Editor’s note: Bryan Anderson is a Managing Member of AS360, aACE’s longest-running partner. We are delighted to share his 20 years of experience implementing software upgrades for QuickBooks users with our audience.
When you started your business, you probably found that QuickBooks was fantastic at meeting your early needs. It’s affordable, easy for one person to manage, and adequately handles the volume of financial transactions a typical new business needs to make. But as your business grows, you might find that your software is beginning to fit less like a glove and more like a cheap suit — one that’s a size too small.
Clear signals that your business has outgrown QuickBooks include:
- Data that’s spread out haphazardly across several solutions and spreadsheets
- Multiple users having trouble trying to work in the system at the same time
- Complex reports that take too long to pull or require the use of outside spreadsheets
Don’t ignore the signs. Read on for key questions to ask yourself when determining whether your business is ready to take the next step in software solutions.
Data, Data Everywhere, But Not a Drop to Drink
Do you feel like your data is stranded on isolated islands? Does your software act as a bridge between each department, or is your information spread out across multiple spreadsheets and solutions that don’t talk to each other? If you’re faced with the latter, you may find that you’re struggling to get day-to-day work done efficiently. Storing information in multiple places means that each system needs to be updated separately every time something changes that can’t be tracked entirely in QuickBooks — and all of that extra data entry creates more opportunities for human error. Imagine trying to take a complete picture of your company’s finances. If you’re pulling information from a patchwork of scattered sources, can you really be sure that what you’re seeing is accurate?
Too Many Cooks in the Software Kitchen
While QuickBooks is excellent for an owner-operator scenario, offering an easy-to-use solution that isn’t too complex for one person to handle, a multi-user environment brings added complications that could put stress on your software. As you scale your business, your growing company may find itself constrained by the limitations of its accounting solution. Are your employees tripping over each other trying to enter transactions throughout the day? Do you find yourself paying thousands of dollars for outside accounting services that still don’t provide the kind of visibility into your data that you need to make the best possible decisions? If you’re thinking of bringing on a CFO in the near future, you’ll also want to ensure that you have the tools they’ll need to succeed. And if you’re not quite ready to add a C-suite executive, a more robust accounting solution could help you operate more effectively without the added expense of a senior-level hire.
The Shallow End of the Reporting Pool
The larger your business grows, the more intricate it becomes and the more information you need in order to stay on top of it. Calculating complex sets of data — for instance, to forecast inventory requirements based on what’s quoted in your sales pipeline or pay your sales staff commissions based on actual margins — may be another trouble spot, forcing you to add even more islands to your sea of disparate information. Do you find yourself relying more and more on Excel to support multiple sophisticated workflows like made-to-stock inventory, drop shipping, or back orders? Are financial statements that were once a snap now taking longer to pull together as the system struggles to keep up with larger volumes of information? And if you want to report on multiple companies at the same time in the same report, are you wasting time mixing and matching data from different reports to make it happen?
Does any of this sound familiar? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to one or more of the questions I’ve posed, it could be time to reconsider your company’s relationship with QuickBooks. It might be a little overwhelming to realize your software solution has become more of a problem. The good news is, you have options — yes, even ones that a small or midsize business can afford. Contact me to learn more about how to select the business management software that’s right for your growing company.
About the Author
With 20 years of experience in implementing ERP and CRM solutions, Bryan Anderson is committed to helping every business, from the smallest Mom-and-Pop shop to the largest multinational corporation, find the tools they need to thrive. He has worked with over 200 clients using solutions such as Microsoft Navision and Great Plains, Oracle Financials, SAP, aACE Software, Salesforce, and more.
Bryan has spent the last several years developing custom application solutions and implementing ERP systems in the manufacturing, distribution, professional services, and field service industries. He’s now the managing member of All Solutions 360, LLC, an information technology consulting firm dedicated to implementing the best technical solutions to nagging business problems.
Bryan has an MBA in Marketing, Logistics & Transportation from the University of Tennessee and a BS in Finance & Marketing from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. In addition to starting his own companies, he has previously worked for General Motors, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, and Microsoft Value Added Resellers.
Bryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.