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When Is It Time To Move Up From QuickBooks To Microsoft Dynamics GP? An Accountant’s Perspective


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Written by Mike Kean, President, Altico Advisors

I have seen many companies push QuickBooks far beyond its intended use by building manual systems in Access or Excel, for example.  These systems allow companies to continue to use QuickBooks and delay the purchase of a new system.  However, at some point QuickBooks simply becomes too inefficient.  Exactly when that happens really depends on the individual organization. 

As a general rule, you are beginning to outgrow QuickBooks when you notice an unacceptable delay in the menus and screens when navigating QuickBooks, or when reports take an unacceptable amount of time to print.  In QuickBooks, the number of customers, vendors, employees or others on a given list dramatically affects performance.  QuickBooks support acknowledges that significant performance problems generally occur when any list exceeds 10,000.  However, as a practical matter, most companies see performance issue far earlier.

But there are other factors and milestones to be considered as well.  From the perspective of accountants in the finance department, I would suggest that given any of the following circumstances, you should at least consider moving to a more comprehensive accounting/ERP solution such as Microsoft Dynamics GP  and taking your business to the next level:

  •  Equity Event - If the organization is preparing for or foresees an equity event, it would be advantageous to have certain controls in place.  Due to the lack of key controls in QuickBooks, outside investors and advisors may not be able to rely on the data contained in QuickBooks and this could jeopardize the equity event even before it happens.
  • Spreadsheet Reporting - If you find yourself relying more and more on spreadsheets to produce key reports for the organization, causing you to spend excessive time capturing and manipulating data outside of the system, you should consider moving up to Microsoft. 
  • Team Growth - As your team grows and roles start to get more segregated, it will be critical to spread access, add security, and review employees’ work.  Without the ability to understand who did what functions, reliance on the data will become more difficult.  Again, it goes back to the reliability of the data and the controls that ensure reliability.
  • Employing Accounting Professionals - Most accounting professional have experience with systems that are more comprehensive than QuickBooks, systems like Microsoft Dynamics GP.  They expect a tool that will allow them to do their jobs as they have in previous organizations.  Accountants become very frustrated very quickly when trying to institute controls and closing procedures in QuickBooks.
  • Integration to Critical Business Applications - Companies often invest in custom applications that handle very specific areas of their business.  And from the beginning, these custom programs are manually integrated with QuickBooks.  Eventually that becomes untenable – too frustrating, slow, and kludgy.  Moving to an application like Microsoft Dynamics GP, which integrates more seamlessly with most third party applications, can accomplish the company’s goals while improving controls.

For more information about moving up from QuickBooks to Microsoft Dynamics GP, you can contact Altico Advisors to request the QuickBooks Replacer Kit or download the Replacing QuickBooks Brochure.

Stay tuned for the next installment on this topic, which will be “Testimonials from QuickBooks Replacers.”

By Altico Advisors, Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner for Manufacturing and Distribution serving New Hampshire (NH)

a New Hampshire Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner

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