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Accounting Software Selection Challenge #3: Microsoft vs. Infor (Difficulty = Basic)

Written By: David Clark
Published On: March 5 2010

I just want to make a quick point to address a popular software selection misconception. Here’s the misconception:  

“The best accounting package for my business is the software that supports the most comprehensive breadth of accounting functionality.”

And below are a couple of graphics from TEC Advisor (based on a hypothetical accounting software selection project) that show why this is flat-out wrong (click to enlarge the images):

 infor-vs-microsoft_1.PNG

In an evaluation of over 4,100 accounting criteria, Infor FMS SunSystems [see TEC's competitor rating analysis for Infor FMS SunSystems] outranks Microsoft Dynamics GP [see TEC's competitor rating analysis for Dynamics GP] by a hair: look at the weighted average, where Infor scores 90.69 to Microsoft’s 89.56, suggesting that Infor supports a marginally larger breadth of accounting functionality.

“Aha,” you might say, “Infor is better for our needs. Let's go get 'er.”

Not so fast.

Take a look at this:

microsoft-vs-infor.PNG 

Here, Microsoft has the edge over Infor, with a weighted average of 90.74 to Infor’s 88.69.

So what’s the difference?

It’s all in how you prioritize your requirements.

In the first graphic, all priorities are equal (and set to “must have”), for the following modules: General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Payroll, Inventory, Job/Product Costing, Fixed Assets, Order Entry, Budgeting, Manufacturing, Multinational Accounting, General, and Technology. (See Your Reference Guide to SMB Accounting Software Features for more information about these modules.)

In the second graphic, I modified the priorities to reflect some hypothetical business considerations.

Note that successful software selections are not based on features and functionality alone. Other factors include (but are certainly not limited to) implementation strategy, vertical expertise, and of course, pricing. These factors are not reflected in the graphs above.

Now, here’s your accounting software selection challenge:

Can you tell me why modifying your priorities changes the overall accounting product ratings?

The answer is critical to software selection success. In fact, many software selection mishaps are directly attributable to improper assessment of business priorities.

If you want to play around with these priorities yourself, you can. Do it. (If you found this blog post thanks to your TEC Newsletter subscription, you already have a TEC account: use the login fields to sign in quickly).

I appended “Difficulty = Basic” to the title of this blog post because this is the first in a series of software selection challenges graded by order of difficulty. Stay tuned for Intermediate and Expert Challenges in the weeks to come.

Leave your answers below!

You may also be interested in a free custom accounting software comparison report that provides a high-level comparison of Infor FMS SunSystems and Dynamics GP. Use the link above to add a third accounting product of your choice.

Want some junk food for your brain? See Is Your ERP System Provider a Psychopath? (and check out the intriguing poll results!)
 
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