When is it time to leave QuickBooks?


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.

AccountingFast-growing companies need an accounting and finance solution that can grow with them.

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.

Consero FaaS: Disrupting the Outdated Traditional F&A Model

  • Cash to GAAP conversion
  • Clean-up work
  • Interim oversight & support
  • Accounting software Implementation

Build it Yourself Solution

  • CFO / Interim CFO
  • Consultants / VARs

Consero FaaS Solution

  • CFO / Interim CFO
  • or Consero Interim CFO
  • Consero Setup/Transformation
Ongoing F&A
  • Monthly financials
  • Daily accounting support
  • Management reporting
  • Integrate add-on acquisitions

Build it Yourself Solution

  • CFO
  • Controllers & Accounting Team
  • Enterprise Accounting Applications

Consero FaaS Solution

  • CFO
  • or Consero Fractional CFO
  • Consero FaaS Enterprise F&A Software and Services

New PE Platform Investment F&A Challenges

Founder Owned Company Accounting:
  • Existing accounting done on a cash/hybrid basis
  • Run on SMB accounting software and other disparate applications
  • Inability to produce auditable financials
  • Lack of know-how to develop projections & KPIs
  • No consistency/structure to customer contracts
  • Underqualified staff
  • Non-scalable manual processes
Carve-Out Accounting:
  • Required to move off parent company accounting applications in a timely fashion
  • Have to build an entire F&A team
  • No documented operational policies and procedures
To Optimized Finance & Accounting:
  • Monthly financials available in 5-10 business days
  • Audit and diligence ready support details
  • Integrated enterprise grade accounting software
  • Budget and forecast reporting
  • Business KPIs
  • Efficient & scalable processes for rolling in add-ons