This month, I'm going to break from my traditional "Building Better Business Finances" post.
Instead, I'll stop for a moment to make my nominations for the top entries into the QuickBooks Hall of Shame
YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS UP!
I've seen a lot (and I mean a LOT) over the last fifteen years in working with over one thousand small businesses and their QuickBooks.
Some of the things I have seen during that time have simply boggled my mind, so I thought it appropriate to share them with you in the hopes you can avoid them in your business...
THE HALL OF SHAME NOMINEES
- QuickBooks bank balance: $3.6 million. Actual bank balance: $15,500. Guess they were using the same accounting rules the federal government does?
- QuickBooks bank balance: ($888,000). Actual bank balance: $18,500. Can you imagine the overdraft fees on that account under the QuickBooks method?
- QuickBooks reconciliation discrepancies account balance for 12 months: $480,000. This is enough to give every accountant in the country an irregular hearbeat.
- QuickBooks sales tax payable account balance: $279,000. Actual sales tax balance due: $179. That state tax agency was sure bummed out not to be getting as much as they thought.
- Doing the accounts receivable in QuickBooks and the accounts payable in Peachtree - then asking the question: "how come it takes so long to get my information ready at tax time"?
- And of course this one - any and all businesses that either don't back up their QuickBooks database at all, or think they are covered by backing it up to an external drive that sits on top of the same computer where the QuickBooks database is located. Seriously? A $59 investment in Carbonite is the cheapest insurance policy your business can have against data loss and business interruption.
BAD BOOKS ARE KILLING SMALL BUSINESSES
Sadly, I believe the "do it yourself" accounting experiment is failing at thousands of small businesses across the country. It isn't just as easy as "writing a check" or "creating an invoice".
The hall of shame examples above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the adage "bad information = bad decisions". In fact, I've written about this problem extensively in my book "Your Bookkeeping Stinks".
Or course, these problems can be found in businesses using other accounting software as well. It's just that QuickBooks has such a huge market share (I belive in the 90+%?) that their product (and the unusual results within) is seen so often.
WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON THE HALL OF SHAME?
Do you have a story to share about horrors you've seen in QuickBooks? Thoughts to share on the success or failure of "do it yourself" bookkeeping? Continue the dialogue and post your comments in the box below. I look forward to hearing from you!