FinancialForce is an ERP built on the Force.com platform, and tightly integrated with Salesforce.com. Beyond financials, FinancialForce has gone deep in several core business areas that are traditional sticking points for other ERPs, making it a compelling option for most businesses.
FinancialForce ERP for Mid-Market Businesses
FinancialForce started in the right place-- making sure they nailed core financials, tightly paired with Salesforce.com for CRM. They've steadily rolled out new and deeper features that appeal to a wide variety of businesses in the mid-market. Revenue recognition, subscription billing, and services automation are among the great offerings that set FinancialForce apart from multiple competitors.
In the sphere of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), there are established players and upstarts. It has historically been uncommon for an upstart to be able to effectively compete with the established players, but in recent years FinancialForce has made a tremendous investment to do just that. An ERP system needs visibility to more than just accounting. It requires inputs from the billing, services, and inventory aspects of your business as well. Building this comprehensive view of the company isn't easy, and FinancialForce has built a platform that shows what's possible when this exercise is done well.
FinancialForce is a Software as a Service (SaaS) product built on the Salesforce.com development platform. While this means it's tightly coupled to all the traditional CRM functionality of Salesforce.com, it's a distinguishable product that stands on its own and is built specifically for the purpose of enterprise grade resource planning. The platform is very broad -- covering financial, service, and people management. What makes FinancialForce really compelling as an ERP is that they've rolled in some of the really challenging features, such as revenue recognition, usage-based and subscription billing, and the professional services suite. When all combined together, it's a platform that can give NetSuite, SAP B1, and Intacct a run for their money. In addition to the purely ERP aspects of the system, being built on the Salesforce.com platform provides access to all the enterprise level features of Salesforce.com for CRM.
GRAYBOX uses, integrates with, and recommends a number of ERP systems to our client-partners based on their needs. There are a number of reasons GRAYBOX likes and recommends FinancialForce when there are multiple options available. First and foremost, the out of the box feature set is really robust. For an ERP, FinancialForce has done a great job of hitting the basics of accounting and financial management, but augmenting that with the really complex business needs like revenue recognition and subscription billing. For businesses with these needs, these tasks are often a significant time investment from their team, and being able to offload the heavy lifting to effective software enables those team members to focus on higher value aspects of the business. Second, the system is very broad, incorporating both professional services automation and HR functions into a single suite. This offers the ability to truly plan for the Enterprise, not just for segments of the business. Understanding financial and resourcing needs, having visibility into where money is moving within the organization, and being able to accurately inform your customers on inventory availability or project status, are all key to growing and scaling a business effectively. FinancialForce does a great job here. Finally, with access to the APIs of the Force.com platform, and the multitude of apps in the Salesforce.com AppExchange, there are countless ways a business can expand, stretch, bend, mold, and otherwise tailor FinancialForce to meet their specific needs.
FinancialForce is a great option for the business that either hasn't had an ERP in the past, or has been using a collection of disparate tools to accomplish the functions of an ERP and is looking to consolidate them into a single place. The feature set and breadth of the product means it checks a lot of boxes on the organizational needs chart, and does so effectively. For the business that has needs that are custom, FinancialForce is again a solid option. Unlike other tools, FinancialForce is intended to be customized and added to, which means there is a lot of current and future flexibility available to your company. That flexibility gives you more options, and extends the runway on which you can continue to operate in the system. Good caveats to keep in mind are that FinancialForce is still on the younger end of the spectrum for ERP systems, and as such it's not as deep in every feature as other, more mature products. There can be a bit of a last-mile problem for some features, but until your business is deep in the evaluation process, it's hard to tell if those will be meaningful to your business or not.
One of the areas in which GRAYBOX really shines is helping businesses understand their organizational needs, select candidate systems that align with those needs, and deeply evaluate those candidates to make an informed decision on the best path forward. FinancialForce is one of the areas in which this is particularly useful. For businesses in the good-fit category, FinancialForce can be one of the most straightforward system migrations they will face as a company. For businesses on the cusp of matching needs with features, there is a deeper evaluation needed, and GRAYBOX is a great partner to help lead this exercise.
ERP and CRM Combined
By combining a deep set of ERP features with a robust CRM application, FinancialForce has created a best of breed option for the mid-market with visibility into the entire business.
Built on the Force.com platform, FinancialForce incorporates all the capabilities of customization and extension inherent within that ecosystem. While it covers most needs out of the box, through custom code you're also able to extend the application to meet just about any business objective.
Deep Feature Capabilities
FinancialForce has invested heavily in strengthening their offerings over the years, resulting in a platform that offers deep functionality to meet Enterprise business needs like revenue recognition, project accounting, and inventory management.