New businesses will often adopt QuickBooks as their entry-level accounting platform due to its low price point and ability to handle general accounting. When company growth necessitates new functionalities—advanced accounting, international operations, customer relations, supply chain, and human resources management, for example—many businesses begin tacking on new software to their existing tech stack to reach their desired level of operations.

Fast-forward a few years and the end result is a highly-disconnected system comprised of many different pieces—none of which “talk” to or share data with one another. QuickBooks acts as the core accounting system, which means all data and information from the other systems will need to be transferred to QuickBooks manually or via an API, both of which pose their own forms of headache. In this instance, businesses start experiencing mismatching data, poor forecasting capabilities, audit risk, clunky operations and more.

If this scenario hits a little close to home, you’re not alone. When QuickBooks can no longer keep up with the complexity of financial transactions, starts running slowly as you populate it with more data, or simply can’t manage the functionality that you need, it’s time to seek out alternatives to QuickBooks and upgrade to a full-fledged Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform like NetSuite.

5 Signs That It’s Time for a QuickBooks Alternative

As a NetSuite Solution Provider and BPO Partner, ScaleNorth has worked with countless companies that hit the “QuickBooks tipping point” and needed help switching to a more robust business management software solution.

Here are five clear signs that it’s time to seek out a more powerful QuickBooks alternative like NetSuite:

1. Every system you’re using is operating in a silo.

This is one of the most common challenges with QuickBooks. Businesses utilizing QuickBooks for their accounting software will need separate software (or even spreadsheets) for other operational tasks. For example, you’ll still need a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system or HR software, as well as any industry specific solutions such as inventory management or project management software. The result is multiple different databases storing your financial and operational information. These “data silos” necessitate either the duplication of data entry or buildout of APIs, while creating unnecessary risk of mismatching data.

Duplication of data entry can lead to mistakes such as “fat-fingering” numerical entries, misspellings, or omitted/duplicated entries.

2. Hidden costs.

While many businesses were initially attracted to QuickBooks due to its low price point, costs begin to add up as you tack on several other software systems to run your operations. Meanwhile, using an entire assortment of API integrations takes IT hours to build and support, which can significantly add to your operational overhead. Don’t let the base cost of QuickBooks fool you. After you’ve subscribed to multiple other software systems and paid IT staff to manage integrations, your true costs will rise significantly above the base price of QuickBooks.

3. The system doesn’t move or respond quickly enough.

As your company grows and its data file sizes increase, QuickBooks’ performance will move in the opposite direction. Getting the information you need becomes increasingly difficult, not to mention the slower loading times, freezing and crashing. When seeking out a QuickBooks alternative, make sure that your growth and expansion won’t be hindered by poor system performance. Cloud-based ERP systems like NetSuite will seamlessly grow with businesses from a few million in revenue to billions, meaning you can expect the same high-performance no matter what trajectory your business takes.

4. Reporting has become a time-intensive guessing game.

In today’s fast-paced business world, company managers and leaders need to be able to access financial data from any location at any time. Ideally, stakeholders have access to real-time dashboards that can be viewed on a computer, tablet, or mobile phone—not on spreadsheets that have to be uploaded, aggregated, and shared via email. When seeking out an alternative to QuickBooks, look for a system that will give you the insights you need, when you need them, from anywhere in the world.

5. International expansion, subsidiaries, or acquisitions are on your radar.

When the time comes to stretch your company’s reach and explore new geographic boundaries or create/acquire new business entities, you’ll need entirely new instances of QuickBooks to manage each set of books. To get a full picture of your operational growth and performance, you’ll be relegated to do the “spreadsheet shuffle” when sharing data across those disparate instances. Consolidation and international capabilities (or lack thereof) are some of the key drivers that cause financial leaders to seek out an alternative to QuickBooks.

NetSuite: The Best QuickBooks Alternative in 2024

With its extensive features and robust capabilities, NetSuite stands out as the best QuickBooks alternative for businesses that have at least a few million in revenue or Private Equity backing. It’s an attractive alternative to QuickBooks as it can mitigate all of the pain points of QuickBooks listed above while opening the door for seamless growth.

All-In-One Solution

NetSuite’s broad portfolio of applications is one of its primary benefits over QuickBooks. While QuickBooks is primarily concerned with accounting, NetSuite provides an all-in-one solution that integrates critical ERP functions such as financial management, inventory management, order management, CRM, and more. With NetSuite, you can manage all parts of your organization from a single platform, eliminating the need for multiple different software systems while enhancing overall productivity.

With all financial and operational data being stored in a single database, you get real-time, accurate information right at your fingertips.

Integration Ready

In the event that you need/want other third-party software to run your operations, NetSuite has numerous integration options utilizing APIs, EDI, or Integration Platform as a Service (IPaaS) providers such as Celigo or Boomi. ScaleNorth has extensive, hands-on experience connecting NetSuite cloud ERP to third-party applications via all three of these solutions.

Native CRM for Optimal Customer Management

Effective customer relationship management is critical for corporate success. In contrast to QuickBooks, which lacks integrated customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities, NetSuite provides a total CRM solution, another reason why it’s a powerful alternative to QuickBooks.

With NetSuite CRM, you can track customer interactions, manage sales pipelines, streamline and automate marketing efforts, and provide excellent customer service. The consolidation of CRM and financial data guarantees that client information is always up to date and readily available, allowing you to create tailored and targeted customer experiences.

Analytics and Advanced Reporting

As a far more robust alternative to QuickBooks, NetSuite prides itself on its powerful reporting and analytics features. Unlike QuickBooks, which has limited reporting choices, NetSuite has advanced reporting tools that allow you to acquire in-depth insights into the success of your organization. You can examine critical parameters, track trends, and make educated decisions with customizable dashboards, real-time data visualization, and complete financial reports. The advanced analytics features in NetSuite enable you to identify areas for improvement, capitalize on opportunities, and promote business growth. It also provides mobile/tablet accessibility so you can view your real-time data from anywhere in the world.

Streamlined Multi-Entity Management

Managing finances in a firm with several entities, subsidiaries, or international operations can be complex and time-consuming. NetSuite makes multi-entity management more accessible by providing a centralized platform for consolidating financial data from numerous entities or countries. Unlike QuickBooks, NetSuite allows you to automate financial consolidation, expedite intercompany transactions, and receive a comprehensive view of your company’s performance across all subsidiaries. This level of connectivity and transparency enables better decision-making and financial control.

Scalability for Business Growth

It is critical to have a software solution that can scale with your business as it grows and evolves. NetSuite is intended for organizations of all sizes, from a few million in revenue to multinational corporations. Its adaptable and modular architecture allows you to add new features, users, and subsidiaries as your company expands, allowing for seamless scalability.

Real-time Collaboration and Accessibility

Real-time access to your sensitive information is critical in today’s fast-paced business climate. NetSuite’s cloud-based architecture enables safe, real-time access to your financial and operational data from any location. You can collaborate with team members, receive real-time reports, and manage your business operations in the office or on the go.

Take Your Business to the Next Level

Where QuickBooks is primarily used for accounting, NetSuite provides an all-in-one solution that integrates critical ERP functions such as financial management, inventory management, order management, e-commerce, supply chain, and more. With NetSuite, you can manage all aspects of your organization from a single platform.

Transitioning to a new software system might sound daunting, but ScaleNorth’s dedicated team of consultants can ensure seamless transition from your current system to NetSuite.

NetSuite drastically outperforms QuickBooks by giving organizations the comprehensive financial management and operational tools they need to be able to optimize their workflows, increase productivity, and reach their goals. Take your company to new heights with NetSuite and discover the potential of using a full-fledged ERP that breaks through all of QuickBooks’ constraints.

If you’re tired of settling for mediocre software and are looking for the best alternative to QuickBooks,  request a demo today to learn how ScaleNorth and NetSuite can transform your business and take it to the next level.