Signs That You Have Outgrown QuickBooks

outgrown spreadsheets inventory

QuickBooks is a popular introductory accounting system for new and small businesses.  Its ease-of-use, affordability, and basic functionality, allow you to start using it without an in-depth knowledge of standard accounting procedures. As a business begins to grow, significant imitations become apparent and at some point the business management has to start thinking about converting to a more capable system.

Extensive Supplemental Spreadsheet Use is a Sign That You Have Outgrown QuickBooks…

One sign this is happening to your business, is when your team starts requiring the use of many external spreadsheets to supplement the capabilities provided by QuickBooks.

A goal of any well running business is to automate and become as efficient as possible. One way of achieving this is to utilize well-integrated software tools that can minimize the amount of manual labor needed to track and report on your business operations. Any process that requires the use of external spreadsheets should be immediately reviewed to see if it can be improved.


Some of the issues that can arise using QuickBooks, or accounting tools/ manual spreadsheets include:

  • Many pieces of data will require duplicate entries reducing employee productivity
  • Errors can arise when data needs to be manually entered rather than automatically
  • Data backups, audit trails, and data security are often quite weak when using spreadsheets
  • Sharing data between employees may require sending emails, uploading and downloading from a shared server, or even manually passing it on physically with a USB thumb drive
  • If different employees are using the same spreadsheet there may not be suitable enforcement to ensure that they are entering the data in a consistent manner

Quickbooks Requires supplemental spreadsheets

The reason that some companies may end up requiring many supplemental spreadsheets when using QuickBooks is because it was originally developed just as a basic accounting system. For many companies, the ability to track inventory, and manage production is a vital requirement. The QuickBooks support for this is insufficient. Certain required functions such as; lot tracking, bar-coding interfacing, running MRPs, and support for multiple warehouses may require supplemental solutions, which isn’t how a business should be run. In addition, the reporting functionality in QuickBooks is focused only on providing accounting reports. They’re the type of reports a user might need for managing inventory, or tracking production,which is something they don’t provide for.

Other issues that a growing business may experience with QuickBooks, include; certain file size and data limitations, lack of suitable integration and automation capabilities with other software packages, lack of personalized support, and the inability to implement customization so that the software can work better for a particular business. A successful management approach is to adopt the philosophy of continuous improvement.  So things that may have worked okay when a company first started may no longer be the best approach as a company grows. One exercise recommended is to review your operations, and count the number of external spreadsheets that are used by your staff to help run the business. You may be surprised at the result! And if you are, call us at My Office Apps to see a demo of how our Kechie ERP software can provide a more capable, integrated solution that will allow you to eliminate the manual spreadsheets, improve efficiency and gain better visibility into your overall operations.