Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Outgrowing QuickBooks? Not so fast. / The key is to decide if you truly need to spend massively right now to upgrade beyond QuickBooks. My bet is most of you will answer “no”.

Kurt Steckel for Bison Analytics writes: I’m impressed with the very strong businesses we work with that continue to thrive using QuickBooks. Typically, QuickBooks competitors’ opening marketing salvo is to ask you if you’re outgrowing QuickBooks. Then they provide a list of reasons that boil down to one of three issues:
  1.  You can’t easily access your QuickBooks data.
  2. QuickBooks forces you to perform manual processes.
  3. There is a very specific inventory or manufacturing issue that makes QuickBooks difficult to work with.
There are QuickBooks add-on products that solve all of these problems and cost far less than upgrading to a competitor’s new product suite.
Let’s dig into the key issue most QuickBooks competitors prominently list: you can’t access your QuickBooks data easily enough. That is simply not true. There are tools and products that make QuickBooks far more effective for growing organizations. So, if you’re one of the growing companies targeted by the Outgrowing QuickBooks campaigns, you have options. But choose carefully.
Your chosen solution must meet a few basic requirements in an extremely simple manner. If not, you may be buying a problematic and costly integration issue for your company. The solution must provide:
  • very simple and truly automated data-syncing mechanism
  • Simple and secure access to your data whenever you desire, wherever you are, and on any device you want
  • Data that is 100% accurate and matches QuickBooks in all facets
  • The ability to drill-down to the individual transaction level with ease
  • A way to easily create precisely the complex QuickBooks reports or dashboards you want
  • As much QuickBooks history as you’d like
  • Functionality to easily include external database or spreadsheet data
Bonus provisions:
  • Simple and automated QuickBooks or external budget data syncing for your Budget versus Actuals dashboards
  • The ability to sync multiple QuickBooks company files with ease
  • Simple comparative financials across QuickBooks company files
  • QuickBooks multi-company and consolidated financial reporting absent a chart-of-accounts mapping exercise
Why do I present this list of requirements? Our team has worked on major corporate business intelligence and integration projects for many years, while simultaneously doing business intelligence projects for QuickBooks companies. We know what a successful project truly entails across a broad range of clients with many different requirements. You need to strike a balance between embarking on a possible integration train-wreck and a costly upgrade beyond QuickBooks.
The key is to decide if you truly need to spend massively right now to upgrade beyond QuickBooks. My bet is most of you will answer “no”. Every company that continues growing eventually reaches a time when they must upgrade their accounting package. But on a daily basis we see evidence that companies reach that point far later than QuickBooks competitors would otherwise have you believe. Companies successfully remain on QuickBooks when their CFOs augment the package with practical tools.
If you don’t truly need to upgrade yet, go through the requirements above and think carefully about your options. You’ll save a lot of time, money and headache when you find the product that strikes the right balance for your needs.
Kurt is CEO of Bison Analytics. He is the most experienced business intelligence practitioner to tackle QuickBooks. His work has enabled rapidly growing and successful business CFOs to extend the life of QuickBooks in their financial and performance operations, saving these companies valuable dollars and time.


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