicing or the ability of a larger number of users to access the system).
QuickBooks, FreshBooks, and Wave Accounting are some of the leading products suited to small business. QuickBooks requires training for new users, but it is convenient to use with an accountant and other financial services, because most providers in the space are already familiar with it. FreshBooks is a bit simpler and requires less training; Wave Accounting is free and aimed at businesses with fewer than 10 employees. When evaluating accounting tools, small businesses may want to pay particular attention to these areas:
- Usability and training requirements
- Scalability and limitations, including number of customers/invoices/users/transactions per month
- Customer support
- Mobile functionality
- CPA access (unless you manage your own finances)
- Credit card processing, tax preparation, and payroll services
- Integrations to third-party tools
Cloud Accounting SoftwareTraditionally, accounting software products were installed locally on servers located in the firm's location (on-premises or desktop software), and this kind of accounting software is still widely used today. Following the dominant trend in the broader software market though, many newer products are offered as cloud products, delivered over the Internet and accessed with a web browser.
Older, on-premise-based installed products are sometimes offered in “hosted” deployments, but this is not the same thing. “Cloud” usually means Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) where the vendor manages the software application and the entire hosting infrastructure on behalf of all customers. The product is designed to be deployed in this one-to-many model and customers access the product through a simple web browser.
Xero, Wave, Intacct (acquired by Sage), and NetSuite are examples of cloud accounting vendors. On-premise vendors such as QuickBooks and Sage now offer cloud products as well. Read more about cloud vs. on-premise trend in Accounting software.
Accounting & Budgeting Features & CapabilitiesGeneral ledger features make up the core of most accounting & budgeting platforms. Inventory, order, and payroll management features may be included as modules within the platform, or may be handled by third-party plug-ins; some of these features are industry specific.
Accounting & Budgeting tools also include reporting and customization/integration features (like dashboards and an API for custom integrations) that are common across many software categories. Additional capabilities are relevant for accounting firms who manage finances for multiple businesses.
General Ledger FeaturesThe general ledger is a record of transactions and balances. These features comprise the basic bookkeeping functionality of the software:
- Accounts payable and receivable
- Cash management
- Bank reconciliation
- Expense management
- Time tracking
- Fixed asset management
- Multi-currency and multi-division support
- Regulations compliance
- Electronic tax filing
- Self-service portal
Inventory Management FeaturesThese features give businesses the ability to track and manage the flow of goods or materials into and out of an inventory. They are relevant to industries with physical inventories, like retailers and suppliers. Inventory management functionality addresses:
- Inventory tracking
- Automatic reordering
- Location management
- Manufacturing module
Order Management FeaturesThis feature set gives businesses the ability to process orders and track them from quote to cash. Order management is relevant to businesses that deal in services or goods and materials. For example, eCommerce retail vendors need to manage product orders and pool maintenance companies need to manage work orders. Basic order management features are:
- Order entry
- Credit card processing
- Calculating cost of goods sold
Payroll Management FeaturesPayroll management features are relevant for handling the costs and money flow associated with a company's workforce. These may be more or less sophisticated depending on the scale of the business and the type of employees (e.g. full time, part time, contractors, etc). Payroll management features include:
- Pay calculation
- Benefit plan administration
- Direct deposit files
- Salary revision and increment management
- Reimbursement management
Accounting Firm BPO FeaturesBPO stands for Business Process Outsourcing. These features are relevant to accounting firms using the product on behalf of clients:
- Branded dashboards, with a unique view for each client with the accounting form name and logo displayed
- Client roll-up capabilities that allow users to aggregate data for multiple entities within one client (e.g. data for all convenience stores within a certain zip code)
- Data consolidation across clients within a vertical market to provide a benchmark for performance measurement/comparison
- Configurable alerts for overdue forms and materials
- Billing bypass options (software vendor bills firm; firm bills clients)
- Client template cloning for setup, report format, and dashboards
- Single sign-on for access to all customer accounts
- Configurable client onboarding questions
- Cross-client workflow management
- Industry-specific versioning
- Legacy system data migration
Accounting & Budgeting Software Comparison
To compare different accounting & budgeting platforms, consider what unique tools pertaining to accounting and budgeting you will need to utilize. Most accounting solutions will include standard accounting capabilities like General Ledger (GL), Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable (AP/AR), bank reconciliation, fixed asset management, expense tracking, invoicing capabilities, and financial reporting capabilities. Some businesses will need additional features like inventory management, payroll capabilities, and cash flow analysis.
Some companies may require a comprehensive ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system, rather than a solution that focuses exclusively on accounting. ERP systems are broader resource management systems,and have a wider range of capabilities including things like procurement, order management, CRM, supply chain management, inventory management, logistics and human resource management functionality. Even though many businesses have a unique set of functionality requirements, there are a few accounting ‘must-have’ criteria that a majority of buyers agree on.
Other important features also include these attributes such as:
Intuitive, easy-to-use UI:
Robust reporting capabilities
Accounting & Budgeting Products
Listings (1-25 of 130)
MIP Fund Accounting™ is a configurable fund accounting solution. The solution includes functionality for fund accounting, procurement, budgeting, payroll, human resources, timekeeping, fixed asset management, grant management, and dashboards for nonprofits and government agencies.
Adaptive Insights is a financial planning and reporting tool. It includes automated budgeting and forecasting, financial reporting, and other active planning capabilities, including integrations with third-party products like Salesforce.
Phophix offers a Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software that enables budgeting, planning, and reporting. Prophix emphasizes the software’s ability to automate data management and reporting tasks.
Quickbooks Desktop Pro is accounting software from Intuit, Inc. It includes core accounting features, plus analytics and exportable reports. It is offered in on-premise and SaaS forms.
QuickBooks Online is a SaaS version of the QuickBooks product. It contains all of the features found in the local version. Higher-priced plans include greater automation, payment management, inventory and time tracking, and analytics features.
Xero is an online accounting software product for small businesses and personal finance. Its features beyond general ledger and double-bookkeeping include quotable invoicing, bank reconciliation, purchase order and expense management, and tax management. Third party apps can extend its features f...
NetSuite is a suite of ERP and accounting modules which is sold in various editions aimed at different size customers. The multi-country, multi-currency version is an additional module called OneWorld. Netsuite is a SaaS system and is not offered in an on-premise edition.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a CRM providing sales, marketing, and service functionality. It is offered as SaaS and on-premise. Dynamics 365 is part of the larger Dynamics suite of business intelligence and ERP products.
BlackLine automates the the processes required to finalize periodic closing of the books. Beyond close/reconciliation management the product includes capabilities to enhance the management and control of financial processes throughout the accounting cycle.
QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise is a widely-used accounting package designed for smaller organizations. It is the top of the QuickBooks line. Pricing starts at $3,000 for five users, and goes up depending on the number of additional users. They also offer an Advanced Inventory module for $999 / year.
Wave Accounting is a free, cloud-based accounting platform exclusively for small businesses. It supports double-entry bookkeeping and permits unlimited user access, invoicing, and expense management. Wave Accounting integrates with Wave's invoicing, receipt scanning, payment processing and payrol...
FreshBooks is an accounting service for small businesses. The solution enables users to send and manage invoices, track billable time and collect online payments. The vendor’s value proposition this that their solution provides a straightforward service that simplifies the billing process.
QuickBooks Desktop Premier is an installed version of QuickBooks for general business, contractors, manufacturing and warehouse accounting, as well as nonprofits, professional services, and retail.
Host Analytics is a cloud-based enterprise performance management (EPM) suite. It includes financial applications for modeling, planning, consolidation, reporting and analytics.
Microsoft Dynamics GP is an ERP software with accounting capabilities. It includes various packs for customizability and features tailored to specific industries’ needs. GP is offered as a perpetual license or subscription.
SAP Business One is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution for small and medium-sized businesses, The product encompasses functionality around sales, customer relationships, inventory, operations, financials and human resources.
Financial Edge NXT is a cloud accounting solution tailored for nonprofits that provides a general ledger, projects, grants, endowments, accounts payable and receivable, fixed assets, banking, and more. It offers real-time reporting, with one-click drill-down functionality and export capability.
SAP ERP is an enterprise suite comprising Financials (A/P, A/R, accounting, reporting, risk management, etc.), Human Capital Management (HR and Payroll), and Operations (procurement, manufacturing, sales & service). This is an enterprise level product designed for large organizations.
Oracle’s complete EPM suite gives you the agility you need to respond to change faster, promises the vendor. Combined with the innovation and simplicity of the cloud, it enables companies of any size to drive accurate and agile plans across finance and operational lines of business, accelerate f...
Tagetik is a corporate performance management solution that unifies budgeting, financial planning, consolidation and management reporting. Tagetik is offered as SaaS, on a private cloud, or on-premise, and can migrate between deployments as needed.
Quickbooks Desktop for Mac is an accounting software designed for Mac users. It is designed to integrate with Apple iCloud. It provides core accounting features in line with the rest of the Quickbooks Desktop product line.
Sage 50cloud Accounting (formerly Sage 50 Accounting) is accounting software designed for small businesses. Sage 50cloud Accounting (formerly Sage 50, and formerly Peachtree) lets businesses invoice customers, pay bills, manage inventory, control costs, and pay employees. The solution includes hi...
Vena Solutions provides a financial process automation solution to automate Corporate Performance Management, accounting and budgeting, Regulatory & Compliance, and other finance-related processes. It is scaled for medium to large-sized organizations.