In last month’s blog, we discussed eight ways that QuickBooks puts businesses at risk, and signs that it’s time to leverage a comprehensive solution such as Daston’s DCAA-on-Demand SuiteApp for NetSuite. This month, we dive deeper as we review how real companies have tackled these challenges by switching from QuickBooks to NetSuite.

Managing Spreadsheets Takes Up Too Much Time

As we mentioned last month, some employees spend hours creating invoices or completing spreadsheets manually when using QuickBooks. They often use workarounds such as Excel files to document deferred revenue, allocations, annual subscriptions, or recurring payments. For example, Frey Farms used to run a combination of Google Docs and QuickBooks, with a 110-column spreadsheet serving as the ERP. Each of its four business units needed a separate QuickBooks instance, and employees could only log in to two simultaneously. The business had grown to seven farms, and transactions had to be entered in five locations across various spreadsheets. Now on NetSuite, the farm’s employees simply log in to see the entire operation in a single report.

Manual Processes Create Errors

We discussed last month how time-consuming manual data entry can be. In addition, these processes potentially lead to increased human error. Take the case of skincare retailer LovelySkin. While using QuickBooks, the company found that its data was fragmented and residing in multiple locations and systems. Human error was a concern as employees moved data from one system to another manually. Now using NetSuite, LovelySkin’s information is updated in real-time, meaning it’s consistently accurate, and all employees use the same system.

Inaccurate Data Prevents Informed Decision-making

So why is accurate data so critical? In today’s environment, forecasting and budgeting are more important than ever, and quickly making smart decisions based on correct data can make or break a business. For instance, Mythics, an IT advisory business specializing in system integrations, moved from QuickBooks to NetSuite to avoid the manual work inherent in handling two systems, one for the core business and the other for a subsidiary.

“The biggest benefit of NetSuite is the ability to forecast where our business is driving, and the reporting is crucial to making informed decisions across the business,” said Mel Sawyer, Senior Consulting Controller at Mythics.

Audits Post Concerns

Without the right internal controls, QuickBooks can pose concerns with auditability. If you need a bank loan, are considering going public, or are pursuing investors, your financial numbers must be rock-solid. One such case is Fintech company Brex, which switched from QuickBooks to NetSuite to keep a steady audit trail, access workflows and logs, and drill down into transaction details. “You need solid checks and balances to have your books aligned for an audit by a Big 4 firm,” noted Erik Zhou, Brex Chief Accounting Officer.

Customizations Are Complicated

Upon expanding into large retailers such as Target, Honey Pot, which was using QuickBooks, need a way to electronically relay order details from its office to its retail partners for fulfillment. These retailers required the company to integrate with their systems for electronic data interchange, so Honey Pot brought in consultants to try to integrate their order details with QuickBooks. After much frustration, the company determined that it required an ERP system, and it chose NetSuite, which houses all order data centrally then automatically converts purchase orders into invoices.

Viewing Real-Time Data is Difficult

Keeping a set of data in QuickBooks and storing information in other places makes getting a real-time view of operations nearly impossible. Many product companies that use QuickBooks for financials manage inventory in spreadsheets or add-on systems such as Fishbowl. Without integration between inventory and financial data, they lack accurate inventory counts. Take haircare company Mielle Organics. When Fishbowl couldn’t connect to its e-commerce storefront, the company tried to manually compare e-commerce sales with inventory. After finally connecting its e-commerce store to NetSuite, Mielle now accesses inventory data in real-time.

Billing Processes Affect Forecast and Cash Flow

Accurately forecasting future payments and cash flow is crucial for business success. For services companies, subscription billing and project accounting are manual processes in QuickBooks, which can become complicated even for small companies. For example, CentralReach, a leading provider of electronic medical records for health clinics, offers a variety of services, requiring the company to track and manage subscription payments, the amounts of which fluctuate on QuickBooks. CentralReach was sending customers separate bills for each solution, and customers were frustrated by multiple bills. After installing SuiteBilling, CentralReach simplified its billing process by adding all its subscription services as separate items in a connected system, and it now sends single invoices to customers.

Pulling Reports Takes Hours or Days

QuickBooks also doesn’t allow customers to see stock levels in real-time, confirm delivery schedules while they place their order, or allow calls to customer service minutes after the order is placed. When it was using QuickBooks, beverage brand Super Coffee built its own order entry system using a spreadsheet that acted as a dashboard for the sales team. Now that it has implemented NetSuite, at the end of each day the company receives a sales report that breaks down sales by SKU, customer, and region. That report, which automatically arrives in their inboxes, “would’ve taken hours, days, or maybe even weeks to produce before,” noted Super Coffee Co-founder Jordan DeCicco. With NetSuite, all employees are using the same data, updated in real-time for both employee and customer benefit.

Do you relate to these companies and the challenges that they experienced? Daston can help. With our DCAA-On-Demand Suite App, we can help you increase efficiency, simplify core processes, and boost productivity, leading to long-term success. Contact 703-288-3200 for a free consultation!