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5 Signs It's Time to Let Go of QuickBooks

Is it time to move on from your old financial management software? The tell-tale signs that you should ditch QuickBooks and your virtual pile of Excel sheets for something newer are often right there in your daily workflows, even if you don't immediately notice them. They might not be as obvious as a home furnace breaking down or a car desperately needing an engine checkup, but you can discover them once you know what to look for.

QuickBooks predates the World Wide Web, and its design has not aged well in handling the complex tasks, huge data sets and evolving industry rules and standards that finance teams now deal with every day. Let's explore five of the biggest indicators you should leave QuickBooks behind:

1) No one really knows what's going on across the business

Say your SMB opened up a new office or just finished a round of hiring. With QuickBooks as your financial system, it will become increasingly difficult for everyone to stay in the loop about the organization's overall performance.

Data will get siloed in QuickBooks itself, as well as in the various inventory management systems and spreadsheets that typically accompany it. Remote workers may pick the latter option since Excel is a familiar tool, while obtaining secure web access to QuickBooks and these other platforms can be complex by comparison.

This workflow creates a vicious cycle:

  • Information is so unevenly distributed across the company that employees rely on their own spreadsheets to fill in the gaps.
  • But such reliance creates more fragmentation and unevenness, resulting in tons of time wasted looking for the right spreadsheet.
  • These Excel sheets are also frequently riddled with errors – KPMG has estimated that between 70 and 80 percent of them contain flaws.
  • Ultimately, information ends up being stale, hard to obtain and isolated from the many interlocking financial processes of the business, so no one knows the full picture.

Cloud software, such as Intacct, breaks this cycle by integrating all of your vital information into a variety of dashboards, reports and analytics you can securely access on demand from the web. Business performance can be condensed into a comprehensive view, rather than spread out across a chart of accounts with many different segments.

2) Technology, rather than results, has become your main concern

Tinkering with QuickBooks – e.g., by integrating additional systems on top of it – is like stacking Jenga blocks together. You add each one separately and carefully, hoping that the structure holds together and doesn't fall over, even as it all becomes more inflexible.

"QuickBooks is not built from the ground up for on-demand, real-time finance."

Basically, QuickBooks is not built from the ground up for on-demand, real-time access to data. Integrating new apps can be a costly investment that might not pay off for a while, if ever. Plus, upgrading can be a tedious, distracting process, as specific editions become unsupported and turn into liabilities or require maintenance.

As an on-premises solution, QuickBooks and the bevy of spreadsheets in its orbit can also put your financial data at great risk. System unavailability, a malware infection or even a fire could lead to permanent data loss. Cloud-based solutions do not face these same risks. They also feature many seamless integrations with solutions such as Salesforce.com

3) Manual processes are required to get anything done

Is your team entering data into redundant spreadsheets for days on end each month? Do you run into trouble reconciling your various financial systems? A "yes" answer to either question may indicate that QuickBooks has outstayed its welcome.

Manual financial processes can cost you time and money.
Manual financial processes can cost you time and money.

Manual processes are both time-consuming and error-prone. They slow down approvals and consolidations, delay budgeting and forecasting and rankle customers due to incorrectly entered information.

Cloud ERP software goes further by automating complex multi-entity operations and accounts payable workflows. This frees up time for higher-level analysis and similar tasks.

4) You are having trouble with audits and financing

If you are a SaaS provider, you may have to regularly show your board of directors your most recent financial reports so that it can understand the organization's current position. Based on this information, it may decide whether or not to seek an additional round of financing from investors.

Timely, accurate reports are also essential for passing audits and preparing for an initial public offering. Unfortunately, ensuring access to them in QuickBooks often requires adding more "band-aids" (or Jenga blocks, as we said) to the platform.

What you really need for these tasks is a comprehensive cloud solution, such as Intacct. It can provide a full audit trail, automated workflows and rich reporting capabilities.

5) Adapting to new leads or changing requirements is onerous

Relying on QuickBooks may have left you pondering what-if scenarios, such as "what if I had been able to move faster on that sales lead?" This is because QuickBooks by itself lacks many essential features for managing sales tax rates, matrix SKUs and inventory. It doesn't give you the toolbox you need to respond to dynamic situations.

Cloud financial software includes deep automation, advanced reporting features and numerous integrations that make your life easier. With the help of a proven implementation partner such as Arxis, you can get the tailor-made plan and specific industry expertise you need to move on from QuickBooks and set up something that really works.


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