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24 Feb

Why you should start using ERP software and leave Quickbooks.

5 Unmistakable Signs that it’s Time to Break Up with Quickbooks

At some point in every thriving business’ life comes the sobering realization that Quickbooks just can’t cut it anymore.

Don’t get us wrong. QuickBooks is a smart investment in the earliest stages of a business, providing simple and easy-to-use accounting software.

But as a business grows, requirements become more complex. Here are 5 signs that Quickbooks and you are headed for a breakup, and that you’ll soon be saying ‘hello ERP’:

Your business runs on 200 Excel spreadsheets

You’ve got a spreadsheet for payroll, a spreadsheet for clients, a spreadsheet for inventory — does this sound familiar? And if Excel shuts down for some reason without you saving, there’s hours of effort down the drain.

Quickbooks is limited in expanding its capabilities beyond budgeting and accounting. The right ERP system pulls together all aspects of your business so you can be more productive with your time – like making sales — instead of faffing around with a patchwork of spreadsheets.

An ERP solution like Microsoft Dynamics GP, with its dynamic properties, ensures that your data is constantly refreshed as your business changes. And with 200 out-of-the-box Excel reports, you can easily export data into a spreadsheet that you can slice and dice in multiple ways.

Manually entering everything is taking up most of your working hours

As a business grows in complexity, so does its accounting requirements.

There has to be a better way to trace inter-company transactions, have real-time visibility of the business’ financial position and produce ‘grown-up’ financial reports without manually entering in data or cutting and pasting.

Fact: If tax time saps your will to live because of the impending cleaning up of the books, it’s time to check out an ERP system.

Stuff is falling through the cracks and you don’t have time to catch each one

Back when a business had five employees, catching errors was relatively easy to do because everyone was pretty much in the same room and on the same wavelength.

With 50 employees, things just get a little more frantic. Not everyone can monitor his or her email inbox 24/7. There’s never a good time to sit down and thrash out policy and procedure, which can lead to costly mistakes.

An ERP system provides the checks and balances needed in the most error-prone areas of your business, and can alert you to these before they mushroom into a full-fledged problem.

There’s duplication everywhere, and it’s a potential land mine

You’ve got a spreadsheet of clients for accounts receivable. Your marketing manager has her own CRM database of clients for email blasts and promotions. Your operations guys have their own address book of clients for deliveries. See the problem there?

Apart from the fact that everyone could have saved precious time just working from one official list, the mistakes that can arise from disparate yet duplicate efforts are potentially catastrophic. Like double-billing customers, which almost always never goes down well.

A good ERP system will align all the information requirements of each department so that reporting is consistent and accurate, leading to better decisions, faster processes and better productivity. Not to mention more rapport and teamwork. Goodbye, silos.

Quickbooks won’t scale

In romance as it is in software, breakups can often be about one party outgrowing the other.

It’s okay to feel nostalgic: Quickbooks was there for you when you needed it. But to get to the next stage of your business, you’ll need software that covers not just finance and accounting, but operations, marketing and other key functions. You need proper reporting capabilities. You need constant visibility of where the business is, at all times.

A good ERP system not only provides you a solution for now and the next year or two. A ‘next-step’ upgrade should also be waiting in the wings. In fact, when choosing an ERP system always ask about the next-step plan. When will it be time to upgrade? How easy/difficult will it be to deploy? How much will it cost?

The upside of this break up with Quickbooks? Your business is growing fast enough to warrant an ERP system. So onwards and upwards. Make sure you choose a good partner, one that, as this video eloquently demonstrates, will grow with you.

Photo of broken cookie heart by Olivier Kaderli on Flickr.

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