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Best in class vs. an accounting suite? It’s an easy call once you know the facts.
With so many claims, counterclaims, and partial facts, it sometimes seems like the spirited debate about best-in-class solutions vs. monolithic accounting suites won’t end. But when you consider how the on-premises software model evolved and compare it to the new world of the cloud, the issues get clarified pretty quickly. Ultimately, the argument boils down to one deceptively simple question: Which architecture delivers the maximum amounts of functionality, business agility, and cost-effectiveness?
By definition, a single-vendor accounting suite cannot be best-in-class. All of the functions and modules come from a single vendor, with varying degrees of quality, functionality, and vendor commitment. So why did single-vendor suites appeal to some businesses?
Integration was clearly at the top of the list. In the old world, a software customer licensed its applications, and it was the customer's responsibility to make those applications work together—and keep them working together when the applications inevitably changed. This opened the door to the concept of an accounting suite, where the vendor owns the responsibility of delivering a suite of applications that all work together.
Today, the cloud model has radically changed the integration dynamic, creating environments where all applications support open standards, eliminating the outdated, closed, proprietary interfaces. Web services and service-oriented architectures now provide standard frameworks for applications to communicate and interoperate. Web browsers provide a standard for user interfaces. And, unlike their monolithic on-premises predecessors, modern cloud applications are always on, always connected, and always up to date.
Inevitably, on-premises vendors will recognize that they must take responsibility for integration with other leading applications, databases, and systems on the market. This is a dramatic shift of cost and risk away from customers made possible because of the cloud’s open standards, synchronized updates and versions, and a shift away from custom coding.
Ready to learn more about an accounting suite vs. a best-in-class solution? Contact Intacct today.