A cost comparison between the full line of QuickBooks accounting programs and NetSuite cloud computing services is mostly an apple and oranges comparison. The two program suites are not aimed at the same market. QuickBooks is primarily geared for small businesses, though QuickBooks Enterprise version does move into the midsize business market that begins the key target level for NetSuite. NetSuite and QuickBooks both handle a company’s accounting and billing needs, but their functions differ significantly enough to require careful analysis to see if either fits your company’s specific needs.
Lower Cost QuickBooks
Intuit offers two programs for small businesses, one for an expanding business, and an “enterprise” edition for larger companies. QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks for Mac retail at $230 at the end of 2011, though Intuit and retailers frequently offer discounts. Intuit charges additional costs for more than one user. QuickBooks Premier is designed for businesses expanding from their small beginnings. Versions of Premier specialize for companies engaged in retail, manufacturing or wholesale distribution, with other Premier versions for contractors, nonprofits and professional service providers. QuickBooks Premier is priced at $400, with additional costs per user. QuickBooks has also entered the cloud computing market with several online solutions including Online Simple Start, Online Essentials, and Online Plus with Payroll. Monthly charges range from $13 to $79.
QuickBooks Enterprise is the top end of Intuit’s QuickBooks line, increasing the number of inventory items, customers and vendors it can track from the 14,500 in QuickBooks Premiere and Pro to more than 100,000. Enterprise allows up to 30 simultaneous users for reporting and managing sales, inventory and other income and expense reporting. It sells at $600 per user, with discounts to $480 per user available. Customer support is free for a year.
NetSuite offers a Web-based accounting software for midsized businesses that integrates customer relations management, order management, accounting, e-commerce and partner management. NetSuite is available at a monthly base fee of $499 per month. NetSuite’s Ecommerce Company Edition and Wholesale/Distribution Edition are priced at $999 per month, and its E-commerce Plus edition runs at $1,299 per month. In addition, NetSuite charges a monthly per user fee ranging from $49 to $99, and extra fees for customer support.
Plugins and Modules
Add-on programs are available for both NetSuite and QuickBooks to increase their capabilities. QuickBooks offers a limited customer relations management function in the latest versions of QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks for Mac, but the Intuit Marketplace website list third-party developers that integrate a more robust CRM with QuickBooks as well as other plugins. Costs for the plugins range from free to $20,000. NetSuite offers its own CRM module for $129 per user per month. NetSuite CRM+ is a comprehensive customer relations program that integrates with NetSuite’s accounting program. Other NetSuite modules provide essential functions for specific types of business such as wholesale distributors and and large e-commerce sites. Costs for many of the modules come in the $300 to $400 per month range. Actual cost comparisons depend on the specific services your company needs.