Many small and mid-sized businesses utilize QuickBooks as their first financial software.  QuickBooks is the worlds most widely used basic accounting system with millions of users.  It’s easy to use, popular and offers the basic functionality that can help almost any organization get up and running.  However, if all goes well and your business grows, you’ll soon run into some of the limitations that eventually cause so many QuickBooks users to upgrade to a more robust Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution.  Some of these common limitations include inflexible processes, data accessibility issues, inadequate security, and primitive reporting.

QuickBooks Limitations

While QuickBooks served your small businesses accounting needs well at first, things have changed.  Your needs have grown, and it’s time to consider your options moving forward.  You need to consider that QuickBooks may be holding your business back.

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Below are 7 signs that your business has outgrown or is outgrowing QuickBooks.  If any of these are true for your business, it may be time to move off of simple accounting software and consider an ERP solution.

1. Reliant on Excel for Financials

You require more complex financial functionalities not available on QuickBooks and depend heavily on Excel to “fill in the blanks.” For example:

  • You need a better way to create consolidated financial reports for multiple companies, stores, warehouses, or plants while still having the ability to track each entity separately.
  • You need complex real-time project accounting to track billable hours.
  • Revenue Recognition
  • Contract Renewals
  • General Ledger analysis
  • Cost Center Analysis

2. User and Storage Limitations

You require more than 30 users, and/or you need to be able to add full access and read-only users as needed (QuickBooks Pro offers a three-user license, and Premier offers a five-user license.  Desktop Enterprise allows you to add users up to a 10-user license, after which you’ll need to upgrade to a 30-user license).  QuickBooks performance also starts to diminish as the company file size increases above 1 GB.

3. Not Adhering to Best-Practices

The functionality limitations of QuickBooks are keeping you from adhering to industry best practices like audit controls, industry-specific compliance/reporting, or complex invoicing requirements that are difficult or impossible to implement within QuickBooks.

4. Manually Importing Data

You need to manually import data from outside systems (i.e., customized billing system, payroll entries, or payments from another system). A certain amount of manual processes like data entry is fairly standard for small businesses.  But as you grow, these processes become more and more time consuming and become more and more prone to error.  Stop wasting valuable time and resources on manual, repetitive data entry and upgrade to a solution that can easily integrate to reduce manual processes and create a single source of truth.

5. Manage Customer Relationships More Closely

Intuit has given Quickbooks the basic CRM (Customer Relationship Management) functionality. There are two problems with Quickbooks CRM. First, it has limitations, it only consists of a screenshot view of the customer. The more significant issue is that this functionality has been attached to an already existing software. Now compare this software to a good ERP system’s CRM, which was created specifically for a 360 degree view of the customer and their history.

6. Inventory and Manufacturing Functionality

You require inventory or manufacturing functionality not supported by QuickBooks. For example, back order and partial shipments can be difficult to track in QuickBooks, and inventory tracking usually maxes out at around 1 million items.  For more advanced manufacturing and/or inventory functionality, you’ll need a system built for more than basic accounting.

7. Information You Need, When You Need It

You require deeper insight into your business for faster decision making. For example, on QuickBooks, it can be difficult or impossible to determine your true cash balance and it takes too long to get financials each month.  With a robust, postmodern ERP solution you can see up-to-the-minute information across your organization; from financials to shop-floor to customer service and everything in between.

8. Putting off a Decision

Are you expecting your business to scale quickly? Do you know what your business will need in three, five, even ten years from now? As you can see in numbers 1-6, QuickBooks has limitations that could severely hinder growth, especially rapid growth.  The number one problem facing most businesses that are outgrowing or have already outgrown QuickBooks is that they put off an ERP decision for too long.  If your business has the potential for rapid growth, you shouldn’t wait until your basic accounting software is holding you back to upgrade.  Set yourself up for success today and tomorrow with a scalable ERP solution that allows you to start small and quickly add functionality as your needs change.

9. Customization

You want your software to work the way your business works. Remember a software should conform to your business not the other way around.  There are extreme limitations on customization within Quickbooks. For example, you cannot customize a unique inventory valuation methodology. Also, you can’t dictate processes like purchase requisitions approvals, changing details to fit your needs like who approves the requisitions and the process of how it should be approved.

Life after QuickBooks: What Comes Next?

The good news is that outgrowing QuickBooks is a good sign for the success of your organization; that is, as long as you recognize the need to move to a more robust solution.  You can now start your ERP journey.  There is most definitely life after QuickBooks, and it’s fast, data-driven, and easily integrated.

The bad news is that it won’t be easy.  Change never is. But it will be worth it if you’re able to find a solution that better supports your business’ unique needs and a partner that you can trust to get you there.

Ready to get started? Contact one of our consultants today!

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