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Best accounting system for new, small, international SaaS company?

best accounting system for saas mncI'm the recently hired Controller of a new spin off company.  They currently don't have an accounting system (accounting is being handled by the TopCo) and I'm in charge of choosing one.  Here's a background on the company:

- Head count: ~50 now, with plans to double head count by EOY, expected to double in 2014

- Several international subsidiaries (will have ~5 functional currencies)

- 10 current customers, expect 30 by EOY, 80 by end of 2014

- Customer billing is on a monthly subscription basis

- Revenue recognition: SaaS with performance incentive bonuses

- Want to run financial statements and budgets by department and consolidated

I'll be handling all of the accounting for the foreseeable future and I know I can handle everything in Excel or in Quickbooks for now (although each subsidiary would need its own file and their functional currencies would need to be manually translate every month).  However, I'm worried about being able to scale the accounting work since the company is expected to grow fast.

I've previously used NetSuite at a mid-size software/SaaS company and I know it would be a great fit for this company.  However, I think it will be too pricey - our budget is about 10K per year in subscription costs.

Can anyone refer an accounting package that fits my company's needs but can stay in the ~10K/year range? 

Thanks all!
 

Answers

Topic Expert
Philip Boken
Title: Principal Advisor & Founder
Company: PCB & Company
(Principal Advisor & Founder, PCB & Company) |

NetSuite is a SaaS solution you should probably consider in your assessment.

Susan Jerauld
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: RLS Logistics
(Chief Financial Officer, RLS Logistics) |

Have you looked at Intacct?

david waltz
Title: Assistant Treasurer
Company: Integrys Energy Group
(Assistant Treasurer, Integrys Energy Group) |

There is a Wikipedia entry that compares both open source and proprietary accounting systems that might be helpful:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_accounting_software

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Great find, thanks

Anonymous
(Controller) |

After doing some research, it appears that Intacct is similar in functionality to NetSuite but looks to be cheaper. does anyone know how much it would be to implement and to run on a monthly basis? (Ballpark)

Anonymous
(VP Business Development) |

Have not used this myself but have heard good reviews - financialforce.com

David Dobrin
Title: President
Company: B2B Analysts, Inc.
(President, B2B Analysts, Inc.) |

As an independent analyst, I have reviewed both Intacct and NetSuite in depth, though several years ago, and I have looked at, but not reviewed Financial Force. I don't know prices, except anecdotally. I would agree with your assessment that NetSuite is expensive for what you want, but to some extent, you get what you pay for. Years ago, Intacct had more capability, but was much more difficult to set up and use daily; today, NetSuite has roughly similar capability in the key multi-currency/multi-country/multi-division areas, but seems to have retained its ease of use advantage.

Financial Force comes out of Coda, which used to be the standard package for small companies in Europe needing multi-country/multi-currency capabilities, so it's worth taking a look at. Last I heard, you can get a free trial, though that may have changed; worth exploring, if still true.

I often recommend Xero for companies as an alternative to QuickBooks, because it is SaaS and doesn't have all the really bad stuff that remains in Quick Books. They should have some ability to handle your multi-multi- needs, but possibly not in the way you want. (Almost certainly need separate instances and then do consolidation as you can, though I'd love to hear if that's not true.)

Please feel free to contact me if you want follow-up. I do not sell services in this area.

Topic Expert
Bob Scarborough
Title: CEO
Company: Tensoft, Inc.
(CEO, Tensoft, Inc.) |

There has been a discussion on the value of Anonymous posts and why it is required at times. That said - the number of Anonymous posts on this thread make it hard to value the content here. My two bits.

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

Xero is fairly dinky, its meant for companies with 0-10 employees, and the cost goes up if you add apps. In general to get the full features of Xero reporting you need an Accountant to have the advisor package... unless they can set you up as a CFO consultant + business side functions.

Quickbooks won't work because it can't handle multiple entities unless you set them all up separately using the Accountants version and use the Statement Writer to try to consolidate, too much hassle.

You will need a system that can handle currency conversion and taxes in the country you deal in.

Is this a US company with international sales or truly an international business based outside the US?

Your question does not really provide enough information.

Jim McClintock
Title: Managing Partner
Company: NewGround Technologies
(Managing Partner, NewGround Technologies) |

I agree with Valerie regarding Xero. While appearing to be a cloud accounting system for professional users, it is not. They've recently made it clear that their target market is non-professional accounting users. Their business model does not support the richer feature set and support required by financial professionals. That said, it is a much more web friendly application service than Quickbooks/Quickbooks Online, and will do for startups and companies that need a cheap system until they can afford a more robust one.

Anonymous
(Controller) |

Sorry for confusion, this is a US company with international sales in its international subsidiaries

Phil Murray
Title: VP of Finance & Administration
Company: Kimbia, Inc.
(VP of Finance & Administration, Kimbia, Inc.) |

I would also check out WorkDay https://www.proformative.com/company/workday/white-papers

Lynne Taylor
Title: Principal
Company: Cloud Accounting Services for Enterprise..
(Principal, Cloud Accounting Services for Enterprises) |

You didn't indicate what the core business of the company is, nor what application(s) it is currently using to handle the core business. Any accounting system is going to need to either 1) incorporate the core business in (as an ERP-type solution); or 2) integrate with the application(s). One of the key things you will want to consider is the complications and cost of that integration and/or consolidation.

Anonymous
(Controller) |

Sorry Lynn, its a software SaaS company

Len Green
Title: Performance Improvement Consultant and E..
Company: Haygarth Consulting LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Performance Improvement Consultant and ERP Strategist, Haygarth Consulting LLC) |

Anon- I'd add Acumatica to your list and assess what they can do for you.
If you get exec buy in for what your requirements are (including whether you want to do this all over again soon if you buy too small/too cheap), then get some quotes from these firms and present facts back to your execs.
When you set a limit as low as $10k for SaaS fees, you will increase your risk of hiring staff to plug the gaps manually, and maybe a good SaaS solution will reduce the need for the extra staff.

Topic Expert
Edward Abbati
Title: Vice President of Finance
Company: Location Labs
LinkedIn Profile
(Vice President of Finance, Location Labs) |

I implement Netsuite about 5 months ago and am very happy with the solution. We are located in the US and have two subsidiaries - India and Spain. As far a costs, I got a real good deal and very competitive with Inaact. The key for me was the support you get from NS. It is very good and very fast....especially when you are trying to close the book and some odd thing pops up.

Ziyoda Mirsaidova
Title: Business Analyst
Company: Finnet Limited
(Business Analyst, Finnet Limited) |

With kpi.com you can manage up to 5 companies and still stay under $10K in year range. Check http://www.kpi.com/accounting/ for more information

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