How to tell you've outgrown QuickBooks

How to Know When QuickBooks No Longer Makes the Cut

When a business outgrows an entry-level accounting software like QuickBooks, financial decision-makers have a series of realizations, decisions, and questions that will define the way their organization works in the near- and long-term future.

The first realization is often one of the hardest: Realizing that “It’s time.”  For many of us, QuickBooks is like the first apartment we have out of college: affordable, cozy, and humble—essentially a roof over your head. Too quickly, however, that “roof over your head” becomes a constraint. You’re running out of space and you need more from your investment.

When a “Roof Over Your Head” Accounting Software Holds You Back from Growth

Similar to that small apartment, QuickBooks has constraints, namely in the form of theoretical company file size limitations—once the file size reaches 150 MB for Pro and Premiere and 1 GB for Enterprise, or the number of list items in the file exceeds 10,000 (Pro/Premiere) or 100,000 (Enterprise), the software begins to slow down, data gets corrupted, and working in QuickBooks becomes a hassle, according to a QuickBooks support company.

The company goes on to recommend three options—one of which includes starting a brand new company file, a process that includes recreating all of your opening balances and lists.

Even if you do take this “brute force” approach of starting a new company file, it’s likely as a growing business that you’re processing more transactions, paying more employees, and working with more suppliers, meaning that it’s only a matter of time before you have to do this again.

Common Complaints and Why They Occur

Size is just one of the issues that growing organizations face. A survey completed by a Colorado-based QuickBooks support company found that while QuickBooks was regarded for its ease of use and ability to meet basic business needs, business users also found many issues:

  1. Limited reporting
  2. Double entry and keying errors
  3. Generic and impersonal support
  4. Standalone application Lacks integration
  5. Speed

There are many reasons for these issues:

  • The first two of these are generally the result of QuickBooks’ need for you to use Excel for any additional functionality.
  • The lack of personalized support comes from the sheer size and broad focus of the company—85% of the estimated 29.6 million small businesses in the US use
  • The lack of integration comes as a result of many reasons including its original nature as a desktop application (QuickBooks Online has made improvements, but there’s still a long road ahead) and its focus on basic small business accounting (which often doesn’t need other software like that for T&E, Billing, or CRM).
  • Speed is a result of the aforementioned file size issues, as well as the amount of manual processes, lack of integration, and the need of growing businesses for advanced functionality.

Making the Jump: Accounting Software for Every Size

When day-to-day operations become days-to-days, month-end closing takes weeks to complete, and reporting requires a melting pot of applications to complete, it’s time to realize that you’ve made it—you’ve hit the point when congratulations are in order. Your business has become highly successful, but in order to continue this success, it’s time to make a change.

Just as you left your tiny apartment for something bigger that met your needs, so must you make the decision to take the leap to the next step to choose something that can handle your business in its current state. Unlike your apartment, the “next step” will have fewer constraints, even if you grow.

Since 1997, Intacct has been a leading option for growing businesses, and has continued to improve its offering, now providing the same highly-functional, best-of-breed accounting with affordable options for businesses of all sizes—from the emerging small business to the software startup to the pre- and post-IPO public company.

Next Steps

Learn more about what it means for your business when you outgrow QuickBooks, and learn more about how to make the decision by downloading the latest whitepaper on choosing an accounting software for your growing business.

rinehimerbaker has released a new whitepaper for companies outgrowing QuickBooks. Outgrowing QuickBooks—How to Know It’s Time to Change shares the challenges that businesses face when growing, and the opportunities they have to ease growth. Learn more by reading the first 3 pages of the whitepaper below:

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