Choosing Epicor FM Over Quickbooks
In today’s highly regulated market place, financial reporting is no cake walk. In fact, it can get downright ugly when financial management initiatives aren’t the foundation of many business operations. For some business this means making the choice between running finances on Quickbooks or an ERP financial management tool; like Epicor Financial Management solutions. This means enforcing transaction visibility, automating posting processes, and tightening security around data. For a young business this may sound painful, but in world where business development depends on organic growth, mergers and acquisitions, investing in an agile financial management solution is non-negotiable.
As a top ERP consulting firm, we’re often requested by our clients to compare today’s leading financial management suites. We recently published our comparison series pinning Epicor ERP against Infor ERP to determine which system makes the cut for today’s modern business. Today, we’ll compare the dexterity of financial reporting between QuickBooks and Epicor ERP 10’s Financial Management software. In our determination of the better solution, we’ll focus on three primary reporting needs: flexibility and acuteness in reporting schema, security of data, and integration.
If your bottom line is under $4 million, Quickbooks is capable of handling financial operations for a lot of companies. It provides templates based on characteristics of transactions; otherwise known as categories. This schema is then broken down further by assigning classes to each transaction. In an example, a small business model may display both AP/AR and procurement as separate classes of the company.
The downside is that QuickBooks is limited to its depth of drill down capabilities in order to manage transactions at a granular level for either division. This can be a challenge to any company that has any component of remote work. For managers out of the office, this can be problematic if oversight involves the review of a department’s overall expense report, rather than controlling corresponding hidden costs that eat away at the top and bottom line over time.
Epicor Financial Management is a highly flexible reporting system; allocating all financial information based on a hierarchy existing inside a singular system. Every transaction inside the organization is managed in this single suite. One of the best features of Epicor Financial Management is the ability for businesses to track inventory. Inventory management can make a significant impact the bottom line. Inventory costing can become tricky with the volatile demands of today’s market. Financial oversight in this process is critical to deciding on budgets and capacity investments.
Another key feature out of the box, “Multiple Books”, provides the company with unlimited financial books to support a wide range of financial requirements; such as budgeting and forecasting and US GAAP compliance, versus managerial accounting or comprehensive consolidations in QuickBooks. Overall, this suite takes the complexity out of reporting and streamlines data from the transaction to financial reports in real time.
Ultimately, if your business has a degree to complexity in it’s setup, scale, or is in need of a more flexible solution, Epicor Financial Management software provides a lot more tools and perform the work more efficiently. If your business has a simply setup and doesn’t require a lot specific designations — and your revenue is under $4 million — you can likely perform most functions using Quickbooks.
This is where QuickBooks really fails … miserably. And we don’t mean to beat up on QuickBooks, but its’ lax build alleviates any measure of internal control. The primary concern is the level of accessibility QuickBooks allocates to an organization, specifically posted transactions. Transaction information can be edited at a later date. This is bad for budgeting, management control, visibility, and anything else that results in noncompliance. Plus, QuickBooks allows sales orders to be changed at any time. The resulting complication is poor quality and account care; which leads to inefficiencies further upstream. Given the pressures of today’s business environment, even the slightest breach in quality will cause an enterprise to be swallowed up by competitors.
Does your business need an internally controlled environment? Epicor Financial Management software is simply better at securing quality financial data at every juncture from quote to cash. Epicor provides users the ability to configure validation rules to control what gets posted to the General Ledger, from sub-ledgers. It does this based on key compliance metrics or policy requirements (these rules control how transaction events are cleared to post, will not post, or will issue warnings before posting).
Epicor Financial Planning provides a security manager; which allocates access to key data to specific employees defined by power users. It is here that business leaders can define and submit budgets and forecasts in their area of responsibility. This agile feature of ERP enables silos to have more control over their data, operate efficiently, and comply with fiscal regulations.
This is where the two solutions really cannot compare. If security and precise financial reporting are critical to your business, an ERP financial management software, like Epicor FM, is pretty much a necessity.
A major dilemma that growing businesses can expect using QuickBooks is making data compatible for integration with other systems or software. In other words, QuickBooks doesn’t play nicely with other systems. This can be a major challenge in the event of a buyout, implementation of other software, or CRM integration; where data must be in pristine condition in order to migrate it to new systems. In the event a company fails to employ a BPM expert, this type of work can lead to trouble.
It’s possible this data will need to be entered into the new system manually. This causes projects to become extremely complex, time consuming, and over budget. What’s worse, we often see general misuse of QuickBooks. Users create new data over and over again, fail to eliminate irrelevant worksheets, and cause duplicate entries to clutter the server. In our experience with clients, unclean data has almost always cost them an extra arm and a leg. However, growing companies don’t know what they don’t know and for that reason moved forward with this method.
Those are primary reasons why having a robust financial database in a single suite makes more sense than book keeping software. For a growing company, Epicor Financial Management can be integrated with CRM or BI software for improved demand forecasting, supply chain scenario comparisons, and be certain taxes are filed based on comprehensive requirements in countries in which they do business.
Integrating Epicor Financial Management with CRM is one of the most common projects we are seeing organizations pursuing this year. When regulatory initiatives change — as they often do — modifications in Epicor are instantly modified in CRM to ensure both systems relay the same information to stakeholders. Databases are also mirrored in both systems to ensure no duplicate entries occur and data remains in the system, not in an alternative source like QuickBooks.
The bottom line is that it’s easy to outgrow Quickbooks. If a business is currently using Quickbooks or exploring what financial software to use, just be aware of the challenges that the data in Quickbooks will have if it needs to go anywhere else.
Synopsis: Epicor Financial Management or Quickbooks?
In the totality of this review, we’ve compared two of the most commonly used financial and accounting management solutions. QuickBooks is a viable foundation tool for personal or small business users, but for an growing enterprise to adopt a healthy growth model, Epicor Financial Management software is the clear better choice. Whether a firm seeks to restore internal control, improve security of data, or streamline regulatory initiatives, investing in Epicor Financial Management software will provide the best value.
The foundation for improving the bottom line starts with knowing how even the most finite transactions of the business can offset both quality and productivity later on. For this to happen, modern enterprises will need to explore a rapidly deployable ERP software agile enough to track these everyday occurrences. Only then will companies have the ability to optimize efficiency and remain within regulatory spec. This is a critical enterprise decision, and should not be taken lightly.
For more information on how Datix helps clients sculpt Epicor ERP to fit their business practices contact us today.