You might be aware that Sage has introduced another product onto the UK market recently, Sage Intacct. Strictly speaking, it isn’t a new product – Intacct was a company founded in 1999 and acquired by Sage in 2017 but until latterly has predominantly only been used by companies based in the USA, Australia and Canada.
The spiralling range of Sage products has always been a little confusing – they have Sage 50 Accounts, Sage 200, Sage Live, Sage ERP 1000 and Sage X3, Sage and Onion, S400 and so on (See if you can guess which one is made-up). In fact, there are 230+ different Sage products from various heritages. One of Sage’s aims with Intacct is to take on the likes of NetSuite, but whether it is successful remains to be seen – one of the previous editions, Sage Financials (formerly Sage Live) which was only introduced in 2016 has now been retired. Sage has also recently announced that Sage Accountant Cloud is being withdrawn on 31st May 2021 – no, we had no clue what that was either.
Many ERP platforms claim to be cloud-based but they are often are misleading for various reasons. Both Sage Intacct and NetSuite are true cloud multi-tenanted platforms, but the main difference is NetSuite was only ever designed as a true-cloud system from day one. It is the leader in its field, not something that has been adapted for the cloud.
Do they do the same thing?
Both are designed for organisations with more complex accounting and tax structures so are aimed at medium to large-sized businesses who are too advanced for systems like Xero, Sage50 or QuickBooks, but the stand-out distinction between the two is NetSuite is a full ERP and accounting platform whereas Sage Intacct is primarily a finance solution covering General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Cash Management, Order Management and Purchasing. There are a few additional modules which you can purchase too such as Project Accounting; Contract and subscription Billing and Time and Expense Management amongst a couple of others.
NetSuite, on the other hand, offers so much more comprehensive offering with deeper functionality – it’s a finance system which will also run all of your back-office systems, right through to things like procurement, sales, CRM, e-commerce Business Intelligence and so on. The list of available extras and available integrations really are incredible, and Intacct just doesn’t compete in that regard.
NetSuite is better suited for growth
NetSuite software is utilized by over 19,000 customers in over 200 countries and supports 27 languages in 190 currencies. Furthermore, within the last five years over 50 companies have gone public using NetSuite. NetSuite is now well established in the UK with companies like YouGov, Brandwatch and Vivobarefoot amongst many others. There are a few companies in the UK currently using Intacct, but very few are actually headquartered here.
If you have multiple subsidiaries, then NetSuite definitely becomes more attractive. Intercompany reporting is out of the box whereas with Sage Intacct you will need to purchase add-ons. With NetSuite, consolidations are performed in real-time whereas intact does this by batch. Furthermore, with Intacct, the General ledger trial balance is only shown in the base currency and intercompany journal entries need to be entered manually. Month-end is much simpler with NetSuite, as journal entries are created automatically. If using Intacct month-end is much slower with adjustments performed per entity per, module and entered manually.
“Trusted by more than 24,000 customers and growing”
“63% of technology IPO’s are NetSuite customers since 2011” netsuite.com
As your company does grow, your governance, risk and compliance (GRC) processes will become more complex too. It’s important that your business system also offers the flexibility to keep pace with these complexities. By running NetSuite, you can be assured that the risk of regulatory non-compliance is mitigated leaving you free to grow your business. NetSuite’s data has shown that companies using its software grow an average 17% faster than companies that don’t!
Is there online support for both?
Yes, Intacct has recently launched an Intacct community for user collaboration.
NetSuite has an extensive knowledge base known as SuiteAnswers which is available to all users as well as an online user group. Within it you will find:
Support Articles address “how do I” questions and often provide step-by-step instructions for unique solutions.
Best Practices orient project team members to the proven steps and methods used by NetSuite’s SuiteConsulting team.
Help Topics provide easy access to NetSuite’s extensive Help documentation.
Training Videos provide visual training and demonstration on core NetSuite administration and end-user tasks.
NetSuite has been translated into all the most frequently used languages – over 20 so far including Chinese, Japanese, French, German. If you are using NetSuite OneWorld (link to our OneWorld article here) each employee is able to select his or her language of choice.
During FY20 Sage Intacct will be introduced into South Africa meaning it will then be available in all major English-speaking regions – which highlights the fact that the solution is currently only available in English! This is likely not to be an issue if you are a UK business with no plans to expand into non-English speaking territories.
Do they both allow workflow?
To some degree yes, although Intacct only allows for very basic approval processes and lacks the flexibility that workflows in NetSuite offer. You might also encounter issues around compliance, as segregation of duties (SOD) would be more difficult to audit or record after they are implemented in Intacct.
NetSuite uses something called SuiteFlow, a really powerful tool that customises NetSuite to fit your unique business needs in every aspect. SuiteFlow utilises a point and click method so virtually anybody would be able to create a workflow with scrip programming knowledge required.
Can they both be customised?
NetSuite’s SuiteCloud platform is a very mature and extensive platform that enables customers and implementation partners to customise NetSuite, add extensions and integrate with other software. Sage Intacct does have a platform for customisation, but it lacks the maturity and depth of SuiteCloud.
Generally speaking, NetSuite is going to provide deeper capabilities over Intacct in all categories. To work around this Sage Intacct has been designed to integrate with other software using a flexible API. If you just want an accounting system that is an improvement on Xero or QuickBooks, then Intacct might be worth considering. If your needs are greater than that, want a system that performs all of your business functions and grows with you without running out of steam then you will almost certainly be more likely to favour NetSuite.
For more information about the NetSuite please feel free to get in touch:
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