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Manufacturing Accounting Systems


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Fishbowl Manufacturing logo
 
Although most manufacturers that use Fishbowl Inventory manage their accounting with Quickbooks, Fishbowl also offers their own accounting package. The system helps manufacturers with job costing, work orders and tracking.
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Although most manufacturers that use Fishbowl Inventory manage their accounting with Quickbooks, Fishbowl also offers their own accounting package. The system helps manufacturers with job costing, work orders and tracking.
 
NetSuite logo
 
NetSuite is an excellent solution for manufacturing accounting because of NetSuite’s heritage in the accounting industry. The package is a hosted solution so it can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection.
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NetSuite is an excellent solution for manufacturing accounting because of NetSuite’s heritage in the accounting industry. The package is a hosted solution so it can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection.
 
ECi M1 logo
 
ECi solutions have served the manufacturing industry for more than 30 years. The M1 system offers accounting as part of an integrated suite and has support for in-house payroll and multiple languages and currencies.
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ECi solutions have served the manufacturing industry for more than 30 years. The M1 system offers accounting as part of an integrated suite and has support for in-house payroll and multiple languages and currencies.
 
Global Shop Solutions logo
 
This feature-rich ERP application offers multi-language and currency support for manufacturing companies in many industries. Designed to be flexible, One-System ERP can be customized to fit your process.
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This feature-rich ERP application offers multi-language and currency support for manufacturing companies in many industries. Designed to be flexible, One-System ERP can be customized to fit your process.
 
Infor VISUAL ERP logo
 
Infor VISUAL ERP is a cost-effective manufacturing accounting solution for many verticals including automotive, industrial equipment, medical devices and more. Applications include full financials, powerful reporting, HR and CRM.
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Infor VISUAL ERP is a cost-effective manufacturing accounting solution for many verticals including automotive, industrial equipment, medical devices and more. Applications include full financials, powerful reporting, HR and CRM.

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JobBOSS logo
 
Exact JobBOSS is a versatile solution that is targeted toward the small to medium enterprise. Exact JobBOSS offers their accounting application on a best-of-breed basis while applications like MRP and MES are part of the suite.
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Exact JobBOSS is a versatile solution that is targeted toward the small to medium enterprise. Exact JobBOSS offers their accounting application on a best-of-breed basis while applications like MRP and MES are part of the suite.
 
E2 Shop System logo
 
E2 Shop System is a fully integrated suite that includes manufacturing estimating, asset management, human resources and more. The accounting application has standard features such as A/R, A/P, budgeting and in-house payroll.
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E2 Shop System is a fully integrated suite that includes manufacturing estimating, asset management, human resources and more. The accounting application has standard features such as A/R, A/P, budgeting and in-house payroll.
 
Infor SyteLine ERP logo
 
With the dependability of the Infor name, SyteLine ERP works to reduce inventory levels and shortages, drive organizational growth, plan and schedule order by order, and deliver critical information quickly to help make better business... Read More
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With the dependability of the Infor name, SyteLine ERP works to reduce inventory levels and shortages, drive organizational growth, plan and schedule order by order, and deliver critical information quickly to help make better business... Read More
 
IQMS MES Software logo
 
IQMS’ flagship product, EnterpriseIQ ERP, is developed specifically for SMB and large discrete, and batch process manufacturers in the aerospace, medical device, automotive, food and beverage, consumer products, plastics, packaging... Read More
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IQMS’ flagship product, EnterpriseIQ ERP, is developed specifically for SMB and large discrete, and batch process manufacturers in the aerospace, medical device, automotive, food and beverage, consumer products, plastics, packaging... Read More
 
Henning Visual EstiTrack ERP logo
 
Henning Software has been in the manufacturing software market for more than two decades. The accounting functionality of Visual EstiTrack includes governance, risk and compliance reporting as well as in-house payroll support.
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Henning Software has been in the manufacturing software market for more than two decades. The accounting functionality of Visual EstiTrack includes governance, risk and compliance reporting as well as in-house payroll support.

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KeyedIn Manufacturing logo
 
KeyedIn Manufacturing is a web-based solution designed for small and mid-sized manufacturers that helps manage everything from the shop floor to production, scheduling, estimating, and more. KeyedIn was developed specifically for custom... Read More
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KeyedIn Manufacturing is a web-based solution designed for small and mid-sized manufacturers that helps manage everything from the shop floor to production, scheduling, estimating, and more. KeyedIn was developed specifically for custom... Read More
 
Exact Macola logo
 
Designed by Exact, Macola is a good fit for manufacturers growing out of Quickbooks and looking for specialized functionality such as work-in-progress reporting and support for change order and job costing.
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Designed by Exact, Macola is a good fit for manufacturers growing out of Quickbooks and looking for specialized functionality such as work-in-progress reporting and support for change order and job costing.
 
SYSPRO logo
 
Syspro’s manufacturing accounting software can help manage all financial aspects of the manufacturing process, including job costing, change orders and payroll. This system is best-suited for small to mid-sized companies.
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Syspro’s manufacturing accounting software can help manage all financial aspects of the manufacturing process, including job costing, change orders and payroll. This system is best-suited for small to mid-sized companies.
 
ProfitKey ERP logo
 
With over 30 years of experience in the ERP and Manufacturing markets, ProfitKey International has developed Rapid Response Manufacturing (RRM) to provide a fully integrated ERP and MES solution for small to mid-size manufacturers.... Read More
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With over 30 years of experience in the ERP and Manufacturing markets, ProfitKey International has developed Rapid Response Manufacturing (RRM) to provide a fully integrated ERP and MES solution for small to mid-size manufacturers.... Read More
 
MIE Trak PRO logo
 
MIE Track Pro provide manufacturing accounting functionality to small and medium-sized manufacturers. The system provides standard functionality such as accounts receivable, accounts payable as well as cost accounting features.
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MIE Track Pro provide manufacturing accounting functionality to small and medium-sized manufacturers. The system provides standard functionality such as accounts receivable, accounts payable as well as cost accounting features.

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EVO~ERP logo
 
Ideal for small to midsize businesses, EVO~ERP is a robust system used by thousands of companies worldwide. Priced by number of users, it features manufacturing control, inventory management and integrated accounting.
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Ideal for small to midsize businesses, EVO~ERP is a robust system used by thousands of companies worldwide. Priced by number of users, it features manufacturing control, inventory management and integrated accounting.
 
Rootstock logo
 
Rootstock Software is a cloud-based ERP solution designed for manufacturers and distributors of all sizes and across industry verticals. The software controls different aspects of the business - from sales and purchase order management,... Read More
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Rootstock Software is a cloud-based ERP solution designed for manufacturers and distributors of all sizes and across industry verticals. The software controls different aspects of the business - from sales and purchase order management,... Read More
 
Kenandy Cloud ERP logo
 
Kenandy is a comprehensive cloud-based ERP solution created for companies that design, manufacture, or distribute products. It helps businesses manage core processes including order-to-cash, planning and production, procurement, TPM,... Read More
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Kenandy is a comprehensive cloud-based ERP solution created for companies that design, manufacture, or distribute products. It helps businesses manage core processes including order-to-cash, planning and production, procurement, TPM,... Read More
 
Priority logo
 
Priority is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that is suitable for midsize to large businesses in many industry segments, including manufacturing, apparel, electronics, food and beverage, industrial machinery and more. Priority’s... Read More
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Priority is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that is suitable for midsize to large businesses in many industry segments, including manufacturing, apparel, electronics, food and beverage, industrial machinery and more. Priority’s... Read More
 
Epicor Manufacturing logo
 
Epicor is a solution that we recommend to discrete manufacturers looking to improve their execution and planning. A good option for a number of industries, from aerospace and defense to plastics and pharmaceuticals.
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Epicor is a solution that we recommend to discrete manufacturers looking to improve their execution and planning. A good option for a number of industries, from aerospace and defense to plastics and pharmaceuticals.
 

Buyer's Guide

by Daniel Harris,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: May 23, 2017


Every company has basic accounting needs, such as general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, inventory and payroll. Accounting for manufacturing companies carries additional requirements. For example, it's important to have features to support job costing, work-in-progress (WIP) reports, change orders and job payroll tracking. However, the market for these systems is complex due to consolidation, new entrants and the increasing demands of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. We wrote this buyer’s guide to untangle the web of this technology.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Manufacturing Accounting Software?
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Benefits and Potential Issues
Market Trends to Understand
The Vendor Landscape

What Is Manufacturing Accounting Software?

Manufacturing accounting software manages all of the financial transactions and operations for manufacturers. Generic programs, such as manufacturing software for Quickbooks, don't have the unique capabilities that manufacturers require.

Additional features found in accounting software for manufacturers include support for sales orders, purchase orders, change orders and work-in-progress (WIP) reports. For engineer-to-order and make-to-order manufacturers, job costing modules are especially beneficial. These modules help manufacturers track actual project costs by materials, equipment and labor, and determine cost differentials by comparing actual costs to estimated costs.

Most systems are offered in a suite of modules that include customer relationship management (CRM), material requirements planning (MRP) and manufacturing execution software (MES). This complete suite of modules is often referred to as an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and can manage the entire operations of an enterprise. 

Beyond standard accounting modules like accounts payable, accounts receivable and general ledger, a manufacturing accounting system will have additional features such as:

  • Raw material costing. Allows users to project current and future costs for raw materials based on historical data.
  • Bill of materials. Allows users to calculate total costs for assemblies and subassemblies, with parts and materials lists.
  • Purchasing. Allows users to track inventory and automatically place orders for raw materials when quantities reach a threshold set by the user.

It is this integration with other modules that is a key difference between a generic system and manufacturing accounting programs. For example, inventory requirements determined by the MRP system pass through to the inventory system to check availability, then to the procurement system to create a purchase order, and on to the accounts payable system for payment. The MES system tracks workers time on projects and reports that information to the payroll systems.

Most accounting systems manufacturing firms use is still installed on-premise. In a production environment the workstations are networked, usually with a mix of wired and wireless connections. One of the cost justifications for cloud-based systems is the reduced cost for infrastructure, but that is often offset by the added networking infrastructure requirements of the environment. Even so, cloud-based accounting software for manufacturing company support has long-term business benefits. While the shop floor needs a network, it does not necessarily need to have servers. With the server in the cloud, the facility does not have to have staff to maintain it or back it up.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

It is the “manufacturing” part of manufacturing accounting systems that is hard. Buyers need to match the enhanced functions to shop floor needs. Over 90 percent of buyers fall into one of these three groups:

Enterprise resource planning suite buyer. These buyers value the seamless integration of data and processes that comes from having one system for all functions. For example, they prefer a full-suite system for estimating, work-in-progress management and accounting that can automatically turn an estimate into a budget for project management, and then match invoices to project status and allocate job costs. These buyers favor integrated suites like Oracle, SAP, Sage ERP or Microsoft Dynamics.

Specialist buyer. Specialists in one function, such as job costing or inventory management, may value the feature depth of best-of-breed solutions designed for their function. These buyers may need specific functionality, like the ability to interface with an MRP system.

Small manufacturer. Small organizations often have limited budgets and fewer IT resources to dedicate to a system. They may be deciding between a new system and a new piece of equipment. These buyers need cost-effective tools that are easy to implement and use. Some will prefer full-suite systems, while others may just want one application, such as bill-of-materials production or shop equipment scheduling operations. These buyers typically prefer to use a small accounting software package such as Quickbooks or Peachtree. 

Benefits and Potential Issues

There must be specific benefits to justify the additional costs of a industry-specific system over a generic system.

Any system is a challenge to implement. Because of the increased complexity and the interfaces to other company and operations systems, accounting systems are more challenging than most. This can lead to delays in installing the systems. Worse, a bad installation can yield incorrect results down the line.

Better cost control. Accounting systems for manufacturers gives a much better view of costs due to the MRP integration, MES integration and job costing functions. Increased information lets managers understand and control costs better.

Increased business visibility. Because the systems keep information at the job-cost level, managers have a view of costs and profits of all operations and can judge profitability at each level.

Better compliance reporting. Since these systems interface with systems throughout the firm, it serves as a convenient library for all of the compliance reports. This can significantly reduce the cost of preparing compliance documents for government agencies.

Market Trends to Understand

You could consider these market trends as you research the market:

Use of cloud-based computing. The use of cloud-based systems is growing. NetSuite, for example, is only available as a subscription service. While the cost of running a network is the same as as an on-premises system, there are security and cost benefits to having their systems managed and replicated in the cloud.

Use of Web-based front ends. Whether it's on-premise or in the cloud, more and more systems are allowing the use of Web-based technologies like browsers to run the systems. This means that the computer power can be centralized and workstations only need to be able to run a browser.

Integration with other systems. As manufacturing software evolves, accounting systems must change in step. More information is generated by newer MES and MRP systems than previous versions. As such, these systems are constantly evolving to keep pace.

The Vendor Landscape

This type of buyer... Should evaluate these systems
Enterprise resource planning suite buyer SAP, Oracle, Sage, Microsoft Dynamics
Specialist buyer Microsoft Dynamics, NetSuite, Sage
Small manufacturer Intuitive, SYSPRO, Intuit, Geneva, ECi, Exact

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How to Assess Manufacturing Software Vendors' Viability

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