QuickBooks vs Microsoft Small Business Accounting-You Decide
A Head to Head Comparison of Features
QuickBooks Pro has some competition. For years, Intuit, the maker of QuickBooks, has been the name most small business owners have turned to for small business accounting software. With the introduction of Microsoft’s Small Business Accounting 2006, there’s a new player in that market.Taken from the October 2005 edition of the NSA Technology Advisor, here’s a comparison of key features, limitations and strengths of both software programs.
|Feature Need||QuickBooks Pro||Small Business Accounting 2000|
|Time Tracking||More comprehensiveacross almost every category.||Best product today for professional billing, particularly with the integration into Outlook Calendar.|
|Hourly Paycheck Creation||Clearly, at this time, QuickBooks best handles paychecks that are not outsourced and has the most options for small payrolls and integration of costing back into the accounting software.||Integrated manual, DIY & fully powered options from ADP.|
|Job Costing||This is a bit of a toss-up, but QuickBooks offers more detail and reporting.||Feature lacks the depth of reporting needed to work effectively.|
|Pass-Through Expenses||Probably sufficient to do the job.||With more of a slant to professional billing and control over billing production, the handling of pass-through expenses is probably more readily handled in SBA.|
|Inventory||Widely used, but with many shortfalls. Average Costing is a limitation, but, overall, QuickBooks does a fine job for basic inventory needs.||Inventory capabilities of SBA show great promise for small businesses with fewer than 25 employees.|
|Item Tracking||Probably due to the maturity of QuickBooks, and the creative use of classes, direct Item Tracking is currently superior in this product.||History is implemented well, but reporting shows signs of an earlyversion product.|
|Integration with Outlook||Improved in the last few years, but added in to the product.||It is an obvious design goal that SBA is tightly integrated with much of the Microsoft Office product, but it is particularly notable for its integration to Outlook.|
|Reporting||Clearly superior.||Some problems in Cash Basis reporting found, as well as a smaller numberof reports available.|
|Bank Reconciliation||Mature feature set, reporting, and “undo” feature makes QuickBooks superior in this area.||Very basic reconciliation functionswith minimal reports.|
|Ease-of-use||QuickBooks clearly leads here.||SBA gets good ease-of-usemarks overall|
|Multi-User||5 users||8 user “sessions”|
What Are the Limitations of Both Programs
Every software program has limitations. Below is a comparison of some of the practical limitations of QuickBooks Pro and Microsoft Small Business Accounting 2000.
|Practical Limitations||QuickBooks Pro||Small Business Accounting 2000|
|Practical File Size||1 GB||2 GB|
|Installer Program||Well Established||New|
|Material and Books||Widespread||New|
|Payroll Options||Built-in, do-it-yourself, assisted, complete, 3rd party options with integration||Integrated manual, DIY & fully powered options from ADP|
|Classes (departments)||10,000||Unlimited, based upon accounting number design|
What Are the Strengths?
Here are a list of the strengths of both programs.
|QuickBooks Pro||Small Business Accounting 2000|
|Large installed base||It’s Microsoft|
|Experienced network of Expert ProAdvisors||Scalable because of MSDE database|
|Mature product with a very complete feature set for most small businesses||Many non-traditional sources of support|
|Strong set of built-in reports, customizable, memorizable, e-mailable and exportable||Clean design that can be upgraded easily because it’s new|
|Built-in Payroll with broad set of offerings||New technology used should make the product easier to extend|
|Online banking, Bill Pay and downloadable credit card transactions||Microsoft Office integration|
What’s the Conclusion?
Both products can solve your small business clients’ basic accounting needs. Both products offer free trials that enable you to evaluate for yourself which program offers a solution appropriate for your client.
The Accounting Program is Only as Good as the Interpretation of the Information
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