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If you’ve ever screamed, “QuickBooks sucks,” you’re far from alone. Here’s a look at what’s wrong with QuickBooks and why everyone still uses it anyway.
5 Reasons Why QuickBooks Sucks
First, the most common complaints about QuickBooks.
1. It’s hard to navigate.
Need to enter a transaction? Just click this, drop down to that, pick the third option, then fill out the form. Whatever you do, don’t click the button on the homepage that looks like the easiest way to do it.
And even once you know the super-secret handshake, you still have to do all the clicks. There’s very few keyboard shortcuts — especially on the online version.
2. It’s too complicated.
To some degree, this goes hand-in-hand with being hard to navigate. But what’s really going on is that QuickBooks has too much stuff.
When you need a small handful of tools, QuickBooks gives you an entire Home Depot. And you can’t just leave the tools you need out, either. There’s no turning off unnecessary features, so you have to dig through the entire warehouse every time.
3. You feel nickel and dimed.
With multiple pricing tiers and various add-on services, it can feel like you’re getting nickel and dimed. In reality, you get a very robust set of features on each price plan, and the monthly fees are far less than what you’d pay a bookkeeper hourly to do it all by hand.
However, when it doesn’t feel like QuickBooks is working to improve known flaws, it’s no surprise that people don’t feel they’re getting their money’s worth.
4. There’s a high learning curve.
QuickBooks is not something that you can just use out of the box. No small business accounting software is.
The problem with QuickBooks is that there’s two learning curves. First, you need to really understand the underlying accounting — it does not hold your hand and teach you what you need to do. Second, even if you’re an accountant, you need to learn its quirks, where it hides things, and when it uses different terminology than you may be used to.
5. There’s little customer support.
QuickBooks customer support is virtually nonexistent unless you’re (a) trying to pay them for something or (b) on a paid support plan. Some of the information in their support forums is useful, while other times it feels like people are racing to post irrelevant answers just to win more points for posting.
Part of the reason is that while anyone can use QuickBooks, it’s really designed for accountants, and they’re actually good about providing training for accountants. Still, if you’re trying to go at it alone after buying a subscription, that may not provide much comfort.
3 Reasons Why Everyone Still Uses QuickBooks
Despite all of that, pretty much everyone still uses QuickBooks for these three reasons.
1. Everyone else does.
QuickBooks has had about 80% market share for about as long as computers have been mainstream. If you’re looking for accounting software and ask someone what they use, there’s a 4 in 5 chance they’ll say QuickBooks.
2. It has more features.
That market share isn’t just about following the crowd, though. QuickBooks has more features and integrations precisely because it’s so big.
When small business banks and services are looking to add tools for their customers, QuickBooks is going to be the first name that comes up. After that, the remaining 20% of the market is so splintered that it rarely makes sense to add them. Think Windows vs. Mac software except if Apple only had a 2% market share instead of 9%.
3. It uploads directly to your accountant.
But the main reason that everyone uses QuickBooks is that QuickBooks tries so hard to hook accountants. The software gives your accountant everything they need to do your taxes (after they check that you entered everything correctly), and they can log into your live books via QuickBooks Online Accountant. If you don’t have an accountant, the QuickBooks Pro Advisor program lets you easily find one.
QuickBooks is pretty openly trying to get your accountant to pull you towards their products. However, the truth is that their products do make life easier for both business owners and accountants and are still overall better than other available software.
Do you still hate QuickBooks?
So maybe everyone still uses QuickBooks, but you’re saying you wouldn’t jump off a bridge if everyone else was doing it. If you don’t want to use QuickBooks or want to see if there’s something better, check out these small business accounting software alternatives.