Tips for Researching Alternatives to QuickBooks
Many businesses are initially happy with their decision to buy QuickBooks. But, after years working with the software they often slowly realize it may not have been the best choice, or it is no longer working for them. Replacing QuickBooks may seem like a daunting task. But, it doesn’t have to be. Our experts have broken it down into five simple steps.
Step #1: Determine if you have outgrown QuickBooks
There are several common symptoms business experience when outgrowing Quickbooks. Check out the list and ask yourself if you can relate.
Step #2: Take Stock of Your Needs
With so many options to choose from, it is easy to get overwhelmed or confused when researching new accounting systems if you don’t first determine your requirements.
Step #3: Evaluate Your Options
This is probably one of the most challenging and time-consuming parts of replacing QuickBooks. To make it easier, our experts suggest focusing the information you gathered in Step #2, plus 5 key questions.
Step #4: Choose the one that most closely matches your needs
Use the information you collected in steps 2 and 3.
Step #5: Choose an Implementation Partner
Unless you choose a software as a service (SaaS) solution that’s completely installed and managed by the vendor, or you have a large IT department with experience installing these types of systems, you will need someone to help you get your system up and running.
Signs Your Business has Outgrown QuickBooks
- You often feel like QuickBooks is oversimplified or not flexible enough to meet your needs. Two of QuickBooks’ major strengths are that it is easy to use and set up. But, this simplicity can be a double-edged sword. Often as a business grows QuickBooks users find the software is lacking many of the accounting features they need.
- You need audit trails, but they are nowhere to be found in QuickBooks. Unlike other more sophisticated accounting systems, QuickBooks allows users to edit posted transactions after the fact, without keeping a record of the change. But, this does not comply with the auditing standards that growing businesses, especially those in regulated industries must deal with.
- You’ve reached the maximum record limit—There is a finite limit to how many records QuickBooks can process and keep in its archives. This means you can only have so many employees, processes, transactions, etc. And, once you hit those limits, your only choice is to erase historical records. These limitations are evidence that QuickBooks does not scale easily and is not built to grow with companies past a certain point.
- You’re unable to build a closer relationship with business lenders or want to go public, but can’t. Because it is so easy to change QuickBooks records with no audit trail, the simple truth is even most large CPA firms will not perform an audit on your accounting records if you use QuickBooks.
- You can’t get the business insight or reports that you need. The reports available out of the box with QuickBooks are limited and they don’t really give you a complete picture of your business’ overall health. So, you wind up spending valuable time creating the reports you need with Excel or another similar tool.
If you can relate, don’t worry. Help is here. In fact, the desire to replace an entry level accounting system like QuickBooks is one of the main reasons people initially reach out to us.
Take Stock of Your Needs
- What features are must haves? (Be sure to consider things like user experience, collaborative capabilities and deployment options).
- What features are nice to have? (Again, be sure to consider things like user experience, collaborative capabilities and deployment options).
- What is my budget? Do you want to pay for your new system upfront or spread the cost out into monthly bills? (If you want to spread the cost out, a cloud or hosted solution will be your best bet).
Evaluate Your Needs
How easy is the system to learn and use?
Your employees are already familiar with QuickBooks and you don’t want to lose valuable time training them on the new system when they could be contributing to the growth of your business. The good news is you don’t have to. Look for a solution that offers:
- an intuitive user experience
- role specific dashboards and clear workflows
- built-in productivity tools
The easier your new accounting system is to use, the more likely your employees will adopt it without you forcing them to do so.
Does the solution support different work styles?
Today, users expect software to be easy-to-use, accessible on any device and always available. Make a list of all the devices (desktop/laptops, tablets and smartphones) your employees depend on a daily basis and then look at how well each solution can support those devices. The best solution will allow your people to be productive no matter where work takes them.
Does the vendor offer deployment options that fit my needs?
For instance, if you’re currently running an online version of QuickBooks or another entry-level accounting solution, do you plan on investing in the servers and other infrastructure needed to maintain your new system in-house?
Or, on the other hand, if you’re currently using an outdated legacy system perhaps you want to move to a subscription or cloud-based system instead. Each of these deployment options offer their own unique advantages and disadvantages, for added guidance, click here.
What kind of after sales support does the vendor offer?
Most small businesses do not have the IT knowledge to deploy their new on their own. So, when choosing a vendor consider the following:
- Does the vendor offer local implementation help via partners/providers in your area?
- Does the vendor demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement?
- Will your pricing remain consistent year after year?
- Does the vendor hold your data for you? Do you know where it will be stored?
Does the vendor understand the needs of small and midsize business?
Consider their track record for helping businesses like yours achieve the results you want. Customer case studies and references are very useful in this case.
Now That You Know What to Look for In Alternatives to QuickBooks, Ready to Explore Your Options?
Gain financial control, manage resources, and get data you need to make smart business decisions.
Choose an Implementation Partner
Unless you choose a software as a service (SaaS) solution that’s completely installed and managed by the vendor, or you have a large IT department with experience installing these types of systems, you will need someone to help you get your system up and running. And then, be there to answer questions and help you with any issues you might run into after you start using the software. That’s where we come in, at Intelligent Technologies, Inc., we have over 30 years’ experience helping small and medium-sized businesses make the most of their accounting/business management systems.
Not Sure Which Solution is Right For Your Organization?
With over 30 years’ experience helping small and medium-sized businesses make the most of their accounting/business management systems, Intelligent Technologies can help you explore your accounting and financial management options, document your challenges, choose, and implement the right accounting solution for your business. Let us help you find the right QuickBooks replacement.