QuickBooks vs SAP Business One - A Software Comparison for SMEs
When your business is starting out, a basic accounting package, like QuickBooks, is a great solution to manage your accounting needs. It’s simple, easy to use and doesn’t require any significant knowledge of accounting. But as your business grows, so does the volume of your business data. You have more customers to serve, possibly across a larger territory. With more customers come more orders to process. And eventually, you’ll hire more staff, which means you have more users accessing your system. Once your data reaches a certain level, your QuickBooks system starts to slow down, and your day-to-day efficiency begins to decline. On top of that, you’re likely using separate systems outside of QuickBooks to manage different areas of your business. Maybe it’s spreadsheets, additional point solutions or homegrown systems that you’ve built up over time – the key point is that these systems are all distinct and likely don’t talk to each other all that well, if at all.
This is the point where you’ll start to consider a new solution. There are many different options out there, so here’s the big question you need to answer: Do you stick with QuickBooks for accounting and add on other loosely integrated systems to handle the rest of your business needs? Or do you look at an ERP solution to integrate your entire business into one system? Ultimately, the answer will depend on what your business needs are – now and into the future as you continue to grow.
Limitations of QuickBooks for a growing business
If you’re reading this article, you’re likely already feeling some level of pain with your QuickBooks system. Take a few minutes and write down a list of the challenges you and your team are experiencing with your current systems. Here are a few prompts to get you started:
How many systems do you currently use in your business? Include everything that supports your day-to-day operations, including applications for CRM, inventory management, project management, spreadsheets, etc.
How do you transfer data between these applications? Do you have an integration? Do you have to export from one system and import into another or manually re-enter data? Do you just export everything to Excel and work with it there?
Think about the key metrics you use to measure your performance. Do you have concrete numbers or do you use a ‘best guess’?
How long does it take to run reports? Do you have to manually compile reports from multiple sources?
Do you have consistent processes in every area of the business? Or does each employee have their own way of doing things?
Give your list a quick scan. These are the challenges you’re currently facing. If these aren’t jumping out at you as signs you're ready to upgrade to an ERP system, consider where your business is headed – in the next 3, 5 or even 10 years. If you have growth plans of any kind, these problems will only get worse. The time-consuming manual processes and lack of visibility can even hinder your ability to grow. And the impact on your team can be significant, as they try to implement workarounds for a system that you’ve simply outgrown.
Key advantages of SAP Business One
Over 70,000 small to mid-size companies around the world have chosen to run their businesses on SAP Business One. Here’s why.
Gain total visibility
Think back to the list you made of all the systems you currently use. There’s a good chance it’s a long list and most of the data is disconnected. This makes it nearly impossible to get visibility into your business.
Visibility is one of the biggest benefits you’ll see with SAP Business One. Instead of using a separate application for every part of your business, it’s all in one system. Your data is connected, so you can clearly see how your business is performing at any point in time. Instead of relying on outdated, questionable reports, you have access to accurate, real-time reporting to help you make better business decisions.
Efficiency is closely tied to complexity. Every tool and software application you add to the mix adds complexity, which can have significant impacts on your bottom line. Simply making the move to SAP Business One reduces your complexity, because you’re operating in one system. But the efficiency gains don’t end there. Think of the time you currently spend manually transferring data between systems, compiling reports or closing out month-end. With SAP Business One, manual effort is dramatically reduced thanks to automation and connected data. The time your people save can be shifted to higher value tasks, giving you even greater returns.
Adapt to business needs with system flexibility
With QuickBooks, you get what comes out-of-the-box, with limited ability to configure to meet your needs. This means you adjust your processes to fit the software and bolt on the other systems we’ve talked so much about. But as a growing business, you need to be agile and your business management systems should be too. SAP Business One is highly configurable, so you can adapt the system to fit your processes, instead of the other way around. That doesn’t just apply to your initial system implementation. As your needs and processes change over time, SAP Business One has the flexibility to adapt and keep pace with your business.
Build a foundation to scale
That leads us to our final advantage – building a foundation to scale. When it comes to a scalable system, flexibility is part of the equation. The other part is performance. As I mentioned earlier, one of the big drawbacks with QuickBooks is reduced performance at higher data volumes. In comparison, SAP Business One is the best ERP software and is a powerhouse. The system is built to support large volumes of data and transactions without loss of performance.
To help in your evaluation, we’ve created a head-to-head comparison of QuickBooks and SAP Business One, so you can see how the features and functionality stack up.