Bookkeeping is an essential part of running any business, however the choice of how you do this is yours; you can hire an accountant or bookkeeper, delegate the job to an employee or keep the books yourself.
A popular method of keeping accurate financial records is to use an accounting software programme like QuickBooks. As with every system though, this comes with its own set of pros and cons. To help you decide whether you should opt for this accounting software over another, here are the pros and cons of QuickBooks.
A great introductory system
QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based accounting programme specifically designed for small businesses.
Providing introductory accounting solutions in the form of packages with basic inventory management tools, it’s no surprise that QuickBooks continues to be one of the most popular choices on the market, especially among small businesses and freelancers.
If you operate with very few employees, yet you have complex transactions, QuickBooks is the logical choice. It even offers some complex accounting features for mid- to large-sized businesses too! With that being said, however, as businesses grow and the number of employees increase and requirements become more diverse, the limitations of this programme start to show through. Here are the pros and cons below.
Pros of using QuickBooks
- Cloud-based so no downloads or installation required.
- Relatively easy to use and can set up quickly with just a few tutorials.
- Clean interface which gives you instant visibility of your financial position.
- Low cost so you can keep expenses to a minimum plus a free trial period to try it out.
- Offers essential accounting features for every business (e.g. accounts payable and accounts receivable, payroll, inventory and invoices, profit and loss statements, bank reconciliation, expense tracking, creating and evaluating financial reports).
- Includes an online portal where clients can see their invoices, pay them, or address any concerns.
- You can create checks and process credit cards using the software.
- There is a large support network where you can interact with other users via QuickBooks forums.
- Provides you with one dashboard for everyone to work on which helps to eliminate confusion and miscommunication.
- Unlimited invoices via email.
- Can be accessed from any device with an active Internet connection
- Can manage personal expenses with mobile review and approval of each receipt.
- Easy integration with third-party apps and plugins.
- You can upgrade (or downgrade) your subscription level at any time depending on the features you need.
- Saves you time and money.
Cons of using QuickBooks
- Although easy to install, to get the most out of the program, you have to invest many hours setting your preferences and learning how various features work.
- No payroll or project management features included.
- Lack of industry and business-specific features (such as lot tracking, eCommerce and barcode scanning).
- Lack of key reports outside of accounting (e.g. reporting and transparency of your business health).
- Lack of direct professional support.
- Limitations with file size and data, as well as the number of users.
- A standalone application which lacks integration and automation between other systems
- Not suitable for businesses with robust inventory management needs.
- Instability/system crashes.
- As with all online systems, there are security concerns as you run the risk of exposing important financial information to Internet hackers.
- Doesn’t grow as well with your business and the next upgrade involves a big price jump.
Always consider the pros and cons of QuickBooks before investing
It may be one of the most popular choices when it comes to accounting software as it offers all the basics you need at a very affordable price, but always consider all of the pros and cons of QuickBooks before making your final decision. When it comes to managing your finances, the software you choose can either limit your growth or drive it forward.
To make sure that you choose the right one for you, always speak with your accountant and/or a QuickBooks consultant to evaluate your suitability for the application first. Only when you do this can you invest with realistic expectations and get the best bang for your buck.
Need help choosing the right software for you?
Goringe Accountants can help you evaluate whether QuickBooks is for your business or not as we are QuickBooks ProAdvisors. If not, we are also members of the Sage Accountants Club and have an in-depth knowledge of Xero so we can make sure you make the best decisions for your needs.