Sage Intacct vs Acumatica: Is Cloud Software for you and if so, which one?
Whether you’re wondering what new features you might be missing out on or in desperate need of a new solution, exploring & finding the right business management software is no simple undertaking. You have to look at your industry specific needs, pain points, long term goals, features available and of course, cost. Cloud solutions have gained popularity in recent years because they typically require less upfront costs than on-premise solutions, they’re typically faster to deploy so businesses don’t have to undergo such long implementations and they offer benefits such as mobile accessibility and real-time access to data. Looking specifically at cloud solutions, as with anything these days, there are a lot to choose from. Sage Intacct and Acumatica are two of the most popular, and well known though, so how do you decide which one is best or if cloud solutions are for you?
They are both robust software solutions that have tremendous benefits, so it actually doesn’t come down to which solution is better, it comes down to which solution is better for your business. To fully understand which solution would be best for your business, you should have a solutions partner conduct a discovery so you can benefit from an accurate recommendation that takes into consideration your unique wants, needs, and pain points, but to serve as a starting point, let’s take a general look at how Sage Intacct and Acumatica compare.
Type of Solution
Sage Intacct is a true cloud financial management solution ideally suited for small and medium sized businesses and built specifically to address the demands of finance and accounting. Sage Intacct is the only AICPA-preferred partner and it is recognized as their top provider of financial-related applications to CPAs, which is a testament to the value that the solution has to offer.
The solution’s focus is on providing businesses with the tools and reports necessary to make financials seamless, but since Sage Intacct also gives businesses access to Sage Business Cloud, it opens the doors to a powerful set of cloud products which enable businesses to continue to grow as their needs evolve. 1,2
Acumatica is an integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution and Customer Resource Management (CRM) solution. It is a true cloud solution, but also offers the option to be deployed as a hybrid or on-premise solution3. Ideally suited for small and medium-sized businesses, it offers robust financials as well as a wide range of tools and features that enable businesses to tie all of their department’s together, centralizing processes and data in one place.
Every solution has its strengths, and some solutions are better suited for specific industries than others. Sage Intacct and Acumatica are suitable for many of the same industries including (but not limited to):
- Professional Services
- Software, SaaS & Technology
However there are some distinct differences in other industries that they specialize in. For example, Sage Intacct is particularly suitable for Financial Services, given the fact that the foundation of the solution is built on financial management. Sage Intacct is also ideally suited for Franchise businesses or businesses in Hospitality because of the ease it offers to manage multiple locations, roll up to a consolidated view and make decisions that boost profitability.
Acumatica on the other hand offers robust manufacturing distribution, and integrated eCommerce, making it ideal for businesses who manufacture or distribute products. It also offers a Construction Edition that helps businesses improve margins and project control with specialized applications and detailed dashboards.
Certain industries require Canadian businesses to store their data in Canada, impacting which solution you can consider. Sage Intacct’s data is always hosted in the United States and while this doesn’t make a difference for the majority of businesses considering the solution, it means that a small subset of businesses aren’t eligible to use the solution. This is the same with Acumatica, however Acumatica offers the option of being deployed through private cloud, allowing businesses facing restrictions to host their data in Canada.
Sage Intacct offers all of the tools you require to manage your core financials in one integrated solution. This includes advanced features for accounts payable, accounts receivable, purchasing, order management, cash management, and both pre-built and customizable reports & dashboards. This will enable you to reduce or completely eliminate your reliance on spreadsheets, automate your processes and easily maximize your data visibility so you can make informed and proactive decisions surrounding your finances.
It’s structured around the core financials, and there are also a number of built-in modules that can be added to expand the functionality depending on your industry requirements or to scale as your business needs grow. These modules include:
- Contract and Subscription Billing
- Contract Revenue Management
- Fixed Assets
- Inventory Management
- Multi-Entity and Global Consolidations
- Project Accounting
- Sales and Use Tax
- Time and Expense Management
- Vendor Payment Services 5
One major benefit offered by Sage Intacct are automatic updates. These updates don’t require any action from system administrators or users, and are provided at no additional cost. For businesses that have operated with an on-premise solution, you are familiar with how easy it is to fall behind on software updates, how expensive it can get to update the longer you wait, and the challenges that you face with losing customization with an update.
Customization does impact your ability to utilize automatic updates for Sage Intacct. Depending on how you customize Sage Intacct you may not be able to utilize automatic updates since you will need to be more mindful of how updates effect your solution, but Sage Intacct strives to offer businesses everything they need with minimal to no customization to prevent that from being an issue.
Acumatica differs from Sage Intacct because it is a full scale ERP, so in addition to offering a wealth of tools for financial management, customer management, project accounting, and business intelligence (dashboards and reports), it also offers built-in tools for different industries that have specific functionality requirements. You’re probably wondering to yourself: how does that differ from so many other ERP solutions?
Unlike many other ERP solutions that offer robust integrations with third party solutions that give specialized industries the specific tools they need, Acumactica offers built-in product editions that ensure that you are getting all the tools you need for your industry neatly packaged into your Acumatica solution. These specialized product editions include Distribution, Manufacturing, Field Service, Commerce, and Construction.
The Distribution Edition, for example, provides distribution businesses with tools that are essential for their business but unnecessary for businesses in other industrials, such as sales order management, inventory, requisition management, purchase order management, and order fulfillment. Whereas the Field Service Edition provides tools that enable businesses to schedule, dispatch and plan routes for services, manage equipment maintenance, inventory, service contract and warranties, and track project costs. 4
Acumatica offers the same benefits for automatic updates as Sage Intacct with once difference: automatic updates are only available when you deploy your Acumatica solution through SaaS (public cloud). The other deployment options for Acumatica offer their own unique benefits, but keep in mind that if automatic updates are important to you, you have to deploy your Acumatica solution through SaaS to access that feature. 6
The most significant thing that typically sets cloud solutions apart from on-premise is upfront and maintenance costs. On-premise solutions require large up-front investments in hardware and resources (such as servers and staff to maintain them) that allow the solution to be hosted on site. Cloud solutions aren’t required to be hosted on-premise which immediately eliminates a large subset of costs associated with implementation. Either way, your data and processes still have to be migrated from your previous solution to your new one, so it’s important to remember that regardless of which solution you choose and whether or not it’s cloud, there will still be a detailed implementation and costs associated with it.
It’s also important to understand that the price comparison is going to be different for every business, but it depends on a combination of factors such as your industry, company size, needs and future goals. For that reason it would be inaccurate to compare costs side by side until a solutions partner has conducted a discovery of your business, but there are a few things that impact price that you can already take into consideration.
With Sage Intacct, the only licensing option is subscription. You pay for user licenses, so as your business grows so will the number of user licenses you require. This will work in your favor when you have less employees using Sage Intacct, but as your business and number of Sage Intacct users grow, so does the cost of ownership. On the other hand, the subscription model in combination with the fact that Sage Intacct is a true cloud solution means that you won’t be facing high up-front costs for hardware or perpetual licenses.
Acumatica offers either subscription or perpetual licensing so businesses have the option to choose which works for them. One big difference with Acumatica is that licensing is charged based on transaction volume and loosely based on the company size, but not per user which means that your cost doesn’t increase when you add additional users. Your cost will increase when you cross over into the next tier of transaction volume used or company size though, but not per user added.
Both Sage Intacct and Acumatica are modern, robust cloud solutions that give you detailed insight into your business data, access to cutting edge reports and dashboards, real-time access to data and high value tools. It comes down to understanding which solution is better suited to support the specific needs of your industry and your business. If you want to know for sure which one, if either, are right for you, then arrange for that discovery by a solutions partner (like us for example, shameless plug) to get into more specifics.