QuickBooks alternatives?

I’m about to launch a new business venture: US-based partner LLC with 4 employees (2 commission-based salespeople, 1 part-time web developer, 1 CEO / customer service / business manager). I’m fairly certain I want to use CS-Cart for the ecommerce portion of my business, but I haven’t settled on an accounting system.



I’ve looked at Quickbooks Pro and Quickbooks Online, but neither seems like the right fit. First impressions of QB are: unhappy userbase, expensive pricing, obsolete software model.



I’ve also looked at are xero.com and saasu.com. Both of these have APIs which could be integrated with CS-Cart, but are based in Australia and I’m worried may not be US savvy.



Are there other web-based accounting packages that might be a good fit for my business: US-based, CS-Cart (multiple options per product), commission-based payroll, and tight budgets?



thanks,

Christina

Hello Christina,


[QUOTE]I’ve looked at Quickbooks Pro and Quickbooks Online, but neither seems like the right fit. First impressions of QB are: unhappy userbase, expensive pricing, obsolete software model.[/QUOTE]



Just some quick comments for you!



Re: the “unhappy userbase”, I would be rather sceptical as to how far I read into this considering Qbooks has like 40 billion (exaggerated of course) users, far more than any competitive small business accounting program. Is Intuit expensive, yes, they certainly do know how good they are and have no problems charging accordingly, however, they do allow you to start off small & continue to scale as needed.



I am sure that you will agree with me in that you really will not want to be spending a very large portion of your time fighting with your core business accounting program considering you are a start up, you will have plenty to do with your valuable time.



IF you have any desires, now or in the future of tying your CS-Cart store into your accounting system, then save yourself alot of grief by going with a version of Qbooks. I can assure you that trying to find any off the shelf order import/management tools for any accounting package other than Quickbooks is very slim pickings. You will be beating your head on the desk in a very short time!



You will find that the developers follow the marketshare leader, which is Intuit/Quickbooks.



If you plan to grow, and I am sure you do, then go with a local PC installed version of Qbooks vs. an online version, you will appreciate the faster processing speed & have much more control over security of your company files. I do tons of online banking for both business & personal, however, I do not feel warm & fuzzy about storing my business files on some internet accessible server! :wink:



Regards to integrating your store & accounting system, I now recommend ECC by Webgility which continues to be very actively developed:

[url]The Modern Commerce Workspace | Webgility



A couple more very important issues to consider when choosing your accounting/business management program is tax preparation (payroll & income) as well as managing your Payroll. Quickbooks handles both of these quite well by allowing you to import your company data directly into Turbotax (another Intuit product) if you choose to do so, & also calculating/handling payroll taxs very nicely if you sign up for one of their integrated payroll plans.



Good Luck in 2011

very intelligently put Struck:!: We too have been contemplating integration with quickbooks. Webgility by far is the go to guys on this subject. However, being a start-up I believe we will handle it manually at first, then have webgility work their magic at a later date.



Thanks for your write up as this has helped us.:wink:



Regards,

Stu

Struck,



Thank you for your advice regarding QuickBooks. I realize that it is by far the most widely used bookkeeping software for small business, but I wanted to see if anyone here has had success with a cloud-based alternative.



IMHO, QuickBooks feels akin to MS Office - widely used but expensive, feature bloated, and losing ground to web-based competition. At the same time, I don’t want to spin my wheels trying to make an immature solution work for my business.



From what I’ve read in this forum, CS-Cart’s QuickBooks add-on has several long-standing bugs which make it useless. The Webgility solution looks great but is expensive and has an extremely short trial period.



regards,

Christina

I’ve been using QuickBooks for many years … it is definitely feature packed and a little confusing at first … but over time I’ve learned to use it quite well. I’ve never felt the need to integrate CS-Cart with my QB… I prefer to enter it manually which only takes a few minutes per order.

Hello Stu,


[QUOTE]However, being a start-up I believe we will handle it manually at first, then have webgility work their magic at a later date.[/QUOTE]



Far best / most accurate to enter your orders manually into Qbooks when just starting out until your online orders reach the point of where manual entry is no longer making practical sense as a good use of your time. Until then, it will be very hard to justify the cost of a program like ECC/ Webgility as well as the time needed in setting up/maintaining your “order entry program”. I am certain you know where I am coming from! :wink:



Christina,

[QUOTE]From what I’ve read in this forum, CS-Cart’s QuickBooks add-on has several long-standing bugs which make it useless. The Webgility solution looks great but is expensive and has an extremely short trial period.[/QUOTE]



No doubt these full featured order import/management programs can be quite expensive, especially when you start talking multiple user installations, same with Quickbooks for that matter! (I think they have all figured out that if you need multiple PC installs, you must be entering enough orders to justify all of the extra workstation costs)! :wink: Like I (as well as RacingSolution) mentioned, your best bet will be to enter your online orders manually in the beginning until your fingertips become bloody! :wink:


[QUOTE]At the same time, I don’t want to spin my wheels trying to make an immature solution work for my business.[/QUOTE]



Christina, that was exactly what I was attempting to steer you away from doing! I would very highly suggest you look at either Quickbooks (regardless of the version) or Peachtree, (and if you believe that you will EVER want to seriously consider tying your online store to your accounting program, then I highly suggest you narrow that down even further & go with Qbooks if you want any legitimate automation choices at all when the time comes…



PS: The 40 Billion users of Quickbooks = a very well tested foundation to build your business on top of! And as far as the overbloated features list, my bet is that in time you will use most every one of them…

One thing to keep in mind that if you are planning on doing large numbers of product SKU’s or customers is that QB Pro supports only 14,500 (not exactly sure ,but it is in the 14K range) Products, or Customers or any “list” within the program. This means IF you are importing large numbers of SKU’s or customers and you reach that limit… thats it, it will not accept any more within that list without deleting or archiving them.

The only way around this is to upgrade to their Enterprise version, which will hold over 1 million list items.- I believe its about $2000 for that version with 3 users allowed with the base version of the Enterprise.

I didnt see any reference to the numbers of items you might be considering, but thought this would be worth mentioning in case it affected you.

QB has their own proprietary DB, which is antiquated with this limit.

Certainly kills the ability for drop shippers to import their price lists into it for price reference.

timst:

Thanks for the heads-up on QB’s 14,500 SKU limit. I currently have ~20,000 products in CS-Cart to be fulfilled by about 10 different drop-shippers. Do you have this issue? If so, do you use QB Enterprise or something else?

thanks,

Christina

Greetings,



We are pleased to introduce another accounting integration option for CS-Cart. CartSpan (www.CartSpan.com) supports both Peachtree (soon to be Sage 50) and QuickBooks accounting packages. CartSpan is bi-directional and can be used to download your orders as well as update your item pricing and inventory levels in real-time.



Additionally, CartSpan integration offers advanced support for the CS-Cart's gift certificate functionality and properly applies these transactions within the accounting system.



CartSpan can also be found in the companion products section of this site.



Thanks,



Scott Wheeler

Owner, Noverhead Software, LLC

Makers of the CartSpan eCommerce integration for Peachtree/QuickBooks Accounting

You guys should try CARTSPAN - Scott is amazing he helped you until you are satisfied !! Keep up the good work Scott.

Hi,



eCC 3.4 will integrate your CS-Cart with QuickBooks. Our program will let you sync inventory, price and quantity, so you can save time from entering data manually. Please visit us at: [url=“http://www.webgility.com/”]The Modern Commerce Workspace | Webgility to sign-up for a free 15 day trial. You can also contact us at: 877-753-5373 ext. 1.



Thanks,



Webgility =)

Webgility is there any plan of gettings eccCloud working with Quickbooks online uk at all?