The Hidden Costs of QuickBooks
What seems like a bargain may be costing you more than it’s worth.
We’ve all had the experience where you buy something that seemed like a great deal at the time, but once you brought it home and lived with it a while, you realized how much that great deal was actually going to cost you. Think of that bargain razor that requires $60 blade refills, or the inexpensive herb garden subscription that costs $25 a month to keep it growing. Or the “free” puppy you couldn’t resist. The same could be true for your business. If you’re like most businesses, you were attracted to the low price point and ease-of-use of QuickBooks. But now, that bargain software could be costing you more than it’s worth. What are the hidden costs of QuickBooks?
The cost of doing nothing
Doing nothing doesn’t seem like it should cost anything – right? Wrong. Staying with QuickBooks can cost you in terms of productivity, accuracy, efficiency, and lost opportunities.
- Productivity: How many manual, paper-based processes have you adopted to manage the workflows QuickBooks cannot support? How much time to wait for reports to compile — assuming you can even get the reports you need?
- Accuracy: Errors caused by manual processes are costly. For one former QuickBooks client, errors caused by manual processes and a lack of control resulted in $180,000 of improper expense reimbursements within a six-month period.
- Efficiency: If your teams are spending their time manually routing invoice approvals, or maintaining complex billing formulas in spreadsheets, or duplicating data entry into multiple applications — they aren’t spending their time on tasks that grow the business.
- Lost opportunities: Low productivity rates, errors, and inefficiencies add up to lost opportunities. For example, you could be missing early-payment discounts offered by vendors, or not optimizing your cash flow without accurate and timely cash-flow forecasting data. You might miss the opportunity to lower inventory costs based on purchasing trends you aren’t aware of.
Overestimating the difficulty of upgrading
Maybe you’ve delayed upgrading from QuickBooks because of the fear factor. Not long ago, the only alternatives to QuickBooks were bulky, legacy, on-premise, ERP applications. Migrating to one of these was a huge and risky investment. It involved purchasing servers and databases, hiring IT staff, engaging specialized consulting services to help with customization, and making an ongoing multi-year commitment to operating and managing complex software. The upfront costs and risk of graduating from QuickBooks were high, resulting in too many businesses staying with QuickBooks and dealing with its limitations longer than they should.
Today’s cloud accounting applications, like Sage Intacct, have changed everything. With cloud computing, the vendor takes on all the information technology costs and risks. All you need is a web browser and an Internet connection—no need to invest in technology, servers, software, or IT. Implementations that used to take years are now complete in weeks.
Jeopardizing your ability to scale
Maybe you’re a smaller, growing company and you haven’t yet hit the proverbial brick wall with QuickBooks. It’s getting you by, and besides, you’re conserving resources to help fund the company’s growth. If this description fits you, we have a warning to issue. Without a powerful and flexible financial management application to scale and grow with you, your growth will come with difficulty or at a high cost.
Companies in growth mode cannot afford to be weighed down by manual workflows and low productivity rates — they need every human resource focused on capitalizing on opportunities. They cannot afford to hire additional personnel to keep up with increasing transactions — they need automation to eliminate the need to touch each transaction. They cannot make strategic decisions about where and when to expand without access to real-time financial and operational data.
QuickBooks is so yesterday
QuickBooks is an excellent starter software for businesses. It’s simple, straightforward, and easy to use. But growing companies need to identify when they are beginning to outgrow QuickBooks and make the transition to a cloud-based accounting application with the power and flexibility to scale with them. Just like the razor and the herb garden — but not the puppy, of course — there comes a time when QuickBooks is no longer worth investing in.