Implementation Time Accounting Software

How Long Will it Take to Implement a New Accounting System?

Time is money, and one of the most frequently asked questions that a business decision maker has when looking into any new software (or any project for that matter) is this: “How much time will it take to make this project happen?”

If you’ve led a major change project at your company, you understand that you will be spending a lot of time talking and working with the implementation team, who will be getting to know the ins and outs of your business’s operation and how their software will fit into the bigger picture. However, just as you charge your clients for the products or services your firm offers, the team helping you to implement software will charge you for any overruns or unplanned changes—the more moving parts or changes being made, the higher the end cost for you.

Knowing how important this is, it’s important to know that the initial plan and additional time spent will be driven by a variety of factors that need to be discussed before the project begins.

Three Factors That Impact the Length of an Accounting Software Implementation Project

The average accounting software or ERP implementation can range anywhere from as little as 60 days to well over two years for large, complex implementations, but most often can be completed in three to six months.

This all depends on a multitude of factors, three of which we explore below. For a more detailed look into the possible costs, Software Advice offers a calculator on ERP Implementation Costs.

Number of Users and Number of Features

The first thing that will change the amount of time it takes to implement an accounting software is the number of users that will be using a product., The second is the number of modules that you will be using. It goes without saying that implementing, migrating, and training users to use general ledger functionality will take much less time and effort than a project including features like inventory management, billing modules, and more.

Add on to this any integration with software you already use (if you’re lucky, certain solutions offer plug-and-play functionality that take significantly less time to implement), and you’re looking at additional complexity.

Delivery (Cloud vs. On-Premises vs. Hosted)

So much of an implementation can ride on the choice of on-premises, hosted, or cloud for the delivery of the software. As cloud solutions are part of a vendor’s data center and access is completed through an internet browser, there is no hardware to install (on-premises), or delivery layers (hosted) to implement, this immediately cuts time out of an implementation schedule.

New hardware takes time and money to implement, and according to the 2016 Buyers’ Guide to Selecting Accounting Software, cloud computing or SaaS solutions generally take 6-12 weeks to implement, compared to 3-6 months for on-premises or hosted solutions.

Suite or Best-of-Breed

Another thing that impacts the overall time (as well as the success or failure) of an implementation project is whether you choose to implement a suite or a best of breed solution.

Suites, by nature, are complex, and in turn have lengthy implementation times, multiple decision makers, and fewer straightforward integrations with software options not included in the suite. All of this takes time, adds risk to implementation success, and ultimately drives up the cost of a project.


One of the most important ways to avoid implementation disaster is to know what you want (Software Advice recommends taking a test drive before diving in), remain flexible, and keep optimizing your workflow as the project completes:

  • Know What You Need: Too many organizations fail to plan their projects before buying into (or even deciding on) a software, and as the adage goes, failing to plan is planning to fail.
  • Be Realistic: Software Advice notes that “Implementations take time, and unrealistic time frames only create more problems.” Speak with your team and partner to design a time frame that is realistic and that will contain costs.
  • Communicate: This means communicating with your employees and your implementation team. Any lapse in communication during the project can lead to additional pain at the end.

For instance, an implementation project for a cloud-based, best of breed solution like Intacct can take as little as 60 days, with a majority projects often taking one financial quarter, or 90 days. Of course, this is if all goes right. Nonetheless, even a complex Intacct Implementation with multiple modules will take less time and cost less money than an on-premises or suite implementation, thanks to its ease of integration and ability to “start simple,” growing with your business in size and scope.

To learn more, head to “What’s Your Implementation Plan” on the Intacct website, download the Buyer’s Guide to Selecting Accounting Software, and contact us for a free, 30-day trial.

Access Your Financials from Anytime, Anywhere

What Does It Mean to Have Anytime, Anywhere Accounting Access?

Technology has made it easier than ever to collaborate across states, regions, or countries, and in this period of increased globalization, organizations need software that can meet globalization’s higher demands. Whether you’re working with a disparate finance team or you just need to send a report or approve an expense report while out of the office, today’s finance leader needs access whenever and wherever he or she stands—from the office, the house, or from the beach.

What Does It Mean to Have Anytime, Anywhere Access?

It should sound simple, but there is more to it than “accessing financial data from a laptop at your local coffee shop.” Modern Accounting Software should allow you to access data—whether by WiFi or Mobile Network, Desktop or Smartphone, Browser or Feature-Rich Application. Further, it should take uptime and security seriously, so you can rest easy knowing that it’s only you accessing financial data.

Access from Any (Verified) Device

The productivity gains can’t just come from lugging around a laptop from place to place—even if TSA Precheck makes it easier to transport your laptop. You need not only browser friendly accounting, but mobile-friendly as well, so you can use your software anywhere, anytime, from any device—from smartphone to tablet to desktop.

Unlike solutions that have merely adapted their 20-year old screen for a browser, modern accounting software offers a cloud-native UI that was designed from the start to offer a modern, intuitive user experience. Intacct was designed for the cloud and built for browser access to provide access with no sacrifices to functionality.

Guaranteed Uptime

Emergencies happen, books need to close, and sometimes you need to be working at unfortunate times to get things done (even if modern accounting automates many of the processes that would cause delays). Knowing this, it’s important to know that anytime means anytime, whether it’s 9 in the morning or 11 at night. Modern accounting solutions should be able to guarantee you access at all times, with minimal downtime.

Intacct offers a guarantee of 99.8% uptime (less than 18 hours down a year) and backs it up with financial guarantees, but this isn’t a worry, as the company far exceeds this and has provided an average of 99.982% uptime over the past year. This translates to 94 minutes—over the past year.

Confidence That Only Verified Users Have Access

With all of these promises of anytime, anywhere access, it should go without saying, it doesn’t mean anyone should have access as well. A modern accounting solution should take steps to prevent your financial data from prying eyes—whether that’s from the “Russians” or a disgruntled former employee.

Solutions like Intacct offer important safeguards on the user logon side like multi-factor authentication, approved IP address lists, granular control of who has access to what, and enforced password changes in order to protect the information you entrust with the software.

Learn More: Intacct is More than Anytime, Anywhere Access

Of course, it’s nice to have anytime, anywhere access, but if that was all you need, you’d be fine using Excel on OneDrive for finance. Intacct is much more than that, and has been used by companies of all sizes—from the nonprofit with a finance team of one to the publicly traded multinational corporation with a finance team of thousands. Used by over 11,000 customers, Intacct provides feature-rich, user-friendly, and easily integrated accounting software. Learn more by downloading the Buyer’s Guide to Accounting Software and by signing up for Not Your Mother’s Chart of Accounts—Modern Day Accounting Applications on March 14.

Suite vs Best of Breed

Finance’s Guide to the Suite vs. Best of Breed Debate

It’s a question that has caused a great deal of animosity between decision makers, challenged project teams, and hurt software implementation projects over the past four decades. Highly politicized and often subject to technological shifts, the suite vs. best of breed/best-in-class debate has raged on since the 1970s at businesses of all sizes, industries, and missions. Read more

Types of Software Delivery Models

What are the Different Software Delivery Methods?

Last week, we introduced you to the signs that your organization is outgrowing its accounting software: Not having the reporting you need to grow, manual and error prone processes, mediocre-at-best integration, and lack of speed. For those organizations whose growth has outpaced your software’s ability to handle it, congratulations. Knowing this, however, it’s time to start looking toward the future.

As you begin to look toward new software for your company, one of the first questions you’ll be asking yourself is “How will my software be deployed?” If you’re coming from QuickBooks, it is likely that you worked with their desktop model, which, while great for basic accounting, lacked functionality as you grew and needed additional users in multiple locations.

Three Options to Consider

Knowing this, there are three main options to consider: On-premises, Hosted, and Cloud—all with advantages and criticisms.


With this traditional model, you license software and run it on your own servers. When considering this model, be sure to account for the capital and operating expenses associated with deployment, operations, support, customization, integration, maintenance, and upgrades.

While these costs can be too great for small and mid-sized organizations to sustain, on-premises solutions remain a viable option for some larger companies. These organizations often have a built-out IT infrastructure, investment capital, and expertise to support and maintain major software applications.


In a hosted environment, the software physically resides at a remote data center operated by an expert third-party hosting provider. Your team would usually use a product like Citrix to access the software over the Internet and see the screens being generated at the hosting provider. This model eliminates the responsibility of maintaining hardware infrastructure, and therefore can help you avoid large upfront capital expenditures.

But it works by providing you with a unique “instance” of your financial system on a dedicated server. That means you would still face the same costs for customizations, upgrades, integration, and support and service


Also known as “software as a service” (SaaS), these applications offer direct, always-on access to the solution, typically paid for on a per-user/per-month subscription basis. They are multitenant, which means you can unlock only your own data, but you work from a shared system—a single set of resources, application infrastructure, and database.

There are no upfront fees, capital investments, or long-term commitments because you do not buy, license, or manage the underlying hardware, software, or networking infrastructure. Upgrades are performed at no cost to you. Even if you make extensive changes to the system, your customizations “roll over” to work with the new upgrade.

Questions to Ask

When deciding on which delivery model you intend to pursue, it is important to ask yourself and the company who’s helping you choose a few important questions:

  • How long will implementation take?
  • Will customizations be affordable and easy, or time-consuming, painful, and costly?
  • Does the platform and model allow for easy integration?
  • Will the user interface be easy to use for beginners, yet feature rich for power users?
  • How often does the software update?
  • After upgrading, will updates maintain credibility with integrations?
  • Who’s doing the support? How much will it cost?
  • Who’s in control?
  • Do I own my data?
  • Will I need to make a hardware purchase?
  • If I’m using the cloud, how much uptime is guaranteed?
  • If in the cloud, what protections are taken with data?

These are some of the base level questions you’ll need to ask, but not the only ones. Be sure to get everything in writing as part of the service-level agreement. Stay tuned for a comparison of cloud, hosted, and on-premises and their ability to answer each of these questions in a future blog.

The Buyer’s Journey

Making the decision to upgrade accounting software is no small task, and should be taken with the highest gravity. For more information, please download the Buyer’s Guide to Purchasing Accounting Software from our friends at Intacct.

How to tell you've outgrown QuickBooks

How to Know When QuickBooks No Longer Makes the Cut

When a business outgrows an entry-level accounting software like QuickBooks, financial decision-makers have a series of realizations, decisions, and questions that will define the way their organization works in the near- and long-term future.

The first realization is often one of the hardest: Realizing that “It’s time.”  For many of us, QuickBooks is like the first apartment we have out of college: affordable, cozy, and humble—essentially a roof over your head. Too quickly, however, that “roof over your head” becomes a constraint. You’re running out of space and you need more from your investment.

When a “Roof Over Your Head” Accounting Software Holds You Back from Growth

Similar to that small apartment, QuickBooks has constraints, namely in the form of theoretical company file size limitations—once the file size reaches 150 MB for Pro and Premiere and 1 GB for Enterprise, or the number of list items in the file exceeds 10,000 (Pro/Premiere) or 100,000 (Enterprise), the software begins to slow down, data gets corrupted, and working in QuickBooks becomes a hassle, according to a QuickBooks support company.

The company goes on to recommend three options—one of which includes starting a brand new company file, a process that includes recreating all of your opening balances and lists.

Even if you do take this “brute force” approach of starting a new company file, it’s likely as a growing business that you’re processing more transactions, paying more employees, and working with more suppliers, meaning that it’s only a matter of time before you have to do this again.

Common Complaints and Why They Occur

Size is just one of the issues that growing organizations face. A survey completed by a Colorado-based QuickBooks support company found that while QuickBooks was regarded for its ease of use and ability to meet basic business needs, business users also found many issues:

  1. Limited reporting
  2. Double entry and keying errors
  3. Generic and impersonal support
  4. Standalone application Lacks integration
  5. Speed

There are many reasons for these issues:

  • The first two of these are generally the result of QuickBooks’ need for you to use Excel for any additional functionality.
  • The lack of personalized support comes from the sheer size and broad focus of the company—85% of the estimated 29.6 million small businesses in the US use
  • The lack of integration comes as a result of many reasons including its original nature as a desktop application (QuickBooks Online has made improvements, but there’s still a long road ahead) and its focus on basic small business accounting (which often doesn’t need other software like that for T&E, Billing, or CRM).
  • Speed is a result of the aforementioned file size issues, as well as the amount of manual processes, lack of integration, and the need of growing businesses for advanced functionality.

Making the Jump: Accounting Software for Every Size

When day-to-day operations become days-to-days, month-end closing takes weeks to complete, and reporting requires a melting pot of applications to complete, it’s time to realize that you’ve made it—you’ve hit the point when congratulations are in order. Your business has become highly successful, but in order to continue this success, it’s time to make a change.

Just as you left your tiny apartment for something bigger that met your needs, so must you make the decision to take the leap to the next step to choose something that can handle your business in its current state. Unlike your apartment, the “next step” will have fewer constraints, even if you grow.

Since 1997, Intacct has been a leading option for growing businesses, and has continued to improve its offering, now providing the same highly-functional, best-of-breed accounting with affordable options for businesses of all sizes—from the emerging small business to the software startup to the pre- and post-IPO public company.

Next Steps

Learn more about what it means for your business when you outgrow QuickBooks, and learn more about how to make the decision by downloading the latest whitepaper on choosing an accounting software for your growing business.

rinehimerbaker has released a new whitepaper for companies outgrowing QuickBooks. Outgrowing QuickBooks—How to Know It’s Time to Change shares the challenges that businesses face when growing, and the opportunities they have to ease growth. Learn more by reading the first 3 pages of the whitepaper below: