For many small and mid-sized businesses, Intuit QuickBooks is the preferred choice for financial software in the organization’s early days—and for solid reasons. QuickBooks is well-known and easy to use, and it offers the basic functionality that almost any business can use to get off the ground.
Unfortunately, virtually every growing business also soon realizes that the undeniable early value of QuickBooks—and even QuickBooks Online—is soon overtaken by the limitations and compromises that emerge. Perhaps your organization has already run up against some of these barriers: inflexible processes, data accessibility issues, inadequate security, and primitive reporting. Let’s take a closer look at the limitations of QuickBooks.
5 Limitations of QuickBooks
Many organizations naturally and gradually develop sophisticated accounting requirements (such as revenue recognition and multi-entity consolidation). And if QuickBooks is the financial foundation, that often means cumbersome workarounds because QuickBooks doesn’t provide the built-in capabilities for these complex processes.
Are you exporting data to multiple spreadsheets? Setting up dummy accounts? Creating additional journal entries each month? Or have you created home-grown applications for recording revenue or expenses outside of QuickBooks? These workarounds lead to entry errors, incorrect or outdated data, process inefficiencies, wasted time and resources, and a lack control and compliance.
Most companies don’t integrate QuickBooks with other key business applications, opting instead to just manually integrate the systems (think: flat files, CSV dumps, and rekeying). That might suffice when volumes are small. But ask anyone who’s endured these workarounds and you’ll see it’s a real productivity killer as the business grows. Who has time to manually research, re enter, and verify data that’s already captured elsewhere? Instead of automating your business, these manual integrations are invitations to errors and wasted time.
Real-time visibility into business metrics is essential for timely decisions that boost performance. QuickBooks offers canned reports—and no dashboards—so your visibility is limited and you’re often forced to make decisions based on outdated data. By leveraging a financial system that incorporates both a multi-dimensional general ledger and report writer, you can transform your analyses and become a strategic partner who generates insights that answer the bigger questions facing management.
Maybe you’ve seen a couple of the classic signs that you’ve outgrown QuickBooks. Those menus and screens—that used to be so quick and responsive—now have lengthy delays as the system struggles to keep up with data volume and calculation intensity. Report-printing takes forever. And queries seem to dim the lights.
This critical limitation is risky at best. It can force you to periodically shut down QuickBooks—just to maintain data files. In a worst-case scenario, you’re looking at potentially disastrous results: system crashes and the loss of crucial data. That’s no way to run a business.
Manual processes are a fact of life with QuickBooks. Unfortunately, they increase the probability of data duplication and data entry errors, making it difficult to gain an integrated, real time financial view of a company’s end-to-end operations.
Despite its popularity as a business application for small business, QuickBooks simply wasn’t designed for growing organizations that need advanced functionality to manage sophisticated processes.
To accurately forecast your business opportunities and plan proactively, you need an overarching view of operations and the ability to identify process gaps and areas of strength. You can’t do that with a financial solution that limits collaboration, doesn’t provide adequate data controls, and can’t integrate with your other data sources, systems, and applications.
Coping with the Limitations
To cope with these limitations, you start building a few “extra” spreadsheets on the side that handle special tasks and calculations. Next, you’re rekeying data—and worrying about different versions of that data. As your business grows, and the pressure increases, you soon find yourself with a patchwork of manual, error-prone processes that take longer and longer to complete.
Fortunately, Sage Intacct’s cloud-based financial management solution, offers a better way, with sophisticated—but still easy to use—functionality such as: fast consolidations, multi-entity support, currency conversions, smart revenue recognition, and more. All of the features you need today, as you outgrow QuickBooks, and also all of the broader capabilities you’ll need for the future.