Recently I worked with a large Non-Profit headquartered in the Washington DC area with satellite locations in several different states around the country. The initiative of the new CFO was to replace their legacy outdated accounting system and standardize processes across the organization. A large task since each of the locations operate independently and don’t want to change their processes.

The CFO stated that it really came down to the philosophy of the companies that wrote the software. One company, Sage Intacct, designed its solution to be a “Best in Class” Product while the other product, designed its product to be a full “Suite” of products.

You might be asking what does that mean? Let me explain.

A “Suite” Product is built with functionality to cover many areas outside of core accounting so that they can sell you on the vision of only needing one software for everything. No software can do everything you need. Here are some of the things to consider with this type of offering:

  1. Often you end up paying for products within the “Suite” that you will never use. Many “Suite” offerings do not let you purchase without the additional software. Yes, you don’t have to implement all modules but that also means you are paying for software and updates on modules you don’t need. What are your real priorities?
  2. Some of the non-core accounting modules are very basic in the functionality they offer. Membership software and CRM tools are very feature rich today, why would you want to have a basic membership module or basic CRM tool when that data can be the life of your organization? Companies find that initially the “Suite” CRM or membership work for a short while and then they end up getting a “Best of Class” software anyway because the Basic functions offered in the Suite can’t do all the things they require.
  3. Departmental Priorities are so important in a non-profit, why would you risk allowing your Fundraising Department to dedicate which accounting product Accounting should use or vice versus? Getting these departments to work together is paramount to the success of the Non-profit. Allowing the departments to manage their processes and integrate their specialized software to the Accounting package allows everyone to have a product that works for their needs while still sharing information. Sage Intacct for example has integrations built to Salesforce, MS CRM and many Marketplace partners. Isn’t the goal to have your entire team working together?
  4. Do you want to be locked into a single Vendor? How much of those R&D dollars are being spent on the modules that you use? In a Suite system, the updates might not even affect the modules you are using. In a Best of Class product, that vendor is focused 100% on updating their product with the latest features and adapting to the changing regulations.
  5. Keeping costs low is vital. GuideStar ratings are so important for Non-Profits and keeping administrative costs at bay are a top priority. Typical “Suite” products cost more for the software and sometimes for the implementation since the product comes with all these “extra” modules. Why would you invest in modules that you don’t need?

So, which one did the prospect select?

Our savvy CFO selected Sage Intacct and the main reasons were because of items 2 and 5 above.

Want to learn more about “Best In Class” Sage Intacct? Contact me at 443-988-2188 or learn more here.