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What is the best financial software to graduate to from QuickBooks?

I'm at a small company with financial reporting that is fairly straight forward - however, I feel that we have graduated beyond the reporting flexibility in QuickBooks. Any thoughts on the best "next" tool to move to, aware that as a small company, cost is a factor?


Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

There is no "right" successor. There is what fits for your company and its business plan.

Topic Expert
Jaime Campbell
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: Tier One Services, LLC
(Chief Financial Officer, Tier One Services, LLC) |

Can you be more specific?
"Small" can mean under $50M, $10M, $1M, or even $500K.

What reports do you need that you're not getting from QuickBooks?
I'm asking because I've heard that question from many small business owners over the years, and there is actually a lot more most people can get out of QuickBooks before spending the time and money to convert to another system.

Maybe it's necessary, but maybe your company is sitting on exactly what is needed for clear decision-making and solid compliance and just needs to awaken certain features.

Kevin Kelso
Title: Controller
Company: The Arc of Delaware
(Controller, The Arc of Delaware) |

There are many choices out there in today's cloud computing environment and it can be overwhelming. Having said that, I recommend you first document your requirements or needs before you dive into the vast internet of research. Some basic things to include would be how many users do you anticipate now and in the future? Do you expect your business to grow or evolve? Do you wish to access your system while mobile? What type of operating platform are you using today (standalone or server based) and has it been kept up to date? I'm not a big Qbooks fan and believe it to be a very limiting software but if you have determined it is no longer adequate, it is very important that you think about the near and long term needs of your organization. You might be a good candidate for a cloud type of offering with a limited subscription service. No one wants to have to convert their GL system more than they have to but it might be easier and less costly to go with a cloud solution. Again, there are many choices and new offerings that may include hosting the selected software, backing-up data, automatic upgrades, etc.

If you go with a traditional out of the box software, you have to consider hardware requirements and the annual license fee for upgrades, etc. I have used many small, medium and ERP type GL packages but am hesitant to recommend anything without knowing your business needs.

You shouldn't go to the grocery store without a shopping list or you might end up buying more than you wanted. So as suggested, the first step is to document your needs.

Bob Low
Title: Principal
Company: Perron & Low
(Principal, Perron & Low) |

I'd like to reinforce Jaime's comment. QB's reporting tools are quite strong and usually it's for other reasons that companies outgrow it. Also if tools like class codes or custom fields aren't being utilized, it's possible that some useful data isn't being collected.

Dena Ross, MBA
Title: Business Operations Manager
Company: Power-West Industries Ltd
(Business Operations Manager, Power-West Industries Ltd) |

Which version of QuickBooks are you using? The reporting tools increase as you move up in versions - Enterprise has extensive reporting and several add-on apps are available to increase those options even further.

Kurt Schwarz
Title: CAO
Company: Marcus & Millichap
(CAO, Marcus & Millichap) |

I do not disagree with the need to (1) evaluate potential unused features in QuickBooks and (2) Create a list of system requirements. These are all excellent suggestions and (2) is critical for a fast growing developing business. That said, the small business user, is typically looking for suggestions as to potential solutions to seek out and evaluate that are the next step from QuickBooks. I don't get the sense that they are looking to evaluate SAP, Oracle, or similar systems. So I represent the questions -
What are some of the common next step products up from QuickBooks that are in wide use?

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

Kurt, you are asking the wrong question.

It's not "what are the common next step products". It is what is the 5-10 year business plan and strategy saying. What are or will be the functional needs that the company has to or will need to address. Why is QB or for that matter the extant system not meeting these needs.

The solution to these questions can be a modular type system or a best of breed, but to limit oneself to a list of the "most popular" is a disservice to the company, because the "most popular" may not be able to service the needs of the business today or tomorrow.
Proformative courses by Wayne Spivak:

  • Before You Buy That Accounting, ERP, or CRM System...
  • War Stories - Enterprise System Implementation Wars
  • Business Process Mapping: A Prelude to System & Process GAP Analysis
  • GAP Analysis: A Practical Approach

  • Topic Expert
    Len Green
    Title: Performance Improvement Consultant and E..
    Company: Haygarth Consulting LLC
    LinkedIn Profile
    (Performance Improvement Consultant and ERP Strategist, Haygarth Consulting LLC) |

    You cannot answer the question from the product (software) angle. As Wayne says you have to start with YOUR needs.

    Take a look at these two recorded webinars (Wayne and I were asked to present these about 18 mos back): There is a series called FinTech Forum.

    The first webinar in the series:

    The second Webinar:

    Jake Feldman
    Title: Managing Director
    Company: Global TaxFin Advisory Group LLC
    (Managing Director, Global TaxFin Advisory Group LLC) |

    Dear Anonymous,

    While you're getting lots of good advice here, you may want to apply those principles when evaluating 2 or 3 of the following in no order of preference:

    Adaptive Suite
    Host Analytics


    Tom Kelly
    Title: Managing Director
    Company: T > Edward, Inc.
    (Managing Director, T > Edward, Inc.) |

    In my experience when a company has outgrown Quickbooks what is really needed is the capability to increase visibility across the organization. Being able to see the entire supply chain, front to back office, etc. As many have indicated in this thread, know what your requirements are and what resources will be required - both people and capital. From there I would recommend looking at viable Cloud offerings. You can seek stand alone options to integrate such as Salesforce, Zen Desk, etc. for CRM and Intacct, Financial Force, etc. for the accounting side. Or you can look at complete platforms such as NetSuite. Having used the options noted, as well as many other Cloud based apps I feel that minimizing the variables is best when moving off of a stand alone accounting application to more of an ERP type offering.

    Susan Boles
    Title: Accounting Consultant
    Company: Tier One Services, LLC
    (Accounting Consultant, Tier One Services, LLC) |

    You might check out Xero to see if it would work for you. The beauty of Xero is that the base software is very affordable, but with the availability of add-ons, you can turn it into whatever you need to it be - it's incredibly flexible.

    So, for example, if your financial statements are pretty simple, but you'd like to do some more in terms of forecasting or data analysis, you could use Xero and integrate it with a reporting/forecasting tool like Spotlight Reporting or Crunchboards. Or, if you wanted more in-depth inventory management, you could integrate it with something like StitchLabs or Dear Inventory.

    You can mix and match to make exactly the right system for your needs.

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