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Small Business Accounting Software


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Cougar Mountain DENALI logo
 
Cougar Mountain Software offers a business accounting software for manufacturing, nonprofits and public services organizations. Their flagship product Denali is a core accounting solution with applications for general ledger, accounts... Read More
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Cougar Mountain Software offers a business accounting software for manufacturing, nonprofits and public services organizations. Their flagship product Denali is a core accounting solution with applications for general ledger, accounts... Read More
 
NetSuite logo
 
NetSuite is a business management software suite offered as a service that performs enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) functions. It is a horizontal package designed for an extensive range... Read More
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NetSuite is a business management software suite offered as a service that performs enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) functions. It is a horizontal package designed for an extensive range... Read More
 
Multiview logo
 
For organizations seeking a solution that conforms to their existing operations, Multiview offers a suite of financial solutions. With Multiview, companies gain visibility over corporate data. The solution includes 14 modules that... Read More
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For organizations seeking a solution that conforms to their existing operations, Multiview offers a suite of financial solutions. With Multiview, companies gain visibility over corporate data. The solution includes 14 modules that... Read More
 
Sage Live logo
 
Sage Live is a cloud-based and mobile ready accounting platform for small and mid-sized businesses. Key features include multi-company, multi-currency, and multi-legislation support, personalization based on user role, bank integration,... Read More
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Sage Live is a cloud-based and mobile ready accounting platform for small and mid-sized businesses. Key features include multi-company, multi-currency, and multi-legislation support, personalization based on user role, bank integration,... Read More
 
Adaptive Insights logo
 
Adaptive Insights, founded in 2003, provides a web-based system for budgeting, forecasting and reporting. The solution is suitable for a wide variety of company sizes. Delivered over the Web in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model,... Read More
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Adaptive Insights, founded in 2003, provides a web-based system for budgeting, forecasting and reporting. The solution is suitable for a wide variety of company sizes. Delivered over the Web in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model,... Read More

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Budget Maestro logo
 
Budget Maestro by Centage offers financial institutes a comprehensive accounting solution with budgeting, forecasting, consolidation and reporting capabilities. Budget Maestro is suitable for a host of industries, including manufacturing,... Read More
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Budget Maestro by Centage offers financial institutes a comprehensive accounting solution with budgeting, forecasting, consolidation and reporting capabilities. Budget Maestro is suitable for a host of industries, including manufacturing,... Read More
 
AccuFund Accounting Suite logo
 
AccuFund is an online accounting and financial reporting solution designed specifically for the nonprofit industry. Integrated into one, AccuFund's Accounting suite helps nonprofit organizations and government agencies report funding... Read More
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AccuFund is an online accounting and financial reporting solution designed specifically for the nonprofit industry. Integrated into one, AccuFund's Accounting suite helps nonprofit organizations and government agencies report funding... Read More
 
BNA Fixed Assets logo
 
BNA Fixed Assets from Bloomberg BNA is a system that helps companies of all sizes manage the entire lifecycle of their fixed assets, from construction and purchase through retirement. BNA Fixed Assets eliminates duplicate entry and... Read More
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BNA Fixed Assets from Bloomberg BNA is a system that helps companies of all sizes manage the entire lifecycle of their fixed assets, from construction and purchase through retirement. BNA Fixed Assets eliminates duplicate entry and... Read More
 
Abila MIP Fund Accounting logo
 
Abila MIP Fund Accounting from ProSoft Solutions is a finance management and fund accounting solution designed to serve nonprofits and government agencies. The solution can be deployed on-premise, in the cloud or be self-hosted. Abila... Read More
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Abila MIP Fund Accounting from ProSoft Solutions is a finance management and fund accounting solution designed to serve nonprofits and government agencies. The solution can be deployed on-premise, in the cloud or be self-hosted. Abila... Read More
 
Deskera logo
 
Deskera is an enterprise resource planning software formulated to run manufacturing operations. The system is suitable for companies manufacturing for a variety of industries. Textiles, automotive, distribution, metal processing, pharmaceuticals,... Read More
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Deskera is an enterprise resource planning software formulated to run manufacturing operations. The system is suitable for companies manufacturing for a variety of industries. Textiles, automotive, distribution, metal processing, pharmaceuticals,... Read More

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Sage Intacct logo
 
Sage Intacct is a provider of cloud-based accounting software. Sage Intacct’s applications are suitable for small and midsize companies and can provide real-time financial and operational insights as well as the ability to automate... Read More
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Sage Intacct is a provider of cloud-based accounting software. Sage Intacct’s applications are suitable for small and midsize companies and can provide real-time financial and operational insights as well as the ability to automate... Read More
 
Financial Edge by Blackbaud logo
 
Financial Edge NXT is a cloud accounting solution from Blackbaud that provides transparency across teams, security, compliance, and reduces the need for manual processes. The system is a fund accounting solution that provides a general... Read More
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Financial Edge NXT is a cloud accounting solution from Blackbaud that provides transparency across teams, security, compliance, and reduces the need for manual processes. The system is a fund accounting solution that provides a general... Read More
 
SAP Anywhere logo
 
SAP Anywhere integrates sales, marketing, e-commerce, and inventory activities into one complete front-office system. With SAP Anywhere users can manage and track inventory, manage orders, manage the procurement process, and more.... Read More
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SAP Anywhere integrates sales, marketing, e-commerce, and inventory activities into one complete front-office system. With SAP Anywhere users can manage and track inventory, manage orders, manage the procurement process, and more.... Read More
 
Certify logo
 
Certify is a web-based expense management solution recommended to companies in any industry. The solution can be used to track, approve, and reimburse expenses; book travel; and analyze spend. With Certify Mobile, users can capture... Read More
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Certify is a web-based expense management solution recommended to companies in any industry. The solution can be used to track, approve, and reimburse expenses; book travel; and analyze spend. With Certify Mobile, users can capture... Read More
 
Host Analytics EPM Suite logo
 
Host Analytics EPM Suite is a cloud-based Enterprise Performance Management solution. Host Analytics EPM Suite is suitable for mid-sized to large businesses seeking a system that can provide insights into their business. It includes... Read More
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Host Analytics EPM Suite is a cloud-based Enterprise Performance Management solution. Host Analytics EPM Suite is suitable for mid-sized to large businesses seeking a system that can provide insights into their business. It includes... Read More

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VersAccounts Small Business Cloud ERP logo
 
VersAccounts is a web-based accounting and enterprise resource planning (ERP) system designed for growing small and midsized businesses looking to gain real-time financial and operational insights. This Cloud 2.0 system enables businesses... Read More
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VersAccounts is a web-based accounting and enterprise resource planning (ERP) system designed for growing small and midsized businesses looking to gain real-time financial and operational insights. This Cloud 2.0 system enables businesses... Read More
 
Dynac logo
 
Dynac is a scalable on-premise Accounting and Corporate Performance Management solution that focuses on budgeting, forecasting, and financial reporting. It can be utilized across a wide variety of industries including agriculture,... Read More
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Dynac is a scalable on-premise Accounting and Corporate Performance Management solution that focuses on budgeting, forecasting, and financial reporting. It can be utilized across a wide variety of industries including agriculture,... Read More
 
Acumatica ERP logo
 
Acumatica ERP delivers an adaptable cloud and mobile-based enterprise resource planning solution with a user licensing model which enables a real-time view of business operations at any time from anywhere. Through a worldwide network... Read More
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Acumatica ERP delivers an adaptable cloud and mobile-based enterprise resource planning solution with a user licensing model which enables a real-time view of business operations at any time from anywhere. Through a worldwide network... Read More
 
Activity HD logo
 
nQativ’s Activity HD is an accounting and payroll solution suitable for small to mid-size companies. It offers tools to sort, filter and present data, plus security features to satisfy data confidentiality requirements. Activity... Read More
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nQativ’s Activity HD is an accounting and payroll solution suitable for small to mid-size companies. It offers tools to sort, filter and present data, plus security features to satisfy data confidentiality requirements. Activity... Read More
 
Connected Accounting & ERP logo
 
Accountek is an accounting software solution available for on-premise deployment. It is suited for small to medium-sized businesses across a variety of industries. Accountek offers connected accounting and enterprise resource planning... Read More
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Accountek is an accounting software solution available for on-premise deployment. It is suited for small to medium-sized businesses across a variety of industries. Accountek offers connected accounting and enterprise resource planning... Read More

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Buyer's Guide

by Lisa Hedges,
Content Analyst
Last Updated: September 1, 2017


There are a growing number of accounting software applications for today’s small business. Some are designed for specific industries (e.g., construction or professional services), while others are tailored for specific business sizes, with varying levels of functionality. In addition, buyers will need to consider what deployment model and integration method is most cost-effective for their company.

Given all this, it can be tricky for small businesses to identify the right accounting software for their needs. We developed this guide to help buyers understand exactly what these products offer, so they can select the solution that is the best fit.

Here's what we'll cover:

Common Reasons Small Businesses Seek Accounting Solutions
Common Features of Small Business Accounting Software
Pricing: Web-Based vs. On-Premise
Key Considerations for Small Businesses

Common Reasons Small Businesses Seek Accounting Solutions

Thousands of small businesses contact us every year looking for help selecting the accounting solution best suited to them. Some of these buyers are just getting started, while others are looking to replace an outdated or problematic system.

Small businesses most commonly purchase an accounting system because they are:

  • Seeking to upgrade to a software system with more advanced features.
  • Seeking to automate functions that were previously done manually.
  • Looking to generate better financial reports.
  • In need of specific features (e.g., project or job accounting).
  • Frustrated with their current accounting software (e.g., it is not user-friendly).

Common Features of Small Business Accounting Software

There are several different applications for buyers to choose from, which can be purchased either as a standalone application or along with other related applications, as part of an integrated software suite (more on this below). Make sure the system you purchase covers all the functionality you’re going to need.

Here are some of the most common small-business accounting applications:

Application Function Best for...
Accounts payable / accounts receivable (AP/AR) The fundamental bookkeeping application, which tracks what is owed to a company by its customers (accounts receivable) as well as what the company owes its suppliers, also known as its liabilities (accounts payable). All small businesses (especially those without a dedicated bookkeeper); this is an essential accounting function.
Financial reporting Reporting applications allow businesses to export data from their accounting system in a structured manner that communicates financial history as well as financial projections. Some may include compliance-related functionality for government or industry audits (e.g., in banking and financial services). Any small business with seasonal or otherwise dynamic cash flow that needs to be tracked closely. Also, businesses that need to provide financial reports to stakeholders or to regulatory institutions for compliance.
Budgeting & forecasting Budgeting applications allow small businesses to model potential financial outcomes and to compare actual profit and loss to planned budgets, which helps with decision-making about workforce, spending and growth. Some systems have dashboards that display information visually. Small businesses that are currently growing or considering expanding.
Fixed asset accounting Fixed asset applications focus on tracking assets that aren’t easily converted to cash: For a small business, assets will typically be “tangible,” such as land, buildings or equipment. These applications calculate the value of such assets over time, allowing for depreciation due to wear and tear. Small businesses with substantial tangible assets, or any business that, for tax purposes, may benefit from reporting depreciations to assets.

Pricing: Web-Based vs. On-Premise Accounting Software

Most small businesses will want to consider cloud-based accounting solutions. Because these systems are hosted online by the vendor, they eliminate the need for you to have a dedicated IT team for managing and maintaining your own server. Conversely, an “on-premise” deployment means the software is hosted locally, on your company’s own servers (which you are responsible for maintaining).

Choosing a Web-based system drastically reduces upfront investment and installation costs. In addition, these systems typically offer monthly subscription pricing, which makes them scale well for fast-growing companies that need to add additional user licenses or features down the road. On-premise systems, on the other hand, come with a steeper, one-time fee to use the software in perpetuity.

At present, some businesses may still see savings with an on-premise system, especially if they already have the necessary hardware to host the software on-site. While on-premise solutions usually require purchasing an expensive perpetual license up front, this may still be the cheaper option if you use the same system over an extended period of time. However, keep in mind that with on-premise solutions, you might also pay additionally for upgrades, customizations and maintenance.

Our recent report shows that the great majority of accounting buyers are undetermined about whether they want Web-based or on-premise deployment. Among those with a preference, buyers are split approximately 50-50. According to experts, these preferences may soon change, as Web-based accounting programs become more widely available and as on-premise options are no longer supported. This change will likely mirror preferences in other software markets, where Web-based systems are more popular and have surpassed preferences for on-premise.

Key Considerations for Small Businesses

With so many options and feature sets to choose from, selecting the right accounting solution can quickly become an overwhelming task. To narrow things down, here are three key factors for small businesses to keep in mind while evaluating different products:

Best-of-breed vs. integrated suite options. Because accounting encompasses so many functions, from fund accounting to billing and invoicing, many entry-level products are actually “best-of-breed” solutions. This means they focus on only one of the core applications listed in the table above. “Integrated suites,” meaning solutions combining multiple applications in one software package (often billed as “professional” or “enterprise” editions), have much greater functionality, but are also are much more expensive.

So before you begin shopping, start with a clear assessment of exactly which functions you need. The “Best for...” column in the chart above provides recommendations as to which applications are best for which types of businesses.

Automation capabilities. Many small businesses we speak with say they’re replacing their accounting system in order to reduce the inaccuracies that come with manual entry and to automate more of their processes. Small businesses should pay particular attention to the degree of automation that a system provides as they evaluate accounting software for small business. If your company is growing, it's especially important to track everything in a system that can verify entries for accuracy and automate recurring functions to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.

Integration with other programs. While small businesses may not have as many integration requirements as larger companies, your accounting software’s ability to sync with other programs could still be a factor. Consider whether your desired accounting system can integrate with any of your company’s current stand-alone applications—for example, if you have a payroll system designed to support small businesses, or a retail point-of-sale (POS) system that will need to integrate with restaurant accounting software functionality.

Moreover, integration with banking institutions and credit cards can make it much easier to keep track of your company financials in real-time. Accounting software can sync with your online accounts automatically, so you don’t have to enter transaction information manually.

Free Download:
Guide to Evaluating Accounting Software Demonstrations

Free Download:
Accounting Software Pricing Guide

 

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