Finding software can be overwhelming. We've helped thousands of manufacturers choose the right accounting software so they can manage financials for billing, budgeting and inventory.

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Fishbowl

Fishbowl is a hybrid manufacturing and warehouse management solution designed for small and midsize companies. Key features include inventory control, material requirements planning (MRP), job shop floor control, work order manage... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 117 recommendations

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NetSuite

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 rang... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 104 recommendations

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Striven

Striven is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution suitable for many industries and organizations of all sizes. It offers features for accounting, inventory management, human resources, customer relationship mana... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 56 recommendations

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E2 Shop System

E2 by Shoptech Corporation is a manufacturing solution that offers scheduling, purchasing, shipping, customer management and accounting. It’s designed specifically for job shops, contract and a variety of make-to-order manufacture... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 55 recommendations

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JobBOSS

JobBOSS Shop Management Solutions, an ECi Software Solutions company, is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution built for small and midsize manufacturers in North America. It allows key office and production staff to manag... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 49 recommendations

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Global Shop Solutions

Global Shop Solutions offers ERP software to serve clients across manufacturing industries of all sizes. The multi-modular application is comprised of independent modules for customer relationship management, inventory management,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 30 recommendations

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Visual EstiTrack

Henning Software has helped small to midsize manufacturers and job shops for 30 years. Visual EstiTrack ERP has complete material requirements planning, product lifecycle, supply chain, customer relationship, human resource and ma... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 23 recommendations

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Acumatica Cloud ERP

Acumatica Construction Edition is true cloud construction and accounting software that provides office and field teams real-time data including job costing, change orders, project management, dashboards and more. With field and of... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 16 recommendations

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Intellect

Intellect eQMS is a configurable cloud-based enterprise quality management solution that helps organizations across various industries to manage the quality and compliance of critical business procedures. Features include document... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 16 recommendations

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QT9 ERP

QT9 ERP is a highly-scalable manufacturing platform for connecting and automating business data from multiple systems into one scalable and intuitive solution. QT9 ERP integrates inventory management, accounting management, sales ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 16 recommendations

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DELMIAworks

DELMIAworks (formerly IQMS) 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, and elec... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 12 recommendations

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KeyedIn Manufacturing

KeyedIn Manufacturing is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution specifically designed for custom, make-to-order and mixed-mode manufacturers. The solution offers manufacturers a solution that can be customized t... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 12 recommendations

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OptiProERP with Sap Business One

OptiProERP with SAP Business One is a complete ERP solution for small and midsize manufacturers and distributors. SAP Business One is an ERP platform designed for small and midsize companies with over 70,000 customers. OptiProERP ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 12 recommendations

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M1 ERP

ECi M1 is a subscription-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, available on-premise or via the cloud, that automates financials, inventory, production, sales/quoting and production planning. The solution is suitable for... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 11 recommendations

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Epicor ERP

Epicor ERP is a comprehensive on-prem and cloud-based ERP solution that provides manufacturers with robust capabilities for job costing, supply chain, inventory control, pre-production materials planning and manufacturing executio... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 10 recommendations

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Vicinity

Vicinity Software is a cloud-based or on-premise solution designed for process manufacturers with a specific focus on food & beverage (VicinityFood), chemical (VicinityChem) and breweries (VicinityBrew). Features include MRP, cent... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 10 recommendations

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Skulocity

Skulocity is a cloud-based ERP system for manufacturing and distribution businesses. It offers functionality for warehouse management, inventory planning, manufacturing management, payroll, shipping management, and financial analy... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

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Datacor ERP

Datacor ERP (formerly Chempax) is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) application designed specifically for chemical process manufacturers and distributors. The solution can ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations

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Infor VISUAL

Infor VISUAL is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System with end-to-end functionality built for manufacturing organizations looking for a complete solution that supports the entire operational lifecycle, from planning to sour... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations

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SyteLine

SyteLine is an enterprise resource planning software created specifically for engineer-to-order, make-to-order, make-to-stock, and mixed-mode manufacturers. Customers in both discrete and process manufacturing can benefit from thi... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

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2021 Manufacturing Accounting Software Pricing Guide

Learn about the key aspects of accurate software pricing before you make your purchase decision.

Includes:

  • Pricing models & ranges

  • Unexpected costs

  • Pricing of popular systems

Buyers guide


Last Updated: April 11, 2021

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