QuickBooks is a popular choice for small businesses and early-stage startups who need a basic and affordable accounting platform. But before long, many companies will find they've outgrown QuickBooks. Knowing the signs that it's time to migrate to a more advanced platform is crucial – waiting too long could stunt business growth and make switching even more difficult.
The first sign that your company is reaching the limits of the platform is simply asking the question. As explained in a video series by SageIntacct, the more proactive question to ask is, "How do you know you are going to outgrow QuickBooks?"
By the time you or your accounting team has begun to feel these growing pains, it won't be much longer before further expansion only invites new challenges.
The primary roadblocks faced by enterprise QuickBooks users as their business matures fall into three categories:
- A lack of automation that creates bottlenecks within accounting and finance departments.
- User and data limits that put a hard cap on growth.
- The absence of reporting functions that are essential for fundraising.
Diving into each of these in greater detail, it's clear that outgrowing QuickBooks happens faster than most would assume, and can wreak havoc on a business unless they move swiftly to a better accounting platform.
Automation and versatility are lacking
The most efficient way to handle essential accounting tasks related to billing and payments is with automation. Unfortunately, QuickBooks lacks the functionality to automate anything more complex than routine transactions, and the system often breaks down at scale. Even utilizing the most basic automation tools within the program can result in errors that may accumulate into thousands of dollars in false payments and countless wasted hours.
When companies grow in size, the complexity of their finances grows in tandem. They need an efficient solution to manage multiple complex billing arrangements. They need to track every dollar of revenue to enable the best commission-based compensation for employees. At the end of the day, they need a solution to do all that and more without resorting to additional spreadsheets. At this level, QuickBooks can't deliver value.
Hard limits on growth
Sometimes, the signs that you've outgrown QuickBooks come all too quickly: You're suddenly unable to add new users or even new data. Once a business has reached these hard limits, there is no clear path forward until it can migrate to another accounting platform.
Few companies experiencing such an impressive rate of growth can afford to run into a brick wall like this. By the time you find your accountants resorting to additional spreadsheets outside of QuickBooks, it's time to start moving onto a new system at full speed.
No advanced reporting or audit prep
Before too long, many companies will need to begin the process of seeking out credit or attracting investors. The success of these activities hinges upon close scrutiny of financial data, and necessitates accounting work that's easy for auditors to follow.
Preparing for a round of fundraising always takes time, but it could prove nearly impossible under the limited functionality of QuickBooks. Business leaders need access to time-sensitive reports that pull data from multiple sources, a level of complexity that the platform can't offer. Moreover, they need an easy way to track key performance indicators, not only for the sake of auditors but to remain intimately familiar with the firm's performance and trajectory.
Overall, a company fast-tracked for growth will find itself outgrowing QuickBooks in no time. And although it may seem too difficult and costly to migrate to a more versatile accounting platform, it doesn't need to be that way. Consero, a SageIntacct partner, continues to prove itself more capable as the next step for any high-growth organization.