Quickbooks’ shortcomings are holding you back
Over the past few weeks, I’ve published several blogs about some of the shortcomings of QuickBooks. In this post, I’m summarizing some of these and offering you convenient links if you want to dig into any of these topics.
QuickBooks: What Its User Say
Two recent surveys of current QuickBooks users help define some of its shortcoming. CIO, one of the leading publishers focused on business technology and digital transformation, released a tech dossier based on a survey of 207 QuickBooks users. These users represented a wide range of industries in the SMB segment, with an average of 358 employees.
The top challenges reported with QuickBooks were:
- Suboptimal speed and efficiency
- Limited data integrity checks
- Limited customizability
Half of SMBs who use QuickBooks said they would like to see better reporting capabilities, followed closely by the 45% who want more accurate data and 44% who see the need to improve efficiency and/or reduce costs.
Among the other QuickBooks frustrations are:
- Lost productivity due to time-consuming manual processes
- Staying current with compliance and security requirements
- Aggregating data from multiple systems and sources
The second recent survey, conducted by CFO Dive, found similar results, all captured in a new report entitled How QuickBooks isn’t Keeping Pace with CFO Needs. CFO Dive spoke with 164 financial executives and found that three-out-of-four finance executives say going back-and-forth between QuickBooks and spreadsheets is a source of frustration to their financial teams. Finance executives use these spreadsheets to get the information and reporting they need in their daily work, which points out a major shortcoming in QuickBooks reporting.
In addition, these survey respondents noted additional QuickBooks challenges, including:
- Data accessibility issues (29%)
- High occurrence of imbalances/troubleshooting (27%)
- Too much manual data entry and reentry (26%)
- Upgrades/maintenance (26%)
Both surveys reinforce the benefits of moving to a cloud-native financial management platform rather than using a lightweight online version of desktop software.
As CFO Dive found, there are usually certain triggers that signal companies are outgrowing QuickBooks and move to a robust, modern cloud-native solution. These include:
- Spending too much time in spreadsheets
- Multiple business entities with no consolidated charts of accounts
- Seeking outside investment that would require you to be GAAP compliant
- Remote data access requirements
CIO noted the following in its tech dossier: “Monolithic software is difficult to update and troubleshoot because the entire application must be put on the operating table. That’s why software makers have historically updated their products no more than once or twice a year. Even relatively small bug fixes can require a full reinstallation and test cycle.
“Modern, cloud-native software takes advantage of cloud constructs to reimagine the way software is built. Microservices are loosely coupled software components that each perform a specific task. Developers can chain services together to build sophisticated applications much more quickly than they could in a monolithic environment. Each microservice is tested and optimized for performance.”
You can read more about these reports by following these links – CFO Dive survey, CIO Tech Dossier. These posts go into further depth with links directly to the reports.
Moving to the Cloud
For many of you who are using QuickBooks Desktop the notion of replacing it with a cloud platform might sound crazy. What you have today seems to work. But there may come a point when the benefits of a cloud-based platform make sense. Cloud-based solutions have lower upfront costs and capital expenditure, faster deployment and easier administration.
Cloud-native financial management platforms combine the customizability of an on-premises offerings with the 24×7 access, higher security and lower maintenance of the cloud. Cloud-native solutions deliver the full benefits of the cloud due to their use of cloud technology, de facto standards and open APIs. They are easier to integrate, scale, and adapt, delivering you the confidence and a flexible system to meet your future needs.
If you’re unsure about whether to make the switch, read this blog post to learn about some questions you should ask yourself.
QuickBooks Sells Professional Services Short
Professional services organizations are diverse. They provide a vast array of services, have widely varying customer bases and different models of service delivery. What professional services organizations have in common is how they generate revenue – they sell services, in the form of consultants’ time. These organizations are also unified by a need for accurate project billing, detailed reporting and business-process automation to maximize their operations.
What professional services organizations don’t need is QuickBooks. Instead, these organizations need a QuickBooks alternative that can help them boost revenue, improve customer satisfaction and make strategic data-driven decisions. Don’t take my word for it, but instead learn the benefits that some former QuickBooks users now enjoy that improve project billing, reporting, and automation and application integration. Follow this link to learn more.
QuickBooks Comes Up Short for SaaS Companies
SaaS companies need financial reporting and forecasting to expand and scale, especially as they look for funding or seek to take the company public. There is efficient and effective software out there that provides what SaaS companies need to grow, and QuickBooks is not one of them. QuickBooks simply cannot offer the same level of detail and accuracy needed, with dimensions, recurring revenue and forecasting. In this blog post I explore 10 reasons why QuickBooks is the wrong call for SaaS companies, especially as to relates to:
- Revenue recognition
- Subscription contracts
- Financial controls
- Application integration
QuickBooks Users Depend on Spreadsheets
Spreadsheets and finance have gone together for decades. Accounting directors, managers, controllers and CFOs have mastered the complexities of Excel. VLOOKUP, INDEXMATCH, pivot tables and reporting, macros, Excel visual basic and data simulations are all advanced tools accounting departments have employed to get information out of complex spreadsheets.
Useful as they are, spreadsheets are a crutch, and a weak one at that. And if you’re using QuickBooks, you don’t have a lot of options other than using spreadsheets to get the information you need to make data-driven decisions. Fixed-asset management, consolidation and revenue recognition are just three of the areas where QuickBooks falls short. If you’re current accounting solution forces you to use spreadsheets to get the insights you need, it’s time to look for a better alternative. Check out this blog post to get more insights on using spreadsheets with QuickBooks.
The Hidden Costs of QuickBooks
Most small businesses begin their financial lives using Intuit’s QuickBooks. With more than 80% market share, it is by far the most popular small business accounting application. It’s well known. It’s easy. It works, and it offers the functionality a business needs when it’s starting out.
If your business has moved beyond the entry level, your organization may be facing several challenges as you hit QuickBooks limits. It wasn’t designed to provide professional financial management capabilities to growing organizations with sophisticated, evolving demands. How do you know when it’s the right time to make the move? Which options should you consider? What are the hidden costs of waiting? How can you measure the costs against the benefits? Check out this post to learn about the signs that point to a change and learn about some hidden QuickBooks costs you might not be tracking.
QuickBooks Reporting Can Kill Your Business
Is QuickBooks killing your business? QuickBooks might be a good option for some organizations, but there may come a time where you outgrow its reporting capabilities. While manual reporting in spreadsheets can be sustainable for a while, a reporting solution that doesn’t grow with your needs can actually stunt your ability to make quick decisions and the best strategic choices for your organization.
What are the downsides of limited reporting? Consider the impact of poor visibility into costs, profit and loss. This can result in decreased market share, and missed revenue and growth opportunities, as you don’t have the information you need to grow and react to market changes and opportunities. Lacking real-time data, you’ll make less informed decisions. You can lose your competitive position and end up with dissatisfied customers. Your colleagues will lose their confidence in senior leadership. Poor decisions can mean the difference between business growth or failure. Is it worth it?
A better reporting solution gives you more insight and visibility into your data and gives you the tools to make better decisions with improved strategic planning. You’ll have what you need to optimize margins and pricing and to increase time-to-market with better market fit. The right information at the right time can help you increase both shareholder value and market share. Check out this blog post to learn more.
I’m interested in your feedback on these and some of my other posts. Reach me at [email protected].
Recommended Next Read
Cash versus accrual accounting: what is the difference?
Subscribe to our Sage Advice Newsletter
Get our latest business advice delivered directly to your inbox.
Ask the author a question or share your advice