10 Surefire Signs Your Company Is Outgrowing QuickBooks

8/14/18 6:58 PM

Are you outgrowing QuickBooks?

QuickBooks is a fantastic system for small business accounting. The cost for the entry versions is low, and the system is easy to learn.

But the fact remains; it is a small business accounting solution, not an ERP.

Its target market is small business—companies of $5 million revenue or less. However, companies that grow much larger often remain on the system. 

So how do you know if your company is outgrowing QuickBooks and needs an ERP like SAP Business One?

Here are 10 signs.

  1. You Have Too Many Users
  2. You Use Several Tools to Manage your Business
  3. You Struggle to Manage Inventory
  4. You Have Multiple Entities
  5. You Manufacture Something
  6. QuickBooks is Slowing Down
  7. You Need Better Reports
  8. The Integration You Need Is Not Available
  9. You Want to Set up User Permissions
  10. You Need to Comply With Regulations

1. You Have Too Many Users

This is an easy question of math.

QuickBooks has a 30-user cap. If you need more than 30 user licenses, you are out of luck.

SAP Business One, for instance, has no user limit.

At MTC Systems, we've not only helped small businesses implement SAP Business One for only four or five users, but we've also helped large enterprises implement SAP Business One for hundreds of users.

One of our customers in the agricultural feed industry, in particular, has more than 50 factories on SAP Business One.

10 signs your company is outgrowing QuickBooks

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2.  You Use Several Tools to Manage Your Business

Probably the most common reason for companies to leave QuickBooks is that they have to use multiple tools to run their business.

The classic scenario is that they run QuickBooks for finances and then have several different spreadsheets for other functions such as inventory.

Therefore, they have a disconnect between the spreadsheet systems and the company accounting. As we'll touch on later, that means that it's difficult—if not impossible—to get the reports needed.

Often companies will use other tools alongside QuickBooks as well such as:

  • Project management software
  • CRM
  • Inventory management software/WMS
  • Sales commission software
  • eCommerce portals
  • POS
  • Manufacturing management software
  • CAD tools
  • Shipping software

Unless an effective integration is available (more on that later), the systems will be prone to error due to overworked employees entering and transferring data into multiple systems.

Between the inaccuracy of the data and the wasted labor hours from transferring information, running a business with several non-integrated tools can sap profits fast.

What's more, the difficulty of getting vital reports for your business has an immeasurable opportunity cost because you can’t make wise management choices based on real-time, accurate data.

Trying to manage a business with too many tools?

SAP Business One, however, includes a full suite of modules that are vital to enterprise management, such as purchasing, sales, finance, project management, manufacturing, MRP, inventory, CRM, HR, and so on.

If your company is struggling with three, four, or even more unconnected software systems, then the time is ripe to jettison QuickBooks for a full-fledged ERP.

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3. You Struggle to Manage Inventory

Another one of the most common reasons for companies on QuickBooks to reach out to us regarding ERP is that they can’t manage inventory effectively.

One example was a health products company that was doing a physical inventory count twice per month due to all of the errors from manual data entry. It was common for the company to sell out of items due to poor visibility, and management never knew which items they should run promotions on.

Inventory Management with SAP Business One

Inventory management options do actually exist for Pro and Enterprise versions of QuickBooks, but the functionality is limited.

For example, different QuickBooks versions have varying support for multiple costing methods. Whereas the desktop versions use average costing, QuickBooks Online uses FIFO costing. QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise Manufacturing solution has both methods but no others.

In contrast, SAP Business One has a full-featured inventory management system that allows companies to:

  • Manage stock across multiple warehouses, including "trunk stock"
  • Use multiple costing methods
  • Manage inventory by serial numbers and batches
  • Store a wide variety of data about items
  • Pick and pack with scan guns
  • Pick in a certain order according to location in warehouse
  • Accommodate controlled climate zones in the warehouse and so on

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4. You Have Multiple Entities

Many companies have multiple legal entities that buy and sell with each other, share contacts, require roll up consolidation into a parent entity and so on.

However, QuickBooks has no automated intercompany transactions and no intercompany rollup consolidations.

When multi-entity companies are on QuickBooks, they often run separate accounts for each entity, which leads to difficulty making all kinds of reports, whether for inventory or for financial consolidations.

However, the SAP Business One Intercompany Solution, allows companies to share contact lists, see each other’s inventory, conduct intercompany transactions, and do roll up consolidated reporting.

This powerful solution has a number of incredible benefits.

  • First, the company can run reports on all of the company's data in real time.
  • Second, only the people who need to know about other entities can be allowed to view any given information. (More on that later.)
  • Third, intercompany transactions are automated and efficient.
  • Finally, since the entities are managed with separate databases, other entities are protected from audit in the case that one of them gets audited.

For a company with multiple entities, the Intercompany Solution provides a priceless benefit.

Learn More: For more information about the SAP Business One Intercompany solution, check out our articles: Intercompany Integration Solution for SAP Business One – Financial Consolidation and Intercompany Add-on in SAP Business One.

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5. You Are Manufacturing

Entry level QuickBooks products do not offer manufacturing functionality. QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise has some basic functionality that includes bill of materials, available-to-promise, and serial or lot number tracking.

But if you have many production resources or you have a more complicated production process, QuickBooks lacks the features you need. You will be creating spreadsheets, using various tools, and performing manual entry in order to manage your production.

For example, companies with many production resources need MRP (Manufacturing Resource Planning).

An MRP system uses information about current inventory, production orders, sales orders, and purchase orders in order to allocate resources to projects.

They can ensure that all workstations and employees keep busy on production. That way none of them are idle and none are overbooked.

Managers can move resources around in the case of urgent production orders, and they can run hypothetical scenarios in order to plan out the most efficient schedule.

Chemicals Manufacturing with SAP Business One1-1

For companies with special or complicated production processes, SAP Business One offers flexibility to meet every need.

For example, MTO (Make to Order) manufacturers can use a configurator to produce sales quotes for clients and then easily convert them into production orders.

Food or chemical companies can manage process manufacturing with mixing ingredients, heating or cooling, and tracking shelf life.

They can even account for variable product weights; for example, if the company produces frozen meat, it will need to account for not only the particular weight of every package but also the average weight of the packages.

SAP Business One boasts of customers in a wide variety of manufacturing fields including automotive, parts, oil, agriculture, slaughterhouse, chemicals, medicine, beverage, brewing, and more.

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6. Your QuickBooks Is Slowing Down

Have you noticed your QuickBooks starting to lag? If so, bad news: the more you use it, the more it will slow down.

QuickBooks is known to get sluggish when filled with too many records. We have one customer in particular whose QuickBooks began to slow down drastically. Consequently, the customer was forced to consolidate sales data and enter it daily rather than one by one in order to control the size of the data.

SAP Business One however is built to handle big data with a high volume of transactions.

SAP Business One can run on either SQL or HANA databases, either of which can accommodate massive amounts of data with millions of records. They can process thousands of transactions taking place at the same time without difficulty.

The SAP HANA database is particularly fast; it's built with in-memory technology, which means there's no physical hard drive disc that spins as you access data. It's the same concept behind high-end laptop computers with flash memory instead of hard drives; they access data almost instantly.

It's no wonder that the NHL chose HANA to give fans instant access to a century's worth of sports statistics.


If HANA is fast enough for the queries of millions of avid sports fans, SAP Business One on HANA can keep up with any small to midsize business.

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7. You Need Better Reports

Perhaps you need more powerful reporting functionality than what you currently have. Of course, QuickBooks has most of the typical reports that the average business needs.

In addition, with QuickBooks Enterprise you can create custom reports, but the word on the street is that it's not easy.

That’s because QuickBooks Enterprise is built on a proprietary version of Sybase. With this database it can be difficult to access data with queries; you will need to use a third-party tool like QODBC in order to get to the data.

Get a clear view of your data with SAP HANA reporting

In comparison, SAP Business One has strong, flexible reporting abilities. Native reporting features include the HANA Dashboard, Crystal Reports, SAP Analytical Portal, and Microsoft Excel extension.

  • The HANA Dashboard is an always open, always up-to-date set of reports that lets you keep an eye on the vital signs of your company throughout the day. From line graphs to bar charts to pie charts to KPIs, the reports are easily set up without the use of a programmer.
  • Crystal Reports allows users to create dynamic reports from a variety of data sources and display them in dozens of formats.
  • The SAP Analytical Portal is a browser-based system that lets users publish and share documents. Documents can be downloaded or run in formats including Microsoft Excel, PDF, HTML, and Crystal Reports. It even supports publishing and distributing reports automatically on a fixed basis.
  • The SAP Business One Excel extension allows users to pull in information from their SAP database into the familiar environment of Excel.

Reach New Vistas With SAP Business One—  Learn how you can get reports on your data.

So SAP Business One has numerous easy-to-use reporting options, but what if you still want your IT personnel to get some special information for you with queries?

Fortunately, SAP Business One’s database can easily be queried by anyone with knowledge of SQL.

Finally, numerous 3rd party integrated reporting tools exist as well, such as BizNet and FineReport.

Simply put, if the data is in your system, you can run a report on it.

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8. The Integration You Need Is Not Available

This problem, like the last two, is related to the QuickBooks database. Since QuickBooks is built on a proprietary database, it can be difficult to integrate with third-party products.

More and more pre-built integrations are being built for QuickBooks, but if the integration you need is not yet available, you may be out of luck.

SAP Business One integrates with a wide variety of popular tools

SAP Business One, on the other hand, was built with extensibility in mind and has hundreds of optional industry solutions, which run within the SAP Business One interface. These solutions allow users in specialized fields, such as agriculture or beer brewing, to manage their business simply with SAP Business One.

In addition, hundreds of other integrations exist with popular software such as Salesforce or ShipStation.

But if the integration does not yet exist, anyone with knowledge of SQL can build an integration.

The availability of existing industry solutions and integrations as well as the ease of connecting new applications means that SAP Business One can meet the needs of virtually any type of company.

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9. You Want to Set up User Permissions

QuickBooks has little flexibility for restricting user permissions.

It allows for restricting access by module or limiting access to reports or to some sensitive information like credit cards, but it does not allow you to set up permissions for individual users.

SAP Business One permissions can be customized

One QuickBooks user said, "The user security is sorely lacking. Not enough customization of controls. For example, in order for a person to have access to bank feeds, they have to be given access to the entire administrative side of the program."

However, with SAP Business One user roles can be set up and any user can be limited with specific permissions throughout the entire system.

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10. You Need to Comply With Regulations

If you need to comply with regulations, whether it be related to accounting or quality or food safety, SAP Business One gives you the power to comply with the requirements whereas QuickBooks may not.

For example, SAP Business One is GAAP compliant, but QuickBooks isn't.

When it comes to auditing, SAP Business One is superior to QuickBooks. One QuickBooks customer said, "Inconsistent audit trails–With QuickBooks, there isn’t an option to record changes to master records, logins or logoffs. And, for compliance and regulatory legislation, audit trails are essential."

For various other certification and compliance needs as well—such as ISO certification, DCAA compliance, FDA validation, and more—SAP Business One empowers its users to get certified or stay compliant.

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It’s true, QuickBooks is an excellent accounting software for small businesses that need some basic accounting functionality at a low price.

However, for a growing enterprise with some of the characteristics listed above, QuickBooks is no longer sufficient and needs to be replaced with a full-scale ERP system like SAP Business One.

 Questions? Comments? Update suggestions? Please leave a comment below.

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