Bear with Me.
Why am I talking about QuickBooks in an travel blog? I own a software as a solution business, so part of our daily lives include the tools that make running my business from the road doable. Over the last year, this common piece of software has become the bane of my day-to-day existence, so I want to take this opportunity to share my experience.
I am a Smart Person. No, Really.
I balance my checkbook regularly. I love software and have a business that promotes software solutions. I understand the fundamentals of accounting, but I also recognize I am not an accountant. I choose to pay for “good” accounting software and a professional to help me with accounting activities for my business.
I chose QuickBooks for my accounting software. It integrates with other software we currently use, the reviews were decent, the brand is recognizable and it was recommended by my accountant. It seemed like a no brainer at the time.
Like a Million Pinpricks, it Starts.
It started out with small things. QuickBooks couldn't effectively handle PayPal transactions without 4 accounting entries that make absolutely no sense to a non-accountant. QuickBooks doesn't know who paid which invoice…even though the payment was handled through their system. No, really – QuickBooks matches payments by amount and then alphabetically by name. Yikes. That was a big surprise the first couple of times it happened.
QuickBooks also requires me to manually update all of my feeds – very outdated in terms of today's technology. All of these things are extremely annoying and were off-putting when we first encountered them, but we have learned to work around the annoyances. That being said, as a daily user of QuickBooks I have grown to loathe its quirkiness. There is no way for me to anticipate how it will behave and just when I think I have it figured out, it does something completely new that is so wonky, my accountant can't even explain it.
Mind you, my business is not doing anything complex – it's actually very simple and straight forward, so I can't image how terrible the QuickBooks' surprises are for more complex business models. I honestly would prefer a daily gynecological exam over having to try to figure out how QuickBooks has decided to jack with me today.
Then *Stuff* Gets Real
During my 2016 tax review with my accountant, he stumbled across a QuickBooks problem that allowed one of my customers to appear to have been paying their invoices for 6 months, when in fact, they were not. Each month when the invoice came due, QuickBooks ran an invalid credit card, got the decline and marked the invoice as paid. For real.
There was nothing I could do to have prevented this. There was nothing I could do to know this was happening each month. I was completely at the mercy of my *messed* up accounting software that has now actively impacted my bottomline. I was so mad my stomach hurt.
Do you have any idea how embarrassing it is that I, as a software consultant, have to go back to my client and explain how my accounting software jacked her account up and now she owes me 6 months in fees at once or I have to shut down their site to stop my company's hemorrhaging? I would rather negotiate a 100 used car deals than have to have that conversation again. Fortunately, they worked with us without too much judgement and we are almost back to square again after consuming copious amounts of humble pie in the process.
I have lost complete faith in the accuracy or reliability of QuickBooks at this point. I can officially say that I HATE QuickBooks now and am desperately searching for better accounting software. While I am open to suggestions, pen and paper are looking better and better…