QuickBooks may have been adequate when you started out. It met your entry-level business accounting needs and was easy enough to understand. But if your manufacturing business is growing the way you want it to, no doubt you are looking for a way to make a great thing better by finding ways to bridge your QuickBooks solution to other applications that support areas outside of accounting.
Are you facing any of these 9 issues typically associated with QuickBooks software holding you back?
9 Signs You've Outgrown QuickBooks
1. User and database size limits
- PROBLEM: Once you hit the ceiling of maximum current users with QuickBooks, you need a way to keep the good things you like about the system, while supporting additional users in your growing organization. When you're in growth mode, the last thing you want to deal with is whether your financial software can handle adding another user. Naturally you don’t want to sacrifice performance or speed either, you just want to lose the limitations tied to a constricted number of users, data sets, items, history, inventory, etc.
- SOLUTION: You'll need an enterprise-class, transaction-oriented database so you can achieve growth and scale your operations, with the added benefit of gaining a better overall solution.
2. Insufficient controls for operational checks and balances
- PROBLEM: With QuickBooks, ease of use is a good thing; however, the lack of auditability attached to users (any user) making a transactional change can be a real problem later. Without historical context, identifying and fixing errors can be nearly impossible, which is an organizational — and legal — disaster in a highly regulated business.
- SOLUTION: You'll need an application with accessible audit trails throughout, with particular emphasis on changes made to the General Ledger. Be sure the trailing history cannot be deleted and changes can be viewed contextually, by author and by date.
3. Narrow inventory options and support
- PROBLEM: With QuickBooks. your growth is suffering the inability to support serialized inventory, barcoding, demand forecasting or multiple warehouses often leads manufacturers to layer on additional technologies. This may provide some organizational relief in the short run, but eventually, the lack of proper integration between these add-on solutions can turn into a nightmare of inflexibility and inaccuracy that lead to an entirely new set of problems.
- SOLUTION: You'll need a software program where inventory can be serialized, lots can be tracked, and you gain end-end traceability throughout your supply chain. In fact, every transaction, screen or report should be available for barcode processing. Other important considerations are:
- Master Production Scheduling (MPS/Forecasting)
- Multi-level/Multi-facility Materials Requirement Planning
- Distribution Requirements Planning
- Make-to-Order work order, sales order, drop shipping, and purchase order automation
- Multi-Layer Pricing
- Return Material Authorization (RMA)/Returns
- Service Management
4. Regional / geographical limitations
- PROBLEM: QuickBooks currency and language constrictions might work fine when you are a very small, geographically confined organization, but it’s a real impediment as your business grows.
- SOLUTION: If you plan to expand your business to any non-English speakers, individuals or countries, you'll need an application that allows you to do business in as many currencies and as many supported languages as you like.
5. Finite reporting features and periods
- PROBLEM: With QuickBooks, you're restricted to 12 fiscal periods; there is no ability to define custom reporting periods.
- SOLUTION: Look for a software that allows users to define periods as needed, e.g., a flexible 4-4-5 reporting calendar option.
6. Inequitable price to product value ratio
- PROBLEM: A common problem with basic, single purpose solutions such as QuickBooks is that the add-ons add up. Big time, especially once you add in the annual upgrades, custom work-arounds to fix its limitations, and the additional technologies required to splice in additional technologies that will still not be integratable.
- SOLUTION: Your best bet is to find one great interfaced solution at a known price point — upfront — that can do it all as your business grows.
7. Lack of scalability and data migration options
- PROBLEM: With QuickBooks, data cannot be imported to or exported from the desktop version of QuickBooks to QuickBooks Online. Worse, getting your data out of QuickBooks is a piecemeal process that can be messy, error-prone and time consuming.
- SOLUTION: Your better choice is to select the right integrated application to work with your QuickBooks solution. Look for interfaces that are easy and documented, so you gain what you need, and you have a transparent view of costs and complete auditability of every process.
8. Accessibility constraints
- PROBLEM: We live in a mobile, multi-device, multi-networked world, but you won’t get that with QuickBooks alone. Today, QuickBooks on-premise or local area network access is going to put you behind what your competitors can do.
- SOLUTION: Search for capabilities that empower your organization to do business anywhere, at any time, from any device. You'll want relevant data to be easily accessible when and where you need it.
9. Lackluster reporting
- PROBLEM: With QuickBooks, reporting is limited to standard data grouping, which severely limits how your data can be seen, utilized, analyzed and communicated. You can’t consolidate specified statistical Information, nor customize complex data sets.
- SOLUTION: To gain the reporting flexibility you will want (and need!) as your business grows, you’ll want to add a solution that's flexible and user defined. Look for interactive role-defined user dashboards for at-a-glance business intelligence, too.
If you're using QuickBooks, your business growth can actually be held back by your financial software. There are limits to users, data, reports and overall file size. Above, we've listed specific solutions to look for in business management software that nurtures and supports the growth of your business. To grow profitably, you don't need limits to what you can collect, store, process, link and catalogue. And ensure your customers, suppliers, partners and users around the world are supported, so your business growth is not limited to one country’s borders.
Growth strategy for manufacturers: If you're searching for answers, learn about QuickBooks Alternatives, and watch your business grow.