Financial applications are great at capturing transactions and providing reporting capabilities. They’re an essential element of doing business today. QuickBooks has an overwhelming share of the market, estimated at 90 percent by the market research firm NPD Group. The small business accounting program has become the de facto entry-point financial application through a mix of good functionality and a simple interface. However, the effectiveness of any application depends largely on how it fits the way you do business. A bad fit results in inefficient processes and increased cost to your organization.
Here are three signs that you may have outgrown QuickBooks:
- Lack of control. Effective financial control offers assurance to financial executives that information being reported is accurate. Once a financial statement is finalized and issued, the information in that statement should not be subject to change. While (human) errors are always possible, miscalculations after the close of a financial reporting period must be corrected in a way that maintains the integrity of the reported information. Mid-market accounting applications provide various means of ensuring control.
- Lengthy financial close. Does it feel like month-end closing takes up most of your time, between recording the last transaction of a period and issuing all management reports? This may result from an inability to properly capture key financial information during transaction entry, or from maintaining reconciling schedules in Excel. A good-fit accounting system can capture the information you need to manage your organization and generate reports that provide insight into performance, reducing manual activities and enabling your financial team members to focus on value-added activities.
- Supporting multiple processes. Should all transactions follow the same process flow? In many cases, a transaction will require particular attention or specialized processing. For example:
- An order that exceeds a customer’s credit limit may need to be routed for approval
- An order from an e-commerce site may be automatically fulfilled, since payment has already been authorized
- A service order may require route scheduling prior to release
Organizations that handle multiple types of transactions will benefit from using an application that can model process variations applicable to each transaction type and eliminate the need for manual/offline schedules to handle special situations.
If any of these signs sounds all too familiar to you, it may be time to evaluate whether your organization has outgrown QuickBooks and should begin the search for a better-fitting financial application.
J.T. Hardy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215.441.4600.