As a small growing company, you have made the determination that Quickbooks is no longer working for your organization. You need something that is more robust. You probably don’t have an IT department that can maintain hardware and software. You realize that you need to standardize and automate processes. You know you need to get better financial reporting to support your company’s growth.
So where do you start? I can help. I have been working with finance management solutions for years. I work with large enterprises, but also many small growth companies that are looking for a Fortune 5000 sized solution. I have implemented large solutions, small solutions, on-premise solutions, cloud solutions, and hosted solutions. For a small company that is growing, I highly recommend Intacct. Here is why:
IT CAN BE DEPLOYED QUICKLY
Intacct is a great solution because it can be deployed quickly. I have implemented Intacct in as little as five weeks. There are several reasons that Intacct is quick to implement. First, there is no infrastructure required – it is a cloud application. You do not need to procure hardware or software. You don’t need to have IT install Intacct. After signing your contract, you typically get your log in the next day and you are off and running. It also can be implemented quickly. It has wizards to help you load data and create reports. Configuration is straight forward and simple. There are hundreds of reports delivered out of the box. It has leading accounting practices built right into the application that you can start using as your new process instead of having to re-invent the wheel. Now, implementing a financial system does require a thoughtful process and a solution architect as well as system experts to guide you through the process, but Intacct does make it easy and CrossCountry can help as well with pre-built solutions and best practices to make your implementation process seamless. How long it will take to implement for you depends on many other factors as outlined in this article on how to plan your implementation.
IT IS “RIGHT-SIZED"
It is a perfect solution for someone coming off Quickbooks or a lower-end ERP system such as Sage, Great Plains or Microsoft Dynamics SL and can grow with you. The rest of this list provides many compelling reasons why Intacct is a great solution that can also be said of other cloud providers. What Intacct delivers is a “right sized” solution. It is not overly complex or a “suite” application. It does one thing and does it really well – Financial Management for small to mid-sized companies. It is not trying to be a CRM system, recurring billing application or treasury solution. It is trying to provide best in class finance and accounting functions – and most importantly, it does! The two main benefits to you are: (1) ‘deep and rich’ functionality in areas that matter most to you, not ancillary functions and features that are nice to haves; (2) it is priced right. It does not need to overcharge for functionality you do not need, and based on this lower cost point it can pay for itself in staffing cost through automation and best practices (e.g. – it can automatically do currency conversion, valuation and consolidation – without someone maintaining a manual spreadsheet).
IT INTEGRATES EASILY
In point #2, I mentioned that it does one thing and one thing only really well – core financial management and accounting. What if you do need a recurring billing solution, planning or a treasury solution? Intacct has chosen not to build this functionality as it is not trying to be all things to all people. Instead it has pre-built integrations with many leading cloud providers in those functional areas. Where there are not pre-built connectors, they have a rich and open API (that is geek speak for the ability for systems to talk to each other using open industry standards). What this allows you to do is to select the best financial management solution – like Intacct – and then find the best point solution to meet your unique needs in other areas. If you are a technology company that bills customers periodically for subscriptions, usage, maintenance, support and other variable billing factors – wouldn’t you want to pick a solution that specializes in that vs. going for an all-in-one solution that might not meet all of your needs? I call this the “best of cloud” approach. The beauty of cloud solutions is that there is really only one version of the software maintained by the vendor. That means other cloud providers need to only build the integration one time to their solution. So what you get is choice – you can choose the point solutions that best meet your needs (such as Host Analytics for budgeting and planning, Zuora for billing, Kyriba for treasury, or Coupa for spend management) and feel confident that all of these systems will integrate seamlessly with each other. There is no need to compromise business functionality to meet your software for these point solutions.
IT DOES NOT REQUIRE SERVERS OR SPECIAL SKILL SETS
The beauty of the cloud is that there is literally no infrastructure to maintain. You do not need servers, databases or third party tools for Intacct to work. You need an internet connection and a device (PC, laptop, iPad, iPhone, Android device – it does not matter). You are growing – you don’t want the headache of infrastructure. The other benefit is that you do not need to staff up to maintain the solution. You will need someone with some system savvy to be your super user or admin, however, that person does not need to have an IT degree to be effective. There may be some development work and/or system architecture work to implement new functionality or interfaces, but this is typically only when the business is changing and you need to adjust the system to adapt to the change. Intacct has releases updates multiple times a year – these updates come with new features and functions that you can implement with the upgrade. In other old ERP systems – you often had a project on your hands to upgrade your system – not with Intacct – they do all of the work – literally overnight multiple times a year.
IT HAS DEPTH AND BREADTH
As I mentioned, for basic financial and accounting management – GL, AP, AR, and Cash Management – Intacct can be stood up fairly quickly. However, the beauty of Intacct is that it can grow with you as you grow. For example, an organization we stood up in five weeks, they had one legal entity with one currency to start. They went with a manual interface to transfer data between their operations system and Intacct. However they grew quickly, and as they grew – Intacct was there for them. You can add on additional functionality like time and expense, multi-entity organizational structures and global consolidations. If you want to capture cost and revenue at a project level – Intacct has excellent project accounting functionality. In addition to Intacct functionality, they have partnered with leading technology companies to provide add-on functionality through their partner network. Not unlike the Apple App Store, you can find additional functionality that allows you to find unique solutions to your unique problems.
IT HAS BUILT-IN BEST PRACTICES
As a growing company, you probably wore a lot of hats and did multiple jobs. This did not leave a lot of time to think of leading practices, building solutions that scale, or putting extra emphasis on risk/controls/financial reporting. Payroll needed to be met and sales had to be booked. This is common, but as you take that next step from small startup to growth company, you should be looking for a solution that can provide all of this as part of their technology package. Intacct answers the bell. Some examples include: rolebased security for segregation of duties; full audit trail of all transactions and system changes; hundreds of out-of-the box GAAP compliant reports; automated workflow; mobile capabilities; automatic consolidations; and transactional approval functionality. These are just a few of the many benefits of Intacct that will help you scale like a public company.
If you are looking for a new financial management solution for your growing company, Intacct is for you. It brings deep functionality, at a great price with little overhead needed to support the application. Intacct works for the Fortune 5000 and as you grow, Intacct will grow with you.