SAP Budget ERP or Business One Notes on Accounting Package Selection

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But what about budget solution – is it available from SAP or you have to look for another provider such as Sage Peach Tree, QuickBooks or Dynamics GP former Great Plains? Let’s make some excurse into the history and review B1 in brief:

1. Small Business Accounting market. Apparently when all the large companies got their system implemented popular brands had to move down and compete for small business clientele. There are several options to choose. First one is so-called ‘select version’ where provider disables ‘luxury’ business processes and functionality and offers the same product at cheaper price. Good example is Microsoft Small Business Financials where GP Dynamics.dic meta-dictionary is the same (not exactly but we assume that word ‘the same’ illustrates the situation) as in high end Great Plains. However in Dexterity functionality is partially disabled. Second option is to develop application which is dedicated to small business market by its architecture and native functionality

2. Accounting package which was designed and developed originally in Israel. SB1 is rebranded version of the software originally architected in Israel. We see very strong points here as the system naturally has to address the challenges of international market including multicurrency, foreign languages support in data entry and user interface, restating financial statements from accrual to cash base just to open the list of features

3. Competition and the ideas about pricing. Accounting software market has several levels. There are packages which could be characterized as ‘entry level’ or ‘small business out-of-the-shelf systems’. You pay several hundred dollars and get the application which has basic GL, AP, AR and Inventory Control features. Such names as QuickBooks or Peach Tree are well known and you probably heard about them. These packages have to slash the cost by eliminating dependency from third party SQL platforms such as Microsoft SQL Server or Pervasive SQL and host transactions in proprietary database. B1 is not in the same niche. It is based in Microsoft SQL Server. And this fact means that it is open to data export and custom reporting in such tools as Crystal and MS SQL Server Reporting Services. At this time of April of 2012 you have to purchase at least one professional user license (in the United States the pricelist is slightly below three thousand dollars) and then you can acquire named users by series (around one thousand USD each named user). Plus please consider implementation cost to be comparable with software licenses

4. Service Sector. Small and mid-market organizations are probably the majority in field service or customer support. There is warranty contracts module where technician could be sent onsite with hourly rates and replacement parts tracking in the application. The decision is the work is covered by warranty or billable to the customer is up to you

5. Multinational Company. In XXI century it is a norm when mid-market organization has to outsource manufacturing or call center to South America or China. In international business environment you often have to open legal entity in the country hosting your overseas operations. Even small companies have to do the same. B1 is available in Chinese, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Russian and this is just to open the list of languages. Foreign language support is good but there is also the challenge of compliance to local legislation. To give you good examples – SPED (Public Digital Bookkeeping) in Brazil or Russian government approved chart of accounts (Account 20 main production – big headache to implement the transactions). Compliance is often implemented through ISV channel add-ons

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