Salesforce User? - FinancialForce Accounting is a "No-Brainer"
Lynne Taylor | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated December 04, 2014

Salesforce User? - FinancialForce Accounting is a "No-Brainer"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

Version 8.x

Modules Used

  • Cash Entries, Cash Matching, Bank Reconciliations, Payable Invoices/Credit Notes; Sales Invoices/Credit Notes

Overall Satisfaction with FinancialForce Accounting

  • For Salesforce Enterprise Edition users, FinancialForce extends the CRM and any custom objects or applications built or installed for operations/manufacturing/services to create a complete end-to-end solution on the force.com platform.
  • Turning a sales quote or order into an invoice is seamless and intuitive, allowing sales and accounting to work together to share information and decrease time to bill. Credit processing when necessary follows a similarly seamless path.
  • Cash matching and bank reconciliation processing is streamlined with bank uploads and ability to easily match transactions with intuitive interface that checks and validates balances, increasing cash handling and accuracy.
  • Financial reporting using native Salesforce report capabilities is drag-and-drop, and ability to build custom reports using multiple data objects is flexible and easy to learn.
  • FinancialForce has a great support team and the ability to log a support case and manage the case through resolution and close has increased user adoption and satisfaction.
  • Multicurrency capability is particularly important for the company and FinancialForce handles this well with home and dual currency, easy to set up and ability to provide visibility and reporting for operations regarding impact of currency fluctuations has provided better decision making for management.
  • Intercompany transaction processing is easy to set up and use.
  • While FinancialForce does provide a robust reporting engine application for free (in addition to the large number of out-of-the-box standard Salesforce reports that come with the app), the reporting engine can be overwhelming for the average user to configure and learn. This is improving with each new release but is not out yet.
  • While the company doesn't use purchase orders, there may be a need at some point in the future to do procurement of non-operations goods and services. This functionality isn't currently supported by FinancialForce, although there is the ability to create custom purchase objects in Salesforce and integrate them with payable invoices object.
  • The company would also find a simple, straightforward expense reporting and reimbursement app that integrated with payable invoices or journals useful, in order to get away from expense report management by spreadsheet. There is no current application offered or supported by FinancialForce for this, but companies can opt to install (and pay for licenses) to use other, third party applications that handle this functionality.
  • Metrics: reduced DSO from 190 to 54 days (which is less than industry standard); resulting in company collecting cash about 3.5 times faster
  • Metrics: decreased average time to bill from 4 months 8 days to 1 month 10 days, a result of operations and accounting collaborating to insure billing is done timely.
  • "Opens the door" from the sales and operations departments into the accounting department, providing increased visibility and transparency.
  • Streamlines revenue recognition process and has led to improved, more accurate reporting.
Outside CPA was strong proponent of Quickbooks and it was evaluated initially, but size of company, complexity of transactions, eventual move to Salesforce and need for multi-company and multicurrency ruled it out almost from the start. As the only accounting system built natively on Salesforce force.com platform, FinancialForce was the solution of choice. During implementation, Accounting Seed vendor demonstrated their application, but it was also ruled out due to lack of multicurrency functionality and inability to support company future growth.
The company has now converted its legacy, "home grown" operations system and built it on the force.com platform, and the integration between it and FinancialForce is deeply entrenched. No other application would be able to replicate this functionality, and the company will be able to scale and leverage the force.com platform as it grows.
For accounting systems, users and/or evaluators often want to see some type of matrix or "heads up" comparisons of specific features and functionality of a system in key areas such as:
1) General Ledger
2) Order to Cash cycle
3) Purchase to Pay cycle
4) Cash management
5) Inventory and/or Cost Accounting (Projects/Jobs, etc)
6) Revenue Recognition
7) Fixed Assets management
8) Budgets
9) Tax
10) Reports and Analysis

It would be great if this kind of matrix existed to be filled in by reviewers so that others could benefit from their perspectives about the applications and how they address or handle the specific features/functionality.

With respect to FinancialForce, the company has found that nearly all the key features it needed were available from the application.

Using FinancialForce Accounting

16 - Accounting, operations, sales/marketing, HR.
3 - CEO, IT Manager, Accounting Manager
  • Provides ability to integrate payable invoices with custom operations objects in order to bill at cost plus or required markups. Decreased time to bill significantly.
  • Previously unable to generate an accurate accounts receivable aging report. FinancialForce provides visibility and transparency to aging subledgers for cash management and collections. Decreased DSO significantly.
  • Bank reconciliation process was previously done on spreadsheets. Provided ability to reconcile multiple bank accounts automatically and significantly reduce labor hours to handle cash.
  • Salesforce internal business communication tool Chatter and ability to expose accounting information on any objects non-accounting users interface with has improved collaboration and allowed accounting to provide more value-add services to operations.
  • Chatter integration for managing accounts receivable across departments has been a game-changer for the company and has been embraced by most users.
  • Company has been able to use FinancialForce integration rules to map detailed sales invoice data back to custom objects so that pages coded by developers can use the financial data in views not available before.
  • FinancialForce Reporting has been used to easily add non-financial data like tonnage and metric volumes from Salesforce custom objects to FinancialForce accounting data on the same report (no need for Excel spreadsheets, yea!).
  • The company is going to be able to build its own expense reporting objects and use FinancialForce integration rules to create payable invoices with employees as vendors (for reimbursements) and/or journals (when reimbursements are made through payroll).
  • The company is also going to leverage integration rules to create payable credit notes with the click of a button, as this will significantly improve A/P processing times.
  • The company will be able to continue leveraging the powerful reporting functionality of both Salesforce and FinancialForce, since having 2 reporting platform options allows increased flexibility from a report creation standpoint.

Evaluating FinancialForce Accounting and Competitors

The company was using a database for its accounting requirements, because the database had originally been used to integrate with its home-grown operations system (built on an MS SQL 2000 server).
  • Product Features
  • Product Reputation
  • Prior Experience with the Product
The fact that Salesforce was being used and that FinancialForce was built natively on the force.com platform was a key factor in the decision, as the platform is the key to leveraging information between standard and custom Salesforce objects and the financial data.
Given what the company has been able to do in terms of leveraging FinancialForce with its custom application built on the force.com platform, it's doubtful it would change the actual decision to go with FinancialForce, but in the initial evaluation and selection one change would have been to evaluate the implementation aspect more thoroughly, as having resources that could convert the company's data and knew the new application well is invaluable.

FinancialForce Accounting Implementation

The company decided to run parallel for three months in order to soften the impact of the change from the legacy "system" - which users had been interfacing with for over a decade - to FinancialForce. While not recommended, this did provide time for the in-house "super user" team of 2 people to become completely familiar with the application, and thus provide hands-on training and be a resource for the users who would be processing the daily accounting transactions.
  • Implemented in-house
  • Professional services company
An individual FinancialForce consultant performed the implementation, at the recommendation of the vendor.

FinancialForce Accounting Training

  • Online training
  • Self-taught
Through its Xtra login website available to its customers, FinancialForce offers a complete set of online, video tutorials, training and documentation. Each tutorial is "bite-sized", meaning it imparts instructional, step-by-step information in 2-3 minute narrated videos. For a particular cycle or process, like invoices to payments for example, each tutorial builds on the last so that the user can get a complete picture of the steps and process in less than 10 minutes.
While the product is relatively easy to learn without training, it does take time. Busy accounting users and professionals often don't have the time to self-teach through tutorial after tutorial. Online training or guided training from FinancialForce or the implementation provider usually saves time and is more efficient and cost-effective.

FinancialForce Accounting Support

The response time for FinancialForce is exemplary. Immediate acknowledgement of the support request by automatically logging a case/ticket on the provider side, then less than 24-hour follow up by a support team member with specific questions, information or resolution for the issue.
Yes - The company receives premium support for Salesforce since it uses Unlimited Edition and had customization requests throughout the development of its legacy operations system.

Using FinancialForce Accounting

Change management is always an issue, but the evidence of the application's usability is that both long-time employees (used to the legacy systems for many years) and newer employees have been able to learn the system and improve their business processes.

FinancialForce Accounting Reliability

Unless the internet is completely unavailable - which has not happened yet - the application is always accessible. Since FinancialForce is built on the force.com platform, it's uptime is tied to Salesforce security and system performance standards.
If Visualforce pages are enabled, they sometimes slow down the load time.

Integrating FinancialForce Accounting

  • Conga Composer - for creating custom statements for customers to improve collections
  • Form Assembly - for adding new accounts to Salesforce using an API connector and bringing in related financial data on the accounts object
  • "RITAForce" - custom application for relocation operations built on force.com platform
Conga Composer - user set up and easy to learn with help and support from Conga team;
Form Assembly - user set up and easy to learn, maintainable by internal team
RITAForce - custom development using APEX code, this was longer term, in-depth (custom objects to custom objects) and required investment of time and money
  • Expense Reporting App - not sure at this point if company will custom develop or use an existing application from AppExchange, but this is on a longer term "wish list" of apps that would specifically need to integrate with FinancialForce.
Not sure.

Relationship with FinancialForce

The company was able to negotiate terms that mirrored the payment schedule negotiated when moving to Salesforce. This allowed the company to manage its cash and make sure it stayed within budget for the initial 2 year term of the contract. A longer contract is usually advisable for an accounting system, as accounting conversions are one of the more complex changes a company can make. A longer contract usually also provides more flexibility in pricing negotiations, which typically benefits the company.