Are you a startup or high-growth business that has reached an inflection point? Are you beginning that hyper-growth stage where your sales, customers and revenue are skyrocketing, but your business is experiencing growing pains and having major difficulty keeping up with this increased demand? Do you happen to also be using QuickBooks for your accounting software? If so, you need to read on…
QuickBooks was probably the best accounting software package for your business in its early days, because it allowed you to quickly and intuitively manage your accounting books. But at some point, every business hits the functional ceiling of QuickBooks and, at that point, it is likely holding your business back from reaching its true potential.
To determine whether it’s the right time to step up from QuickBooks to a more mature business accounting software system, consider five symptoms that indicate QuickBooks is actually hindering your business growth:
- Fragmented View of Company Operations: You can no longer effectively monitor your company’s business performance in real time. Checking orders as they come in and occasionally cobbling together data from different systems may have been sufficient in the past to give you an adequate view of your company’s performance, but as your company grows, you suddenly have data buried not just in QuickBooks but also in CRM, order management, inventory management, and Ecommerce systems. QuickBooks was designed so that you could wait until the end of the month to build reports to see how your company performed. This made sense when your business was small and your team members could track changes in information during the course of the month. But with a growing team and expanding locations, the old ways of keeping a finger on the pulse of your business are no longer viable. With your team scattered across several locations, the anytime, anywhere benefits of a cloud system is crucial to knowing what’s happening across your company and it’s something that the on-premise version of QuickBooks simply can’t offer.
- Manual Re-Entry of Data: With a proliferation of processes and siloed systems to support various departmental processes, your employees end up manually re-entering data from one system to another. For instance, your employees may have to download data from your CRM system into Excel, extract the relevant sales orders and re-enter data into your order management system. When the order executes, they may have to extract information again and input it into the inventory management system for fulfillment scheduling. This is wasted employee time that could otherwise be spent helping the company grow and innovate, but instead is spent in a manual process that could easily be automated if only these various systems were integrated. Additionally, errors in data entry could result in the incorrect product SKUs being selected, the order going to the wrong customer or delayed delivery of the shipment. All of this can hurt customer satisfaction and increase customer churn.
- Lost Sales Due to Lack of Information: With business on the web becoming ubiquitous, customers demand real-time access to their order information. They expect that stock levels, order status and delivery tracking information are all online and that they can get quick access to this information. Moreover, your customer service and sales reps need transaction, issue and order status information at their fingertips to deal with customer queries in a timely manner instead of having to call customers back after acquiring information from another department. Finally, lack of real-time information hinders your customer service and sales reps from increasing revenue by identifying potential upsell, renewal and cross-selling opportunities to your existing customers.
- Limiting Business Accounting Functionality: QuickBooks was designed to automate a limited set of core accounting functions. If your business is growing by leaps and bounds, it's easy to run out of headroom when you need to accommodate more customer, vendor or inventory line items than QuickBooks can realistically handle. Greater transaction volumes and processing speed are imperative to your company’s success and eventually QuickBooks will hit that point where it cannot keep up with your business. If you wait too long to move to a more appropriate business solution, QuickBooks could stop your growth in its tracks. As your financial processes become more sophisticated, you’ll find that QuickBooks lacks such key capabilities as granular financial controls, better SKU management and support for complex financial processes such as recurring billing and invoicing. QuickBooks also lacks built-in support for making simple changes across matrix SKUs, adding new sales tax rates, or handling bills of materials, kits and assemblies for manufacturing inventory. To overcome these limitations, many companies end up using Excel or creating new homegrown applications, causing workarounds and inefficiencies that waste your employees’ time or inordinately delay processes such as closing your monthly financials.
- IT Headaches Choking Productivity: Being an on-premise accounting software package, QuickBooks comes with all the extra costs that on-premise software brings—system administration, maintenance, server and storage hardware, anti-virus, backup and database software, amongst others. All of this costs time, money and IT personnel that could be better focused on growing your core business. Furthermore, QuickBooks Online has even more limited functionality than their on-premise version of QuickBooks and you have to evaluate, source and install these missing functional gaps yourself, in addition to integrating it with systems for order management, inventory, CRM and ecommerce. As time goes on, more money and resources are wasted in upgrading and maintaining this patchwork of disparate systems.
If any or all of the above symptoms sound familiar to you, you need to consider an alternative that better suits your company’s next stage of growth. You need a system that covers all the key business functionality such as accounting, sales and service, inventory, fulfillment and ecommerce in one integrated business management suite, and can deliver real-time, actionable information when you need it the most.
Since 1998, thousands of companies have moved from QuickBooks to NetSuite. These customers tell us they jumped from QuickBooks because it allowed them to move beyond the limited, point functionality that QuickBooks offers to a truly integrated business system. NetSuite not only offers advanced accounting software (which recently won Best Financial Management Solution in the 2011 CODiE awards), but also includes built-in advanced inventory, order management, invoicing, CRM and ecommerce functionality that can scale with your growing business. As a result, you no longer have to worry about sourcing separate software for this functionality, constantly integrating these various systems, or upgrading your IT infrastructure as your business grows.
Because NetSuite was architected from the ground up to function as a cloud system, you and your employees can access the system at any time, from any place. All reporting is real-time and available across all your business operations. With NetSuite, there are no expensive servers or software to maintain, upgrade and patch. More than 10,000 organizations use NetSuite to conduct over 52 billion transactions on an annual basis and our uptime for the last 12 months has averaged 99.98%. NetSuite customers also receive automatic product upgrades two times a year, and the system is made to seamlessly handle usage spikes and your growing list of customer transactions without any change in performance.
In the case of POS Supply Solutions, the company was able to grow 40% while saving $50,000 by choosing NetSuite for its CRM, ERP and ecommerce functionality. Gawker Media reduced its bookkeeping costs by 20%, reached 20 million monthly readers and enjoyed significant growth even during the recession of 2009 by switching to NetSuite.
When you’re ready to let your business break free from the limits of QuickBooks, check out stories of other companies that moved from QuickBooks to NetSuite, and were able to continue and accelerate their hyper-growth as a result.