QuickBooks Enterprise(QBES) is Intuit’s continued and improved answer to small businesses who are outgrowing QuickBooks (or other solutions) and need a more robust solution for their accounting and business management (inventory, purchase orders, etc) needs.
One glaring weakness of QBES, relentlessly attacked by its competition, has been that since it was not a SQL based database, but a proprietary database, it was not scalable and would slow down if too many records were added to it. In QBES 6, Intuit wisely switched to a SQL database, which makes the entire system run faster and more scalable. Intuit claims that QBES can now run 3x – 5x faster. This new database enables access to it through Open DataBase Connectivity (OBDC), a universal data access standard, which enables maximum interoperability between applications and the database
With 23 customer driven enhancements, QBES is the strongest release yet.
Bill Lucchini, General Manager, QuickBooks Enterprise explained that while many of QBES’s competitors have products made for larger businesses and try to scale them down for the mid-market, QBES, with roots in QuickBooks, is a perfect evolution for GROWING businesses. There’s not too many businesses who say, “You know we’re going to scale down from 500,000 employees to 200, could you give us an accounting package for a smaller business please”.
[Side note: WebEx’s WebExOne is a solution specifically made for small businesses and not a large business solution molded to be “smb ready”]
Features List vs Your Needs – When shopping for a technology solution its easy to pick a solution based on price vs cost. Product A has 100 features and Product B has 500 features and costs more. Product B must be better many people will reason. However, this is not always the case. Instead of shopping by feature shop based on your need and the solutions provider. Microsoft Word has a boatload of features, but we only use a small portion of those features.
Intuit continues to be completely insane about customer service. When Bill meets customers, he gives them his personal email address – not some “firstname.lastname@example.org” address. When there’s a problem, Bill gets a solution and contacts the customer.
While many companies are satisfied with rating their customer service, Intuit holds itself to a higher standard and asks its customers, “would you recommend this product to a friend?”.
Intuit’s focus groups, 100+ phone interviews, usability studies, and onsite visits by the entire Intuit team involved in product support/sales/production are critical to Intuit’s continued fanatical customer support.
QuickBooks 2006 offers powerful new inventory capabilities automating the key tasks of product-based businesses such as manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers. For example, a new Sales Order Fulfillment feature provides a single view of all pending orders so businesses can base ¬?ship-to¬? decisions on projected revenue, customer value and other key indicators that help determine fulfillment priority. After determining which orders to fill first, users can immediately print ¬?pick lists¬? and packing slips to streamline their whole shipping process. This innovative workflow automation can only be found in QuickBooks.
Also new in this release is Available-to-Promise, a feature previously available only in packages costing thousands of dollars more than QuickBooks. It reports the exact amount of inventory on hand, including where it¬?s committed, when it¬?s needed, and what is on order. Available-to-Promise simplifies a company’s ability to commit to product delivery dates, or to borrow inventory tagged for later delivery on less critical orders. In the past, businesses were forced to sort through piles of open sales and purchase orders to guesstimate the quantity of inventory that could be promised to a customer and when it would arrive.
Intuit sees the small-medium sized business market like this:
Small & Simple: – these businesses have Intuit Simple Start or no accounting package at all
Just starting out with cash flow pain
Easy, accurate way to track sales, expenses and get organized
Main Street: – QuickBooks customers
Owners make all significant decisions
Employees are generalists
Rarely have more than one fixed location
Mid-Market – QBES
Multiple, formal departments with leaders
Distributed decision making and workflow
Often have multiple, fixed locations
If you have an older version of QuickBooks check out version 6.0 and see if the improvements made are what you need. If you’ve are using another solution that’s not satisfying your need – you’ll probably find QBES’ simplicity, power and price a perfect fit for you.
QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 6.0 is priced at $3,000 for a 5-seat license, $4500 for 10-seat license and $6000 for 15-seat license. The price includes a 12-month full-service plan which entitles businesses to 24/7 technical support from a dedicated support engineer, product upgrades, data recovery and reporting services, interactive training tools and automatic renewals.