QuickBooks is omnipresent. Over five million users and counting. It’s the industry-standard choice for start-up businesses to meet their basic accounting requirements at a very user-friendly price point. In fact, there’s a good chance QuickBooks was your first purchase when you started your business. Or perhaps you’re still using it.
Unfortunately, as countless users have learned, usually the hard way, as soon as your business grows and your requirements become more demanding and varied, the limitations of QuickBooks come into focus. And when they do, you’re going to face a significant decision on what to do next.
To help you assess your short- and long-term business management software objectives, we offer 6 telltale signs (a partial list) that indicate you have outgrown QuickBooks. If you’ve reached or eclipsed any one of them, listed below, it may be time to start evaluating a more comprehensive Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution, which enables your business to effectively integrate all of your business processes (e.g., sales, inventory, customers, production, etc.) into a single database.
1: Lack of Integration Causes Inefficiencies and Reduces Visibility into Your Business
Due to QuickBook’s lack of integration with most third-party software, users don’t have access to a single, unified database from which to pull and analyze all of their critical data. Whether employing spreadsheets and/or other non-integrated software with QuickBooks, disconnected databases force users to resort to a cumbersome and often error-prone routine of redundant data entry. In addition, it can take an inordinate amount of time to hunt for data that resides in one database, but not in another and that can spell trouble when a customer wants an answer … now!
For a start-up, this inefficient approach may be tolerable for awhile but, as business grows, this time-sinking exercise can cause frustration as it diverts resources away from more pressing concerns such as customer service, marketing initiatives or in-depth financial analysis, just to name a few. We see this scenario play out in virtually every type of business … over and over again. The question is – have you reached this point yet?
Lack of integration also means you don’t have instant access to data across the enterprise. If you want real-time visibility into your operations on a daily basis, you’ll need to jettison QuickBooks and start evaluating a more robust ERP solution that is fully integrated and automated.
2: Are You Hiring Additional Personnel? 30 Concurrent Users is the Limit with QuickBooks.
If your business is growing and you’re hiring more people, keep this number in mind – 30. That’s the upper limit of concurrent users who can access the QuickBook Enterprise system. We suggest you start searching for a more scalable solution well before you reach that limit.
3: More Volume Requires More Bandwidth and QuickBooks Has a Limited Threshold.
As your business grows, so does the volume of data entered into the system (e.g., customer orders, inventory, reports, financials, etc.). QuickBooks can only process so much data before it starts to bog down under the heavier load. This, in turn, can lead to the system slowing to a crawl and causing delays in accessing the information you want. Worse yet, this can increase the risk of system crashes and corrupted or lost data. Keep an eye on this – If you notice QuickBooks slowing down noticeably as your business grows, it may be time to start investigating business management software with more robust capabilities.
4: Your Industry-Specific (Vertical) Niche Requires More Flexibility from Your Software
QuickBooks is a one-size-fits-all kind of product; it’s not intended to fit the unique requirements of a specific industry. It forces you to conform to the limitations of the software, because it’s not flexible or adaptable enough to fit your business.
Let’s say your company specializes in manufacturing or you’re a retailer with multiple storefronts, you’re going to require a highly flexible and customizable ERP for manufacturers that can be molded to the way you do business and that integrates with specialized 3rd party software to provide the data that your industry demands.
5: Do You Need Industry-Specific Reporting?
QuickBooks has a limited array of built-in reports and offers little in the way of customization to suit your industry. If your business requires industry-specific reporting that transcends the fixed report structures in QuickBooks, find a solution that can adapt to your reporting requirements.
In late 2015, QuickBooks added Multicurrency capability to its non-U.S. versions, which is quite strange. Numerous reports from the field show users of U.S. versions not able to access this feature. Plus, even if you can access multicurrency, it’s quite rigid. Once you enable multicurrency, you can’t turn it off and you can’t change your home currency. Here are the precise instructions from the Intuit site:
Turn on Multicurrency
Remember that once you turn on multicurrency:
- You can’t hide or turn it off in QuickBooks.
- You can’t change your home currency.
Bottom line – If multicurrency is an essential component of your business, we suggest you look to a much more flexible solution than QuickBooks.
Now that we have given you some of the most common warning signs that you may have outgrown your QuickBooks software, stay tuned for the next blog, in which we offer up five valuable tips in finding a cost-effective upgrade to QuickBooks and one that will conform to your business and grow with you for the long haul.