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Do you know of a good accounting software for a software company?

I am looking for a good software for my company.  We are currently on Quickbooks and have grown beyond it.  I need a good accounting package (that can handle complex deferred revenue) with project managment and project accounting for my professionl services department.  We are in the software industry.  Currently we are looking at Intacct, NetSuite, and SAP Business by Design. 

If you know of any others worth checking out, please let me know.  If you have experience working with and/or implementing any of the softwares listed above, please share your experience.

Thank you!


Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

A quick search came up with Softtrax...

Topic Expert
Joan Varrone
Title: CFO
Company: Cloud Cruiser
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, Cloud Cruiser) |

Net Suite might be a good option. I know several software companies using NetSuite and of course NetSuite uses the app for their own needs.

Richard Winter
Title: Owner, President
Company: RNW Advisors, LLC
(Owner, President, RNW Advisors, LLC) |

I'd recommend NetSuite as well. It and Intacct are my finalists for such a transition away from Quickbooks. Both are cloud based systems , Intacct is less expensive , but with less features. The integration of Adaptive Planning in NetSuite is a powerful addon..

Lillian Roeder
Title: Manager, Global Finance
Company: Sutherland Global
(Manager, Global Finance, Sutherland Global ) |

I work with a solution called BPaaS (Business Process as a Service) is a mix of BPO, SaaS and Cloud concepts that provides a shared set of resources (people, application and infrastructure) delivering standardized business process services on a pay-as-you-go basis. The Saas part being Microsoft Dynamics (NAV being one of them) One immidiate advantage over Net Suite would be that Net Suite is multi tenant in the cloud - where Dynamics is single tenant. Everest recently published an report on FAO adoption in the SMB market and why BPaaS is a great fit - i'd be happy to share that and any other information you like at this time.

Topic Expert
Keith Perry
Title: Director of Global Accounting
Company: Agrinos, Inc.
(Director of Global Accounting, Agrinos, Inc.) |

Do share....sounds interesting.

Topic Expert
Mark Sphar
Title: Chief Accounting Officer
Company: Veracity Payment Solutions
(Chief Accounting Officer, Veracity Payment Solutions) |

I used Dynamics (easy to install and pretty good pricing along side with Tensoft. Took a while to get the hang of it, but worked well once we got it rolling.

(Business Process Analyst) |

I appreciate all the feedback. I will checkout some of these products I have not heard of. We had a Intacct demo yesterday but it is lacking in the project accounting/management department.

Have any of you used Clarizen or Tenrox?

Topic Expert
Donald Koscheka
Title: Principal
Company: Bluecloud Communications
(Principal, Bluecloud Communications) |

We're in the same situation - what was a surprise to us was how quickly we would outgrow Quickbooks - we have project accounting needs that we can't shoe-horn into QB. We're currently taking a very close look at NetSuites and will most likely go that route. I like the integration potential for NetSuites. For example, we can keep a running budget on our client site so that they can see not only where they are in the project but where they are against budget.

Mike Long
Title: Manager
Company: Private Equity Administrators LLC
(Manager, Private Equity Administrators LLC) |

I'd be more than happy to share my experience with Netsuite (good and bad). We've been using the system now for 3 years and at a start-up software client with a PLETHERA of rev rec issues, so we have plenty of recent hands on experience.

Kristina Truong
Title: Sr. Director of Accounting
Company: Ellie Mae, Inc.
(Sr. Director of Accounting, Ellie Mae, Inc.) |

Hello Mike,

I would like to hear of your experience with Netsuite (good and bad) as we are going through the ERP selection process currently. Please let me know how to contact you or my email is ktruong1atyahoo [dot] com

Allen Caviles
Title: CIO
Company: BluePay
(CIO, BluePay) |

Microsoft Dynamics GP or Intacct is a good solution. The former is more expensive but feature rich while the latter is a cloud based on demand solution which is more cost effective.

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

What are you using for a CRM? I work with several clients that are software companies using Salesforce for their CRM with Financialforce PSA (built on the Salesforce platform) for project management. There is another app built on called Accounting Seed that is pretty robust as well. Both apps are far less expensive than NetSuite and Intaact. I wouldn't recommend Intaact at all for project management/software companies. Both NetSuite and Intaact apps don't really fill the "just outgrown Quickbooks but not ready for a full-blown ERP yet" niche!

Depending on your revenue levels and growth trajectory, another possible option is the WorkFlowMax & Xero combination. I just implemented this for two SMB firms that are heavily "project" centric and it's amazing how easy it was to convert them and how much they love the apps, which integrate seamlessly with one another (Xero bought WorkFlowMax earlier this year I think).

Barron HUghes
Title: CFO
Company: Snaps, Inc
(CFO, Snaps, Inc) |

Of the different software packages, which one specifically addresses support revenue and thus deferred revenue in the least expensive manner. My excel spreadsheet is getting way to large to manage!

(SEC Reporting Manager) |

I've used NetSuite for several years, and my previous employer was a software & services company. For deferred revenue recognition, I found NetSuite's advanced revenue recognition module easy to use, and gave us the needed visibilty (detailed or summary) into what was the single largest line item on our balance sheet. Prior to NetSuite we too were on QuickBooks.

Gerry Anderson
Title: President and Founder
Company: Logicon Solutions
LinkedIn Profile
(President and Founder, Logicon Solutions) |

Define your requirements before you start shopping for a solution. You might want to first decide if you want a cloud solution or internal solution. After that, you should decide if you want all in one or best in breed. If you need help, message me and I can give you a few pointers.

Jim Burtt
Title: Director Global Financial Systems & Proc..
Company: formerly at Guidewire Software, Inc.
(Director Global Financial Systems & Processes, formerly at Guidewire Software, Inc.) |

We are a software and services company that uses Intacct for ERP. It delivers quite robust multi-entity consolidation and revenue recognition functionality. Professional Services Automation is one of their strategic initiatives, and they have made a lot of progress in conjunction with Clarizen and Tenrox. However, PSA can involve a complex set of features, e.g. - pricing, billing, intercompany chargebacks, so it's worthwhile to thoroughly understand your requirements before selecting a vendor.

Konrad Sosnow
Title: Revenue Recognition Guru
Company: Konrad M. Sosnow & Associates
(Revenue Recognition Guru, Konrad M. Sosnow & Associates) |

I recommend NetSuite as I implemented it at a CRM software company. I have heard good things regarding Intacct and Dynamics.

Joshua Hurni
Title: Account Exec
Company: AMS
LinkedIn Profile
(Account Exec, AMS) |

SAP ByDesign has great rev rec capabilities and SuccessFactor recently replaced Netsuite with ByDesign.

To be transparent I sell ByDesign (so I am biased) and SuccessFactor was purchased by SAP.

Despite the caveats, you should be aware that it is a good fit for software companies.

(Business Process Analyst) |

Hi all - what a great conversation string we have going here. Looks like a few of us are in the same boat. We all really appreciate the feedback that has been shared by all of you that have gone through this before.

A few questions were asked so here we go:

We use Salesforce as our CRM. I would like to see it integrated; however, I don't see that happening during our initial implementation or in the near future. That is more of a phase 2 or 3 item in my managements eyes as well as our time constraint. Ease of bidirectional integration is very important as we must continue to use our time and expense systems.

Our core business requirement needs are:

•Project Management
•Project Accounting (PSA)
•Accounting with a good Deferred Revenue model
•Contract Renewals & Subscriptions
•Hardware Inventory & Rentals
•Ease of Integration with other systems (without it costing an arm & a leg)
•Flexible (ie: Configurable before and after implementation)
•Short implementation timeframe
•User friendly
•Multi-Currency & Entity

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

Hi Anon,

Your list of functional areas is a good start. How far down have you gone with defining your key future business processes and the related functional requirements? I say this because this phase is critical to making a decision about what software best fits you. For example: do you have multi-office projects-how will you track costs? Do you need an e-commerce/customer self service portal for customer orders? Will your CRM will manage customer support? SFDC or another?

If you are looking at software vendors, prepare some key "demonstration scripts" that really will test the software's capability - and help differentiate vendors.

Some thoughts:
1. Netsuite has a good presence in software companies; it also has CRM integrated, and can integrate with
2. SAP By Design-some solid features; take a close look at their reporting though to ensure you can get
3. Intacct-while they are more of a core accounting package, did they demo any project accounting add-on modules (like a best of breed approach- core financials+ project mgmt+ rev rec)?
4. You may want to take a look at as well.
5. If you are looking at any of the Dynamics products, SL is the better project accounting package, not GP (Great Plains), esp. regarding multi entity.

Note: we help clients choose and use software. Of the products I listed above, we have run evaluations where they win and also where they don't. The common differentiator is "which one best fits YOUR needs?" Functionality, technology, vendor capabilities/references, total cost of ownership (over 3-5 years) are your key criteria.

Dabney Wellford
Title: CFO
Company: Wellford Consulting
(CFO, Wellford Consulting) |

I have used Netsuite, and I understand that it has a very robust mechanism for tracking deferred revenue. You need to be careful in how you set it up to get the needed results. Also be aware that the KPI's are built from a programmer's point of view and may not always produce the needed results. They really are not too keen on addressing anything very complex in terms of enhancements, so be wary of promises.

Steve Baker
Title: President
Company: Baker Financial Consulting
(President, Baker Financial Consulting) |

I'd recommend NetSuite. I implemented it a couple of years ago at a $100M+ software company and the product provided a lot of value and the real-time dashboard functionality and ability to drill down to transaction level is wonderful. We were looking at the OpenAir functionality for the Professional Services project management and billing capabilities and it looked like it would meet all of our requirements. Adaptive Planning is their budgeting tool and this has very nice functionality. We had looked at Intaact, Workday and SAP and chose NetSuite. Workday may be an interesting alternative, at this point, but it is targeted more at larger customers.

Steve Bond
Title: EVP
Company: TAG
(EVP, TAG) |

I'm glad to see so many suggestions of NetSuite. I would agree. We are an implementation partner for NetSuite and would be glad to provide a quick demonstration of the revenue recognition functionality to anyone in the group.

Event Questions
Title: Event Questions
Company: Proformative
(Event Questions, Proformative) |

Editor's Note: Here is a Proformative webinar video titled, "Best Practices for Evaluating and Selecting Accounting Software."

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

I am an independent analyst and have no stake in any of these solutions. Both Intacct and NetSuite got their start selling to software companies, so they tend to have fairly robust rev rec modules. They are also multi-tenant--which means that they're intrinsically cheaper and are updated more easily. Historically, Intacct used to be the more robust solution, better suited for organizations with multiple departments, but NetSuite has, to some extent caught up. The biggest downside to NetSuite, in my view, is the cost. They view themselves as a premium product and price accordingly.

A more modern multi-tenant and easier-to-use (just my opinion, folks) enterprise accounting package/replacement for QuickBooks is Xero. I believe that Xero ends up being somewhat cheaper. I have not, however, looked at their rev rec capabilities.

Dynamics has a huge customer base, and there are many, many small consulting companies that support it. Historically, it really worked well for small companies that needed customization, such as professional sports teams. If you need a specialist to install or maintain it, or if you have a lot of special professional services issues that require customization, it is a good solution, but it is much, much older than the other applications we are talking about and requires considerably more investment in infrastructure.

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

We just implemented NetSuite from QB and I am fairly with the solution. The main driver for me going to NS was its Project module since I am tracking engineering costs by project.

Ibrahim Seif
Title: Regional Manager
Company: Prophix Software Inc.
(Regional Manager, Prophix Software Inc.) |

This Gartner report on how you should evaluate GL and other finance systems might be of interest in finding the right solution for you.

Barry Boese
Title: CEO / CFO
Company: Baac Office
(CEO / CFO, Baac Office) |

I'd agree to look seriously at NetSuite to see if it meets not only your current needs, but also your future needs. As was mentioned, NS runs it's own company on NS, so it can do very well for Software companies.

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

I went through the same analysis over a year ago and decided to go with NetSuite. Overall, a good choice for the things you are looking for.

Annie Barbara
Title: Specialist
Company: Microsoft CRM
(Specialist, Microsoft CRM) |

Hi ,

I also faced a similar situation in past and checked with Netsuite and Intacct. But compared to those two, 'Microsoft Dynamics GP' seemed to be a better option. And I had used DBSync to integrate with my accounting software with my CRM. From then it had worked well for me.


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