The Disadvantages of Quickbooks

By Hallie Hammack

Quickbooks, produced by Intuit, is a popular line of accounting software marketed primarily to small businesses and non-profit organizations. The software allows users to manage a variety of financial records, including sales receipts, payments, tax forms, financial invoices and inventory records. Because Quickbooks is so simple to use, most tasks can be completed without an in-depth knowledge of accounting procedures. Despite the software's user-friendly nature, however, there are a number of disadvantages consumers should be aware of before investing in the program.

Lackluster Audit Trail

One of the primary concerns about Quickbooks is the software's audit trail. Accountants, as well as business owners, like a company's flow of financial information to be in-depth and well-documented. While Quickbooks does provide an audit trail for most information, there are some situations where financial information can be changed without leaving any sort of documentation. Essentially, this means that the software leaves a loophole that could potentially allow a company's financial records to be "fixed."

No Fixed-Asset Section

Depending on how a client uses the software, another potential problem is that Quickbooks doesn't come with a fixed-asset section. Intuit, realizing the oversight, now provides a separate report for listing a company's fixed assets.

Upgrade Fees

In order to keep the software up-to-date, there are a number of pricey upgrades that business owners may have to purchase. Typically, these updates are only required once a year in order to receive the most up-to-date payroll tables and other services.

Outages

Quickbooks Online Edition—a service that allows users to pay a monthly fee to use the software through a secure web browser—comes with its own unique problems. While the online service offers fewer features than the desktop version of the software, the most serious disadvantage is the history of extended outages, which have occurred in both 2009 and 2010.

Features Better Suited to Larger Businesses

While Quickbooks' extensive features may seem like a positive, they can prove overwhelming for some smaller businesses because they may make the software more difficult to use and understand. Quickbooks is also better suited for double-entry accounting, although many smaller businesses do use it for single-entry.