We’ve talked to loads of small and large distilleries alike. A large majority of those distilleries said they were running QuickBooks – and for good reason. QuickBooks is easy to use, it’s cheap, and the interface is fantastic with all those pretty buttons that inspire a sense of accomplishment when you click them. QuickBooks is by far one of the best off-the-shelf bookkeeping software systems available for small businesses and personal finance. So it’ll work perfect for a distillery too, right? Not so fast.
QuickBooks is perfect if you’re a small retail store selling hats and t-shirts or even a “simple” manufacturing business assembling widgets. The problem is that distilleries manufacture items classified under food and beverages, which brings a whole other lot of tractability complications and accountability issues. Even QuickBooks Manufacturing is insufficient for what you need to be tracking throughout all the different production processes.
Before you continue down the rabbit hole with QuickBooks, there are some things you should know about bookkeeping software. Here are our top five reasons why QuickBooks is a bad long-term software option for growing artisan distilleries:
- Prone to Data Corruption:
Believe it or not, your QuickBooks data is often susceptible and prone to frequent data corruption. If your QuickBooks data file is large or you have multiple users in QuickBooks simultaneously, QuickBooks is not going to be able to keep up with all the read and write requests to your database. The end result is a corrupted file. Not everyone will encounter the unfortunate data corruption scenario, but it’s not as rare as you might think.
- Lack of Granular Tracking
What happens when your SKU count grows exponentially? QuickBooks was not designed for your business if your product has ingredients, packaging, or production processes. OrchestratedSPIRITS traceability means that data is being populated as you go about your daily activities in the system.
- Not GAAP compliant
GAAP stands for Generally Accepted Accounting Principles They are the standards, conventions, and rules that accountants follow in recording, summarizing, and preparing financial statements. It doesn’t matter if you have the most trust-worthy employees managing your distillery’s books – QuickBooks is susceptible to embezzlement and misrepresentation of financial documents.
It’s way too easy to manipulate financials using QuickBooks. For example, anyone with access to your books can issue company checks and delete any record of the transaction. Although QuickBooks has built-in measures to record transaction history to prevent this from happening, these registries can be purged so there’s absolutely no paper trail. It’s perhaps one of QuickBooks’ dirty little secrets (so don’t tell anybody). Because OrchestratedSPIRITS’ accounting is built on the GAAP-compliant SAP Business One platform, there’s no messing around. Everything you do leaves a paper trail, which is a good thing if you ever get audited.
- Less Desirable for Investors
If you ever plan on selling your distillery in the future, you’re going to need back dated financial reports from day 1. Investors probably won’t buy a business if there’s no financial paper trail for every penny spent. It’s almost like buying a used car with no title or previous history – no record, no sale. QuickBooks can keep records but not the granular details that mean the most to the party interested in buying your distillery.
- Not Designed for Distilleries
A square peg will probably fit in a round hole if you apply enough force. Good luck getting that peg out of there if you need it. In other words, if you have QuickBooks integrated and daisy chained with multiple systems together with your elaborate spreadsheets, something is going to go wrong. That is Murphy’s Law for you. QuickBooks was not designed for batch manufacturing, variance production or anything involving a multi-process bill of materials (BOM).
Save yourself the trouble by starting out with the right accounting and production solution from day one. If you’ve already been in operation for some time, it’s best to migrate to distillery-specific software now before it becomes a time-consuming migration process with all the data you’ve accumulated over the years.
One Distillery, One Software
OrchestratedSPIRITS is an all-in-one solution designed to replace QuickBooks with its own GAAP-compliant accounting platform at the core. Accounting transactions are automated in the background as distilling processes occur, so there’s no dual-entry into multiple systems. Anything else that promises to “integrate” with your current QuickBooks system, or other off-the-shelf bookkeeping software, is just a temporary Band-Aid on a serious problem.
Watch the quick accounting demo below to learn how OrchestratedSPIRITS is a distillery management software solution that will grow with you throughout the entirety of your business.