If your organization is considering implementing a new cloud-based accounting or ERP system like Sage Intacct or Oracle NetSuite (“NetSuite”), cost is certainly one consideration. However, comparing the costs of various ERP solutions is not as simple as it sounds, because in order to do so, one must first level the playing field. We recently compared the cost of Sage Intacct to the cost of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, and this round we’re doing the same with NetSuite.
What does Sage Intacct cost a typical business? What does NetSuite cost? What pricing tricks should you watch out for? We’ve got answers.
Comparing Sage Intacct and Oracle NetSuite subscription costs
The two ERP applications differ significantly on costing models. NetSuite has a reputation for being a bit vague about what the software will cost to license, but we’ve done our best sleuthing to bring you some insightful estimates.
Sage Intacct pricing, in the form of subscription fees, can run from $20,000 a year for a smaller five-user, multi-entity company with basic requirements, to $80,000 or more for a SaaS or professional services organization with complex requirements such as subscription billing, project accounting, contract management, and revenue recognition.
For NetSuite, pricing gets quite a bit more complicated. The product is sold in a multitude (28 at last check) of pre-packed suites of functionality, such as financial or services suites. These prepackaged suites may contain more — or less — functionality than your organization needs, meaning you’ll pay to add on modules, or pay for a module you may never use. The NetSuite price list is long, complicated, and nuanced. List prices are high, but NetSuite typically offers significant discounts off the list. Further clouding a direct comparison is the fact that NetSuite typically bundles software, basic implementation, and support services into packages it calls SuiteSuccess. In an upcoming post, we’ll dig deep to compare implementation costs for Sage Intacct to those for NetSuite.
While direct comparisons of subscription pricing between Sage Intacct and NetSuite are difficult, expect to pay NetSuite annual subscription fees of around $25,000 for a smaller, simpler company without multiple entities. A SaaS or professional services organization with more complex needs could expect to pay around $100,000 annually for NetSuite — 20% more than a similar configuration from Sage Intacct.
In sum, NetSuite may be priced 20% higher than Sage Intacct:
- Sage Intacct annual subscription costs for a fairly standard company will range from $20,000 to $80,000.
- NetSuite annual subscription costs for a fairly standard company will range from $25,000 to over $100,000 — 20% more than Sage Intacct.
Understand what you’re buying
We urge prospects to carefully evaluate the functionality included in a NetSuite SuiteSuccess edition to ensure you understand what you’re being quoted — and what additional components you may need to meet your business needs (or functionality you will carry but never use). For example, some NetSuite bundles do not include OneWorld, a more expensive version that is necessary for multi-entity accounting. Multi-entity accounting is included in Sage Intacct and is one of the solution’s most compelling features. Operate in more than one country and need entities running in more than one base currency? That will cost you more in NetSuite as well.
We also urge prospects to ask how and when both your subscription and support fees may change, particularly as your organization grows. Our Sage Intacct customers get ‘essential support’ at no additional cost. NetSuite customers typically pay 10% or more of the subscription for ‘advanced customer support’. NetSuite has been known to adjust pricing mid contract. We’ve heard from NetSuite customers that their subscription and corresponding support fees drastically increased when they added a few additional users or increased transaction volumes — essentially penalizing them for their growth. One customer went from paying $40,000 to $200,000 annually just because they grew – that’s a five-fold increase in a single year.
One key difference is a dimension apart
While we’re assessing differentiating functionality of the two solutions, it’s helpful to compare how differently Sage Intacct and NetSuite drive dimensional reporting. Both allow you to slim down the bloated charts of accounts with segmented GL accounts found in legacy systems like Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains) using dimensions. Don’t take this functionality for granted — it’s absolutely essential if you want to both simplify and empower your financial reporting tasks — and Sage Intacct handles them with elegance.
Dimensions enable you to “tag” transactions with defining values — things like department or location. Sage Intacct comes out-of-the-box supporting at least seven dimensions (project accounting configurations include eight and not for profit customers get nine). NetSuite was built with only three (location, class and department). Both vendors allow you to buy additional dimensions (NetSuite calls them Custom Segments or SuiteSegments). However, Custom Segments were not created using the same architecture as the original three making them much more awkward and less functional to use.
NetSuite released the custom segment feature in 2016 but many customers struggle to take advantage of the capability. Custom segments in NetSuite can easily become unwieldy for data entry and maintenance purposes. Dimensions in Sage Intacct are all created equally, making it simple to add the dimensions you need to easily track and report on what’s really important to your growing business. Sage Intacct’s dimensions further enable you have an intelligent general ledger with a streamlined and efficient set of accounts and dimensions.
In upcoming posts we’ll revisit dimensions because they really are a key functionality and one that Sage Intacct’s founding fathers has mastered at its inception.
Comparisons aside – what really matters
Modern cloud-based ERP solutions like Sage Intacct and NetSuite are worthy competitors, and we encourage you to perform your own due diligence when selecting and implementing the right ERP solution for your business. Ultimately, it may be that either could serve you well.
While the cloud ERP software you select certainly plays a part in your long-term success, the partner you select to help implement and support your ERP solution plays a larger role. Partners don’t just sell software — we are passionate about understanding your company’s processes and committed to your success long after the go-live date. Partners are assets to your organization as allies you can bring in to discuss best practices, growth strategies, workflow optimization and more. It’s worthwhile comparing partners in the same way we’ve compared products here.
After speaking to a prospect and assessing their needs and goals, we have been known to refer them to partners representing other cloud ERP applications, including NetSuite. Our goal is to help our clients succeed, and if Sage Intacct is not the avenue to that success, we’ll be the first to tell you. We can’t afford to win your business only to fail during implementation. We need your referrals and repeat business to power our own economic engine.
We’d love to answer your questions and help you understand how we can help your organization make the best ERP decisions, call us at (847) 205-5015.