Microsoft Dynamics VS Quickbooks – Who Wins the Battle?

On several occasions, there have been questions regarding Microsoft Dynamics VS Quickbooks, and whether one is better than the other when it comes to delivery of services. Well, choosing an accounting system for your business can be a daunting task. However, making the right decision will ensure that you reap the benefits of your decision time and again. Make the wrong choice and end up with a system that will lead to a loss in productivity over an inflexible platform. Many people often request for a comparison to be done between Microsoft Dynamics vs Quickbooks Enterprise because they have a difficult time justifying the cost difference or so.

Both applications are robust packages with significantly different price tags. Below are some of the things to consider before making your final choice, lest you end up regretting your decision or worse – make significant losses.

Microsoft Dynamics VS Quickbooks

1.Period based or Date Drive Software?

Is the software period-based or date-driven? Well, some software allows to associate more than one date with a particular transaction; a document date besides a posting date. However, other software is date driven, which means the document date controls to the period the document posts in the General Ledger (GL).

With the former, the transactions posts are controlled by the posting date regarding what period to post to. A setup screen defines periods, with each period consisting of a range of dates. As such, the document date helps in calculating the age of the document. To that effect, Microsoft Dynamics provides two dates for every transaction while Quickbooks is strictly based on a single date. Why does this matter? Well, this is important if you need flexibility in the posting date and document date, with flexibility in period definitions.

2. The Database Management System (DBMS) that the System Uses

While Microsoft Dynamics is built on Microsoft SQL DBMS, Quickbooks is based on a proprietary and locked down version of Sybase. Why is this important? For SQL developers or those who like to make Query calls to a database, they will require a third party tool such as QODBC to access the data. In addition, many industry standard report writers are made for SQL Databases. On the other hand, Quickbooks Enterprise requires some level of creativity to access the data, as is it not as straight forward.

3. Software Capable of Handling Large Datasets

Apparently, Microsoft SQL handles data with so much efficiency because Microsoft Dynamics has repeatedly been tested with extremely huge datasets consisting of millions of records while at the same time hundreds of thousands of transactions are being processed by multiple users. On the other hand, Quickbooks has limits regarding the number of master records processed and the database size. If you process several transactions with multiple users, then you should consider a database that is capable of handling large datasets.

4. Annual Applicable Enhancement Fees

Industry standards today demand that software companies charge clients annual enhancement fees, including support fees for their software. Usually, this fee is a percentage of the software’s retail price, giving the owner access to updates, feature releases, and service packs. The renewal option is optional. But you need to check with the manufacturer on any penalties that may have to be assessed if your plan lapses.

In analyzing Microsoft Dynamics vs Quickbooks fees, you will realize that Microsoft Dynamics comes with an annual enhancement fee of between 16 and 25% of the retail price of the software. However, the 16% assessment excludes a support component while the 25% includes an unlimited support component. The Full Service Plan of Intuit, developers of Quickbooks, is a flat fee and it depends on the number of users. All Full Service Plans normally include on-line backup and other on-line benefits and unlimited phone support.

Software costs will usually form the smallest of your software solution investment. Implementation costs, maintenance and on-going support and training usually form the largest. Therefore, it helps to consider the on-going fees (year 2 onwards).

5. Scalability to Meet Increasing Demands and Improve Efficiency and Effectiveness

Microsoft Dynamics GP allows business enterprises to easily scale up to meet rising demands while at the same time improving efficiency and effectiveness across the whole organization. While a majority of business enterprises starts out using Quickbooks Enterprise or other entry-level accounting/ business management software, some of them discover that as they grow and increase in sophistication, these applications fail to scale as required. At times, they experience the limitations of such software, which in many cases lack the robust accounting/ business management functionality required to meet growing needs and expanding goals.

Microsoft Dynamics, however, easily scale to the growing organization’s needs. Microsoft Dynamics also makes it easier to gain insight into the critical aspects of your business and improve efficiency across the entire organization. In addition, it has a proven innovative platform for constant growth; therefore, it is not surprising that many expanding businesses have found it worthwhile to switch to Microsoft Dynamics. Unlike limited accounting and business solutions software, Microsoft Dynamics GP can help an entire organization – right from the front office to the shipping and loading dock, from the typical salesperson working remotely to the high-tech data-crunching accountant. This business application helps by providing a simple yet powerful way to manage finances as they grow in complexity – a concept that helps to ensure compliance and minimized risk.

Conclusion 

Apart from the above mentioned, several other areas are handled differently by the two packages. Before making your final choice, you may want to consider factors such as features and capabilities of the software too. Some areas that may cause problems with off the shelf software include pricing and commissions, and even inventory valuation. While each company has their accepted way of handling each of these issues, both Intuit, the developers of Quickbooks, and Microsoft have their own extensive network of third party software developers that have managed to create integrated software solutions to address the various shortcomings in the base system. Remember that all these options should be considered when looking at Microsoft Dynamics VS Quickbooks before you make the final decision.

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Michael Taylor
Michael is the Lead Author & Editor of DynaMe. DynaMe is a blog focused on cloud based Microsoft Dynamics.
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