by Saeward Schillaci, The Resource Group
If you’re looking for a new accounting software solution for your business, you need to know how much each option costs. Unfortunately, this is a complicated question because the price of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution varies immensely based on the needs of each business. On the other hand, there are certain predictable factors that can help you understand what affects the cost of a particular solution.
In this case, the following three pricing factors can help improve your understanding of the potential cost of Intacct or another cloud-based ERP solution. Knowing the factors that will affect the cost might give you a better idea of whether Intacct might be right or wrong for your business before you invest more time in considering the solution.
Let’s begin with the basics. Intacct is a cloud-based, software as a service (SaaS) accounting system designed for small and mid-sized businesses. Intacct is not designed to be an all-encompassing ERP suite, but rather a best-of-breed accounting solution. What sort of components influence the cost of Intacct? There are three main areas that will affect how expensive Intacct is for your business. Beginning with the most important aspect, these are: monthly subscription costs; the complexity of the initial implementation; and training costs.
1. Licensing Costs
As previously mentioned, Intacct operates using a multi-tenant, SaaS model. This means that new customers are able to avoid many of the upfront costs associated with purchasing and implementing a traditional on-premises ERP solution. However, there is no doubt that the monthly subscription fees can add up over time; the Intacct license packages start at $400/month and go up from there.
What sort of things drive up the monthly cost? For many companies, the number of users will be the most significant variable. From both a pricing and a functionality perspective, there are two types of Intacct user licenses: business users and employee users. Business users have unlimited access to every module for which a company has a subscription. Employee users have read-only access to most things, but can still submit expense reports, timesheets, and purchase orders. Employee user subscriptions are also only offered in packs of 10. As you probably already guessed, business users cost more than employee users. Overall, having a high number of user subscriptions can really drive up long-term cost of Intacct. On the other hand, there’s no minimum number of user licenses so there’s potential for significant savings if your business operates effectively with relatively few users.
There are a few other variables which affect Intacct’s licensing costs, including the number of separate business entities, the price of any extra modules your company might need, and the amount of data storage required. The basic Intacct package includes one business entity, 15GB of storage, and the following modules: General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Cash Management, Purchase Orders, Order Entry, Standard Reports, Dashboard, and Customization Services. The basic subscription also includes unlimited support and free upgrades. For many businesses, the core package includes all of the needed functionality.
If your business has more complex accounting needs, it does cost more to subscribe to additional modules. Extra functionality which must be added to the subscription includes multi-entity management, project accounting, time and expense management, contract revenue management, contract and subscription billing, inventory management, sales and use tax, or check delivery service. Storage requirements exceeding 15GB also incur additional fees.
There are two more items to consider with regards to licensing fees. First, because Intacct is not an entire ERP suite, you may also need to pay for additional software such as a CRM solution. (For an additional fee, Intacct offers a direct integration with Salesforce.) Second, non-profits subscribing to Intacct receive a 20% lifetime discount and two free user defined dimensions!
To summarize, the licensing needs of your business will largely determine the long-term price of Intacct. If your company only requires core financial functionality and just a few user licenses, monthly subscription costs will be relatively low. However, subscribing to tons of user licenses and lots of extra modules will make your monthly fees dramatically higher.
2. Implementation Costs
Another significant factor in the cost of Intacct will be in the implementation required for the new product. It’s true that the implementation may be faster than the same process for an on-premises solution, but it can still be costly and somewhat lengthy in certain situations.
The good news is that the implementation will definitely involve less upfront cost and time compared to an on-premises solution, because you don’t need to buy hardware and physically install the software. In addition, rather than paying a higher initial price for the licensing as you would for an on-premises solution, the cost of the licenses is spread out over time due to the subscription-based model.
However, the implementation for Intacct might require a larger investment depending on your business. For example, if your company is currently using a complicated patchwork of legacy solutions or is storing data in disparate locations, the resources required to combine and migrate the data to Intacct may be fairly high.
One potential disadvantage of Intacct is that customizations may cost more due to the cloud-based nature of the software. Intacct’s core package automatically includes Customization Services, which offers the ability to create custom reports, custom documents, custom fields, Smart Rules, and Smart Events. In addition, there are add-on products for Intacct that meet certain common ERP needs. Unfortunately, if this degree of flexibility still isn’t enough for your business, more complex customizations can become expensive due to the fundamental nature of a cloud-based solution – Intacct automatically provides four updates per year, and customizations have to be designed to remain compatible as these updates are applied. This means that there may be a larger amount invested in the process of developing any custom functionality during implementation.
Another factor which may be a downside for your company is the fact that Intacct is designed as a best-of-breed accounting software rather than an entire ERP suite. This means that CRM is not included, although you can integrate the Intacct application directly with Salesforce. There is an additional fee for the integration between Intacct and Salesforce, and you will have to pay to implement Salesforce separately if not already installed. When comparing the implementation cost of Intacct with other solutions, be sure to include the cost of any additional software that may be desirable to include in your ERP system.
3. Training Costs
Compared to certain other financial solutions, Intacct is relatively user friendly. It’s possible to buy the solution directly from its developer as well as from a certified Partner or reseller. Intacct offers an Online Academy with classes covering a wide array of topics, and free support is included in the cost of a basic subscription. All of this might lead a business to be tempted to skimp on training costs, but in the long run it definitely pays to properly invest in consulting and training to ensure the most effective use of the software. This is why Intacct recommends purchasing the software through a partner reseller.
A good reseller will provide industry expertise to ensure that Intacct is the best fit for your company before you make your initial investment. Once you have purchased Intacct, the reseller can help you implement it and, crucially, ensure that your employees are using best practices for your business’s financial accounting needs. Regardless of how robust your accounting software might be, users can only make the best of it if they have adequate training. As a result, you should be sure to include the potential cost of high-quality training in your calculations regarding the price of Intacct (and other ERP solution, for that matter.)
In conclusion, understanding the three pricing factors of licensing, implementation, and training can help you understand the potential pricing of Intacct for your business. If you would like a quote, please contact Intacct or an Intacct reseller, such as The Resource Group, for assistance. It’s also worth noting that these three components can help you estimate the potential price of other cloud-based ERP solutions as well.