Financial reporting · Quickbooks

Should a start up start with Quickbooks or plan for growth and start with something stronger?

Anonymous

September 5th, 2014

Some start up companies start using Quickbooks, but then quickly realize it is not strong enough to meet their needs later. Especially if they will have loan requirements or government reporting. And it is a pain to switch later - it costs time and resources when you are already in full swing.  I wrote this blog post about it: erpsoftwareblog.com/2013/04/9-reasons-a-startup-should-start-with-dynamics-gp-instead-of-quickbooks-enterprise and curious on your thoughts.

Kate Hiscox

September 5th, 2014

I think you have to be doing a lot of business to outgrow Quickbooks these days. And it really depends on the complexity of your company's accounting needs. I always leave that decision to the accountant or CFO! 

Gregg Wurster President at Pacific Heights Advisors LLC

September 10th, 2014

Quickbooks is totally adequate for most early stage companies.  Perhaps more important, it's the most common software that part-time bookkeepers will know how to use.  It's also relatively easy to convert from Quickbooks to other software when the need arises.

Net, Quickbooks is your go-to for several good reasons.

Corey Blaser Sailor. Mormon. Entrepreneur.

September 5th, 2014

I say go with what ever works while you're in start-up stage. If you end up outgrowing it, then it means your business is working and that which software you keep your books in is a small detail to be handled later.

Kate Hiscox

September 5th, 2014

I like Xero - now that the purchase order feature has been added but their reporting is something our CPA pushed back on. Probably just a matter of choice but I think that's why its key to involve your finance/tax pro in that decision.

Robert Tillman President and CEO, RRT Partners LLC

September 12th, 2014

I have run a 150 person company with Quickbooks with absolutely no problem. I have yet to meet a start-up company where it is not sufficient.

Robert Tillman President and CEO, RRT Partners LLC

September 12th, 2014

I have run a 150 person company with Quickbooks with absolutely no problem. I have yet to meet a start-up company where it is not sufficient.

Elizabeth Charnock CEO at Chenope

September 9th, 2014

Cataphora was in the low 8-figures of revenue year after year, and also had foreign subsidiaries to deal with. We always used QuickBooks without issue. My advice: worry about the competence of the finance people if you are doing largish scale cash flow management, not about QB.

Dave Brown Co-Founder at QiiQ Healthcare

September 12th, 2014

Seems more and more people are talking about Xero these days.  I was surprised it didn't come up in the comments above.  I've heard old QB fanatics declare they have been utterly blown away by how much better Xero is.  
That said, I haven't tried Xero, so I can't speak to it.  And I have dear friends at Intuit who I know are very committed to making QB better, and I'd never bet against them.

Anonymous

September 12th, 2014

QuickBooks has kind of an ugly UI, particularly on Macs, but its great virtue is that you can very easily find a part-time bookkeeper who will handle it for you.

Unless your startup is finance-oriented, you should spend your time on product and customers, not bookkeeping. No entrepreneur is likely to add much value by doing their own bookkeeping, so you should outsource this to someone who charges by the hour (about $60-65/hour). If you aren't familiar with bookkeeping, it can be a real time sink when you need to be building product and getting customers.

And the chances of a startup going out of business, unfortunately, are much greater than the chances of a startup outgrowing QuickBooks in a hurry.

Ben Rosenthal Mac + Sustainability Coach | Communication Strategist

September 5th, 2014

QuickBooks is quite powerful and, as Kate said, isn't something that many organizations outgrow. It's expensive, though. Can you afford it? You could consider an alternative like Xero that offers a 6-month free trial.