QuickBooks is a basic accounting software that is an obvious first choice for a startup or small business. It is affordable, simple, well-known, and it works. But while it has its success stories, QuickBooks Accounting works until the time your business transactions cross a certain threshold. Once finance teams start facing a flood of financial data or start losing control of the business, it is probably because your business has outgrown QuickBooks. The software is not designed for “heavy lifting” and isn’t robust enough to handle large volumes of financial data or provide the financial visibility you need.
The Problem with QuickBooks
QuickBooks is entry-level accounting software for small and medium-sized businesses, meaning that it comes with various drawbacks. First of all, it is not designed for working with complex financial data with multiple variables. It lacks many sophisticated financial management functions that a growing business needs, such as resource management, comprehensive reporting, tracking, advanced cash flow analytics, etc. The primary functions of QuickBooks are centered around accounting, and their scope is quite limited (to accounting basics), which means you’ll need to integrate third-party business management software to digitize your organization.
Disadvantages of QuickBooks include:
- Limitations on the number of users
- Lack of crucial reports outside of accounting
- Lack of business- and industry-specific features
- Manual processes
- File-size issues
- Problems with QuickBooks data conversion
- Issues with data import/export of Excel spreadsheets
- Lack of direct professional support
- System crashes and disaster recovery
- Not scalable
Where to Go When You Outgrow QuickBooks?
Once you have noticed all the signs you’re outgrowing QuickBooks, it’s time to leave QuickBooks for a more advanced solution. There are a few options for enterprises struggling to plan their next move because they cannot get visibility into their sea of financial data.
- Switching to an on-premise finance and accounting platform
To minimize the growing pains, you can decide to ditch QuickBooks and move your accounting to a different, more robust, and more complete on-premise accounting platform. However, these accounting systems require more time and effort to implement. They also require a large cash investment, external consultants, and an in-house finance and accounting team. Enterprises shouldn’t expect to get far with an on-premise accounting choice for less than approximately $50,000, and the numbers may go up.
Furthermore, moving to the new on-premise accounting software will be difficult because migrating valuable and sensitive data to a new environment is quite challenging for CFOs and their teams. Also, the probability of everything going smoothly is virtually non-existent because tracking down financial data requires a lot of patience and time. Finding, hiring, and training employees on the new platform requires additional investments – the more robust the system, the more extensive training period will be before your team becomes prepared to use the system efficiently.
Of course, these systems can solve tons of transactional problems that you’d face with QuickBooks, but they won’t solve the analytics and reporting problem. You will need to buy additional software for enterprise-level analytics and advanced reporting, then bring in consultants to implement it. All in all, this is a very time-consuming and expensive solution.
- Switching to an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system
Another potential option is upgrading to an ERP solution – a holistic business management software that integrates all back-office functions, from workflow management, sales, supply and distribution, and business analytics to resource control. Accounting is typically tied to most of these core processes, so having such an enterprise-wide software that covers financial management makes a lot of sense. Unlike QuickBooks, a small business accounting software, an ERP is a centralized solution that can link each process through a common platform.
On the other hand, it also costs a lot to implement, especially if you need to upgrade your hardware and train staff to use it. Typically, ERP systems require some level of training from the vendor before you can start using it. Data migration to a new ERP is slow because you’ll have to input all existing data the first time you use it. The more data you have, the longer it will take (and you will have to double-check it to make sure nothing is duplicated or lost during the migration. Ultimately, complexity is both the biggest advantage and disadvantage of ERP systems. Since it’s capable of so many things, it can be challenging for users to focus on singular tasks.
If you want to upgrade to an ERP system, it may take months or years of planning in advance to avoid any disruptions to your accounting work. Cloud-based ERP software is easier and faster to install, but it still takes time.
- Cloud-based accounting system
SaaS accounting applications are starting to find their place in the world of finance and accounting. Actually, if you’re using the QuickBooks Desktop version, there’s probably no other alternative but to switch to a SaaS platform (e.g., QuickBooks Online). Migrating to a cloud-based system offers more flexibility, and most of the cloud-based accounting vendors offer tech support and could help you resolve technical issues on short notice (but that doesn’t necessarily cover data migration issues). If appropriately set, some of the platforms provide data visualization of your financial information, allowing you to perceive your data the way you like.
Data migration is also a major issue with cloud-based applications. There hasn’t been a migration of data from one accounting environment to another that didn’t come with a few significant data issues.
Leveraging Finance as a Service
Partnering with a Finance as a Service (FaaS) to outsource your finance and accounting function has a myriad of benefits. It has pre-built systems and workflows, a skilled finance team to take on all back-office operations and easy-to-view dashboards for efficient monitoring of the business, This provides you with more transparency, clarity and time to focus on core business tasks. Your CFO can spend more time on financial management and decision-making, and reliable and precise financial reports provided by your FaaS provider will make a world of difference to your business intelligence.
Your company can reap the benefits of outsourced accounting when you start assessing your organization’s gaps and needs regarding financial operations. The FaaS providers can take over your entire F&A department with services that range from comprehensive finance services, as well as controller services and a fractional CFO. The main areas of your finance department you can outsource include:
- Back-office support
- Controller services
- CFO services
- Financial planning and analysis
When you subscribe to FaaS (Finance as a Service), you will get:
- Improved accuracy of financial data and reports
- Provision of reports that help improve your decision-making
- Lots of saved time to spend on core business issues
- Reduced errors
- Mitigating the probability of fraud
- Access to financial experts and the latest technology
Outsourcing your finance and accounting department allows you to modernize your back-office function by letting go of outdated or insufficiently robust systems (for a fraction of the cost of running an in-house F&A department). You will have a team of experts to improve your processes and controls with powerful tech systems and business solutions, proper controls, and streamlined processes. You will get to use a consolidated platform to ensure all work and processes run smoothly. At the same time, your CFO will benefit from your FaaS provider’s ability to overcome various setbacks and obstacles that prevent your organization from scaling.
Next, you won’t have to buy the accounting technology (or maintain it) because you get the advanced software your partner provides. Improved compliance, minimal errors, no duplication of jobs, and avoiding other bottlenecks come from capitalizing on your FaaS provider’s expertise. You will ensure that your company is equipped with everything that lets it meet digital transformation requirements. Paper-based and non-integrated solutions get replaced with integrated software solutions with a centralized dashboard that lets you see your company’s financial position at a glance. This kind of financial visibility leads to improved strategic decision-making and problem-solving, which leads to a higher ROI.
There is life after QuickBooks. Many startups and SMBs go with QuickBooks because it’s the most known and widely-used accounting software globally. On a small scale, the basic functionalities it offers are what small companies need to meet their accounting needs and get them up and running. But as a business owner with a growing company, you will run into various limitations (such as primitive reporting, data accessibility issues, and inflexible processes) that will cause you to upgrade to a better solution. Outsourcing your finance and accounting department is the most cost-effective and efficient way to go because it provides the necessary technology, people, and processes to meet your accounting needs and support executive decision-making.
Reach out to Consero and request a free demo today to find out how outsourced finance and accounting can set you on a clear path towards growth! We can help you identify the telltale signs that you’ve outgrown QuickBooks and that your business could benefit from FaaS.