ERP & CRM for Growing Businesses
This article accompanied the June 2011 Review of SaaS Accounting Systems for Small Business.
Some businesses have greater needs than most off-the-shelf software can solve, regardless of their exact size or classification as a small or mid-sized business. The cloud-based solutions from Acumatica offer these enterprises sophisticated core financial, distribution and customer management capabilities. The product features a combined ERP and CRM system delivered via the web for greater mobility, connectivity and collaboration between multiple business locations. The software can be licensed and deployed on-premise or purchased as a SaaS solution. The system is accessible from virtually any web browser on Windows, MacOS or Linux.
Acumatica’s core financial management suite includes a full GL with flexible account and sub-account structures, with the ability to tailor security settings to restrict or enable access to specific GL accounts. The GL supports multiple locations, departments, subsidiaries and other business groups, and offers consolidated reporting and analysis features. The product also supports multiple currencies, including automated conversion management and accounting for realized and unrealized gains and losses. The primary interface displays a customizable user-specific dashboard view of key business data and drilldown access to the transaction level. Available reporting options include an extensive library of standard and user-defined templates, as well as an integrated report designer.
A strong AR module is also included, with integrated credit card processing, deferred revenue recognition capabilities and invoicing functions that can generate documents in HTML and PDF formats for electronic delivery. For payables, Acumatica enables vendor prepayments; prepaid expense recognition; and managing sales tax, use tax, VAT, and reverse VAT compliance. The system does not include integrated payroll, but offers management of employment taxes, along with an employee portal that can be used for timesheet reporting, expense claim submissions and task management.
As previously noted, the application includes integrated customer relationship management and optional electronic document management functions. These tools allow customer notes or supporting information to be stored online and electronically linked to activities or transactions.
Acumatica’s Distribution Management Suite has impressive inventory management, purchasing, order management and requisition management functions, with support for multiple warehouses, lot and bin tracking, inventory sub-items, expiration dates and negative inventories, plus partial receipts, drop shipments and ordering algorithms. Additional tools are included in Acumatica’s financial management program, including utilities for advanced reporting and custom application development.
Pricing for the SaaS version of Acumatica starts at $11,800 per year for unlimited users. This pricing puts it just outside the range we set for our review of small business accounting systems, but the program should be considered by businesses with intense distribution needs who want the benefits of an integrated cloud-based ERP and CRM solution.