When a company first starts up it seems the first inclination is to go with a starter accounting software like QuickBooks. But if your company plans to grow, and who doesn’t, does QuickBooks really make the most sense either now or for the future? Here are 9 points to consider:
1) Software Cost - Typically in a startup you're going to only need a small number of users in the beginning. The cost of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 for 3 concurrent users is $5,000. The cost I found for QuickBooks Enterprise for 5 concurrent users is $3,000. But Microsoft regularly offers
2) Training – A startup will generally begin by using the core financial functionality only. General Ledger (GL), Accounts Payable (AP), Accounts Receivable (AR), Bank Reconciliation (BR) for example. So training would include things such as setting up GL through journal entries, entering AP vouchers, cutting checks etc.. If we are comparing the learning curve for someone who has never used either QuickBooks or Dynamics GP before, I do not believe that there would be a significant difference in training time. QuickBooks has a simple user interface and may appear less daunting. Dynamics GP is a powerful system but still has a user friendly interface.
3) Buy Once – Startup companies plan to grow. This means eventually most startup companies will in fact move to a more advanced system like Microsoft Dynamics GP. You will not recoup the cost you originally paid for QuickBooks, so you are paying to purchase two systems.
4) Data Conversion – When you upgrade systems, you will incur the extra cost of converting the QuickBooks data to Dynamics GP. In most cases this data conversion will cost more than the initial software purchase. If you start with Dynamics GP right away, there will be no data conversion costs as you grow.
5) Transaction History - When you do a data conversion from QuickBooks to Dynamics GP typically you will bring over summary detail and not detailed transaction history for the time that you were on QuickBooks. In a typical conversion we will convert some GL history, but as far as AP check history and customer payment history, those are generally too costly to convert. This means that you then have to go back to QuickBooks to look at activity prior to the conversion. Again, if you start with Dynamics GP right away all of your information stays in one place.
6) Database - QuickBooks runs on a proprietary database, but Dynamics GP runs on a Microsoft SQL database. If you have all of your company data in SQL as opposed to having it in two places, this gives you more control and flexibility in terms of reporting and integration. Many companies like to standardize on Microsoft technology.
7) Integration- Because Dynamics GP is built on the open Microsoft SQL database platform it means it is much easier to integrate other systems to Dynamics GP than to QuickBooks. Integration cuts down on manual data entry and incomplete reporting.
8) GAAP Compliance – Dynamics GP is a GAAP compliant system. This means that transactions cannot simply be deleted without having any record of that deletion activity. Quickbooks is not GAAP compliant. Many startup companies are working with banks or venture capital firms that want to know the data is secure and less prone to fraud. Any accounting entity that would be auditing your company will feel more comfortable if you are using Dynamics GP. This should help you sleep better at night.
9) Extra functionality – Dynamics GP includes additional functionality and modules that a company can grow into, that QuickBooks does not have. For example a robust fixed assets system, automatic allocations and consolidated reporting across multiple companies. And inventory and job costing are very different when you compare QuickBooks to Dynamics GP.
So why start out with QuickBooks? Dynamics GP is less expensive, more secure and has more functionality now and in the future as you need it.
Why buy two systems, just start up with Microsoft Dynamics GP.
If you are a start up company in New England looking to compare your accounting software options, call CAL Business Solutions 860-485-0910.
By George Mackiewicz, CAL Business Solutions,