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Accounting Software for Consultants


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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
 
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
 
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
 
Cougar Mountain DENALI logo
 
Cougar Mountain Software’s Denali Business is an accounting solution with the ability to customize 10 integrated modules. It is for small to midsize businesses and can be deployed on premises or in the cloud. Key features include... Read More
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Cougar Mountain Software’s Denali Business is an accounting solution with the ability to customize 10 integrated modules. It is for small to midsize businesses and can be deployed on premises or in the cloud. Key features include... Read More
 
Deskera ERP logo
 
Deskera ERP is a cloud-based enterprise business management suite that automates sales, billing, fulfillment, distribution (including pick, pack and ship process), sales commission calculations, purchasing, payment processing, product... Read More
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Deskera ERP is a cloud-based enterprise business management suite that automates sales, billing, fulfillment, distribution (including pick, pack and ship process), sales commission calculations, purchasing, payment processing, product... Read More

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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
 
ScaleFactor logo
 
ScaleFactor is a cloud-based business accounting solution suitable for small and midsize companies. It helps businesses to automate complex accounting workflows and translate financial information into actionable insights. Key features... Read More
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ScaleFactor is a cloud-based business accounting solution suitable for small and midsize companies. It helps businesses to automate complex accounting workflows and translate financial information into actionable insights. Key features... Read More
 
Acumatica ERP logo
 
Acumatica is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that offers a platform designed for midsize customers with a complete, real-time view across the business. The Acumatica suite of integrated business management... Read More
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Acumatica is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that offers a platform designed for midsize customers with a complete, real-time view across the business. The Acumatica suite of integrated business management... Read More
 
Vena Solutions logo
 
Vena is a cloud-based corporate performance management (CPM) solution that helps businesses across various industry verticals to manage different business operations such as budgeting, planning, revenue forecasting and more. Vena's... Read More
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Vena is a cloud-based corporate performance management (CPM) solution that helps businesses across various industry verticals to manage different business operations such as budgeting, planning, revenue forecasting and more. Vena's... Read More
 
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

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Divvy logo
 
Divvy is a cloud-based accounting and expense management solution suitable for a variety of businesses. Key features include expense tracking, money sending and receiving, budgeting and virtual debit cards. Divvy tracks and categorizes... Read More
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Divvy is a cloud-based accounting and expense management solution suitable for a variety of businesses. Key features include expense tracking, money sending and receiving, budgeting and virtual debit cards. Divvy tracks and categorizes... Read More
 
Rydoo Expense logo
 
Rydoo Expense is an expense reporting solution designed to automate the expense management process and it suitable for businesses of all sizes, including independent contractors. It allows users to scan and digitize receipts using... Read More
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Rydoo Expense is an expense reporting solution designed to automate the expense management process and it suitable for businesses of all sizes, including independent contractors. It allows users to scan and digitize receipts using... 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
 
SAP ERP Core Finance logo
 
SAP S/4HANA is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software suite designed to serve businesses of size and kinds. SAP ERP is used to address the needs of many industry verticals including manufacturing, retail, service... Read More
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SAP S/4HANA is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software suite designed to serve businesses of size and kinds. SAP ERP is used to address the needs of many industry verticals including manufacturing, retail, service... Read More
 
BOARD logo
 
Created to combine business intelligence, corporate performance management, and business analytics, BOARD is a full-featured business intelligence system that serves midsize and enterprise-level companies in a variety of different... Read More
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Created to combine business intelligence, corporate performance management, and business analytics, BOARD is a full-featured business intelligence system that serves midsize and enterprise-level companies in a variety of different... Read More

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Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management logo
 
Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management, formerly known as Sage X3, is an ERP software suite that includes integrated functionality for financial management, sales, customer service, distribution, inventory, and manufacturing, and... Read More
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Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management, formerly known as Sage X3, is an ERP software suite that includes integrated functionality for financial management, sales, customer service, distribution, inventory, and manufacturing, and... Read More
 
deFacto Planning logo
 
deFacto Planning is a corporate planning solution that offers budgeting, forecasting, reporting, consolidation, analysis and predictive analytics. It allows users to view the overall financial health of their company, in real time,... Read More
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deFacto Planning is a corporate planning solution that offers budgeting, forecasting, reporting, consolidation, analysis and predictive analytics. It allows users to view the overall financial health of their company, in real time,... Read More
 
Series4000 logo
 
Series4000 is an on-premise and cloud-based fixed asset accounting solution for small, mid-sized and large enterprises. It caters to commercial, education, government, healthcare and not for profit industries. Primary features include... Read More
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Series4000 is an on-premise and cloud-based fixed asset accounting solution for small, mid-sized and large enterprises. It caters to commercial, education, government, healthcare and not for profit industries. Primary features include... Read More
 
Flexi Software logo
 
Flexi is an on-premise as well as a cloud-based accounting solution for the banking, insurance, healthcare and service industries. The Flexi accounting solution features automation of accounting process and completion of audit trails... Read More
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Flexi is an on-premise as well as a cloud-based accounting solution for the banking, insurance, healthcare and service industries. The Flexi accounting solution features automation of accounting process and completion of audit trails... Read More
 
Fusebill logo
 
Fusebill provides businesses with cloud-based financial and accounting processes, including billing and invoicing, financial reporting and more. The system is suitable for small businesses, as well as midsize companies seeking a scalable... Read More
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Fusebill provides businesses with cloud-based financial and accounting processes, including billing and invoicing, financial reporting and more. The system is suitable for small businesses, as well as midsize companies seeking a scalable... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Zach Hale,

Last Updated: October 5, 2018


With so many options to choose from, finding the right accounting software is a daunting process—especially for consultants, who often operate independently and without the budget of larger, enterprise-level businesses.

But that same degree of autonomy is exactly why it's important to find the correct accounting software to meet the unique needs of your business. Without the right accounting software, consultants won't have the breadth of financial insight, integration and automation necessary to thrive in today's economy. We created this Buyer's Guide to help them find the perfect fit.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Accounting Software for Consultants?
Common Features of Accounting Software for Consultants
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Benefits and Potential Issues
Market Trends to Understand

What Is Accounting Software for Consultants?

Accounting software helps freelance and independent consultants manage small-scale financial accounting data. A core package generally includes the following modules:

  • Accounts payable
  • Accounts receivable
  • General ledger
  • Billing and invoicing

The dashboard will have some variation of those modules alongside other supplemental features. For example, Sage Intacct's dashboard contains General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable and Order Entry, among other modules.

Sage Intacct dashboard

Sage Intacct dashboard

Furthermore, there are certain criteria that differentiate accounting software for consultants from accounting software for other types of businesses. These can include features such as cloud-based applications and customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities.

Common Features of Accounting Software for Consultants

While different vendors offer different sets of features unique to their application, there are several core elements of accounting software consultants can expect to find:

Accounts payable

Enables you to keep track of what you owe and also pay all your bills on time. The feature helps you process your outgoing funds, track invoices, store vendor details and print checks.

Accounts receivable

Helps you effectively manage your incoming payments. The feature offers billing codes for easy handling of recurring outgoing invoices to customers and payment codes for efficient crediting of payments from multiple accounts at one time.

General ledger

Allows users to maintain a comprehensive record of all financial transactions and track spending by project. The feature simplifies budgeting and reporting by showing past and future transactions from specific accounts within a specified date range.

Billing and invoicing

Gives users the ability to track transactional financial data and create billing and invoicing documentation for clients.

Customer relationship management (CRM)

CRM applications help consultants manage interactions with current and prospective customers, clients and/or partners, with the goal of increasing customers, revenue and customer satisfaction.

Financial reporting

Enables you to track and report on your financials with recognized business accounting best practices.

Online accounting

Allows users to access and modify all accounting data remotely through a cloud-based server hosted by the vendor.

Project accounting

Helps project-oriented consultants maximize job profitability and efficiency by tracking detailed cost breakdowns of individual projects. It allows consultants to examine prior job costs and estimate future costs to choose the jobs based on projected profit.

Asset management

Offers a central asset and inventory management system for managing equipment from acquisition to depreciation to maintenance.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

It's important to consider what type of buyer you are before examining your options so that you know exactly what to look for in a product. Most consultants seeking accounting software fall into one of three categories:

Freelance consultant. Independent consultants are responsible for managing their own financial accounting data, without the infrastructure or budget of a business with multiple employees. These types of buyers aren't usually experts in accounting, and therefore require only basic accounting functions while prioritizing ease of use and cost over more feature-rich platforms.

Consulting firm. Ranging from a small handful of employees to a midsize network of individual consultants, these businesses often desire more robust systems. These systems should be capable of managing multiple users and projects, as well as the ability to integrate with existing systems like CRM or asset management software. They therefore require a product with a greater degree of sophistication and wider range of applications, such as CRM software, to fulfill their business needs.

Best-of-breed buyer. These buyers have more familiarity with accounting software and its specific functions. They know the individual applications they desire and how they will address their consulting and accounting initiatives. For example, an HR consultant would seek payroll management capabilities, while nonprofit and cause-driven consultants would look specifically for accounting software to help manage funds and a variety of financial benchmarks. Best-of-breed buyers like these typically prioritize functionality over integration.

Benefits and Potential Issues

When you boil it down, the benefits of accounting software for consultants are the same as any other business: a clearer and more comprehensive analysis of one's accounting data, which in turn leads to more responsible financial decisions and a better understanding of the proverbial Big Picture. Advancements in automation and integration have made accounting software an essential piece of the business pie, rendering older, manual accounting methods extinct.

That said, there are certain things you'll want to consider before implementing accounting software into your consulting business. For independent and freelance consultants, protecting existing data and ensuring a seamless transition is paramount. This is especially tricky when integrating with other software, so be sure to back up all client data prior to implementation.

It's also important to ensure that a given piece of software includes all desired functionality and is sufficient for your organization's projected growth rate. The last thing you want is to invest in new software only to realize it doesn't have a specific feature, or that your consulting business will outgrow the software's capabilities as it acquires more clients. Thankfully, most accounting software platforms offer trials and demos that will allow you to test drive it before you buy it.

Market Trends to Understand

Consultants will want to keep an eye on these notable trends playing out in the accounting software space:

Cloud-based software. Accounting software platforms—and really software as a whole—are moving toward the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. Compared to the more traditional on-premise hosting model, SaaS offers lower upfront costs and quicker implementation time. Both of these factors make cloud-based software ideal for consultants with smaller budgets and less margin for downtime.

Mobile apps. Similarly, mobile applications and smartphone-optimized web interfaces are gaining popularity not just in accounting, but across all industries. This trend is particularly relevant to consultants, who are often on-the-go and managing multiple accounts at once. For a detailed look, check out our breakdown of the best mobile accounting apps.

Industry-specific features. More and more, vendors are offering industry-specific features that cater to the unique needs of a given vertical. Be sure to keep this in mind when investigating solutions for your consulting business, as even products that were once broader and more horizontal continue to add features that benefit specific industries.

Vendor consolidation. When evaluating accounting software for consultants, buyers should consider the financial viability of small vendors, which larger merchants are acquiring at an ever-increasing rate. This is especially true of accounting and ERP markets, with major players like Oracle and Sage making significant acquisitions in recent years.

 

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