Are You Too Big for QuickBooks?

Azure, Microsoft, Cloud Computing
6 min readReading Time: 6 minutes

Remember when you first started using QuickBooks? You needed something you could use to track income and expenses, and as you got into it, you figured out it could help with invoices and payroll. When you needed to hire more accounting help, all the candidates were familiar with QuickBooks. A bonus! It really seemed like you had met the perfect accounting app.

Fast forward several years. Your company has grown and is growing. You’ve implemented an enterprise level application, a CRM or an HR solution, but accounting has been getting along just fine on QuickBooks. Or has it?

Estimates say that 75% to 80% of small businesses use QuickBooks, so it certainly has a hold on its niche market. But the question for you is whether you’re still the small business that QuickBooks serves. Are you, in fact, too big for QuickBooks?

Ask Yourself These 5 Questions to Know If You Need a QuickBooks Alternative

No matter what size you are, these questions should help you figure out if it’s time to start looking at QuickBooks alternatives.

1. Is your reporting robust enough?

While QuickBooks provides needed basic accounting and reporting, growing firms have more industry specific reporting needs that aren’t available in QuickBooks.

Firms have difficulty in using QuickBooks and find that:

  • If adding a store or warehouse, QuickBooks’ ability to track locations separately and provide consolidated reporting is lacking.
  • Complex invoicing is difficult.
  • Customized reporting is almost non-existent.

Other reporting areas that QuickBooks lacks are:

  • Expense reporting.
  • Government organization departmentalized reporting.
  • Investment’s split ownership reporting.

You may need a QuickBooks upgrade to meet your reporting needs. Consider whether an Enterprise level solution like Microsoft Dynamics NAV or a Small to Mid-Size solution like Microsoft Dynamics GP might better fit your current requirements.

2. Can it handle your number of users, authorizations and approvals?

As your company grows, you need a system that is scalable and can grow with you. Some needs you’ll encounter include:

  • Stronger security around access control.
  • Management level authorizations and approvals.
  • Performance when multiple users are accessing the software.
  • High number of simultaneous users (QuickBooks’ maximum users might mean staff are locked out).
  • High number of transactions logged simultaneously without corrupting data.

Microsoft Dynamics GP provides options for activity tracking and user access controls that are adjustable. Dynamics NAV includes theses features at an enterprise level. Either of these might provide the upgrade your growing company needs.

3. Does it work out-of-the-box for your industry?

As an accounting solution, QuickBooks appeals to almost all industries in the early stages of a small business. But as the company grows, specific needs for their industry become drivers in what they do.

  • Construction, engineering, and consulting require complex project accounting to support estimating and billable hours.
  • Sales teams need to track variable-rate sales commissions, bonuses, and other revenue recognition programs.
  • Government contracts sometimes require complex invoicing that is difficult to implement in QuickBooks.

If you’re looking for more comprehensive functionality, like project management, or customer retention programs, you might need a QuickBooks upgrade. 360 Visibility provides Microsoft Dynamics GP and Dynamics NAV solutions that work out-of-the-box for various industries, including Financial Services, Professional Services, Distribution, Media and Entertainment, and Metals and Mining industries.

4. Can it handle ALL your data?

QuickBooks is excellent for common business accounting, but if you need to pull data from the system to manipulate it along your needs, then you probably need a more robust system.

Other systems such as Microsoft’s Dynamics products are more capable in analyzing data and being suitable for your industry. For example, a system geared toward sales will let you do analysis based on combinations of fields like location, products ordered, and customer industry. QuickBooks is not robust enough to handle multiple variables.

5. Do you have sufficient consultant support?

Another area where companies find QuickBooks lacking is in having knowledgeable consultant support when learning and manipulating the system. As you gain experience in your business, you will want to create specific workflows for the system, and having help to do that can be critical.

At 360 Visibility, we provide consultant support for Microsoft Dynamics GP and Dynamics NAV and we serve clients in various industries including Media and Entertainment, Metals and Mining, Financial Services, Distribution, and Professional Services. Our goal is to help you with specific solutions that efficiently and effectively satisfy your needs.

If thinking through any of these questions causes you concern, it’s probably time to look at QuickBooks alternatives. You’ve grown and your systems should grow with you.

Consider whether Microsoft Dynamics GP or Dynamics NAV might be a solution if you’re looking for a QuickBooks upgrade. Dynamics GP is a great solution for small to midsize businesses and Dynamics NAV has features for enterprise and international businesses. Make the change to get control over your financials and better manage your data and reporting. These products are quick to implement, easy to use, and scalable as you grow.

Marco D'Ercole
Marco D'Ercole
An Alumni of St Michael’s College School, York University and co-founder of 360 Visibility Inc., Marco is an industry recognized expert at building and aligning an organization’s technology with their business strategy in a cost-effective and often innovative way.
360 Visibility