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3 min read

The Top Five Limitations of QuickBooks

The Top Five Limitations of QuickBooks


Intuit QuickBooks is usually the financial software of choice for many small and mid-sized businesses in the organisation’s early days – and for good reasons.  A well-known and user-friendly application, QuickBooks offers most businesses the basic functionality to get off the ground.

However, growing businesses find that the early value for money brings restrictions and compromises.  Here are the top five limitations of QuickBooks that drive CFOs to look for an alternative.


1. Over-reliance of spreadsheets to support financial processes and reporting


“After spending over one week sifting through massive spreadsheets, we discovered that we have a calculation error in how we had been recognizing revenue for the past three years.”

Sound familiar? As organisations grow as does the necessity for more sophisticated accounting requirements, such as multi-entity consolidation and revenue recognition. When QuickBooks is the financial foundation, cumbersome workarounds are often needed because QuickBooks doesn’t provide capabilities for these complex processes as standard.

  • Do you export data to multiple spreadsheets?
  • Do you create additional journal entries each month?
  • Have you created home-grown applications for recording revenue or expenses outside of QuickBooks?

Workarounds such as these can lead to entry errors, incorrect or outdated data, process inefficiencies, a lack of control and compliance and an overall waste of time and resources.

2. Excess manual data entry and re-entry

“How do I import customer order data into QuickBooks?  I currently spend many hours manually creating invoices in QuickBooks, and there should be a better way.”

In general companies using QuickBooks don’t integrate it with other key business applications, opting instead to integrate the systems manually.  When volumes are small, manual integration may be sufficient.  But if you’ve had the misfortune of enduring these workarounds, you’ll know it’s a huge productivity killer as the business evolves.  Let’s be honest, who has time to manually research, re-enter and verify data that’s already captured elsewhere?  Manual integrations are little more than invitations to mistakes and wasted time.

3. Limited access to reports and information to drive decision-making

“Rather than constantly struggling to keep up with incoming requests for data and specific reports, Sage Intacct lets us consistently report financials in a timely manner and feel confident that we can easily respond to any new request.”

Real-time business intelligence providing visibility of business metrics is essential for performance boosting, timely decisions.  QuickBooks offers canned reports and no dashboards so your visibility is limited and your decision making is often based on outdated data.  A financial system that incorporates both a multi-dimensional general ledger and report writer can transform your analysis and enable you to develop into a strategic partner. A partner who generates insights that answer the bigger questions facing management.

4. Difficulty in adapting to new business requirements
“QuickBooks continues to crash, and I lose all our payroll data.  I don’t have time to re-enter data for 350 hourly employees…”

Maybe you’ve started to see some of the classic signs that you’ve outgrown QuickBooks.  The screens and menus, that used to be so quick and responsive, now have long delays as the system struggles to keep up with the data volume and calculations intensity.  Report-printing takes an age.  And queries, they seem to dim the lights.

Critical limitations such as this is risky at best.  It can force you to periodically shut down QuickBooks, just to maintain data files.  And in a worst case scenario, the results are potentially disastrous. Think: system crashes and the loss of crucial data.  That’s no way to run a business.


5. Inadequate controls around financial processes

“Errors caused by manual processes and a lack of control resulted in  £130,000 of improper expense reimbursements within a six-month period.”

With QuickBooks, manual processes are a fact of life.  Unfortunately though they inevitably increase the probability of data entry errors and data duplication, making it difficult to gain an integrated, real-time financial view of a company’s end-to-end operations.

Despite its popularity with small businesses, QuickBooks simply wasn’t designed for growing organisations that need advanced functionality for managing sophisticated processes.


The next wave of financial management technology

CPiO has helped many businesses make the move from QuickBooks to Sage Intacct.  The companies we have worked with now benefit from real-time data and processes, flexible reporting and role-based dashboards.  We’ve helped organisations truly increase productivity through extensive integration, accounting automation and user-defined workflows.  Furthermore, these companies can scale with Sage Intacct in line with business growth they can increase transaction volume and easily add new entities.

If you are looking for a more robust accounting solution or would like to find out more about Sage Intacct, contact us today.



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