Last Modified: August 25th, 2021
4 min read
As emerging companies look to replace QuickBooks, it’s highly likely they will end up considering Intacct vs NetSuite for their financial management needs. Both NetSuite and Intacct dominate the mid-market space of companies looking for a QuickBooks alternative.
On the surface both Netsuite and Intacct may appear similar in terms of product positioning, features & benefits, licensing models, etc.
- Both are cloud-based Financial Management Solutions (FMS), meaning you access them from a web browser via the internet.
- Both are licensed via a subscription model (SaaS) instead of a perpetual license agreement. Pay as you go, for only what you need and when you need it. You know, the whole OpEx vs CapEx debate.
- Both companies were acquired by very large software companies in recent years. Intacct by Sage for $850 million in July 2017 and NetSuite by Oracle for $9.3 billion and July 2016.
However, did you know that one of the biggest differences between Intacct vs NetSuite is a philosophical one?
In this blog post, we’ll explore both options in order to help you decide which is best for your emerging business.
Intacct vs NetSuite: Top 3 Things to Consider
#1: Best of Breed vs Software Suite
Intacct sole focus is exclusively within the financial management realm. Anything beyond financial management will require an integration to another application. Whereas NetSuite’s offerings span well beyond the needs of accounting and finance professionals to include things like: Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Order Management, E-Commerce, Point of Sale, Inventory and Warehouse Management, Manufacturing, Human Resource Management and more.
NetSuite can be used as a best-in-class Financial Management application like Intacct but is capable of so much more. Does your organization simply need a stand alone financial management application or are you looking to run your entire business from a single suite?
One thing to keep in mind: once you go down the best-of-breed path with a solution like Intacct, you’ll need to develop a strong understanding of your integration options. Many Intacct customers overlook the cost of third party applications and their associated integrations cost and ongoing maintenance. A common complaint among Intacct users is that Intacct doesn’t play well with other applications.
#2: Future Growth & System Migration Strategy
Both Intacct and NetSuite should be more than capable to serve the majority of most SMB’s accounting / financial management needs however Intacct is now one of several ERP and accounting products that Sage is selling within the marketplace. Does Sage expect customers to start with Sage One, then over time reimplement with Sage Live, only to have to rip and replace that with Sage Intacct or Sage X3 as they grow? Sage One, Sage Live, Sage Intacct and X3 are all siloed products with no shared codebase, common design principles, or clear migration path. NetSuite is one ERP product, one codebase and one platform that can accommodate businesses regardless of industry, region, or market segment.
The argument could be made that Oracle has multiple ERP products as well. The big distinction here is that you can start with NetSuite today as a small 1-10 employee company and scale up to a billion dollar enterprise on a single platform. With NetSuite the sky is the limit in terms of scalability. With Intacct this is just not the case.
#3: Intacct vs NetSuite Pricing
Let me be clear, Intacct can be very cheap if you are looking for a stand alone financial management application with limited customization capabilities.
Intacct’s financial management module starts at $2,520 per year whereas NetSuite starts at $999/month (~$12k Annually). Thats a big difference, at face value.
However when you license NetSuite you get access to CRM (salesforce automation, marketing automation, partner relationship management, case management), basic item & inventory management, order management, procurement, basic project management, employee center with time & expense management and more (e.g. SuiteScript, SuiteFlow, SuiteCloud, etc.) with NetSuite’s core product offering.
Let’s take a look at a recent real life example of a fast growth $5M+ B2B ecommerce company that was outgrowing QuickBooks and looking for a system to scale its business outside the United States.
Intacct’s Proposed Solution
- Financial Management: Intacct Financials: $2,520
- Inventory Management: Intacct Inventory Management: $3,300
- Email Automation: Marketo (Entry Level): $1,995
- CRM: Salesforce CRM (5 Users Lightning Professional): $4,500
- Ecommerce: Advanced Shopify (~2M Online Sales): ~$60,000
- Workato iPaaS: Intacct + Salesforce + Shopify Connector (Self-Service Professional) $7,188
Total: $79,503 per year in software licensing fees & 5 vendor relationships to manage
NetSuite’s Proposed Solution
- NetSuite SuiteCommerce Starter Cloud Service: $29,988
- NetSuite Users (10) – 5 CRM + 5 ERP Users: $11,880
Includes support for Financial Management, Inventory Management, Order Management, Procurement, Ecommerce site & hosting, CRM, Marketing automation. No integration required.
Total: $41,868 per year in software licensing fees & 1 vendor relationship to manage
The Intacct vs NetSuite pricing models above assume you would be paying list prices which is hardly ever the case but the illustration proves the point that as you begin to build your own best of breed solution the cost and complexity can add up very quickly as you layer on new applications & vendors within your environment.
The Bottom Line: Which Is Best for your Company?
When comparing Intacct vs NetSuite, the first step is to identify your preferences when it comes to best of breed vs single platform approach. Do you want to license, implement, and integrate a handful of systems based upon departmental preferences or are you looking for a tightly integrated suite of applications to run and grow your business? The answer to this question will largely determine which path you should considering taking.