Accounting for SMB Showdown

Accounting for SMB Showdown

I'm Larry Blitz, editor of TEC's Vendor Showdown series. Today's Showdown pits two major enterprise resource planning (ERP) and accounting for small to midsized business (SMB) vendors against each other, head-to-head: Exact Software North America (a division of Exact Software) and Infor.

Our regular readers will notice that this Showdown features a new format. Instead of looking at three vendors and at functionality only, this time we're taking an overall, high-level look at two vendors and at two key accounting for SMB functionality graphs: 1) overall performance and 2) selected accounting module rankings. The functionality graphs compare Exact Software North America's Exact Globe Enterprise and Infor's FMS SunSystems.

I hope you find this Showdown helpful and informative. I welcome all your comments and questions at And please let me know if you prefer this format to the original Showdown format.

Exact vs. Infor
Exact Software is a Netherlands-based solution provider that targets small to medium businesses and divisions of multinationals —namely, organizations with up to 2,500 employees. Exact focuses its product and technology efforts on a single solution strategy. Infor bills itself as the world's largest privately held software vendor, and the world's third largest business software vendor. A relatively new company that has grown largely through acquisitions, Infor has enjoyed excellent growth in its six-year history.
Year established
1984 2002
Exact Software
6 Poortweg P.O. Box 5066
Delft , 2612 PA
Phone: +31-15-2613714
Fax: +31-15-2625461

Exact North America
300 Brickstone Square
Suite 1001
Andover , Massachusetts

Main : 614-410-2650
Toll-free: 800-486-0834
Fax: 866-544-5456
13560 Morris Road, Suite 4100
Alpharetta, Georgia (US)
Phone: 678-319-8000
Fax: 678-393-5001
Infor is a US firm, while Exact is Dutch-based. But lest North American clients be concerned that the mother ship is too far from US soil, Exact has a US division called Exact Software North America, originally called Macola before it was acquired by the Dutch parent company. It's headquartered in Andover, Massachusetts.
Number of office locations worldwide
Over 40 Over 125
Both have broadly based international support. If you're living in a country or region where these two vendors don't have an office, it's fair to say you're living somewhere pretty far off the beaten path.
Web site
Solution types
accounting; BI; business process management; CRM; sales force automation; discrete manufacturing; ERP; financial; SCM accounting; CRM; sales force automation; enterprise asset management; ERP (discrete, process, engineer-to-order, for mill-based and material converting environments, mixed-mode manufacturing); financial; HR; product lifecycle management; SCM
Infor has a larger repertoire of solutions than Exact does, most notably in the area of ERP.
Number of employees
2,750+ 9,000+
Infor is a larger firm than Exact, with roughly three times the number of employees.
Number of customers worldwide
Not available over 70,000

Accounting for SMB Showdown
Larry Blitz

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Infor has a very widespread distribution of its business solutions, also evidenced by the fact that it has over 125 offices around the world.

Marquee accounts
Caterpillar, DAF Trucks, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Siemens Bristol-Myers Squibb, Coca-Cola, GlaxoSmithKline, Heinz, TRW, American Airlines
Market cap
$497 million (USD) Privately held
Annual revenue
$319 million (USD) $2.1 billion (USD)
In the Software Top 100—the "World's Largest Software Companies of 2007" (compiled by, Infor ranks 38th, with Exact holding down the 71st spot.

Exact Globe Enterprise vs. Infor FMS SunSystems: Overall Performance Rankings

The overall rankings you see above are based on both vendors' most recent responses to our Accounting for SMB request for information (RFI). As you can see, Infor's FMS SunSystems outscores Exact Software North America's Exact Globe Enterprise in the overall ratings 95.69 to 84.44.

The chart below shows you the results for the six modules we used for this Showdown.

Exact Globe Enterprises by Exact North America vs. FMS SunSystems by Infor: Rankings by Module

Analyst's summary

General Ledger (G/L)
Both solutions offer a full set of chart of accounts. Besides the fact that Infor FMS SunSystems supports variable length segments while Exact North America Software's Exact Globe Enterprise uses account identifications that are of fixed length, there are no significant differences in this section.

There are three differences within month- and year-end closing:

  • Infor's FMS SunSystems leads in flexibility to perform single-period and temporary year-end closings, whereas Exact North America Software's Exact Globe Enterprise has a more restricted set of options.

  • Infor's FMS SunSystems offers multiple tests of year-end closings, whereas Exact North America Software's Exact Globe Enterprise limits that activity to individual periods.

  • FMS SunSystems allows posting of account summaries to the GL, whereas Exact Globe Enterprises requires the exact details.

Accounts Payable (A/P)
Differences in A/P are within the products' invoicing functionality, in the areas of contract price management, partial or extended payments, and in their abilities to examine various credit criteria (customer, product, etc.).

Both products are rich in A/P controls and functionality. The major difference between the two vendors is that Infor provides interfaces to the Web for e-procurement, whereas this remains a future deliverable for Exact Globe Enterprise.

Accounts Receivable (A/R)
The most important aspects of A/R are the ability to update collections, and the ability to manage credit. FMS SunSystems leads in the number of options. It can provide credit notes by line item, whereas Exact Globe Enterprise does it by invoice. Automatic intercompany sales transfers is another area where differences arise between the products: FMS SunSystems does it automatically, while Exact Globe Enterprise requires manual intervention.

A cash receipts comparison shows a large difference between the two products. The difference has to do with routings. FMS SunSystems will route outstandings to a collection agent that is assigned to that account, while Exact Globe Enterprise does it to a single resource. As for collection agency tools, FMS SunSystems provides automatic past collection histories. With Exact Globe Enterprises, you must generate the information manually via a display or online report. Both products are industry leaders when it comes to the essential tasks for cash receipts; this module within both products is essentially identical.

Fixed Assets
Both solutions correspond for most of the essential elements of fixed assets. However, FMS SunSystems goes beyond Exact Globe Enterprises with better handling of "equipment leasing." FMS SunSystems also provides functionality for tracking leases from other modules as well as generating alerts when a lease's termination date is approaching.

When we drill down into detailed budgeting functionality, there are essentially no major differences between the two products. FMS SunSystems' product interfaces to external budgeting systems, while Exact Globe Enterprise does not. FMS SunSystems allows comparisons of budget variables, also in contrast to Exact Globe Enterprise. FMS SunSystems offers the ability to add a percentage to a budget to compensate for inflation, and automatically determines a new budget.

Multinational Accounting
FMS SunSystems supports 27 languages, whereas Exact Globe Enterprise supports 11 languages. In budget postings, FMS SunSystems has a distinct advantage in that it can perform a semi-automatic re-evaluation of transactions above a threshold value.

You Can Do Your Own Custom Accounting Software Evaluation

Now that you've had a high-level look at a couple of accounting for SMB vendors and solutions, how do you determine which accounting solutions are the best fit for your company's unique needs? We recommend you do a quick comparison using TEC's Accounting Evaluation Center.

TEC's Accounting Evaluation Center allows you to set priorities that reflect your organization's business model and special needs at every level of functionality. At the modular and submodular levels—even down to the individual criteria—you can tell the system which business processes are critical, less important, or not important to your organization. The system then compares your priorities against the vendor responses to produce a shortlist of solutions. You get a custom comparison—one that ranks vendor solutions on how well their functionality matches the business requirements of your organization.

We know of no better way to quickly and easily evaluate accounting solutions, and we invite you to give it a run-through. Plus, you'll get your results in mere minutes. Simply click on the link below to visit our Accounting Evaluation Center and conduct your fast, free custom accounting solution comparison. After all, there's no other organization quite like yours.

For a free, custom comparison of accounting solutions, click below.

Find out which accounting solutions are best suited to your company's particular requirements and type of business.

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