Letting go of old software can be tough. Witness Microsoft Windows XP, originally released in 2001: As of June 2016, it still had almost 10 percent market share among PCs, despite its age and its many shortcomings in security, performance and usability.
The recent QuickBooks 2013 sunset
There are many other examples of legacy applications that seemingly can't be retired, including Adobe Flash Player and Internet Explorer. By living on even after they become officially unsupported, they heighten risk for anyone relying on them – an unsupported application is one that does not receive security patches or feature updates.
In the case of QuickBooks, this end of support has much higher stakes. A company's money and financial reports live inside the application and are at great risk when it suddenly becomes unsupported. An outdated QuickBooks loses many of it essential features. For example, these capabilities go away in sunsetted versions:
- Process credit or check payments online
- Link bank accounts
- Perform billing and payroll operations
- Receive technical support
- Access backup services
- Utilize platform add-ons
All of the above changes took effect for some of the most popular implementations of QuickBooks, including QuickBooks 2013, on May 31, 2016. What's the best way past the QuickBooks sunset? Should finance teams simply purchase a newer form of QuickBooks, or instead upgrade to cloud accounting software?
The hamster wheel of the desktop upgrade cycle
If all of this sounds familiar, it's because the same 3-year lifecycle has been affecting QuickBooks products for a long time. It's a model straight out of the 1990s, when software still came in boxes and had to be bought for a large upfront fee every few years.
Upgrading desktop software is not as simple as pressing a button.
This process is time-consuming and wasteful, requiring organizations to interrupt their workflows just to ensure that their accounting tools don't become obsolete overnight. A much better path forward is to switch to cloud accounting – and plenty of SMBs have already gotten the memo.
According to a Technology Business Research report, SaaS solutions might bring in $67 billion in revenue by 2018. That would be almost double their 2013 level ($35 billion). For finance, in particular, cloud-based delivery offers several critical advantages over QuickBooks, including:
- Reduced reliance on manual processes
- Guaranteed system delivery and availability
- Better reporting
- Easier integrations with other business applications
- Continuous maintenance and updating from the provider
The golden opportunity for a cloud upgrade
Instead of buying a new version of QuickBooks this year and again in three years, upgrading to a platform such as Intacct can provide superior functionality as well as a more sustainable subscription model. Users get:
Freedom from IT
QuickBooks on the desktop is very limited since it runs on-premises, may be complex to integrate with other apps and isn't as efficiently updated/patched as cloud software. Cloud accounting software is managed by the provider and can seamlessly be linked with other tools such as Salesforce.com. This helps eliminate information silos and tedious manual operations.
"Cloud accounting software can be seamlessly integrated with Salesforce."
QuickBooks was built before the World Wide Web even existed, and as such it comes up short in areas such as real-time reporting. In contrast, Intacct has a plethora of reporting options, lets you drill down to individual transactions and makes its data securely accessible from any web browser.
A huge upgrade from spreadsheets
Excel sheets are a common companion to QuickBooks. But keeping track of all of them can slow down data entry, revenue recognition and project accounting. Intacct is an automated alternative that helps you reduce routine errors and free up time for other endeavors.
The transition to a new accounting system can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Working with a trusted, experienced partner such as Arxis will ensure that you get a roadmap that is designed specifically for you and that leads to a long-term business relationship.