The two platforms may serve similar purposes and check off some of the same boxes, but a close comparison shows that there are as many differences as similarities, especially when it comes to the robustness and completeness of the feature sets.
For growing companies, depth of functionality has a direct effect on the time and resources required to complete finance tasks. A recent survey of NetSuite customers shows that superior features and functionality are the primary reasons why CFOs switch from QuickBooks to NetSuite.
Here are a few examples of how some of NetSuite’s key features compare to QuickBooks.
Whether a sales transaction consists of a single action, a series of actions across a period of time or different types of deliverables in a bundle, NetSuite enables accounting teams to comply with revenue recognition requirements and schedule revenue to be recognized automatically. Financial statements and forecasts are accurate and updated in real-time.
This is especially helpful for software and service businesses dealing with multiple deliverables—such as upgrades, services delivered over time or additional licenses—that require accounting teams to recognize and defer revenue at different points in time. QuickBooks can construct clever workarounds for the limitations, but workarounds inevitably create a mess of manual journal entries, complicated recognition schedule spreadsheets, and unclear or nonexistent forward visibility.
Your organization can gain real-time visibility into billing and financial activity with NetSuite. This adds more transparency through consolidated invoicing, automated rating processes and support of multiple pricing models to capture setup fees, license counts and variable consumption in one step.
NetSuite’s billing capabilities truly outshine QuickBooks when it comes to subscription billing. Automated renewals help retain revenue and reduce the need for manual oversight. Businesses can also schedule subscription changes, removing the need to manually monitor and track them, and set customer-specific pricing and discounting.
NetSuite SuiteBilling can combine one-time product or service purchases with recurring services on a single bill; for example, a mobile phone, its activation fee and first month of service. SuiteBilling also supports multiple subscription billing options, including fixed rate (annual, multi-year and monthly), consumption-based or a combination. You can also manage promotional pricing, such as a discounted rate with adjusted automatic billing after free trial period, and easily modify contracts or put subscriptions on hold and restart.
NetSuite’s general ledger (GL) provides accounting data from a consolidated level down to individual subsidiaries and dimensions and down to the transaction level, allowing you to customize your GL to meet your business needs. You can add custom GL dimensions to transactions, such as invoices or vendor bills, across single or multiple accounting books, reducing the time and effort required for account reconciliation, period close and audit processes.
A simple chart of accounts with the added ability to track custom dimensions such as the cost center, department, location, etc. makes transactions easier to categorize and report on at the transaction level, removing the need to go through hundreds of lines in the chart of accounts to see what transactions should be coded to.
Multidimensional reporting eliminates the need for a complex chart of accounts, letting you add tracking details at the transaction level. QuickBooks tries to make its solution work with tags and classes, but there are a limited number which results in users trying to implement workarounds.
QuickBooks doesn’t provide any purchasing controls, but NetSuite’s approval workflow engine reduces risk by ensuring that purchasing and accounting controls and policies are followed using intelligent built-in workflows. This makes approvals easier in a time when people aren’t sitting next to one another—whether it’s because of multiple offices or a work-from-home environment. Users can automate discount calculation and exception processing when invoices do not match purchase orders, limiting manual data entry errors and decreasing the time it takes to process bills from vendors.
NetSuite helps enforce segregation of duties by controlling the data and functionality users have access to via role-based and user-based permissions. By comparison, QuickBooks has a limited approval workflow and a few user roles, which does not deliver a strong control environment and true segmentation of duties. For example, an accounts payable process that allows one person to generate, approve and pay a bill creates an environment that is ripe for embezzlement.
NetSuite’s accounts receivable features allow you to manage your customer list, track your receivables and receive payment, all without needing to enter detailed debits and credits. Configurable dashboards, reports and KPIs provide a real-time view into accounts receivable data such as customer aging, invoice analyses, recurring invoices, deferred revenue and exception reports that flag account anomalies.
You can also offer customers self-service access to real-time insights on purchase orders, inventory levels and payment information via a customer portal. This simplifies the payment process with invoices by email with several payment options. QuickBooks can create journal entries, but it can’t handle downloads and schedules. NetSuite Advanced Revenue Management makes it easy to forecast and record revenue from contracts with milestone billing and a contract renewal feature. Forecasted revenue automatically converts to recognized revenue as performance commitments are completed.
Fixed Asset and Lease Management
You can manage an asset’s complete lifecycle and easily report on all fixed assets, tracking depreciating or non-depreciating company assets from creation to depreciation, revaluation and disposal. This makes it easier to document and maintain an accurate record of all capital assets, including acquisition costs and asset status.
NetSuite also addresses the new accounting and reporting requirements for leased assets, specifically setting up amortization schedules and splitting out interest expense from rental expense for reporting purposes on balance sheets and income statements, supporting multiple accounting treatments.
QuickBooks doesn’t offer you these fixed asset or lease management features.
NetSuite inventory management gives your company clear visibility of your inventory. NetSuite inventory management minimizes manual processes by automating real-time tracking of inventory levels, orders and sales throughout the inventory lifecycle. It also provides insights needed to make data-driven decisions, maximize sales and gain greater control of your business. Warehouse management features like inventory counts, pick, pack and ship, integrated barcoding and multi-order picking are also available.
QuickBooks and NetSuite both have standard accounting reports, such as P&L and cash flow. But NetSuite’s expansive library includes real-time reports, from revenue forecasting to consolidated parent and subsidiary reports. Thanks to NetSuite’s multicurrency feature, you can report using the local currency of the countries where subsidiaries are located.
NetSuite allows detailed drill-down and drill-across reporting for any record in the system with ease. NetSuite reports do away with static reporting, giving flexible views for reports from department, location, product line or any number of operational perspectives. With a few clicks, easily create a report with subsidiaries, departments, cost centers across the columns of a financial statement for deeper analysis.