A massive percentage of small businesses and startups use QuickBooks. It’s very clearly and most impressively virtually cornered the market on entry-level small businesses. And most QuickBooks users tend to love working with the software.
So when a company outgrows it for operational reasons like inventory management or line of business requirements, there’s often an inclination to shop for a separate application, perhaps an inventory management system, to link into QuickBooks. And there are, of course, several 3rd party add-ons to choose from. But if none of those will work for you, or if you’ve fundamentally outgrown the whole platform, you’ll be switching to a full-blown ERP Software system to replace QuickBooks. And those are the key words for this article: “replace QuickBooks“.
Any ERP Software system that’s worth considering will include all the accounting functionality that you’ve been relying on QuickBooks for, plus more. And better yet, it’s all integrated, so when you process, for example, a sales transaction, everything including Accounts Receivable and General Ledger gets updated at the same time. When you process a payment from a customer, their credit status is automatically updated and immediately available on the order entry screen. And yet, time and time again, I hear people asking if the ERP software system can update QuickBooks. Why? Because they’re “comfortable” with QuickBooks and want to continue using it.
Technically, you could create export files that can then be imported in QuickBooks. But why would you want to do this? It will generate additional work (with no benefit), run the risk of errors (like forgetting to import transactions in a timely manner) and cause you to forego many of the benefits available in a higher end system, including better financial reporting, automated email functions, and automated reports. In our sales example above, even if you could justify the extra work to transfer the sales invoice to QuickBooks and track your receivables there, you’d not have up to date credit information available on an order screen in the ERP system. And that’s just one, tiny example.
The bottom line: if you’re going to replace QuickBooks, then do it properly. If not, you may as well just continue using QuickBooks and your manual workarounds, because you’d just be swapping one set of disconnected manually updated systems for another.