The 5 Most Common Signs You’ve Outgrown QuickBooks

5 Most Common Signs You've Outgrown QuickBooks

When is it time to say goodbye to QuickBooks?

“Have we outgrown QuickBooks?” We often get asked this by growing companies. Let us preface this by saying when we get asked this, the honest answer is, “it depends.”

It depends on your company size, it depends what industry you are in, it depends how quickly your company is growing… you get the picture. And another disclaimer: we love QuickBooks. We use it for plenty of our clients. When we have clients approach us with a free accounting system, the first thing we do during our onboarding process is move them over to QuickBooks Online (QBO). But it does have its limitations. If you don’t have an awesome accounting firm to tell you when it is time, here are a few things you can look for to know if you’ve outgrown QuickBooks:

1. You are consistently having to use other programs (most often Excel) to build reports.

This is probably the number one reason companies begin to realize they have outgrown QuickBooks. Intuit is constantly working on providing better reporting options within QuickBooks Online but it still does not meet all reporting needs.

2. Your company has multiple entities or receives revenue in multiple currencies.

QuickBooks has serious limitations around its capabilities to handle a growing organization with multiple entities or a business that has expanded its services or products worldwide. You will probably want to convert to more robust software if your company gets paid in multiple currencies. While QuickBooks does have the setting for Multiple Currency, it is limited if you need to roll up everything within one QuickBooks company.

Related Read: While QuickBooks Desktop doesn’t handle multiple entities well, we’ve found that QuickBooks Online is a great tool for small to mid-size property management companies. 

3. You have a large and varying supply of inventory.

QuickBooks Online is not built for large amounts of inventory that come from a multitude of sources. QuickBooks Desktop does a better job of handling inventory needs but ultimately if you have large inventory turns or landed costs, if you need inventory forecasting, lot tracking capabilities or if you have multiple ID codes for your products you have likely outgrown QuickBooks. A word of advice: if you have reached a stage of growth where your business has any of the inventory needs listed above, do not start using Excel in lieu of finding a long-term solution. It may seem like a cost-saving remedy but you will save time and money in the long-run by setting yourself up for success with an ERP system or retail management platform like Brightpearl.

4. You’re worried your internal controls may not be up to par.

If you are wanting to mitigate your risk against audit or fraud, QuickBooks Online might not be the right choice for you. At the time this article was published, Intuit still had not provided a way for users to back up their data or to restore their files if something gets corrupted. This is a huge risk for inexperienced QBO users who may have a higher likelihood of accidentally corrupting or deleting transactions.

5. Everything is taking longer than it should: entering transactions, creating bills, pulling reports, data entry.

Finally, if you are discovering that everything related to your books is taking a significant chunk out of your day, it is probably time to move to a more robust system. Or better yet, call in the professionals.

Is any of the above sounding familiar? If so, then there is a good chance you have outgrown QuickBooks. If that is indeed the case, you can prepare for the transition to a new system by ensuring all your data in QuickBooks is up to date and accurate. Don’t yet know what system or ERP you might switch to? Read our 6 steps to evaluate software and cloud solutions to prepare!

Now that we’re part of one of Chicago’s most prestigious CPA firms, Ostrow Reisin Berk & Abrams, Ltd, you’ll also find us online at  With our ORBA colleagues, we’re positioned to offer you an expanded array of state-of-the-art services. 

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