Sage Intacct is a cloud ERP system targeted at high-growth small and medium-sized businesses – from startups to public companies. According to the vendor, the Sage Intacct ERP system includes applications for core financials and accounting, purchasing, order management, and financial reporting an...
Accounting & Budgeting Software
Best Accounting & Budgeting Software
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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
- Configuarable 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 Products
Listings (1-25 of 125)
MIP Fund Accounting™ is a configurable fund accounting solution that allows you to report and track information that is most important to you, your board and your supporters. According to the vendor, the solution can change and grow with you through your most difficult of fund accounting, human c...
Adaptive Insights provides a unified Business Intelligence (BI) and Corporate Performance Management (CPM) suite of cloud-based software used for budgeting, forecasting, reporting, consolidation, dashboards, and business intelligence. The Adaptive Suite is designed for companies and nonprofits o...
Prophix’s innovative Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software promises to help you achieve your goals more successfully.Key capabilities and benefits include:Improve profitability and minimize risk when you automate repetitive tasks and focus on what matters. Budget, plan, consolidate and ...
Quickbooks Desktop Pro is accounting software from Intuit, Inc. It allows a user to create invoices and track sales, enter and pay bills from vendors, and download bank and credit card transactions directly into QuickBooks. It contains analytic features, and its reports can be exported into Excel...
Xero is an online accounting software product for small businesses, as well as for personal finance. Xero competes most often with QuickBooks Online. Its features, beyond the ubiquitous general ledger and double-entry bookkeeping support, include invoicing with quotes, bank reconciliation, purcha...
NetSuite is a suite of ERP and accounting modules which is sold in various different 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.
QuickBooks Online is a SaaS verison of the QuickBooks product. The monthly fee for this service starts at $13 and can be upgraded to include payroll services, and inventory management (implementing Intuit's acquisition, the Lettuce Inventory Management app, as a built-in component of QuickBooks O...
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a CRM system providing sales, marketing, and service (help desk) functionality. It is offered in two flavors: Online (competing directly with Salesforce) and on-premise. The Microsoft Dynamics family of business applications includes other related products for ERP and r...
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 the leader in cloud-based enterprise performance management (EPM), offering a suite of financial applications for modeling, planning, consolidation, reporting and analytics.
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 fast growing, free, cloud-based accounting platform exclusively for small businesses (less than 9 employees) offered by Wave in Toronto. It supports double-entry bookkeeping and permits unlimited user access to always-available records and reports, as well as unlimited invoic...
Microsoft Dynamics GP is one of the ERP products in the Dynamics family. This is the original Great Plains product acquired by Microsoft in 2001, and has strong financial management and HR capabilities. Customers tend to be professional services, finance and public sector companies.
Financial Edge NXT is a cloud accounting solution from Blackbaud that is designed to provide transparency across teams, security, compliance, and reduce the need for manual processes. The system is a fund accounting solution that provides a general ledger, projects, grants, endowments, accounts p...
SAP ERP is the latest incarnation of what used to be the R/3 ERP product. It 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 ...
Tagetik is a corporate performance management solution that unifies budgeting, financial planning, consolidation and management reporting.
Sage 50 Accounting is accounting software that helps small businesses stay on top of their finances. Sage 50 lets businesses invoice customers, pay bills, manage inventory, control costs, and pay employees. The solution includes hiigh-level dashboards and in-depth reports.
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. The application has over 30,000 customers and is ...
FreeAgent is an cloud-based accounting system specifically designed to meet the needs of small businesses and freelancers from Free Agent Central in the UK. FreeAgent supports many core accounting software features, like automated invoices and expense management, time tracking and configurable sa...
Vena Solutions provides a financial process automation solution to automate Corporate Performance Management, Regulatory & Compliance, and other finance-related processes.
QuickBooks Desktop for Mac is available for install, with integration with Apple iCloud.
Workbooks offers cloud-based CRM, marketing automation and business applications to the mid-market, at an affordable price. Workbooks extends beyond sales, marketing and customer support to include order management and fulfillment, invoicing and supplier management, and aims to offer a price whic...