QuickBooks Support and Consulting
QuickBooks has historically been the most successful small business accounting solution, capturing at times over 90% of small businesses. Most of the businesses we work with are already using it and it seems to be one of the first purchases new businesses make when they start up.
While QuickBooks serves an incredibly valuable role in many businesses, our experience has been that business owners don’t ask the right questions before jumping in to an accounting software solution. And before they know it, the business feels locked into QuickBooks as it quickly captures much of their critical business information and financial records.
QuickBooks may be the right solution for your business, but it warrants first considering other options and making an educated decision. Remember, our QuickBooks consulting is independent, as we don’t sell the products that we recommend, setup and support. This is one way we position ourselves apart from other QuickBooks consultants to keep the business owners interests first.
Selecting the Right Accounting Software for your Small Business
At Mathis Consulting we realize that while providing quality QuickBooks Support is very important, due to it’s overwhelming market presence, it is just as important to be fully aware of the many other solutions that may be more effective for many businesses. FreshBooks: Our firm has grown to love the simplicity and power of FreshBooks because it is a solution that has a foundation centered on the service industry. It provides extremely professional customer interactive billing, their support team is amazing, and you can access your information from any device and easily integrate the credit card processing of your choice. In the two plus years we have used it, I can tell you that it is one of the best online solutions we have ever come across. QuickBooks Online: qboe.com is both a great starting place for many businesses and it is the easiest solution to migrate to if you are currently using Quicken or QuickBooks. It is more of an extensive accountant-centric solution than FreshBooks or Quicken but because of that it is much less intuitive and difficult to use for someone who is not familiar with accounting language. Harvest: Harvest is another great hosted accounting project software solution similar to FreshBooks but focused more centrally on managing a larger team and a bit less effective on getting paid. But depending on your business model and needs these and many other solutions are well worth your careful consideration.
“Contact us today to discuss accounting software solutions for your business. We’ll present options and help identify the best solution for your situation. Like all of our IT consulting services, we provide truly independent recommendations and your initial consultation is free.”
QuickBooks Recoveryand Support for Corrupted or Missing Files
It is extremely common for businesses to get along fine for years using QuickBooks desktop edition and then after they get the itch to “clean up some old files” they realize that QuickBooks among other things is broken or missing data and the QuickBooks Backup is out of date. Other common problems come up with simple disasters from failed hard drives, theft, and even spilled coffee.
While it is never ideal to solve these problems when protection and backup measures are not in place we are happy to come out and recover QuickBooks if possible and then put a better QuickBooks Backup solution in place.
Accessing & Sharing QuickBooks from anywhere
As your business grows you will most likely realize that you are losing time and money by binding yourself to a single physical location to access and manage QuickBooks. There are several creative ways to address this challenge, such as GoToMyPC, Team Viewer, RDP, or even hosting virtual machines on a hosted server. All of these are ok but they tend to make your IT support overhead go up by complicating things.
The best simple option for about 50% of businesses is to upload their QuickBooks file into Intuit’s QuickBooks Online solution http://qboe.com. Intuit offers a free 30 day trial so you can take the time necessary to upload your current QuickBooks Company file and test it. I say 50% because the look & feel are dramatically different from the desktop version. The benefit for those who can adapt is being able to enjoy accessibility from anywhere, easy accountant access and best of all no more fighting to do a “good job” backing up and managing those QBW files.
Solutions like QuickBooks Online, Harvest, FreshBooks & NetSuite require monthly fees.
But what about those pesky monthly fees… “I am still happy with my 5 year old version of QuickBooks”. This is a mindset that sounds cost effective but tends to get people in trouble. Most often when I hear it I am meeting with a person who has a crashed computer that is 8 years old and they seem to have forgotten that the value of that data (once it is missing) is usually thousands of dollars, and because they didn’t keep it maintained they may end up spending thousands of dollars to recover it from a failed hard drive.
If you take the time to assess the risk and costs of repair or recovery, the monthly fee is rarely going to outweigh the benefits. This is particularly true for a large business as you will save an incredible amount of money from less ongoing IT support costs.
QuickBooks Backup Strategy
Before you run out to the store with the rest of the crowd and buy an external drive or sign up for the Intuit online backup solution (the right idea but a terrible product).
Consider what you want to protect yourself from; 1. the QuickBooks file gets corrupted when the power goes out… oh and your external drive is dead too (oops). 2. Your house is robbed or burns down. 3. You have been thinking about letting QuickBooks do that backup for the last 6 months but it never seems to be a good time until you have lost everything.
One of the best answers is to create automatic daily backups that have permission to run without you:
- Set the location of those backups in a folder that is using a file syncing or auto backup solution like Skydive, CrashPlan, Dropbox or box.net
- stop turning off your computer at night to ensure that all of it will run every day
Regardless of the simplicity or severity of a given problem you can quickly and effectively get back to serving your customers without losing valuable information.
Mathis Consulting will gladly come out and assist you in creating a QuickBooks recovery solution that will meet your requirements and give you much better simple access to your files.
Sharing QuickBooks files on a local network
Weather you configure an end users computer as a “QuickBooks Server” or actually run a small business server to share QuickBooks files, the challenge is more focused on how the computers are setup and less on the mechanics of QuickBooks.
Network environments vary dramatically from office to office but they hinge on the same core issues:
- Your computers should be running clean installs of windows, many people run the factory install of windows and have a mess of third party software that will create a chaotic and endless stream of unpredictable problems.
- The network hardware and configuration can be optimized along with consistent software updates to minimize ongoing problems.
- Even when you do everything right the nature of accessing a network QuickBooks database from several computers will require you to hire someone to perform ongoing maintenance.
If you are experiencing ongoing Network issues we would gladly come alongside you as your QuickBooks Consultant.
Moving your growing business away from QuickBooks into a larger ERP solution
Once businesses outgrow QuickBooks and find themselves poised to jump forward into a NetSuite, SAP, Epicore, Microsoft Dynamics or similar ERP. The process of shopping and comparing each solution and attempting to compare them, in light of your goals and business model, can be overwhelming.
In most cases as you research you are being persuaded by some high pressure sales guy that you need to go ahead and spend the $200,000 so you can experience that 400% ROI that he can neither confirm nor deny.
We have been involved in this process over and over and the best advice I can give you is:
- Find out what your best competitors are using and why.
- Hire a non-biased professional who is not selling a solution to evaluate your needs.
- Most importantly you will probably need to bring in a skilled project manager to work alongside a current employee (who you reallocate temporarily for at least 50% of his time).
- Dedicate time every week for involvement from every department leader.
The reason for this huge dedication of resources is because ALL of the systems are custom fit to your needs, all of them are expensive, and all of them are only as good as the investment and unified effort that you are willing to put into them.
Failing to fully adopt and develop the ERP in any part of the company has resulted in many large businesses spending millions on systems that are totally worthless.
If you are embarking on this process and need an outside opinion and ongoing support we would be glad to help.
How do I access and share my accounting data from anywhere?
There are several solutions, including options from remote desktop products like GoToMyPC, Team Viewer, RDP, or even hosting virtual machines on a hosted server. All of these are ok but they tend to make your IT support overhead go up by complicating things. The simplest and often best option is to migrate to QuickBooks online solution qboe.com.
Is QuickBooks the best small business accounting software?
In many cases, yes; but not always. Although QB is undoubtedly the most popular solution, there are several options available. We can help you identify the best solution for your business…
Should my business transition from traditional QuickBooks to their online solution?
For many businesses this is the right move, but in this case one size certainly does not fit all. We find that approximately 50% of businesses love QuickBooks online but the other half cannot or don’t want to take the time to adapt it into their workflow.
Don’t online accounting solutions like QuickBooks online have monthly fees?
Yes, they usually do. But most online accounting software products, like QuickBooks, offer a free trial to make sure it fits your business needs. The monthly fees are usually well worth the value due to the problems that are inherently solved and it lowers IT costs.