QuickBooks is a name that everyone knows for good reason. They’ve found a way to make the financial aspects of starting a small business accessible and understandable for essentially anyone. Managing the finance side of a company is often the most intimidating factor for would-be entrepreneurs, and QuickBooks has made it less scary.
QuickBooks identified its space and doubled down on solving business finance challenges for small business owners. They made it affordable, user-friendly, and simplified basic business accounting so it’s easy to understand. They know their target audience, and they’re solving the problems of people in that niche: new and small business owners.
The keyword there is ‘niche,’ though. QuickBooks is an excellent option for businesses just starting out, or businesses who want to stay small. If your goals include growth, expansion, acquisition, multi-national or even global trade, your accounting needs are going to be well beyond the scope of QuickBooks’ abilities before too long.
The Limitations of QuickBooks
While QuickBooks has a significant market share in accounting software for small businesses, it still has limitations. They got to where they are by being really good at what they do, but their software is not scalable for growing companies.
As businesses start to grow, it’s normal to begin noticing some symptoms that trace back to QuickBooks but could be chalked up to general growing pains at first glance:
- Developing software workarounds
- Hours of manual reconciliation
- Creating custom reports in spreadsheets
- Tracking duplicate data in other systems
These are all things that can just seem like normal parts of doing business and growing as an enterprise. Usually, these symptoms start imperceptibly small, but they multiply like rabbits until everyone on your team is using time-consuming workarounds just to get their jobs done every day.
Often this is qualified as “double-checking” or “just making sure things are right,” but this uses a lot of extra time that could be better spent on other things. It’s not that your staff is deliberately wasting time—they really are verifying that things are accurate. But they shouldn’t need to double-check everything if the accounting software is meeting the needs of your business.
Your staff probably is very precise, conscientious and analytical, but they’re still human. There is still a larger margin for human error when they’re copying and pasting data in and out of QuickBooks from a spreadsheet or duplicating it in other systems. They shouldn’t need to. Their time should be spent working in their zone of genius to help the business grow and be successful.
If your business is growing and you’re noticing that time spent on data entry and analysis is blowing up and causing headaches for your staff, you’ll want to go through the checklist below to find out if QuickBooks is the cause.
Checklist: Is QuickBooks the Cause of Your Growing Pains?
To assess your current environment and problems, we recommend going through this checklist and answering the questions honestly. If you need help, poll members of your accounting team to understand what’s really going on.
|Do you, or will you soon, have 30 more people who need access to data in QuickBooks?
|Do you, or will you soon, have more than one warehouse, retail, or office location?
|Is your physical inventory becoming much more diverse and varied?
|Is your company expanding to more than one business entity under your brand?
|Is your QuickBooks performance feeling slow and laggy?
|Do you process over 1000 transactions per month or have data files over 2-3 GB in size?
|Is your accounting team doing hours of manual reconciliation or manual estimates?
|Is your team spending many hours on custom reports or data analysis?
|Is your team duplicating data entry into other systems, or copying and pasting data from QuickBooks into spreadsheets?
|Does your team need cloud access to the data in QuickBooks any time, from anywhere, on any device?
|Is your bank resistant to offering you more funding because QuickBooks can’t produce the audit trails they need to see?
If You Answered Yes…
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, even if it was just a few, it’s time to do a thorough analysis of whether QuickBooks is the right financial platform for your business. We have the whitepaper that will help guide you through the process of analyzing QuickBooks and how it fits in—or doesn’t—with your growing business.
This whitepaper goes in-depth about the 6 most common ways you might be outgrowing QuickBooks and why. We discuss why it’s so popular and what your options are for accounting solutions going forward. There’s a good chance your next step should be to upgrade to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. That can seem like a big and intimidating jump from QuickBooks, but it’s not as difficult as you might think. In this whitepaper, you will learn what the advantages of an ERP system are, how easy it is to access accurate financial reports and performance analytics, and most importantly, how an ERP can streamline your operations and reduce the cost of doing business.