From QuickBooks to NetSuite ERP: A Comprehensive Transition Guide

    Maybe QuickBooks was a great fit early on in your company’s lifecycle. But like most digital tools, QuickBooks can feel restrictive as you grow. For many companies, QuickBooks’ lack of features becomes problematic, and they shift their gaze towards more feature-rich alternatives, such as NetSuite. 

    Whatever the reason for your move from QuickBooks to NetSuite, when the time to transition is nigh, you’ll want to keep a few things top of mind, especially with implementation, how NetSuite works within your current workflow, and how to get the best return on investment (ROI).

    Here’s a guide outlining why many make the switch, the benefits of NetSuite for growing companies, how to know when you need to upgrade, and things to keep in mind as you plan the switch.

    Understanding QuickBooks vs. NetSuite ERP

    At first glance, QuickBooks and NetSuite may seem like apples and oranges. But upon closer inspection, it becomes clear why QuickBooks is a useful stepping stone for businesses that end up ultimately going with NetSuite.

    QuickBooks: Key Features, Benefits, and Use Cases

    QuickBooks has risen as a popular choice for smaller businesses because of its financial management tools. For example, it’s an effective solution for many bookkeepers who use it to track expenses and create financial reports.

    A small business can also use QuickBooks to organize financial data around inventory and payroll. Thanks to its ease of use, QuickBooks is a convenient solution for smaller companies that have little to no experience with digitized accounting.

    NetSuite ERP: Key Features, Benefits, and Use Cases

    NetSuite is a more comprehensive tool than QuickBooks, and businesses use it to manage inventory, their supply chain, and a variety of operational functions. Like QuickBooks, NetSuite also comes with financial management capabilities. It’s a common solution for businesses looking for advanced reporting and business analytics, regardless of the industry they're in.

    For instance, you can use NetSuite to automate your inventory system, using data from customer orders to dictate how and when to restock certain items. Some organizations may use NetSuite to correlate product pricing with different supply chain factors. In this way, they can accurately price items based on how much it costs to acquire components.

    QuickBooks Limitations

    QuickBooks cannot adequately manage complicated financial operations. While you may be able to manually enter the data you need into QuickBooks and make the system work, NetSuite already has many automated features built in.

    For example, QuickBooks doesn’t offer a fully integrated bill of materials (BOM) maintenance system. Suppose a manufacturing company produces steering wheels that work with smart vehicle entertainment systems. If the company wants to see the financial impact of changing where they source volume buttons from, NetSuite can surface that information right away. QuickBooks can’t, simply because it doesn’t have a BOM maintenance feature.

    Because QuickBooks is primarily an accounting solution, it has limited capabilities when it comes to other business functions.

    The Benefits of NetSuite

    For growing businesses, NetSuite provides comprehensive financial management capabilities in a way that incorporates all facets of your operations. You also get advanced reporting and analytics functions for deriving business insights that you can easily present to decision-makers.

    NetSuite is scalable and flexible in ways that QuickBooks isn’t. QuickBooks’ target users include smaller to mid-sized businesses, so adding many users for a large enterprise could be a challenge. You can also custom-design NetSuite modules, programming them to perform complex operations that align with your goals.

    For example, suppose you want to gain visibility into the differences between the productivity of new hires versus experienced employees. With NetSuite, you can set up performance metrics that take into account the number of projects completed by each employee as well as how much you pay them. On a single dashboard, you can view these metrics for entire departments or individual workers.

    Is It Time to Upgrade?

    Figuring out whether it’s time to upgrade comes down to whether QuickBooks is a good match for your size, the dynamics of your business, and where your company is headed. Here are some questions to ask to figure out whether an upgrade should be on the menu:

    • Do you want to integrate a wide range of other solutions with your accounting software?
    • Do you want to connect various business operations to your accounting system?
    • Do you need full visibility into the efficiency and general performance metrics of different elements of your business?

    If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, then an upgrade to NetSuite would be the best solution.

    5 Tips for a Successful Transition

    Transitioning from QuickBooks to NetSuite doesn’t have to be a jarring, uncomfortable event. Here are some tips to make it easier for everyone involved:

    1. Begin by mapping out what your business needs and how NetSuite can help you get there. In this way, you can prioritize the NetSuite features you want up and running.
    2. Set up your data migration strategy. Your data migration approach should include the data you want to migrate, the formats you want to use, and a step-by-step timetable.
    3. Provide adequate training. It’s best to both frontload your training and provide learning opportunities down the road. This may require a schedule for initial training, coupled with a longer-term employee education plan.
    4. Monitor your progress using milestones you publish for all stakeholders to see. This is an effective way to unify and mobilize everyone around your transition initiative.
    5. Set up a data-based optimization system. Systematically optimize your NetSuite implementation using data you collect from the system or those who use it. Then you can improve integrations or create new customizations meant to make the solution even more useful for your organization.

    Enable a Smooth Transition with GSI

    GSI’s NetSuite services take the grunt work out of your transition from QuickBooks. GSI’s NetSuite experts understand the best ways to migrate data and optimize your NetSuite implementation, regardless of how you’ve been using QuickBooks. Contact us to start your transition with GSI today.