SaaS platforms have firmly established their position in our lives. We use cloud services not only in private life but in business as well. Even accounting – the most essential part of any business – has moved to the cloud. But moving sensitive financial information to someone else’s server is a tough choice. In order to gain a client’s trust, your accounting software has to fit every need.
So how can you build a SaaS accounting solution? The R&D starts with finding out why companies choose SaaS platforms instead of on-premise solutions.
SaaS accounting app benefits
There are several key benefits that any client wants to gain with SaaS accounting software. While mapping out the architecture and marketing strategy of your application, you should take into account these characteristics:
- Moderate pricing. A SaaS license has to be cheaper than on-premise software. Any traditional solution requires heavy expenses on software licenses, and critical updates. A low fee for software can be crucial for a startup or small company.
- Integration with other solutions. In a modern company, all IT solutions create a complex IT ecosystem. This being so, compatibility with other corporate software is a must for SaaS software. You should ensure that your software is well-matched with the most popular CRM, ERP, and supply-chain management (SCM) systems.
Compatibility. One of the main advantages of SaaS technology is the possibility to access users’ data on any platform and device. That’s why you need to test your software’s compatibility with as many browsers and browser versions as you can. Also think about creating a mobile app or mobile web app for Android and iOS.
Features required for SaaS accounting software
Before designing the capabilities of your app, it’s good practice to define your target audience and think about which features this audience requires. Implementing and maintaining unnecessary services is quite an expensive affair, while lacking some essential functions could mean the death of the product.
Let’s find out the features required for any accounting Software-as-a-Service:
Estimates. Templates allowing customers to easily fill in and send estimates are recommended. Multiple currencies should also be available. Bigger systems should also include multiple languages.
Invoices. Adding an invoice timeline enables clients to easily review open, overdue, and paid invoices. Giving clients the option to brand invoices with their own logos, set up recurring invoices, and customize automated late payment reminders are extra bonuses.
Expenses. Expense tracking (bank payments, out-of-pocket expenses, and receipt reconciliation) is fundamental. The ability to take pictures of receipts and upload them is also a common feature of accounting solutions. Some platforms give employees the ability to record their own expenses and request reimbursements.
Stateless web servers
When developing a web app, one of the first things to consider is that web applications don’t maintain a defined, local state. A shared database, with which the architecture can support no-touch elasticity, is critical. It’s difficult (if not impossible) to make an accounting system when web servers are configured with a local state.
Automation and machine learning
An automated workflow is necessary for an advanced accounting app. Lots of processes in accounting are repetitive and can be performed by a machine. For example, accounts payable, payroll, taxes, and auditing can be done by AI. This saves employees’ time, allowing them to complete more important tasks.
A multi-tenant SaaS accounting software architecture enables the system to build upon a common infrastructure and offer services to a wide customer base. In a multi-tenant environment, data of individual tenants is strictly separated. The system needs to identify each tenant by ID. These IDs are employed at the application and database layer and are linked to individual users, thereby allowing them to access the data that they have permission for.
These are the nuts and bolts and what to keep in mind when projecting the cost of software development. So now that we’ve laid out the architecture and how to construct the system, who are the vendors that are considered best-in-show and how much does it cost to build systems like theirs?
One of the most popular solutions available today is BillQuick. Offered as a stand-alone enterprise option, self-hosted software, and cloud service, this agile billing and accounting solution provides a range of business accounting, management, and market intelligence functionality.