NetSuite vs QuickBooks: Choosing the Right Accounting Software

     Whether you're a small local business or a multinational corporation, everyone needs reliable accounting software. That's why we're looking at two of the best: QuickBooks vs NetSuite. 

     You could just be starting your accounting software research, or you're looking for more information on how NetSuite differs from QuickBooks. Regardless of your current accounting software situation, our cloud software experts are here to help! 

     SCS Cloud is a technology firm that helps businesses implement the best cloud software solutions for their needs. We've seen many customers come to us wanting to upgrade from QuickBooks to NetSuite due to its limitations. 

     Today, we're taking a look at NetSuite vs QuickBooks to help your business make the best decision possible when choosing accounting software. 

How is NetSuite Different Than QuickBooks? 

     While NetSuite and QuickBooks are both fully capable of managing financial and accounting duties, there is one huge difference: NetSuite is not just accounting software. 

     NetSuite contains virtually every application needed to manage all of the aspects of your business. This includes enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), HR management, professional services automation (PSA), eCommerce functionalities, and full inventory and supply chain management. 


     While a core functionality of NetSuite is its accounting and financial management, it's so much more than that. NetSuite ERP is capable of optimizing every aspect of your business, from inventory management to lead generation.

     So why do companies decide to switch to NetSuite from QuickBooks? It's typically due to a lack of complex accounting functionalities, advanced reporting and tracking, and the desire to integrate data from different business units. 

According to a 2021 TechValidate survey: 

  • 66% of surveyed companies had issues with the inability to handle complex accounting needs with QuickBooks 
  • 93% of respondents reported increased control and visibility over their business after switching to NetSuite from Quickbooks 
  • 80% of companies chose NetSuite over QuickBooks because they wanted better reporting and tracking


     With nearly two million customers, QuickBooks is the most widely used accounting software by small businesses. However, they don't only have products for small businesses! QuickBooks has built out a suite of online accounting software for businesses of all sizes. 

     We're going to be looking at NetSuite vs QuickBooks Online. However, it's important to note the differences between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise, as the latter is the most advanced level of QuickBooks offered and is the most comparable with NetSuite's financial and reporting capabilities. 

QuickBooks Online 

     QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based accounting subscription service that allows users to make changes whenever they want from wherever they want. 

     QuickBooks offers four different levels of service, though the core functionalities are the same. They perform accounting duties such as:

  • Tracking income and expenses
  • Invoicing
  • Maximizing tax deductions
  • Running reports
  • Tracking miles
  • Managing cash flow
  • Sending estimates
  • Manage 1099 contractors 

     Where the service levels differ are the number of users allowed (if you need more than 25 users, you'll need to upgrade to QuickBooks Enterprise), as well as tracking, business analytics, and workflow automation. 

QuickBooks Enterprise 

     QuickBooks Enterprise was designed with large businesses in mind. It has the capacity for one million customers, vendors, and inventory items and up to 40 users. Unlike any other QuickBooks offering, it also includes workflow automation tools and the ability to integrate data with Salesforce CRM. 

     With QuickBooks Enterprise, you're able to control and customize reporting, automate pricing and discounts, manage inventory between different locations, and view unique business insights from over 230 reports. 

NetSuite vs Quickbooks: The Full Breakdown 


     NetSuite and QuickBooks Online are both capable of many of the same features when it comes to accounting and financial management. They're also both cloud software, giving users the flexibility to access data any time from any device. Overall, QuickBooks Online contains features best for smaller businesses, while NetSuite can scale for enterprise-level companies. 

     QuickBooks does offer QuickBooks Enterprise, which was designed specifically for large businesses. However, at that stage, it might be best to switch over to NetSuite to make workflow processes, business data, and automation as streamlined as possible. If you're looking for advanced customizations and capabilities, NetSuite may be the better option, as it offers many pre-built add ons and the ability to custom code features unique to your business. 

NetSuite Features 

     While NetSuite has a financial management section, the software was designed to handle virtually every business process possible, including: 

  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) 
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) 
  • E-Commerce 
  • Inventory management 
  • Accounting and financial management 

     It's clear to see that NetSuite can do a lot more for your business as a whole compared to QuickBooks Online. To compare equal playing fields, NetSuite's financial management capabilities include

  • Accounting - general ledgers, accounts receivable, accounts payable, tax management, fixed assets management, cash management, and payment management
  • Billing - Invoice consolidation, automated invoicing, and  multiple pricing models supported 
  • Budgeting -  Modeling capabilities that map out departmental and companywide budgets 
  • Compliance - Compliant with ASC 606 and IFRS 15 accounting standards
  • Reporting - Role-based dashboards, reports, KPIs, and financial statements that are compliant with accounting standards such as US GAAP and IFRS  
  • Audit-ready solutions - Built-in reports, certificates, and capabilities to help navigate governance, risk and compliance programs 

QuickBooks Online Features 

     QuickBooks Online contains four different levels: Simple Start, Essentials, Plus, and Advanced. The subscription plan you choose dictates how many users you can have and the functionalities available. 

The Simple Start level, which is the intro version, includes: 

  • Income and expense tracking 
  • Invoicing and payment acceptance 
  • Maximize tax deductions 
  • Run general reports 
  • Capture and organize receipts 
  • Track miles 
  • Manage cash flow 
  • Track sales and sales tax 
  • Send estimates 
  • Manage 1099 contractors 

     Essentials contains all of the above plus the abilities to manage and pay bills and track time. 

     Plus includes all of the above and inventory tracking and project profitability tracking.

Advanced is the highest level of QuickBooks Online, which adds:

  • Business analytics data 
  • Batch invoices and expenses 
  • Customize access by role 
  • Automated workflows 
  • Dedicated account team 

     You'll need to pay for the highest level of QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Enterprise to match the accounting features NetSuite offers. While the prices for QuickBooks alone will be less than NetSuite, keep in mind that NetSuite can take over all business processes. That means if you have a separate CRM or eCommerce software, you'd no longer need those if you switched to NetSuite. 


NetSuite Pricing 

     Because it's a fully customizable ERP solution, the price of NetSuite varies depending on a business's needs. You'll need to choose where you're purchasing NetSuite from, whether you go through a licensed NetSuite Solution Provider or directly through NetSuite. You can usually choose the duration of your NetSuite license — the longer the license, the lower the annual costs. Then, you'll figure out if your NetSuite solution requires any add-ons, integrations, or custom coding.  

     After you determine what NetSuite should look like, the NetSuite implementation process begins. This could drive up initial costs depending on whether or not custom development work is needed. Once NetSuite is up and running, there could be additional costs for ongoing support and training if you end up needing additional development work or custom solutions. 

QuickBooks Online Pricing 

The pricing for QuickBooks is a little more straightforward than NetSuite: 

QuickBooks Online 

  • $25/month for Simple Start 
  • $50/month for Essentials (up to 3 users) 
  • $80/month for Plus (up to 5 users) 
  • $180/month for Advanced (up to 25 users) 

QuickBooks Enterprise 

  • For local access only, prices range from $1,655/year to $4,020/year for one user license. If you need more than one user, there's a bulk discount available. 
  • For remote access, prices start at $180/month to $379/month for one user license. If you require more than one user, there's a bulk discount. 


     The reporting capabilities when it comes to comparing NetSuite vs QuickBooks Online are vastly different. The reporting functions of QuickBooks online are limited unless you purchase the highest level or opt for QuickBooks Enterprise.  

     NetSuite provides the most robust reporting capabilities, as it includes pre-configured reports by role and integrates data from different business units into the same actionable report.  

     If your business chooses QuickBooks Online and uses other software to manage business processes such as CRM data and inventory tracking, it would be difficult to merge the data from each different source with the financial information in QuickBooks Online. 

NetSuite Reporting Capabilities 

     NetSuite comes with advanced reporting capabilities out of the box. With real-time data insights, it empowers business managers and key stakeholders to make accurate, data-informed decisions. 

     It also integrates data from different departments, producing valuable reporting insights you might not have seen if each department's business data remained siloed. 

QuickBooks Online Reporting

     QuickBooks Online reporting is limited unless you're on the highest level QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Enterprise. 

     With the first three levels of QuickBooks online, you will have basic reporting capabilities such as income and expense tracking, time tracking, and profitability tracking. However, business analytics and insights aren't available unless you purchase the highest level of QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Enterprise. 

     Because QuickBooks is solely an accounting software, it also doesn't store any additional types of data like NetSuite does. This makes it difficult to combine data for comprehensive business insights, as QuickBooks information doesn't easily integrate with other systems. 

What is NetSuite Best For? 

     NetSuite is best for managing business processes of medium size to large businesses in any industry. While NetSuite will work for any sized business, the price point is a bit higher than most small businesses are looking for. QuickBooks is a great solution for small business accounting needs and, if the time comes where you need to scale up and gain better visibility into business processes, you can make the jump to NetSuite when you have the budget for it. 

Is NetSuite Easy to Learn? 

     Just like any new software, there is a learning curve to NetSuite. However, most certified NetSuite partners offer customized training to make sure everyone is fully trained on how to use it. 

     Here at SCS Cloud, we provide ongoing NetSuite training and support including remote support services, training solutions by role, and online training and resources. We've also built out a collection of NetSuite tutorials each employee can refer back to as needed. 

NetSuite vs QuickBooks: What's Right for My Business? 

Whether QuickBooks or NetSuite is right for your business comes down to a few factors: 

  • The complexity of your financial and accounting needs
  • The size of your business 
  • Other software your business uses 

     If you need help deciding which accounting software is best for your business, contact us to set up a free consultation! Our cloud software experts have decades of experience helping businesses of all industries and sizes operate as efficiently as possible.

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