Think You’re Outgrowing QuickBooks?

July 14, 2015
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Maybe you just need add-ons. Hundreds are available.

QuickBooks was designed to appeal to a broad range of business types. It supports the core functions required for double-entry bookkeeping, with more detail in some areas than others.

You may have needed to make use of the software’s customization options to create more targeted reports, add custom fields, etc. But if that’s not enough – if you need to extend QuickBooks’ features in areas like inventory-tracking and accounts receivable, for example — you’ll have numerous options.

This is the direction that computer-based accounting is headed, anyway, and it makes good sense. QuickBooks does the basics and then some, and to add a lot of functionality would increase its price and boost it into the next tier of software products. Instead, Intuit encourages third-party developers to create applications that flesh out one particular area, and which can be easily integrated with QuickBooks to share data.

To see what’s available, open the Help window and select App Center: Find More Business Solutions.

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Intuit’s App Center contains hundreds of add-on applications that can be integrated with QuickBooks.

You’ve probably heard the names of some of the applications that can be integrated, like Method:CRM (Customer Relationship Management, or CRM), Shopify (e-commerce), and Bill.com (accounts receivable and payable). These are standalone products that can, of course, be used on their own. But you can also set up an integration – a “bridge” – that lets you share information between QuickBooks and the connected app.

Let’s look at the major application types and see how this information-sharing would be useful.

  • CRM. How much do you know about your customers by simply looking at their invoices, records, payments, etc.? You can learn how where they’re located, what they’ve purchased, and whether they pay their bills on time. CRM software digs deeper, sometimes even creating “social” profiles for your customers. If a salesperson develops an opportunity into a lead into a customer, that information can be shared with QuickBooks. This is one of the biggest advantages of using integrated software: Once you’ve entered a customer’s information, you never have to do so again.
  • Finance and Accounting. Yes, that’s what QuickBooks does: It manages finances within an accounting framework. But you may need more, like specialized expense report management and more complex invoice-processing (including routing for approvals). There are even apps that will enter all of your paper receipts and convert them to QuickBooks transactions.
  • Productivity. Do you need more sophisticated time-and-billing capabilities than QuickBooks offers? Work order-scheduling, dispatching, and invoicing suited to field service management? Deeper, more customizable reports? There are multiple apps that can meet all of those needs.
  • Operations. This category covers a lot of ground. There are apps that will integrate QuickBooks data with software that helps manage performance reviews, inventory, online shopping, and orders, for example.

These integrations are built to communicate with QuickBooks, but you may need help from your financial advisor to deal with the early mechanics, like setup for Intuit’s Sync Manager.

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Intuit’s Sync Manager is designed to synchronize data between QuickBooks and its integrated apps.

You can move up to more sophisticated accounting software if you’re outgrowing QuickBooks. But these solutions can cost thousands of dollars, and it may be difficult to import your existing data. So consult with your financial advisor if you hit a wall. He or she will be able to help you sort it out.

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