Rose Report: Issue 8

Finding the Right Software Solution

issue08-pic-story3There’s no disputing that for many businesses, QuickBooks is the best option on the market. The program is the top rated accounting software for small businesses, and four million of them rely on it. It’s user-friendly, simple, and—at least for smaller organizations—cost-effective. But once a company exceeds a certain size and its needs become more sophisticated, QuickBooks may no longer make the most sense.

QuickBooks is excellent at handling routine accounting functions for small businesses, such as accounts payable and receivable, payroll, and preparing financial statements. But there are some telltale signs that a business has started to outgrow the program.

As an organization gets bigger, for instance, it may develop an e-commerce site which requires all online transactions to be processed and documented. If it has sales and marketing departments, it will likely need a sales and marketing automation software. Its operations may get complex enough that it requires project management, time and attendance, and expense reporting systems. The organization could easily end up with a half dozen disparate systems, none of which are in sync with each other.

Overseeing so many different systems, and having to manually enter data from one into another can cause considerable problems for any company. If the organization’s sales automation system isn’t connected to its accounting software, for instance, its books can get out of alignment. And most importantly, the time that employees have to spend ensuring that all the systems are up to date and in sync would be better spent improving the business.

Luckily, there are much more comprehensive software solutions available to replace QuickBooks as an organization evolves. NetSuite is one of them. It’s a seamless, integrated system that links together all of a company’s front- and back-end functions. It’s also scalable, so it’s a perfect solution for small to medium-sized companies that are still growing.

Government contractors have unique needs that can be met by QuickBooks to a point, but may be better served by a program such as Deltek. As a contractor takes on multiple cost-plus contracts and its compliance needs increase, a system like Deltek will be better equipped to manage project costs and administration. Deltek GCS is well suited for contractors handling up to $50 million. A company with more than $100 million in contracts should consider Deltek Costpoint, which is more advanced.

An organization’s accounting software should make things easier, not harder. And for start-ups and small businesses, QuickBooks often does exactly that. But once a software solution begins creating work instead of easing the burden, it’s likely time to look at other options.