Stepping Up — Advanced Reporting After QuickBooks

Real-time visibility into your company’s financial health is no longer a “nice-to-have” option. As the pace of business quickens and your company grows, you must make decisions swiftly and confidently. While QuickBooks has been a go-to accounting software for small businesses, it does not provide the advanced reporting and comprehensive financial visibility needed by expanding companies. 

Here, we explore the dangers associated with a lack of financial visibility, why QuickBooks may struggle to meet the complex needs of growing businesses, and how you can step up into the world of real-time data visibility. Sage Intacct recently hosted a webinar on this topic, and it’s worth checking out to gain a deeper perspective. 

An Incomplete Financial Picture

QuickBooks is a reliable tool for basic bookkeeping and invoicing, but as your company grows, so does the complexity of your financial landscape. QuickBooks may fall short in providing a holistic view of your financial data, leaving you unable to spot trends, patterns, or potential issues that could impact your bottom line. It’s like trying to assemble a puzzle with missing pieces — you can’t see the whole picture.

For example, imagine you’re expanding into multiple markets or introducing new product lines. QuickBooks doesn’t provide the level of insight needed to analyze the performance of each market or product line individually, making it challenging to make informed decisions on resource allocation or marketing strategies.

Limited Reporting Capabilities

While QuickBooks does provide standard financial reports, these reports may not be customizable enough to meet the specific needs of growing companies. As your business expands, you’ll likely require more in-depth reporting across various dimensions, such as departments, projects, or customer segments. QuickBooks’ predefined reports might not offer the flexibility to slice and dice your financial data the way you need it. Indeed, a recent survey found that 75% of QuickBooks users depend on spreadsheets to fill in the missing pieces of their financial picture.

For instance, let’s say you want to assess the profitability of different customer segments to optimize your marketing efforts. QuickBooks’ reporting capabilities might not allow you to easily isolate and compare each segment’s financial performance, limiting your ability to identify the most lucrative customer groups.

Time-Consuming Manual Processes

QuickBooks users often perform significant manual data entry and reconciliation, which are time-consuming and prone to errors — especially as your company grows and deals with larger transaction volumes. Relying on manual processes increases the risk of mistakes and delays and consumes valuable time and resources. What’s worse is that these mistakes might not be easy to spot when using QuickBooks. In contrast, modern solutions like Sage Intacct utilize artificial intelligence models like machine learning to detect outliers within your data. 

Consider fixed asset tracking, for example. QuickBooks Online doesn’t offer a fixed asset tracking module, leaving you to perform complex asset management tasks like depreciation calculations and asset disposal in spreadsheets. Errors are almost guaranteed. And this situation is compounded if you’re tracking assets across multiple QuickBooks instances.

Struggles with Scalability

As your company expands, your financial processes and requirements become more complex. Initially designed for small businesses, QuickBooks may struggle to keep up with your growing needs. Advanced accounting practices, interdepartmental coordination, multicurrency transactions, or consolidating data from various systems are areas where QuickBooks lacks the necessary scalability, limiting your ability to report on and analyze financial data accurately.

For example, imagine your company acquires another business and needs to consolidate financial data from multiple systems. QuickBooks cannot seamlessly integrate and consolidate the data, resulting in manual workarounds, additional data entry, and disjointed reporting.

Lack of Real-Time Insights

Real-time insights are crucial for making informed decisions. Unfortunately, QuickBooks may not provide immediate access to up-to-date financial information. Waiting until the end of an accounting period to generate financial reports can leave you unable to respond quickly to emerging opportunities or address potential problems before they grow.

Imagine you’re a service organization with multiple high-stakes projects underway. To keep projects on budget, you must assess financial impact in real-time to make on-the-fly adjustments. QuickBooks’ reporting delays might hinder your ability to react swiftly and make the necessary course corrections.

Security and Compliance Risks

Financial visibility also encompasses data security and compliance. Protecting your financial information from unauthorized access, data breaches, and compliance violations becomes paramount as your company grows. While QuickBooks implements security measures, it may not offer the robust features required to meet strict compliance regulations or the heightened security needs of companies operating in sensitive industries.

For instance, if you’re a healthcare provider dealing with sensitive patient financial data, QuickBooks’ security measures may not be sufficient to meet the stringent requirements of HIPAA compliance.

Stepping Up

The lack of financial visibility can hinder the growth and success of your company. While QuickBooks is a reliable choice for small businesses, it may struggle to provide the comprehensive financial insights needed by expanding companies. As your business grows, consider stepping up to a modern cloud-based accounting platform or enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, like Sage Intacct, that provides advanced reporting capabilities, automation, scalability, real-time insights, and robust security measures. Learn more in that recorded webinar we mentioned. Then, reach out to a member of our ERP consulting team with your questions