Works in progress

By admin • January 10th, 2010

<p>If ever there was a class of software that could be expected not to change much, it would be accounting software for midsized companies. After all, the companies themselves have survived the worst of their growth pains. The accounting requirements, while slightly more demanding, are well-defined and easily within the range of the systems available on the market.</p><p>Yet, in the past two years, this category of software has shown remarkable evolution. This is due to three factors:</p><p>&#042; The rise of cloud computing. As on-demand computing has arisen in the age of broadband, an increasing number of companies have emerged to offer accounting systems that can provide lower total cost of ownership, lower installation and set-up costs, more modern and robust user interfaces, and more advanced features. Leading the pack in this regard are two companies, NetSuite and Intacct.</p><div><p>&#042; Increased competition. Sage now offers a bevy of mid-range accounting solutions, from Peachtree Quantum to Sage Accpac. So does Microsoft, which in its Dynamics family features at least four offerings of its own. QuickBooks is gaining strength and moving up into the enterprise, and there are at least half a dozen other programs that have firmly entrenched user bases and strong features.</p><p>&#042; New features. As happened with both tax prep software and payroll software, features that used to be extra-cost add-ons are being incorporated into the main body of the core accounting systems, beefing up those programs and putting software companies toe to toe in the development cycle. It is not a coincidence that most of the packages we review are now in Version 11.0.</p> <p>Eventually, this will mean some level of consolidation, as companies move to the cloud, merge or otherwise move down the product life-cycle curve. For this year, however, this class of software remains robust and interesting. We look at nine software packages, all of which have features and benefits that put them at the top of the class.</p></div>


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