As shared in recent studies and webcasts, the roles of Controllers, CFOs and other corporate finance managers is rapidly evolving to manage many and sometimes all aspects of technology used in their organization. This includes systems not directly used for Accounting or Financial reporting or processes.

After the overarching Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP system that includes core accounting and finance, one of the most important systems or software solutions is CRM.   

What is CRM?

The full meaning of CRM is Customer Relationship Management. However, in today’s world, the general interpretation when CRM is mentioned refers to CRM software. This tool acts as a single system to bring together sales, customer support activities, and marketing. It streamlines multiple processes, policies, and staff in one platform. The shift and preference of most businesses for a hybrid work model have made the need for remote CRM more important. With the use of remote CRM, sales teams can be more productive and possess the needed tools to collaborate with their colleagues and relate with customers conveniently and properly. 

CRM integrations with Accounting/Finance/ERP systems or solutions

The functionality of different aspects of businesses is always limited when data are inputted separately into accounting, finance, or ERP systems. To solve this problem and improve business processes, it is important to integrate CRM with all these other systems. With integration, businesses can have full control of their data, reduce paperwork and manual input of data, increase the effectiveness of marketing strategy and easily compare and visualize data. With that background, following are some of the top CRM systems Controllers can use in their organizations. 

Top 5 CRM Systems 

There are slight differences between different CRM systems, and they can go a lot of ways in affecting what you need them for. Some CRM systems have more specialized integration that helps in keeping your activities and communications in place. The selection of the type of CRM to use can be a minefield. Below are the Top 5 CRMs based on popularity or quantity if implementations.  


Salesforce CRM is one of the world’s leading cloud-based CRM tools. Its ability to provide CRM solutions that can be used for all business requirement companies, including startups and big enterprises, makes it one of the highly-rated CRM software. 

Salesforce supports mobile upgrades and integration. It is cloud-based, scalable, and easy to use. The tool allows customization and allows frequent upgrades. Listed below are the key features of the CRM tool. 

  • It offers chatter, real-time visualization, and analytics.
  • It allows email integration and aids the running of applications. 
  • It provides communities and markets for sales and leads. 
  • The tool assists in forecasting and customer engagement. 

Salesforce is notable for enabling automation of businesses and ease of management. The social media capabilities of the tool aid business popularity. 

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a notable CRM tool that aid in streamlining the complex process and increasing different areas of your business. These areas include marketing, sales, service division, and so on. The ability of this CRM tool to be able to create a strong bond with customers and satisfy customer expectations makes it a top CRM tool. It is a CRM tool that centrally keeps customers’ information and automates interactions. The CRM tool is tagged server-client software. Here are some of the top features of the software.

  • It has different apps, including Android, iOS, Windows, and web apps. These apps help in creating databases for already existing data.  
  • Data of customers can be created into excel formats.
  • The tool is used in the visualization of information and automation of data with workflows. 
  • It helps centralize data from sales, marketing, and contact. 

A notable use case of this app is the provision of automated workflow and reduction of manual efforts. If you are looking for a system that supports both SaaS and on-premise, then this CRM tool should be your CRM of choice. 


HubSpot is one of the most commonly used CRM systems. It has had a lot of impact on clients because of its powerful abilities and mechanisms. To a large extent, it is free, making it the most preferred by business owners and CFO’s. It is a CRM system that allows immediate use with little to no change made. It is fast and possesses almost all characteristics seen in other CRM tools. HubSpot CRM has the best CRM integration environment, which other systems do not provide for free. The software is a flexible and powerful one. Here are some of the key features of the tool. 

  • It has a good cell phone, email, and website integration. 
  • It allows customizations, boards for tasks and synchronizes the marketing department. 
  • All activities are automatically logged, and information about contact can be seen in a place. 
  • You can manage the pipeline with 100% percent visibility. 

This CRM tool can be used to search companies and work in the background without disturbing other tools. Another important use case is the ability to keep client records and read feedback from clients. 


NetSuite is the name implies, is a “suite” of applications including the foundational ERP, along with a highly rated CRM tool because of its ability to help companies manage interactions with current and potential customers, partners, and suppliers in a single place. It has the ability to manage quotes, commissions, sales forecasts, and partnership relationships. Here are some of the key features of the tool.

  • Sales force automation
  • Customer service management
  • Marketing automation
  • Supports mobile application
  • Reporting and analytics 
  • Partner relationship management 

An important use case of this tool is that it can provide a single view of prospects, customers, partners, and vendors, thereby leading to sales. 

Learn more from a leading NetSuite partner.


This is a dedicated sales management tool that offers a reasonable sales-focused CRM system. It is a system built for a small team with intrinsic and several sales processes. Once you sign up for the design, you will start with a gold plan that will offer you services like email tracking, workflow automation, creation of product catalog, and custom permissions thought-out your sales team. Feature of this CRM system include;

  • It has an easy-to-use and manages sales funnel system. 
  • Enables sales reporting.
  • It has mobile applications that make using the CRM system on different devices feasible and easy. 

The primary use case of Pipedrive is to make salespeople unstoppable. It is a CRM tool that will help organize your business to have details of your sales, thereby increasing productivity. By using Pipedrive, you can improve any workflow. 

CRM systems are important. However, knowing the properties of the different CRM systems available is the most crucial. This will help select the right one for your business, thereby aiding the integration of various components of your business and organization. 

Learn More about Technology in Our Community

Looking to learn more about software, automation and other technologies? Controllers Council is a national community and platform of Controllers, Accounting and Finance professionals focused on accounting best practices, information and resources, recognition and networking. Membership has many features and benefits to propel your career and expertise, and to be an active participant in our exciting community. The Controllers Council Forum allows members to pose questions about technology and other topics. Become a member today.