If you are a product company, QuickBooks can help you with order management and inventory. It can print your pick-lists and pack-slips, and track your Accounts Receivable. If your business does ‘lite’ manufacturing, QuickBooks can help you track your component inventory and consume those components in an Assembly Build process.
If you are a services company or general contractor, QuickBooks can help you see profitability by customer engagement via job-costing features. Time-tracking and rebillable expenses can be managed by QuickBooks, to ensure all costs are captured and rebilled as needed.
Although QuickBooks has its limitations, as do all systems, it is a low-cost of entry system with quite a bit of flexibility for businesses. And many businesses aren’t aware of all of the features that QuickBooks can provide, if implemented and managed properly.
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QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise are the ‘desktop/server’ software products. These were designed for use with desktops and a server, and they operate via a traditional “windows” style interface.
Currently the Pro/Premier/Enterprise products have much more robust functionality than the QuickBooks Online product, including inventory management features. They are also often preferred due to their inherent ‘usability’ in a Windows environment.
However, despite the product limitations, QuickBooks Online has gained business interest for two big reasons:
Due to these reasons, QuickBooks Hosting of the Pro/Premier/Enterprise has become a new option. QuickBooks Hosting is a concept where another company, called a Hosting Provider, provides the server/desktop environment, remotely and ‘hosts’ the Pro/Premier/Enterprise product for you. They also provide access anywhere, anytime as long as the user has an internet connection. QuickBooks is not installed on the local PC, but is instead installed and managed by the hosting provider. Many hosting providers also provide additional services or software, and they usually guarantee data backups and recovery, as well as specific availability. Hosting Providers charge a monthly fee for this service, which is usually a reasonable fee considering the hardware/software/services they are providing.
Several of these Hosting Providers are linked below:
If you are currently managing your business using spreadsheets, and creating Purchase Orders, Sales Orders and Invoices using Microsoft Word, you will probably find that QuickBooks, when implemented properly (and with appropriate training and procedures), can decrease your work efforts and increase the quality and accuracy of the information you have about your business.
If you don’t currently manage inventory, payables, receivables, etc., at all, you will find that QuickBooks requires extra business process vigor and information management discipline. We would challenge you to consider that your business may not manage very effectively without this information, so you will probably need to invest the extra energy to gather and maintain this information, whether or not QuickBooks is your system of choice.
Some business types find that they outgrow QuickBooks more quickly—or opt to find a more unique/specialized solution right out of the gate. Manufacturing businesses that require complex bill-of-materials management and materials requirements planning (MRP) sometimes find QuickBooks capabilities insufficient or just too simplistic for their needs.
Other business have very unique and specific business flows, such as agency royalty management (for publishers, entertainment or sports agents), or medical insurance management (for doctors, dentists), and find that industry-specific software is needed to manage their business.
Some of these businesses use industry-specific solutions for a portion of their business (e.g. MRP, bill of materials, or insurance/patient accounts receivable) while still using QuickBooks for full financial reporting and vendor/bill management. This does require integrating two systems, or maintaining data in two places. But for smaller business this is sometimes an acceptable approach to keeping their overall systems costs low.
We have found that the most important factor to consider when determining if QuickBooks is a good fit is complexity/uniqueness of your business model, and not the size of your business. QuickBooks is a somewhat “generic” system, so it becomes more difficult to manage as business processes/flows and data is more unique. But, several of our clients with straight-forward business models are in the $20M-$50M gross revenue range, and successfully manage their operations and financials with QuickBooks.
This Advanced Inventory feature includes the ability to track inventory at multiple warehouses, or “inventory sites”. Some companies use this feature to track multiple locations within a single warehouse and will have inventory sites for Components, WIP, Finished Goods, and Quarantine/Inspection.
This Advanced Inventory feature also provides the ability to track BINs or Shelf locations (or any other sub-location distinction), if so desired.
We typically recommend tracking Inventory Sites when there is a physical segregation to your inventory. Or, even when there is a logical segregation – such as inventory that you would not want to ship from (such as Inspection or Quarantine inventory). Some of our clients segregate inventory in order to reserve inventory for special categories of customers – such as wholesale inventory versus online inventory.
We typically recommend using QuickBooks BIN tracking feature only when this information will be helpful for picking/locating inventory for assembling or shipping. There is significant effort in consistently recording BIN activity and BIN to BIN transfers within QuickBooks, so we encourage our clients to look at the value this tracking will bring to their business before diving into this feature.
Meanwhile, we find that smaller companies that need these features will use QuickBooks reports and some off-line analysis to support these needs until they can afford the costs of a more full-functioning MRP system.
We usually recommend that Intuit integrated payroll solutions be considered when any of the following are true:
Otherwise, an existing outsourced Payroll solution (such as ADP, Paychex) may be working just fine for a business, and changing this is not recommended.
VBS can help you identify which of your activities are best performed in-house or outsourced, depending on the size, skill, maturity, and needs of your business.
Once your business activities begin to take off, however, you may find that the lack of consistent/repeatable systems and financial processes is causing you growing pains. Or, you are struggling with how to use your QuickBooks software to its fullest potential. That is when it is time to call VBS for a consultation.
In some cases, even in the early ‘concept’ stages of a business, a VBS consultation and some initial assistance may help a business owner start off their financial management and system usage ‘on the right foot’. So, like all business decisions, we recommend the business owner(s)/investors review the pros/cons of using outside help (like VBS) for their QuickBooks and financial process setup – and when the time and investment is right.
And, in the case where a business is funded by investors, banks, or other entities, it may be even more crucial to implement strong financial processes and systems immediately. In this case, we encourage you to contact us sooner than later.
VBS is a firm with multiple team members, with broad expertise and client experiences. We have standard mechanisms for tracking projects, support needs, and internal training. Our clients benefit from cross-client learning and leveraged materials. For example, we don’t generate QuickBooks training documentation from scratch – we instead pull from our library of training procedures, developed over the years, and enhance this training to meet your needs.
VBS provides ‘integrated’ services – including the system, the integration of Operations/Finance, the financial processes, and the accounting/bookkeeping.
Cash Accounting: Accounts for income at the time payments are received. Accounts for expenses at the time the bills are paid.
Accrual Accounting: Accounts for income at the time the service was performed (or product is shipped). Accounts for expenses at the time the expense was incurred for operational expenses. Accounts for cost-of-goods at the time the service was performed (or product was delivered).
Cash Accounting is the simplest method of accounting, as it only requires knowing when the money leaves the bank or is deposited into the bank. However, Cash Accounting tells you less little about the actual business performance/profitability, as pent-up unpaid bills are not apparent on a cash P&L.
It is pretty straight-forward to switch from accrual to cash for tax return purposes. This is a reporting ‘toggle’ in QuickBooks, along with some known typical adjustments (e.g. Inventory AR isn’t completely reversed with this toggle). VBS can help you implement accrual accounting principles as well as ensuring your CPA will be comfortable with the cash-basis reporting at end of year.