From QuickBooks to NetSuite:
Why Growth Companies Need a Comprehensive Accounting Solution
It’s time to update!
- Outgrowing Your ERP
- Which ERP Is Right for You?
- Is It Time to Make the Switch to an ERP?
QuickBooks is often the go-to accounting solution for startups. It manages your accounting requirements all in one place, reduces data entry grunt work, and makes it easy to manage accounts payable and receivable. It’s affordable and fairly intuitive. And it works – until one day it doesn’t.
Outgrowing Your ERP
Growing companies quickly run into functionality snags that QuickBooks can’t solve for you. You’ll find yourself creating manual workarounds for more complicated accounting functions. It will take hours to pull the reports you need. You’ll struggle with visibility into key metrics, which will impede informed decision-making. When audit time rolls around, you’ll struggle to track source documents or maintain compliance records.
These problems generally crop up as your business becomes larger and more complex. As you scale your operations, your accounting challenges scale right along with you.
That’s when it’s time to start considering a comprehensive accounting software package or an ERP.
An ERP is built to handle the complexity of a larger business. In addition to your accounting transactions, you can also manage operations, supply chain, governance, customer service, and other core business functions within your ERP. The platform also offers more sophisticated functionality, giving you:
- Real-time insights
- Financial visibility
- More efficient reporting
- Flexibility to adapt to changing business needs
- Better customer service
- Increased risk management oversight
- Revenue recognition
The bottom line is that an ERP is a necessity for more complex businesses. Without it, you’ll be more prone to error and reliant on guesswork. But how do you go about choosing one?
Which ERP Is Right for You?
If your company is entering a new growth or transition stage, you probably already feel some of these growing pains. Maybe you have even tinkered with the idea of investing in a new software solution.
But which one?
If you are at the stage of business where you’re thinking about new accounting software, then you’re probably familiar with at least a few of these names:
- Microsoft Dynamics 365
- SAP Business One
- Sage Intacct
These standard platforms are widely used across industries, and they all have strong functionality offerings. As you choose a new ERP, you’ll want to spend some time evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the available solutions. For example, Microsoft Dynamics is a robust platform, but it can be difficult for new users to learn.
NetSuite is another popular choice for startups because it is comprehensive, highly adaptable, and customizable. It’s also one of the most frequently recommended ERPs for growth companies transitioning out of Quickbooks.
For that reason, let’s take a deeper look at how NetSuite can improve your business operations:
It is a completely cloud-functional business management suite.
NetSuite is one of only three companies listed as a “Leader” in the Magic Quadrant for Cloud Core Financial Management Suites. Unlike other solutions which have transitioned to the cloud from on-premise solutions, NetSuite has been a cloud-native solution from the start. That means every functionality is designed to operate in the cloud, improving efficiency and functionality. It’s a leader in the space, and the depth of functionality reflects that.
Cloud solutions are generally more versatile and scalable than their on-premise counterparts; however, they have the potential to create “cloud silos” – data that resides in the cloud and is not connected to your on-premise legacy applications. NetSuite is not exempt from this possibility, which is why it’s so important to have a solid integration plan.
It can integrate with most other standard applications.
Speaking of integration plans, NetSuite can integrate with most other leading SaaS and on-premise applications, including Salesforce, SAP, and Oracle. It can also connect with specialized systems and applications.
The caveat here is that integration is not always straightforward. The easiest method is to use an integration solution such as NetSuite’s SuiteCloud Connect if one is available. However, these solutions don’t cover every integration, so you may need to create a custom integration to connect your application.
It is highly adaptable and fully customizable.
No matter what your industry is, NetSuite can be customized to follow regulatory guidelines and industry best practices. You can create custom fields, KPI’s, dashboards, and workflow guides, and you can build new functionalities and applications directly within the platform. You can also purchase applications to extend NetSuite based on your industry and business needs in NetSuite’s SuiteApp store. SuiteApps will run inside NetSuite, using the same servers and database.
These customizations also carry forward with each upgrade, so you aren’t hit with a flurry of manual maintenance.
Building custom applications and functions within NetSuite does take a bit of know-how. If you don’t have people who can manage that for you in-house, you may need to partner with a third-party NetSuite specialist to build out and maintain your customizations.
It is equally functional in any industry.
As we mentioned above, NetSuite is industry agnostic. By automating core processes, NetSuite enables companies across all industries to improve efficiency, meet industry-specific standards, customize the platform to their needs, and grow.
To support users in all industries, NetSuite continually adds new industry-specific modules which you must purchase. While this does constitute an extra cost, it can also relieve the burden of building out customizations.
Is It Time to Make the Switch to an ERP?
Think of running your financials with QuickBooks like riding a bicycle. It gets you where you need to go and you have all the basic functionality: forward motion, breaks, turning right and left, and you can even add extra capabilities like a bell and a headlight. As long as you’re on level ground, you’ll manage. Once you start going uphill, though, you’re going to run out of steam quickly.
Switching to NetSuite is like trading your bicycle for a car. It still has all those basic functionalities, but it can also do a whole bunch of things a bicycle just can’t do: improved efficiency, greater speed, key metrics (speed, mileage, gas), and more. And when you’re ready to climb the mountain, a car is going to get you there a lot faster and with a lot less effort than your bicycle ever could.
Of course, a car is a lot more expensive to buy and maintain than a bike. So how do you know when it is time to switch? Here are a few indicators:
- When you are ready to scale your business – An ERP supports growth and transition much more efficiently than QuickBooks. It can handle more complex business needs, and it gives you the data you need for enhanced visibility and forecasting.
- When your accounting has become complicated and confusing – With an ERP, you can manage financial functions like revenue recognition, streamlined billing, process automation, auditing, and valuation in an M&A context. If you’re feeling frustrated because you can’t find the data or process you need, an ERP can fix that for you.
- When you are relying on guesswork instead of hard data. As your company becomes more complex, hard data will become increasingly important. Whether you’re entering a growth stage or planning a sale, visibility into key metrics and performance indicators will help you gauge the health of your company and identify problem areas.
Once you’ve decided to move to an ERP, you’ll need a solid implementation strategy. Implementation is often harder and longer than expected, and managing it poorly could affect outcomes for years down the road. Setting up the software incorrectly will slow down processes, create frustration, and impact usability.
That’s why it’s a good idea to consider partnering with an experienced financial team when you transition away from QuickBooks. Working with someone who has been through the process before and who knows how to function within a more complex financial platform will help you ramp up quickly and utilize the full potential of the software. Investing in the setup process on the front end and ensuring that your ERP functions exactly as needed is the best approach.
The Next Stage Of Finance Management
Do you have questions about your next stage of finance management?
We’re here to help! As your financial partner, we will help you plan your growth strategy, set up efficient processes, and manage the practical details of your accounting and finance operations.
Contact us to learn how we have helped founders like you accelerate growth!
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