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Intacct Software Review

4 stars Average rating: 4 (from 103 votes)

Intacct Sweet Spot and Alternative Solutions

Intacct Best Fit

Intacct targets the SMB market and delivers a competitively strong product. The on-demand accounting software solution is best suited for organizations that have outgrown their original accounting system and require deeper functionality, more flexibility and visibility into their finances and business operations.

Short list Intacct accounting and finance software when:

  • You are ready to upgrade from QuickBooks, Peachtree or another entry level accounting software system. Intacct can be a great fit for organizations that have outgrown their initial accounting system and require deeper financial capabilities with regards to compliance, visibility, cash/revenue/expense management, inventory costing control, and more extensive reporting capabilities.
  • You are part of a large company using Infor, Oracle or SAP Business Suite at the headquarters, but desire a smaller and more manageable accounting software system for outlying operations. Intacct can be used by some medium-size and larger enterprises as a two-tier ERP IT strategy, where a smaller and more nimble product is quickly and inexpensively implemented at remote locations, largely independent subsidiaries or decentralized lines of business.
  • You seek a best of breed, cloud-based accounting software system designed for the SMB market.
  • You fall into one of Intacct's targeted vertical markets.
  • Acquisition cost, total cost of ownership (TCO) and time to value are primary decision criterion.
  • You use Salesforce.com and are looking for a closely integrated back-office financial software system.

Intacct Alternatives & Competitor Solutions

Accounting software and ERP buyers may be best advised to consider an alternative product when:

  • Seeking a broader and fully integrated ERP suite solution. While Intacct is strong with accounting and financials, and fair with procurement and inventory management, it lacks other ERP software components such as customer relationship management, manufacturing software, supply chain management and HR/payroll software.
  • You desire multiple deployment models, including on demand, on premise or a hybrid of both.
  • You are a multi-national company with a need for multiple languages and accounting software localization in major regions.
  • Your company is implementing Enterprise 2.0, social CRM or similar social business strategies.

Although classified by many as an ERP system, Intacct is primarily an accounting- and financial-based application with some additional functionality, such as order management, inventory control, project costing, revenue management, and project accounting. While limited in application scope, Intacct delivers domain expertise, depth and focus for its application suite.

Intacct's primary competitors include on-premise accounting software solutions Microsoft Dynamics and Sage Accpac. Primary on-demand financial and ERP software competitors include NetSuite, SAP's Business ByDesign and Workday. A host of cloud financial software start-ups such as BScaler, FinancialForce and Mothernode, to name a few, represent the fast paced growth and competition coming to this industry.

Concluding Remarks

In many ways Intacct is at a pivot point in either advancing the company to the next level or being relegated to slow growth and an increasingly distant competitive positioning to market leaders NetSuite, SAP Business ByDesign, and eventually FinancialForce.com, Microsoft and Oracle. Intacct challenges that must be solved to remain relevant include developing a scalable indirect distribution channel, gaining brand recognition and amplifying its messaging.

Intacct shows momentum in growing its business partner channel. The company now counts more than 300 partners, a small percentage of the approximately 5,000 accounting VARs in North America, but quantity is not the key factor to success. In fact, getting any type of VAR volume takes a distant back seat to getting the right partners. VARs in particular are a powerful source in gaining a low cost distribution to scale, but growing effective reseller channels is difficult to say the least. Accounting software VAR channels too often deliver along the Pareto principal whereby 20 percent of the channel contribute 80+ percent of the revenues—while the 80 percent who don't contribute revenues suck up the company's resources and generally deliver the problem customers.

Intacct is slowly finding its balance between channel producers and channel overhead. And while getting the right channel partners is difficult to begin with, operating a hybrid sales model with both direct and indirect sales teams can be a non-starter for many mature partners who have been burned in the all too common publisher/channel conflicts. To date, the most successful small and midsize business CRM and ERP publishers (Microsoft, Sage, etc.) sell entirely through their channels in order to be clear in their relationships and encourage their partners to make bigger investments. The cloud brings a new opportunity. Intacct is clearly advancing their channel but continues to face both challenges and opportunities in leveraging an indirect channel to get to the next level of company size.

In the business software market, the best combination of executive talent, intellectual property and marketing wins. Intacct has the first, does pretty well on the second and is lacking in the third.

Particularly troubling—and ultimately fatal—is the company's quiet messaging and lack of brand recognition. Intacct has a good story to tell but seems to approach marketing with the type of conservatism it applies to financial governance. Intacct's brand is like a retirement account that slowly increases in value, but isn't keeping up with inflation. Much of the company's promotions seem to come across without a cadence or progressive deliveries that contribute to a solid message and ultimately produce a crescendo effect. Many Intacct stories are interesting, but not what the market's looking for and become a flash in the pan.

In a highly competitive industry where several direct competitors control the marketing communications with enticing messaging, more frequent messages delivered at more opportune times, and far more promotional effect, Intacct is left in the shadows. Occasionally, Intacct has some solid messaging but no volume. The company's marketing communications need amplification if it expects to keep up and compete with larger and more recognized competitors.

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