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4 Major Problems with QuickBooks and Multi-Entity Accounting

Will Cramer - Friday, November 09, 2018

Many organizations find that growing to multiple entities makes QuickBooks obsolete for their business. It’s no secret that QuickBooks works best for smaller businesses with relatively simple accounting, but many growing organizations aren’t sure about the best time to upgrade to a solution with more robust capabilities. If you’re wondering whether your multi-entity organization should upgrade from QuickBooks to new accounting software, the answer is probably yes. Here are the top four reasons why:

1. You have to use a separate instance of QuickBooks for each entity.

QuickBooks is only structured to allow one company database. If you want to have full reporting for each entity, that means you need to use a separate instance of QuickBooks for each entity, which requires logging out and logging back in each time you want to switch. For companies that have more than a few entities, this means your finance team wastes numerous hours logging in, accessing files, exporting data to Excel, then logging out, then logging in to a different entity, accessing files, exporting data… It’s a nightmare that’s all too true for many businesses.

2. You can’t automatically consolidate across entities.

When month-end close rolls around, having separate unintegrated QuickBooks databases for each entity means manually consolidating all your data. Not only does this take days or even weeks, the numerous resulting spreadsheets are onerous to sift through to find the information you need. In addition to the difficulty of completing standard month-end close, any other up-to-date information can require many hours of manual work to generate. If management wants a specific report showing data across entities for a particular business decision, it might take hours or days to manually consolidate the necessary information and generate the relevant report.

3. There are too few controls against mistakes and oversights.

Even for organizations that don’t need to deal with multi-entity accounting, QuickBooks has poor security. It’s impossible to limit the permissions of certain users within QuickBooks, and relying on manual spreadsheets means it’s way too easy to edit or delete numbers without leaving any record. You’re open to fraud, but also to simple human error.

Poor security in QuickBooks is even poorer when you’re working with multiple instances and manually consolidating each entity’s data in Excel. With so many spreadsheets, it’s almost impossible to churn out error-free data in a timely fashion. This also means that your audit trail, rather than being a paved walkway with clear signage, is more of a smattering of bread crumbs that you’re hoping an auditor can follow even after the birds have eaten it all.

4. QuickBooks makes remote access difficult.  

Although it’s possible to use QuickBooks in the cloud, it’s fundamentally designed as an on-premises system. Logging in and out of different instances is already a painful method of multi-entity management, but working on the go makes it even more difficult to access the information you need, when you need it.

For organizations using QuickBooks for multi-entity accounting, all four of these issues work together to create a huge tangle of time-consuming work, frustration, inaccessible data, untraceable errors, and poor business insight.

There’s a better way:

An accounting solution such as Sage Intacct offers multi-entity accounting that automates consolidations and reporting while providing complex, real-time data via dashboards. If you’re interested in learning more about upgrading from QuickBooks to an accounting solution built for multi-entity management, contact The Resource Group to learn more about whether Sage Intacct might be a good fit for your organization.

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