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From QuickBooks to NetSuite: 5 Reasons to Make the Switch

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Jalene Ippolito April 8th, 2021

For small businesses, QuickBooks is the most natural starting point for accounting software thanks to its low price point and ease of use. You can perform your basic accounting and billing functions, like track income and expenses, connect bank and credit card accounts, and create financial reports. QuickBooks Online offers the low IT overhead of cloud, while the Enterprise version is hosted on-premise or through a third-party hosting provider. Many companies can run on QuickBooks for years. But when you reach a certain scale, its limitations become obvious and you need to consider the next step.

How is QuickBooks holding you back?

You need more than basic accounting functionality

QuickBooks is great for the basics, but anything beyond that requires workarounds. If you have multiple subsidiaries or foreign currencies, you’ll understand the frustration of financial consolidation. It’s manual and time-consuming. The same can be said for revenue recognition. While you can create processes outside of QuickBooks to do what you need, you’ll be dealing with manual journal entries, complicated recognition schedule spreadsheets and limited forward visibility. Functionality for recurring billing and fixed asset management is simply non-existent.

Implementing workarounds for everyday accounting functions has a huge impact on profitability. The time it takes to manage these manual processes, transfer data back and forth and maintain endless spreadsheets keeps your accounting team from focusing on what matters – managing cash flow and optimizing receivables. Not to mention that your error rate increases significantly with each manual process, so you’ll find yourself questioning your financial data.

You have a mess of systems to manage the business

Even if you think QuickBooks is working for your accounting team, what about the rest of your business? Every department likely has their own systems and none of them are talking to each other. Consider the most basic example of maintaining customer information. That will be stored in QuickBooks for invoicing, your CRM system for sales activity, possibly an order management system for order fulfillment. The list could go on. Multiple departments rely on the same information, but they’re all using a different version.

Now apply that same concept to something that impacts financials, like inventory. Your accounting team may not be concerned about the specifics of product mix and availability, but they need to know the value of your inventory at any point in time. From a cash flow perspective, they need visibility into upcoming purchase orders and sales forecasts. QuickBooks doesn’t give you this level of visibility because it’s not connected to the rest of your business.

Your processes are manual and time-consuming

We’ve already illustrated a few examples of this. The functional limitations in QuickBooks force you to use workarounds to get things done. A common example we see is subscription billing – you end up copying the previous month’s invoices and typing in the current month’s data. Invoicing can take days and it’s ripe for error. Outside of the day-to-day accounting functions, you likely spend a lot of time reconciling data from other systems in Excel. Or perhaps managing entire processes in spreadsheets. The extra time your team spends on these manual processes takes away from more strategic initiatives. At best, it slows your growth. At worst, it can halt the growth altogether.

You can’t answer key questions about your business

Managing your business by gut feel is easy when you’re small – you have your finger on the pulse of the day-to-day operations. But that’s not a scalable model. As you grow, you need to rely more on numbers and less on your gut. That’s hard to do with QuickBooks. Sure, you can pull financial reports from QuickBooks. But your view of the business is limited because you’re only looking at a sliver of the pie. To get a more holistic view, you’re forced to pull reports from multiple systems and reconcile it in Excel. How much time does it take to do that? By the time you get the final report, you’re relying on old data. With QuickBooks, you’ll always be a step behind.

Growing Your Business with NetSuite

If any of the scenarios we discussed above made you shift uncomfortably in your swivel chair, it’s time to upgrade your software. NetSuite is a logical choice for companies coming off QuickBooks. It’s an end-to-end accounting solution that automates your day-to-day processes and gives you greater control over your finances. But accounting is just one piece of the puzzle. Let’s look at how switching to NetSuite will support your business at every stage of growth.

1. More robust accounting functionality to support your growth

NetSuite handles all the basic accounting processes that QuickBooks does. But it goes so much further. For starters, NetSuite provides accounting data from a consolidated level down to individual transactions, so you can customize your GL to your needs. Multi-dimensional reporting eliminates the need for a complex chart of accounts, letting you add tracking details at the transaction level.

Thinking back to the main functional limitations of QuickBooks, NetSuite addresses all of them, out-of-the-box.

  • Comply with revenue recognition requirements and schedule revenue to be recognized automatically.

  • Manage billing more effectively with consolidated invoicing, automated rating processes and support for multiple pricing models.

  • Easily consolidate financial data using sophisticated tools and a platform for handling multiple subsidiaries and currencies.

  • Manage fixed asset lifecycles across depreciating and non-depreciating assets.

2. A single system to manage your business now and into the future

If all you want is more robust accounting functionality, you can start with financials first. But the platform gives you the flexibility to integrate other areas of your business as you’re ready. This allows you to streamline processes across the entire organization. Manually transferring data between systems and reconciling in Excel is a thing of the past. Everyone in your company is using the same set of information to make faster, more informed decisions. And speaking strictly from a financial perspective, your accounting team has more reliable information with real-time visibility into sales, purchasing, project management and more.

3. Efficiency gains across the organization

Efficiency alone is worth the investment in NetSuite – you could see accounting productivity increases up to 50%! Instead of spending hours each week creating invoices and filling in complicated spreadsheets, you can redirect that time to higher value tasks. The same applies to other departments. Your sales team can leverage sales force automation to stay top of mind with prospects and close deals faster. Self-service tools empower your customers to answer questions about their orders and account standing, without relying on your team to respond to inquiries. And every employee across the organization has the information they need at their fingertips, with role-based dashboards and streamlined workflows.

4. Complete visibility into business data and performance

Understanding how you’re performing and identifying potential risks before they become problems is essential to growing a successful business. NetSuite integrates all areas of your business into one system, so you can see how changes in one area impact the others. Customizable dashboards and robust reporting give you true insight into your data, helping you spot trends and respond proactively to changes in your business.

5. Lower IT overhead costs

Small and mid-size businesses often have limited in-house IT resources, making NetSuite’s cloud ERP platform a great choice. The system availability, data redundancy and security are at a level that simply isn’t economical to achieve on your own. The draw on your IT team drops significantly, not to mention you don’t have the costs of maintaining on-premise servers and software to host your homegrown systems.

Ready to make the leap?

If you’re feeling any of the QuickBooks pain we talked about, now is the time to make a move. Upgrading to NetSuite alleviates the immediate pain and sets you up for the future, with a scalable platform you can rely on as you grow. As a Canadian NetSuite implementation partner, we’re here to guide you through the process – right from evaluation, through implementation and beyond. Let’s connect to get started.

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April 8th 2021
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