When you’re ready to level up from an accounting system like QuickBooks or from an entry-level ERP, it can be challenging to determine which of the countless ERP systems are the best fit for your business.
When trying to select the right ERP system, many businesses undergo “selection fatigue” and struggle to make a choice due to the vast number of options. However, most businesses end up with a shortlist that contains both Oracle NetSuite and Sage Intacct. These ERP softwares are leaders in their space, but there’s one clear winner amongst them.
First, What is an ERP?
ERP, or enterprise resource planning, is a type of enterprise software that allows businesses to run a majority of their functions from a single system. We know of QuickBooks being used for accounting, and Salesforce being used for CRM. These would be considered “point” systems that focus on a single or limited number of function(s). ERP’s go beyond “point” systems, and allow you to run the functions of multiple departments in a single system. For example, an ERP allows organizations to manage accounting, procurement, project management, inventory, compliance, supply chain and more.
In recent years, there’s been exponential demand for cloud-based ERPs which allow users to access their critical functions and data from anywhere in the world.
NetSuite vs Sage Intacct: An Overview
It’s important to understand the difference between an accounting platform and an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform. Accounting and finance software allows for bookkeeping, budgeting, revenue forecasting, tax preparation, and similar tasks.
Enterprise resource planning software, like NetSuite, handles everything that a financial management platform can, but adds operational functionality such as CRM, marketing, HR, supply chain and more.
It is worth noting that NetSuite is a true ERP system. Sage Intacct on the other hand seems to recognize that it’s more of an accounting and finance platform than an ERP, although they do occasionally market themselves as one. This boosts NetSuite’s value proposition, which offers a deep breadth of functionality including customer relationship management (CRM), manufacturing, ecommerce, human capital management (HCM) and more.
Sage Intacct offers add-ons that can fill some of these gaps, but the product doesn’t offer the same level of functionality as Oracle NetSuite. Further, Sage Intacct still utilizes a sub-ledger architecture which lags behind NetSuite’s unified database.
NetSuite and Intacct both utilize a SaaS deployment model. That is, the software and database is maintained in its own data center so customers can access the software remotely.
Overview: What is Sage Intacct?
Sage Intacct is an SaaS cloud software that focuses on finance and accounting. It features core financials, budgeting and planning, and human resources products. Its customer base is typically small to mid-market firms and has a customer base of 17,000 at the time of writing.
Taking a deeper dive into its accounting features, it offers fixed assets accounting, allocations, revenue recognition, custom reports, and dashboards. It uses a collection of third-party add-on software via API integrations to increase its functionality outside of core financials.
Overview: What is NetSuite?
NetSuite is the #1 cloud ERP software and business management platform and is used by over 31,000 customers worldwide at the time of writing. It consists of a suite of applications that help companies understand the performance of their business, run their operations, and drive major efficiency gains and cost savings.
NetSuite gives you everything Intacct’s core financials offer, plus allows for inventory, order management, procurement, CRM, marketing automation, human resources (HR), performance management and payroll, professional services automation (PSA), and omni-channel commerce.
One clear benefit of this system is that all functions share a common database. This results in information across the entire system updating in real-time and being accessible to authorized users across all departments and business functions.
NetSuite and Intacct – History and Acquisitions
NetSuite, originally known as ‘NetLedger’ was co-founded in 1998 by Evan Goldberg, an entrepreneur and early Oracle employee, and Oracle founder Larry Ellison. Goldberg had approached Larry Ellison with the idea for NetSuite, after being unable to find satisfactory software for one of his previous business ventures. Ellison, along with others, provided seed money, and NetSuite was born. It was a model of success for the newly established SaaS industry, and went public in 2007.
In July of 2016, Oracle announced its acquisition of NetSuite for a little over $9 billion. With a corporate giant on its side, NetSuite has been able to explode in growth and functionality. Since then, it has expanded its international operations thanks partly to piggybacking on the extremely powerful Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. NetSuite boasts over 31,000 customers in over 200 countries and territories.
Founded in 1999 by David Chandler Thomas and Odysseas Tsatalos, Intacct was introduced as a suite of accounting applications for SMBs. In 2017, Sage acquired Intacct for $850 million in an attempt to enter the US market with a cloud solution. Intacct has around 17,000 customers mainly in North America, but with a presence in Australia, South Africa, and the U.K.
NetSuite and Intacct Comparison: Key Feature Differences
With financials and human capital management (HCM) being boilerplate ERP offerings, providers need to offer a wide array of products in order to be competitive in today’s market. With NetSuite having modules to cover nearly every aspect of your business such as CRM, ecommerce, and professional services automation, they beat out Intacct’s thin product offering.
Don’t just take our word for it. We’ve put together a visual below so you can compare and contrast NetSuite vs Intacct.
Other Key Differences Between Sage Intacct vs NetSuite
Sage Intacct does not have a native tax solution outside of North America and the U.K. NetSuite is built for global operations and simplifies taxes regardless of the jurisdiction. Intacct does offer inventory management, but it’s extremely limited. Its features stop at simple inventory tracking, whereas NetSuite can serve as a best-in-class inventory management and warehousing platform.
Sage’s general ledger accounts can be out of sync with the subledgers and require batch processing to balance them. Intacct’s consolidation is batched, manual, and/or scheduled.
NetSuite is in real-time so you can be certain you’re viewing the most accurate and relevant data possible, an essential feature when working on month-end closes, reports, or other pertinent information.
As far as awards and recognition go, NetSuite has repeatedly been a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Cloud Core Financial Management, a mark that Sage Intacct fails to hit. NetSuite is recognized as the leader in cloud-ERP. In fact, roughly 2/3rds of all tech company IPOs in 2021 utilized NetSuite.
NetSuite leads in reporting with queries being highly customizable. You can even utilize JOIN statements to further analyze your data. There are native business intelligence features that allow your business to make smarter, faster decisions.
NetSuite has native mobile capabilities with a smooth and familiar interface. This is essential for monitoring your business outside of the office, or for operations that have staff out in the field or warehouse.
One of NetSuite’s strong points is its ability to be fully customized. Every business is unique, including yours, and out-of-the-box systems will slow you down and cost you money in the long run. Custom dashboards, automated business processes, specific role permissions, custom fields and more give you the power to tailor NetSuite to your business. Intacct’s customization capabilities are lacking at best. You’ll need to subscribe to Intacct’s Customization Service or Platform Services if you want to generate custom reports.
NetSuite is built with subsidiary companies in mind. It allows you to set up subsidiaries directly within NetSuite, and control how data is viewed and managed by each. For example, car wash chains with multiple locations and subsidiaries can allow each location to view the data that’s specific to their operations. All of this data can roll up to the corporate level, so teams can view the entire health of the organization while being able to drill down to location specific data when needed. Due to Sage Intacct’s architecture, subsidiary data does not share the same environment.
Support is another area where NetSuite shines over the competition. Their live customer support is available 24/7 with an account manager assigned to each client. There are different support packages (Basic, Premium, and Advanced) which depend on your needs and support levels. There is also a thorough knowledge base called SuiteSupport, which allows you to quickly find answers to thousands of questions and issues with just a few clicks. Lastly, there’s a strong NetSuite user community so you can have guidance from other experts.
Intacct’s support structure is another story. There is only one tier of support, and they’re only available from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Time.
Verdict: NetSuite vs Intacct
NetSuite and Intacct are both powerful and popular systems, but NetSuite is a clear winner. Side-by-side comparison of specs, features, honors and awards, and practically every other metric available shows NetSuite coming out on top.
When deciding which platform is best for your business, it’s important to consider not only where your business is now, but where it intends to be in the future. If you’re hoping to grow and expand, Sage Intacct will quickly become burdensome and restricting. Those on a growth trend need NetSuite to scale seamlessly with their business if they want to succeed. NetSuite is the long term option here.
Is NetSuite Right for You?
If you’re outgrowing your entry-level accounting system, or have plans to scale, you’ll need a platform that seamlessly grows with you. When deciding between Sage Intacct and NetSuite, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do we have a high growth rate?
- Are there plans to go public in the future?
- Do we need a CRM system?
- Do we need human capital management or payroll capabilities?
- Is ecommerce or retail an important part of our business?
- Do we have inventory needs?
- Are there current subsidiaries, or plans for subsidiaries in the future?
- Are multi-entity or multinational operations needed?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, NetSuite is the right choice for your business.
Migrating to a new ERP system is a big investment, and not one you want to cut corners on. Afterall, you want this to be the last ERP migration you ever make. The wrong decision will always prove more costly in the future.
By adopting NetSuite, you can be certain that you’ll never have to undergo an ERP migration again, no matter how much your business grows or pivots. Contact ScaleNorth to learn more about NetSuite today.
Additional resource – Bisnow Media, An Intacct Replace Case Study
In this case study, you can see how Oracle NetSuite helped Bisnow Media, a multi-platform digital media company, improve their business by switching from Intacct to NetSuite.