SaaS Accounting Software and Cloud Accounting: What’s the Difference?


There is much focus in the technology sector today on cloud computing and Software as a Service (SaaS). In your organization, there is a good chance that you already use cloud computing to a certain degree, but you may not have made the leap to SaaS. If this you find this terminology confusing, you are not alone. Many in your position are exploring different platforms to select the best for their environments, only to find confusion, mixed jargon and too many options. The good news is that SaaS accounting software can deliver value for your organization, once you know how to separate it from cloud accounting software.

Is SaaS Accounting Software Over-Hyped?

According to Panorama Consulting Group, SaaS accounting software has been critically over-hyped. Other industry surveys, however, suggest that Panorama may have misunderstood that the growth matches the hype. The survey found that a large number of organizations are contemplating moving to “the cloud” due to the simple fact that it offer less cost over a 10 year period. The challenge is that a number of people are still perplexed by the terminology of “SaaS” versus “the cloud”. To simplify, SaaS is basically the business side of cloud computing. Cloud based accounting software encompasses SaaS, but also includes a full range of other capabilities not available in SaaS.

Is SaaS Accounting Software Cost Effective?

With Software as a Service you simply pay for the software solution and it is delivered to your computer via the Internet. There are still a few challenges with SaaS accounting software vendors that host their solution as they must pay for data centers and the staff to manage them. Most SaaS accounting software solutions offer pricing models that combine the rental of the software and the monthly hosting cost. As you multiply the numbers over a 10 year period and compare the results with the cost of new hardware, a replacement cycle, purchasing the software, and annual maintenance, you will find that SaaS software is an optimal choice.

SaaS Accounting Software Offers Pros and Cons

While you could acquire an on-premise solution such as an MAS 90, Dynamics NAV or Epicor, there are additional costs and challenges associated with the on-premise approach. If you don’t want to install them on servers of your own, you must pay a company a fee every month for the service. Your optimal approach really depends on the type of system you need and your employee IT resources. That is usually the biggest financial factor when calculating SaaS accounting software. If you don’t have the proper resources in place, an on-premise solution may not make sense. Partnering with a proven SaaS accounting software provider could grant you access to the functionality and scalability you need.

New Versions Arriving in SaaS Accounting Software

Epicor offers a unique approch to SaaS accounting software with the Epicor Express model. With Epicor Express, the software is richer in functionality and in speed, as compared with the previously released Epicor 9 version. You use the power found locally in the processing component of your PC and you pay a monthly fee for the software and the hosting. At the present, this model is only offered for smaller companies, but Epicor plans a wider release later this year.


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