Cloud-based accounting software can be the hub of a custom “ERP”


When hotel management company Donohoe Hospitality Services was looking to replace its local finance application, the company opted for hotel-specific cloud-based accounting software from M3, Inc. instead of the accounting functionality of an ERP system. complete.

The main reason Donohoe Hospitality opted for M3 was because the cloud-based accounting software was written specifically for the hospitality industry, said Jack Fritsche, senior vice president and chief financial officer for the company, which manages nine hotels operating under Marriott, Hilton and InterContinental hotels. Group brands.

“For the company we work in, there was no software more appropriate in terms of how we do our daily work,” he said. “When you look at the price of a full ERP system implementation, upgrade, contract – all of those things – it’s a significantly less expensive task to go with M3 because it there is no contract.”

M3, which offers integrated cloud-based accounting and analytics software, helps guests operate more efficiently, improving visibility to boost hotel financial performance, said Sean White, product manager at M3, based in Gainesville, Georgia. The company offers basic accounting functions. à la carte, from bank reconciliations and accounts payable to full accounting. The product also includes analysis functions.

M3’s platform integrates with other cloud-based systems and tools in the hospitality industry, such as property management systems (PMS), as well as human resources and payroll systems, to enable end-to-end hotel management, White said.

“M3 integrates with our payroll system, which is ADP, and we also integrate with MassMutual, our 401(k) provider,” Fritsche said. “M3 also integrates with each hotel’s proprietary PMS system. The PMS systems connect to M3 each night to let us know all data to be received, all guests who have checked in and out, and to record all revenue . It’s all automated.”

Fritsche said M3 also integrates with Donohoe Hospitality’s banking system, so the company can automate bank account reconciliations, outstanding checks, automated clearing house transfers and other financial processes.

Essential multi-vendor integration

The IT departments of organizations that decide to implement cloud-based accounting software instead of full ERP systems are key to helping these companies successfully integrate accounting functionality with other systems, such as payroll, expense reports, travel booking, online procurement, contract management. and financial analysis, including planning, budgeting and forecasting, according to John Van Decker, vice president of research at Gartner Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut.

“We’re in a postmodern ERP world where not everyone buys all of their solutions from a single vendor,” Van Decker said. “So IT is going to have to use the tools that vendors have available to them for integration. Or they can use system integrators to help them.”

Such ERP-like accounting often requires built-in integrations between products from different vendors. For example, small and medium-sized businesses that use QuickBooks online and want to track their expenses can use Expensify, which integrates with QuickBooks, said Alicia Amaral, partner at Juna Financial Solutions, a Boston-based company that provides outsourced services. accounting, finance, financial director and consulting services. Juna uses QuickBooks Online.

Additionally, QuickBooks Online’s bill-paying features are provided by Bill.com, according to Jean Zick, a partner at Juna. Zick called the bill pay feature “a lighter and less expensive feature than the full Bill.com system.”

Another third-party app that integrates with QuickBooks Online is Hubdoc, Zick said. Hubdoc automatically “fetches” financial documents from banks, utilities, telecom providers, and online vendors, extracts key data, and syncs transactions to QuickBooks Online – or other accounting software – with attached source documents.

Payment provider assembling a cloud system around the core of NetSuite

With the right tools and the right people, companies can integrate good technology and make it work, said Sue Vestri, chief financial officer of Greenphire, a provider of payment automation software for clinical trials, based in King of Prussia. , Pennsylvania. Greenphire uses the NetSuite cloud. SuiteSuccess Financials First for accounting needs.

“You don’t have to be tied to a thing that can do a lot of things well but not all well,” Vestri said. “There’s a business benefit to going out and getting the right tools for the right job and integrating those systems.”

Vestri said Greenphire has been using NetSuite cloud-based accounting software for about a year.

“We had overtaken QuickBooks, our previous product, for a multitude of reasons,” she said. “Our invoicing processes were time consuming and manual, reporting was not robust enough, functionality was limited [and]we had data in multiple systems. Some of the features were not adequate in terms of collections, there were user license limitations, there were data storage capacity issues, and limited integration capability.”

After evaluating accounting software from a number of vendors, Greenphire felt that NetSuite, which has made a name for itself as a complete cloud ERP vendor, was the best choice due to its capabilities, a- she declared.

Additionally, since Greenphire was already using Salesforce for CRM, the company needed an accounting system that would “play well” with Salesforce, according to Vestri.

“I knew NetSuite integrated seamlessly with Salesforce, so that was a key consideration,” she said. “We also use Marketo as part of our marketing efforts, so not only does it integrate with Salesforce, but it also works well with NetSuite.”

At the same time, Greenphire was also looking to replace the system it used to handle technical support cases and opted for features built into NetSuite.

“It’s very customizable and flexible, and it was able to meet our needs, so we’re not looking to use a third-party system for that,” Vestri said. “We also use the native functionality for collections.”

Currently Greenphire also uses NetSuite Financials First for commissions, but this may change.

“There are better — and NetSuite would be the first to admit — command programs out there if you have a very complex plan,” she said.

Greenphire is also investigating new program management tools to replace its current system. “We evaluated the capability of NetSuite as well as other companies that will integrate well with NetSuite,” she said. “So we have a bit of both. We use some of the inherent capabilities of NetSuite’s system, and we also use other tools that integrate seamlessly with NetSuite.”

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