QuickBooks vs. ERP: What Growth-Driven Distributors Need to Know

Working with distributors for more than 30 years, we have found many are prioritizing a digital transformation strategy right now to be more competitive. If you are like a lot of our distribution customers, you have been using QuickBooks for years along with several separate systems to manage your financials, inventory, and warehouses.  

But multiple systems can create siloes – never a good thing in a business with many moving parts. This is where the advantage of enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions come in for growing distributors. An integrated ERP platform can connect your data automatically and create cohesive workflows across operations and locations not possible with entry-level systems like QuickBooks. Accounting is the heart of your entire business and if it can’t talk to other parts of your business in real time, you can’t get the visibility you need to make strategic decisions.  

You might be thinking, “That sounds great, but QuickBooks can act just like an ERP for now since my business isn’t ready to move to a full ERP system. All we need it for is accounting.” There is one flaw in that theory: QuickBooks will soon not be enough to properly manage your accounting. In fact, its limitations are probably already holding you back.  

Read on to explore a quick comparison of QuickBooks vs. ERP so you understand important differences and the functionality and advantages available with ERP you can’t get with QuickBooks.  


Consolidate Your Business Systems in One Solution for End-to-End Visibility  

QuickBooks is an excellent accounting solution, but it does not offer functionality beyond accounting or allow your multiple systems to communicate. Why is it important to have systems communicate? For one, you get better visibility into your data and your business when you eliminate disparate systems that don’t communicate in real time. When you can see sales data alongside or with operational data, you get powerful business intelligence to help you make smarter decisions about growth. QuickBooks does not connect your sales, inventory, order entry, processing, or reporting systems – leaving you to manually gather that data, import/export it, manipulate it, etc. When employees have to switch between applications and Excel spreadsheets, you are at risk for errors and lost productivity. 

ERP solutions like Dynamics 365 Business Central are built to deliver real-time business intelligence and consolidated data in one solution. A huge benefit of Dynamics 365 specifically is seamless integration with Power BI – Microsoft’s business intelligence and data visualization tool that gives you connected insights from any data source. Dynamics 365 Business Central also includes a warehouse management system (WMS) so distributors do not have to have to buy, manage, or jump between separate applications for accounting, inventory management and warehouse management functions. All sales and inventory transactions flow through to orders and invoices with no extra effort on your part. 


ERP Supports Long-Term Growth for Multi-Company, Multi-Currency Businesses 

In a snapshot, there is no comparing QuickBooks vs. ERP when it comes to managing multiple entities or currencies. For example, in Dynamics 365 Business Central you can set up as many companies as you’d like, and intercompany transactions are smooth and uncomplicated. If you have businesses operating in multiple currencies, your finances are centralized within the ERP in whatever native currency you choose. The system allows you to report on your companies in multiple formats so you can see individual business performance or group performance.  

Modern, cloud-based ERP solutions are designed to grow with your business. With Dynamics 365 Business Central, you won’t have to worry about buying new hardware to run your systems or buying another instance of QuickBooks to add a company or functionality.  

Dynamics 365 Business Central includes automatic updates so your IT team never has to deal with the challenges that come with massive upgrades or working around outdated technology. Your data is stored in the leading Microsoft cloud improving your data security and integrity with built-in business continuity.   


Discover How Good a Break-Up Can Be 

If you are having the QuickBooks vs. ERP debate and want some help sorting through your options and pricing, we’re here to help. Western Computer has been helping distributors like you manage this transition for years.  

To find out if it’s time to break up with QuickBooks, download our interactive self-evaluation checklist to get started. It’s a free guide that will help you figure out if you are ready for an integrated ERP solution like Business Central. You can also download a quick comparison of QuickBooks vs. Dynamics 365 Business Central specifically or to talk to one of our experts about your needs, send us a message today 


QuickBooks vs. Dynamics 365 Business Central: A Comparison Guide

About the Author

Cady Jackson

Cady Jackson is a Digital Transformation Executive. Based in Hendersonville, North Carolina, Cady brings over 14 years of experience.

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