Gone are the days of the spreadsheet for keeping tabs on critical business finances. Now, software platforms are available to do the heavy lifting for you.
Enterprise accounting software helps companies manage and track their financials, from accounts payable to payroll. However, these platforms don’t stop there. Enterprise accounting software includes the tools necessary for accounting automation, inventory management, compliance and so much more.
There are many examples of accounting software enterprises can choose from. In this guide, we showcase the top software options available and break down the basics of enterprise accounting software.
SEE: Feature comparison: Time tracking software and systems (TechRepublic Premium)
- Best enterprise accounting software
- What is enterprise accounting software?
- Key benefits of enterprise accounting software
- Key enterprise accounting software features
Best enterprise accounting software
Oracle NetSuite ERP
Oracle NetSuite is a leader in enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Oracle NetSuite ERP offers robust accounting features, including everything from cash management to tax management.
Netsuite’s accounting software integrates seamlessly with the rest of NetSuite’s capabilities such as customer management and e-commerce. The result is a full-service suite that enables enterprises in any industry to gain a 360-degree view of their finances.
- Basic accounting features, including a general ledger, accounts receivable and accounts payable
- Real-time, simple visibility into all financial data
- Automation features to eliminate manual accounting processes
- Mobile capabilities to access financial tools and data from anywhere
- Simplified regulatory compliance with standards such as ASC 606 and GAAP
SAP, an industry leader in ERP software, offers complete financial management for the enterprise, from basic accounting to governance, risk and compliance (GRC).
For example, through SAP Billing and Revenue Innovation Management, enterprises can automate their billing and invoicing processes. And through SAP S/4HANA Cloud, companies can improve the accuracy of their financial closing processes.
- Support for basic and complex accounting processes
- Automated workflows to simplify financial closing
- Support for subscription and usage-based billing and accounts receivable
- Complete financial forecasting and budgeting
- Real-time visibility of cash through SAP Cash Management
- Automation of tax management processes through SAP Tax Compliance
QuickBooks is known for its easy-to-use yet feature-rich accounting software. QuickBooks Enterprise includes all of the streamlined accounting tools that traditional QuickBooks does along with enterprise-specific tools.
For example, companies gain access to advanced inventory management, order management and even field service management. QuickBooks Enterprise also includes robust reporting tools, including 200+ customizable reports, as well as built-in budgeting and forecasting tools.
According to QuickBooks, enterprise users experience six times the capacity by taking advantage of QuickBooks’ automation tools, including batch transactions, automatic time tracking and more.
- Industry-specific solutions are available to fit any industry
- Built-in automation tools for everything from accounting to time tracking
- Advanced inventory and order management capabilities
- Support for complex pricing structures
- Advanced, fully customizable reporting for improved financial visibility
Sage Intacct is a complete, cloud-based accounting platform. Sage Intacct offers the basic accounting tools all enterprises need, including accounts payable and receivable, cash management, and a general ledger.
In addition to these core accounting tools, Sage Intacct goes further by offering advanced tools such as dynamic allocations, AI-powered timesheets, project-based accounting, and even time and expense management.
One hallmark feature of Sage Intacct is the platform’s intelligent general ledger. This tool is driven by AI and enables enterprises to benefit from various capabilities. For example, enterprises have the ability to close continuously instead of all at once at the end of each month, saving time and effort.
- Core financial features, including accounts payable and receivable and cash management
- Advanced functions such as dynamic allocations and inventory management
- Robust financial reporting and dashboard capabilities
- Intelligent general ledger
- Integrations with other platforms, including Salesforce and ADP
While Xero is an accounting solution geared toward small businesses, the platform does offer solutions for enterprise accounting firms. For example, accounting firms can take advantage of Xero’s accounting tools, which include everything from payment processing to fixed asset management.
In addition, enterprise accounting firms can use Xero to automate compliance processes using Xero Workpapers. Enterprise firms can also reap the benefits of robust reports and analytics that include in-depth data about client cash flows. And with Analytics Plus, firms can utilize predictions for even more insights.
- Core accounting tools such as invoicing, cost capturing, payment processing, bank reconciliation and more
- Complete platform customization through add-ons such as Xero Expenses and third-party integrations
- Automation capabilities to streamline accounting tasks
- Accountant and bookkeeper-specific tools such as Xero Practice Manager and Xero HQ
FinancialForce is an enterprise-grade accounting solution perfect for companies operating globally. FinancialForce features multi-language and multi-currency capabilities, including accounts payable and receivable, asset management and cash management.
FinancialForce is built on the top customer relationship management (CRM) platform, Salesforce. Due to this fact, enterprises can take advantage of in-depth analytics powered by Salesforce Einstein. The result is clear financial forecasting complete with predictions.
While FinancialForce offers many advanced features, it also delivers simple features such as a general ledger and invoicing.
- Core accounting tools, including a general ledger, accounts receivable and payable, and cash management
- Built-in compliance reports and financial statement templates
- Multi-currency, multi-language and multi-company solutions
- Salesforce Einstein for intelligent financial insights
Acumatica Cloud ERP
Acumatica Cloud ERP offers a wide range of financial management and accounting features for enterprises, including those with multiple entities. Using Acumatica Cloud ERP, enterprises can centralize their financial data and processes across offices and subsidiaries.
In addition to multi-entity accounting, Acumatica also provides project-specific accounting, enabling teams to manage billing, budgeting and other elements for individual business initiatives.
Acumatica users have access to a wide range of accounting tools, including a general ledger, accounts receivable and payable, currency management, tax management, time management, and payroll management.
- Support for multi-entity and intercompany accounting
- Project-based accounting capabilities
- Customizable workflows for automating accounting and financial management processes
- Continuous closing capabilities
- Basic accounting features, including a general ledger, as well as robust features such as advanced expense management
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a suite of intelligent ERP tools for businesses of all sizes. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance is a tool focused on the monitoring of financial operations.
Using Dynamics 365 Finance, enterprises can make sound financial decisions by forecasting cash flow and customer payments quickly. Plus, enterprises can use the built-in financial reporting capabilities to simplify closing.
Dynamics 365 Finance integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft platforms such as Dynamics 365 Sales and Dynamics 365 Commerce.
- Automatic vendor invoice processing
- Support for modern, subscription-based billing models
- Built-in tax calculation tools to ensure tax compliance
- Financial management tools that align with standards such as IFRS 15
- Robust financial reporting capabilities and real-time analytics
- Mobile capabilities for simplified access to financial data and tools
What is enterprise accounting software?
Enterprise accounting software enables large companies to track and manage their finances. This includes everything from accounts receivable and tax management to employee payroll.
Accounting software provides automation, eliminating the need for tedious manual processes that often result in costly mistakes. Plus, accounting software integrates with other critical enterprise tools such as ERP and CRM platforms.
SEE: Top 10 ERP Vendors 2022 (TechRepublic)
Using enterprise accounting software in conjunction with other platforms gives companies a real-time overview of all financial data in one place.
The enterprise accounting software market
The accounting software market is experiencing rapid growth. According to recent data by Allied Market Research, the global accounting software market was valued at $11.9 billion in 2020. By 2030, the market is expected to reach $70.2 billion.
According to the report, the growth of accounting software use can be attributed to an increase in the adoption of technology used for improving business productivity. Another inspiration behind the growth is the push to utilize automation to eliminate manual processes and accounting mistakes.
It’s important to note the effects of COVID-19 when considering the rapid growth of accounting software. In an effort to be proactive and fight back against future threats, many enterprises are prioritizing automation and other tools to modernize their accounting practices. And many are looking for cloud-based software solutions for easy access, whether employees are working in the office or remotely.
SEE: Research: COVID-19 causes SMBs to increase IT deployment and spending (TechRepublic Premium)
Key benefits of enterprise accounting software
Efficiency is the key driver behind many software implementation projects. Accounting software increases operational efficiency in many ways.
For example, automation features eliminate the need for manual data entry. Plus, accounting software stores all financial data in one place, eliminating the need for employees to search several databases for the info they need to perform work-related tasks.
Using a centralized, cloud-based platform, employees can access accounting tools and data from anywhere.
Accounting mistakes such as consistent invoice errors and unmonitored spending can quickly drain an enterprise’s resources. Luckily, accounting software features such as automation and reporting help companies eliminate these mistakes, reducing overall costs.
Accounting software can also reduce the costs associated with hiring accounting professionals or outsourcing accounting procedures.
Improved accuracy of financial data
Mistakes within the balance sheet are frustrating and often result in hours of wasted time. In addition, accounting mistakes lead to poor business decision-making, denial of credit, negative cash flow and a slew of other consequences.
Enterprise accounting software uses built-in controls and tools to eliminate mistakes. These controls alert enterprises to errors before they take hold. In some cases, the software will fix any mistakes automatically.
Simplified financial decision-making
Enterprise accounting software enables real-time visibility into a company’s finances and key performance indicators (KPIs). With a clear picture of the health of the company, stakeholders can make informed financial decisions.
Easier tax compliance
Financial regulations change rapidly. And trying to keep up with tax regulations as well as everyday accounting tasks can be a challenge for large enterprises.
Enterprise accounting software offers consistent and automatic software updates to ensure accounting processes follow the evolving standards of GAAP and other guidelines. As a result, enterprises can remain in compliance without nearly as much effort.
Key enterprise accounting software features
Enterprises must move fast. And that means reducing the number of manual tasks that must be completed each day. Automation can help.
Enterprise accounting software can help to automate virtually any accounting task, from tax filing to invoicing. Automation enables accounting and finance teams to spend less time on the numbers and more time on higher-value tasks.
SEE: Automation vs hyperautomation: Which one is right for your business? (TechRepublic)
Enterprise accounting software includes tools that simplify all basic accounting procedures. For example, capabilities include a general ledger, accounts payable and receivable, cash management, tax preparation and more. Plus, all basic accounting processes can be automated to save enterprises time and effort.
Billing and invoicing
Modern enterprises need modern billing and payment capabilities. Enterprise accounting software enables the automation of invoices, which reduces costs. For example, accounting software helps to reduce costly invoice mistakes and time wasted on manual billing tasks.
Accounting software can automate every invoice sent, including those that recur each week, month or quarter.
Enterprise accounting software can also track invoices throughout the billing cycle and send reminders to ensure customers pay on time. Another key feature of accounting software is built-in payment processing tools, providing the ability to accept credit and debit payments.
Although it’s a critical business process, payroll is often challenging and complex. Timesheets must be wrangled, wages and withholding must be calculated, and payments must be processed, all in a timely manner. Enterprise accounting software automates these tedious payroll tasks.
For example, accounting software can quickly calculate an employee’s salary, taking taxes, bonuses and overtime into account. It can then record payroll in the correct places, including the general ledger.
Other tasks such as sending the actual payment to employees and the running of detailed payroll reports can be completed by an enterprise accounting platform.
SEE: Best HR analytics software (TechRepublic)
Just like payroll, tax management is a draining process. There are many tasks involved in managing taxes, from calculating sales tax to filing quarterly taxes. These processes are made even more complicated when both domestic and international taxes are involved, which is common for large enterprises.
Enterprise accounting software provides support for all tax management processes within an enterprise. For example, accounting software can track payroll taxes, calculate complex figures such as VAT (value-added tax), automatically file annual taxes and so much more. Plus, an accounting platform helps enterprises remain compliant with ever-changing tax regulations.
Many enterprise accounting platforms offer payment processing built right into the software. Using these tools, payments can easily be accepted from credit and debit accounts in addition to traditional check or ACH (Automated Clearing House) payments.
Access to additional payment methods simplifies the payment process for customers, which may reduce the time spent waiting on cash.
Financial forecasting may not be a standard accounting process. However, it’s a solution offered by many enterprise accounting software suites. For example, some platforms offer data visualizations, so finance teams can see current budgets and trends in real-time.
Tools such as Oracle NetSuite allow teams to generate what-if scenarios based on financial data, so they can create custom forecasts to fit their needs.
Reporting and analytics
Perhaps the most coveted feature of enterprise accounting software is reporting and analytics. Financial data about each and every transaction is wrangled and stored right within the software. Companies can then use this data for financial forecasting, compliance, tax planning and making strategic business decisions.
SEE: Understanding the differences between BI, AI and analytics (TechRepublic)
Enterprise accounting software typically comes standard with a wide range of pre-built reports. For example, the software may contain accounting-specific reports such as profit and loss statements, cash flow statements and tax summaries.
However, many platforms allow users to create their own custom financial reports to fit their unique needs. Enterprise accounting software also provides access to financial dashboards. These dashboards serve as visual reports that communicate the enterprise’s real-time financial health via graphs and charts.
Financial data should be kept under lock and key. After all, data breaches are on the rise. And according to recent data by IBM, the average cost of a data breach reached $4.35 million in 2022. The more security layers that can be added to data, the better protected an enterprise will be.
Luckily, enterprise accounting software platforms typically come with robust security features such as two-factor authentication, bank-level encryption, access control and permissions. Using these tools, companies can ensure those who need data have access and those who don’t — well, don’t.