When your business grows, the enterprise software you use must evolve alongside it. While QuickBooks is ideal accounting software for small businesses, there comes a time when its capabilities may no longer meet your needs.

If you think your business might be outgrowing QuickBooks, your first plan of action should be recognizing the signs. With a clear understanding of your needs, you can start laying the groundwork for software selection.

Today, we’re exploring some of the key concepts involved in moving off QuickBooks, including selection, implementation, and post-implementation.

4 Signs You Might Be Outgrowing QuickBooks

1. Limited Customization and Reporting

If you’re finding that QuickBooks doesn’t offer the level of customization or detailed reporting your business requires, it might be time to look for more advanced solutions.

2. Performance Issues with Larger Data Volumes

QuickBooks may struggle with the larger data volumes you’re accumulating, leading to performance issues.

3. Inadequate User Access Controls​

Growing businesses often require more sophisticated user access controls to manage data security and integrity. QuickBooks has limitations in this area.

4. Insufficient Integration Capabilities​

If you’re using other business software alongside QuickBooks and facing challenges with integration, this could hinder your operational efficiency.

The 2024 Top 10 ERP Systems Report

What vendors are considering for your ERP implementation? This list is a helpful starting point.

Other Software Options to Consider

When considering an upgrade from QuickBooks, here are some different types of enterprise software to explore:

1. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems

For businesses looking to consolidate their operations and foster collaboration, ERP systems offer a robust solution that can scale as a business grows.

These comprehensive systems integrate various functions, such as finance, HR, and manufacturing into a single system. They provide a bird’s eye view of your entire business operation, enabling more informed decision-making.

Our ERP software consultants frequently help clients evaluate ERP software with predictive analytics capabilities. These advanced systems are ideal for companies that want to move from simply cash flow reporting to liquidity planning and predictive modeling.

2. Industry-Specific Accounting Solutions

These accounting solutions are tailored to meet the unique requirements of specific industries, such as manufacturing or healthcare. They provide features and functionalities that generic software might not offer.

Selecting an industry-specific solution can reduce the need for customization as the software understands the nuances of your sector.

3. Cloud-based Accounting Software

While QuickBooks Online provides flexibility and accessibility, some growing businesses find its capabilities limiting. As your accounting and financial management needs become more complex, exploring other cloud-based accounting systems can be a strategic move.

These platforms offer real-time financial data access, enhanced collaboration tools, and the ability to integrate seamlessly with other business applications.

A cloud subscription model can be a cost-effective way for businesses to access advanced accounting features without the hefty upfront costs associated with traditional software.​

How to Select the Right Software​

Selecting the right software requires a proven methodology and an independent ERP consultant. Without going into details on methodology, here are some expert tips for selecting the right system:

1. Ensure Strategic Alignment

Achieving internal alignment regarding project goals can be challenging.

We recommend engaging stakeholders across departments to understand their needs and meeting with executives to clarify organizational objectives. Continuous dialogue is key until there’s a consensus on the organization’s direction and how the new system can support this.

2. Conduct Requirements Gathering

Requirements gathering is most successful when you have a variety of perspectives, including end-users, executives, partners, stakeholders, and customers. Ask them about their pain points and what opportunities for improvement they see. Then, map the improved workflows along with your current processes.

Understanding your business processes will help you select a system that meets your needs without requiring costly customizations.

3. Involve Your Employees​

A software implementation affects the entire organization, so involve your employees early in the process. From gathering requirements to attending demos, their input is invaluable.

Excluding employees from the selection process risks alienating them and breeding change resistance.

Of course, minimizing change resistance requires a lot more than just encouraging employee involvement. You need a comprehensive organizational change management plan that encompasses customized training, strategic communication, and other key change management activities.

4. Carefully Coordinate Software Demos

Software vendors are skilled at showcasing their platforms’ most attractive features, some of which may be slated for future release. Make sure to clarify which functionalities will be available by your go-live date.

Additionally, understand what the system offers out-of-the-box versus what requires third-party add-ons. Making assumptions can lead to additional costs and project delays.

5. Avoid Biased Decisions

Bias towards certain vendors, whether due to their market reputation or success stories from competitors, can cloud your judgment.

An independent ERP consultant without financial ties to particular vendors can help you make a decision based on your organization’s unique needs.

6. Understand the Statement of Work

Before finalizing your choice, ensure you have a clear understanding of what’s included in the vendor’s statement of work. Ambiguities regarding project deliverables, roles, responsibilities, and change management activities can lead to misunderstandings and additional costs.

Our Software Expert Witness team recently worked on a case involving a large manufacturing company that was dissatisfied with its third-party ERP software integrator. One of the primary issues was the presence of an ambiguous statement of work (SOW). The integrator failed to provide specific details regarding project scope, deliverables, responsibilities, and expectations.

This is all too common in the enterprise software industry, so don’t be afraid to ask a multitude of clarifying questions.

7. Don’t Forget to Negotiate

When closing a deal with your chosen vendor, don’t miss the opportunity to negotiate more favorable terms and lower costs.

Consider working with an ERP contract negotiation expert to maximize your leverage.

Tips for Migrating from QuickBooks to a New Software System

1. Develop a Data Migration Strategy

Data integrity is essential for reliable data insights and sound decision-making.

Transitioning from QuickBooks to a more advanced system is not just about moving data; it’s about ensuring the integrity, security, and usability of your data in the new environment.

Our ERP consultants frequently help companies develop a data migration strategy that encompasses data cleansing, standardization, and governance.

2. Prioritize User Training and Support

A successful migration requires that end-users are comfortable and proficient with the new software. All employees affected by the new software need some form of training on how the system works.

We recommend tailoring training to each employee’s role and their unique processes. This ensures that they’re learning the aspects of the software that apply to them and not losing interest as they try to absorb information on irrelevant functionality.

3. Monitor Post-Go-Live Performance

After the system goes live, you should actively monitor its performance and user feedback. Then, identify areas for improvement and optimization.

For example, if one of your goals was to resolve discrepancies in financial reporting, you should continually monitor the success of activities such as financial forecasting for at least a year following go-live.

Then, you should adjust workflows and enhance user training as necessary to ensure the system achieves the expected ROI and continues to meet evolving business needs.

Have You Outgrown QuickBooks?

Outgrowing QuickBooks is a natural part of business growth. While the transition to a more advanced system can seem daunting, working with a software expert can make the process more manageable.

Contact us below to learn about our ERP consulting services.

About the author

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Panorama Consulting Group is an independent, niche consulting firm specializing in business transformation and ERP system implementations for mid- to large-sized private- and public-sector organizations worldwide. One-hundred percent technology agnostic and independent of vendor affiliation, Panorama offers a phased, top-down strategic alignment approach and a bottom-up tactical approach, enabling each client to achieve its unique business transformation objectives by transforming its people, processes, technology, and data.

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