If you imagine the most tedious possible task, data entry probably comes to mind. Entering figures into a seemingly endless spreadsheet is quite the unenviable chore. Unfortunately, this function has given bookkeeping a bad, and boring, reputation. In fact, however, this aspect of business is absolutely vital. Most executives and employees understand that their finances are the foundation of their enterprise, so they must be meticulously managed.
For centuries, manual data entry has been an unfortunate necessity. Thankfully, modern technology provides the tools to simplify and streamline this cumbersome task. One of the primary purposes of accounting software is to help reduce the time, energy, money, and stress your company devotes to repetitive tasks that could be performed by a computer. However, one of the most popular software systems of this kind, QuickBooks, often creates more problems than it solves for its users.
At SCS Cloud, our specialists are dedicated to helping our clients find the best possible software solutions for their business management needs. To help you determine if you’ve outgrown QuickBooks, we’ve put together a quiz. After you’ve taken parts one, two and three, continue on below to find out if you’ve fallen prey to dreaded data entry with QuickBooks, and learn how we can help you optimize your operations.
How Much Time Do You Spend on Data Entry?
It isn’t necessarily reasonable to assume that once you get an accounting software, you’ll never have to enter data again, but if you’re spending a significant chunk of your work week staring at spreadsheets and typing in numbers, this could be a sign that QuickBooks is no longer your ideal solution. The same goes for your employees. For example, your financial department staff should be spending their time providing money-saving strategies, preparing for profitable purchases, coordinating with other teams, and generally bettering your business rather than being burdened with this outdated task.
You Re-Enter Information You’ve Already Input?
The only thing more frustrating than the monotony of data entry is the absolute aggravation of data re-entry. QuickBooks isn’t always interoperable with other software solutions, meaning that it can’t communicate data back and forth with these programs. This could be a major problem for your company. Imagine the exasperation of finally filling in every column required in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database, only to find that you now must enter the same exact information into QuickBooks for billing purposes.
NetSuite’s report, “The Top Five Signs Your Business Has Reached the Limits of QuickBooks,” explains: “Those separate islands of computing that have sprung up over the years have become an insoluble hairball that’s choking many businesses. There’s no real-time visibility from one system into another. Incompatibilities and imperfect integration have left employees tied up, copying data between systems…taking time and effort that your staff ought to be spending on more productive, rewarding tasks elsewhere.”
In our digital age of business, the fact that you have to do some manual data entry at all is inconvenient, but multiplying this irritating assignment by two, or three, or four, it becomes simply impossible.
Do You Need to Hire Additional Help Just for Data Entry?
Amidst the annoyance of data entry and re-entry, as well as the strain on your existing employees, it’s tempting to throw up your hands and simply hire an additional worker to handle this hassle. While it might provide a short-term fix, the fact that you’re increasing your expenses and expanding your team just to keep up with the flaws in your accounting software is a major red flag for QuickBooks at your company.
This is clearly a common conundrum since even Intuit QuickBooks suggests hiring extra help as a possible solution. In the Intuit QuickBooks article, “5 Small-Business Tasks to Outsource,” the company presents “five specific duties to consider outsourcing.” QuickBooks elaborates: “Data entry is dull and time-consuming, and it requires little skill. Why waste your time on it?” Indeed, why should you spend time on data entry, especially since programs like QuickBooks are themselves supposed to largely eliminate this task?
QuickBooks casually recommends “pay[ing] someone to handle the task for you” or even bringing on a “virtual assistant” for “online document[s].” With the ideal business software, the only “virtual assistance” you’d need for data entry would be built into your system.
Is Your Data Tangled Up?
Another of many downsides to manual data entry is that this painstaking process leaves more room for human error. Especially if you’re struggling to input as much information as you can as quickly as possible so you can get back to your actual work, you might accidentally enter data into the wrong spreadsheets, mix up columns, or save files in the wrong places. There are virtually infinite ways your crucial accounting data could become corrupted. Since QuickBooks requires at least some degree of manual data entry and frequently doesn’t integrate with other business management software solutions, this program could be the downfall of your data. If you frequently spot errors in your figures, manual data entry (and re-entry) into QuickBooks could be the culprit, and changing systems could be the remedy.
Do Your Papers Take Eons to Process?
Having to do hours of manual data entry in QuickBooks (and then repeating the same process in your other related, but not networked, programs) can be a real roadblock to your productivity and profits. Most of your company’s most important actions—sales, inventory, customer relationships, purchasing, budget, salaries, etc.—intersect with your accounting procedures. If your financial team doesn’t have the information it needs easily available, this can put a serious damper on your operations.
NetSuite’s report indicates that it may be time to switch from QuickBooks if “simple decisions such as expense claim approvals or routine contract signatures take days or weeks to finalize because the process depends on people passing paperwork around and matching it up to information stored in separate software applications.” It shouldn’t take ages for you to complete basic accounting tasks due to data entry issues. If you find that data based delays are damaging your enterprise, it’s likely time to say “goodbye” to QuickBooks.
Are You Relying on Add-Ons to Manage Your Data Entry?
When confronted with the nuisance of data entry, many business owners seek solace in additional software. There are dozens of add-ons you can purchase to boost QuickBooks, improving your ability to transfer information, automatically enter data from other spreadsheets, and more.
Data entry is such a common problem in QuickBooks that accounting enhancement programs have become wildly popular. For instance, QuickBooks Training recently published an article entitled “Tools to reduce data entry work in QuickBooks.” In it, Hector Garcia goes over “5 third-party tools” to solve various scenarios within QuickBooks. Garcia describes how he handles each of these everyday situations with QuickBooks plus the added software, and sometimes he even uses two or more of his recommended add-ons “in tandem.”
While these upgrades can provide a temporary answer to your data entry issues, the fact that you need to utilize other programs just to make your expensive existing software work is a bad sign. If you’re depending on third-party applications to escape the aggravation of data entry, it’s probably time to switch from QuickBooks to a superior software system.
Solve Your Data Entry Setbacks with SCS Cloud
Managing your accounting information doesn’t have to be a data entry drag. SCS Cloud can help you find an integrated, cloud-based solution to suit your specifications and streamline your accounting. We are here to consult with you, develop customized software systems, offer easy implementation provide support, and more. Contact SCS Cloud today to find out more from our experts and schedule your free consultation.
Continue on with the rest of this QuickBooks-centric series.
- Is it Time to Move On From QuickBooks?
- Continue the Quiz: Are You Cheating On QuickBooks?
- QuickBooks - Quiz, Part Three: Is Your Accounting Software Sluggish?
- QuickBooks - Carry On With Our Quiz: Have You Fallen Prey to Dreaded Data Entry?
- The Final QuickBooks Questions: Can You Zoom Out On Your Company?
- Our QuickBooks Answer Key: A Cloud-Based “Cheat Sheet”