Proper accounting and bookkeeping are things that every business has to get right. Startups, small businesses, and large corporations all have to find viable solutions to manage their accounting in a smooth, efficient way. If you are using spreadsheets for this purpose, you might be losing out on a lot in terms of features, efficiency, and an intuitive workflow.
Spreadsheets can really slow you down. You need a dedicated accounting solution like QuickBooks if you want your accounting to be seamless.
Spreadsheets are often a popular choice for bookkeeping and accounting, especially for startups and small businesses. They have been around for a long time and this makes them easy to adapt and learn. Basic bookkeeping and accounting formulae are also easy to find. This makes spreadsheets an apparent solution to your needs.
However, as your business grows and your accounting needs start getting more complex, it can definitely be a pain to use spreadsheets for this very important purpose.
You would be slowing things down considerably if you take this approach and losing out on important features that can further evolve and optimize your workflow. A much better solution is to use a dedicated, full-featured accounting solution like QuickBooks.
Let us take a look at how spreadsheets can slow you down and how QuickBooks can be a better all-round solution.
Generic vs. Specific
Spreadsheets are meant for a wide range of tasks and are not specifically designed to be used as a standalone bookkeeping and accounting tool. This means that you have to turn this usage-agnostic tool into a viable accounting tool by building your own systems, tweaks, and formulae.
The requirement of having to design your own process can take a long time to perfect and new problems can emerge as your business grows and changes. This is not an optimal solution either now or in the long run.
With QuickBooks, you have an accounting solution designed for accounting by experts who understand accounting. This makes it a plug-and-play solution for all your accounting and bookkeeping needs. There would be no need to find or design complex formulae for your accounting calculations.
Managing Workflow and Errors
The sheer amount of manual entry and the large number of separate spreadsheets you would have to maintain poses challenges not only in terms of effort and time spent but also in terms of the possibility of errors to creep in.
If you come to think of it, every different income stream would need a different spreadsheet. If you follow GAAP principles you would have to make every entry twice. There can be copying and pasting errors and errors in creating and implementing complex formulae.
The mathematical backend of QuickBooks can be things so much easier for you in these areas. There is substantially less chance of data entry errors and formula errors and a much better chance of ending up with reliable, error-free data in your accounting. When your business decides to scale up, this advantage can become all the more apparent and useful.
Visualization and Reporting
Generating vivid visualizations and detailed reports can be an integral part of any accounting management workflow. Unfortunately, the way you can get there can be long and winding if you use spreadsheets.
Visualizing large amounts of data, interpreting data, and observing trends can be difficult if the process of generating visualizations is arduous. Generating reports, too, is an entirely manual operation is spreadsheets.
QuickBooks can generate high-quality visualizations and detailed reports natively. This makes it easier to keep a firm handle on your accounting, predict cash flow, and observe trends that can be put to solid use in creating business plans and strategies.
Features and Integrations
Working with spreadsheets limits you severely in terms of features and integrations. Any extra feature you might need or any integration you need to create with another financial application would have to be manually created from scratch using laborious methods.
If you want to handle payments, you would have to create separate spreadsheet systems for resolving, receiving, and sending payments.
The plethora of features and the enormous integration support in QuickBooks can really make your life a lot easier. For example, if you buy QuickBooks Enterprise provides you with a built-in invoicing solution and support for integration with a large number of other commonly used platforms.
You can even extend the functionality of the application to other areas like CRM, HR management, and payroll management by using these integrations and added features.
Data security for your accounting is always of paramount importance. Protecting your accounting from data loss and misuse can be quite difficult if your entire system is based on spreadsheets.
It is essentially a DIY solution that leaves no electronic record of access and change. There is no support for choosing the ownership of spreadsheets, version management, or collaborative work. Similarly, access control can also be a problem.
With QuickBooks, all these problems can go away. There is a clear audit trail that can let you track changes and access instances. It can allow for efficient version management so you always end up looking at the current data. There is room for secure access control and you have the added convenience of being able to work on the go securely by using their mobile app.
If you are looking to set up a robust, fully-featured, flexible, and scalable accounting system, there can be no denying that a solution like QuickBooks can bring you far more value than spreadsheets alone.
The workflow and efficiency improvements that you can have with QuickBooks can be convincing enough to make the switch. On top of everything, a popular and established solution like QuickBooks can also make the transition easier if you decide to outsource your accounting to a specialist third party.