Whether you are just starting out or well established in your business, choosing the right accounting software can be difficult. It’s important to consider your current needs, as well as your long-term goals and strategies for growth.
We compare the key features of NetSuite and QuickBooks to help you determine which accounting solution might be best for your company.
NetSuite is a cloud business software offering accounting solutions, enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, and ecommerce capabilities. Since its founding in 1998, NetSuite’s wide range of integrated offerings has made it an industry leader for medium to large-scale companies.
NetSuite’s customizable and expandable features make it a sensible choice for growing companies. NetSuite ERP offers business solutions that go beyond regular accounting software including order management, inventory management, supply chain management, procurement, and more. Real-time reporting aids decision-making and financial planning.
- Integrated business suite
- Ability to host 1000+ users
- Mutli-currency and multi-subsidiary abilities
- Complex setup
QuickBooks has been the leading small business bookkeeping software since its origin in 1998. The company has a number of products on the market that could be suitable for freelancers, as well as small to medium-sized businesses.
QuickBooks’ easy set-up and low price make it a great option for start-ups, as well as growing companies. Although there are limitations in the business system integrations available, QuickBooks offers a broad range of financial services including accounts receivable and accounts payable, inventory, invoice management, tax calculation, and much more.
QuickBooks Enterprise, which we will focus on in this comparison, is the most comprehensive product QuickBooks offers. It is one of their desktop products, but it is available with hosting, as well. While not quite as all-encompassing as an ERP solution, it does go a bit beyond a regular bookkeeping software, which makes it very on par with NetSuite in many ways.
- Ease of use and easy setup
- Several third-party applications available
- Extensive financial reporting
- Limited number of users
- Lack of business system integrations
We have outlined some of the most important features that NetSuite and QuickBooks share and identified the software that performs better or offers more in each category. We analyzed price, cloud storage, multi-user access, financial reporting and planning, accounts receivable and accounts payable, payroll, inventory, fixed asset management, and consolidated reporting.
Please note for the purpose of comparison, we have analyzed the features of QuickBooks Enterprise specifically because it is the most robust product offered by the company. For freelancers and small businesses with a shallow growth ceiling, please consider the other products offered by QuickBooks, such as Self-Employed, Simple Start, Essentials, Plus, or Advanced.
Both NetSuite and QuickBooks Enterprise have a number of pricing options based on the specific product purchased. However, NetSuite’s base license costs $999/month plus $99 per user/month. You can speak with a NetSuite representative to get a more exact quote, as well. QuickBooks Enterprise with hosting starts at $145/month.
The clear winner here solely based on price is QuickBooks. You will need to consider all of your business needs, but QuickBooks Enterprise is a great option for companies that require an affordable accounting solution. However, keep in mind your growth potential and the future expenses you may need to incur to transition your accounting software.
QuickBooks Enterprise is available both in desktop and cloud-based form. By paying an additional $527/year, you can purchase the basic QuickBooks Enterprise product with hosting. NetSuite is an exclusively cloud-based platform no matter the edition selected.
Although both companies offer cloud capabilities, NetSuite comes out on top since internet hosting is always guaranteed. Remote work is becoming the way of the world. It’s important that employees can work from anywhere nowadays and having this option lends itself to more company growth without geographical restrictions.
Both NetSuite and QuickBooks allow for multi-user access. While NetSuite allows 1000+ users, QuickBooks Enterprise comes standard with up to 10 users, but an additional 40-user license can be purchased.
NetSuite and QuickBooks offer several predefined roles that you can select from including view-only access. You are also able to create custom roles with specific access and restrictions using either software.
NetSuite’s ability to host that many more users than QuickBooks makes it an attractive choice especially for growing companies. Because NetSuite has many more features and business system integrations, there are also a greater number of predefined roles to choose from. Although additional users come at a cost, NetSuite gives you a lot more room for growth.
Financial Reporting and Planning
NetSuite Financial Planning and QuickBooks Advanced Reporting offer reporting features that aid in reviewing performance, analyzing data, and forecasting.
Financial Planning in NetSuite makes building custom reports to analyze key metrics easy. Other features include multi-currency support, simple model administration, easy NetSuite data integration, and multi-system integration support.
QuickBooks Advanced Reporting permits greater clarity over your data with reporting such as Sales Profitability by Customer Dashboard, Paid Invoices by Sales Rep, Sales by Item Forecasting, Inventory Stock by Item, and much more. QuickBooks groups together reports that will be especially helpful for your specific industry.
Although QuickBooks simplifies financial planning with its ready-made reports, NetSuite’s buildable and customizable features enable you to dive much deeper into your data. With NetSuite, you can integrate actuals with forecasted and budgeted data for better analysis. You can also consolidate data from multiple transaction system sources enabling greater visibility.
Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable
NetSuite and QuickBooks allow you to manage both your A/R and A/P processes. You can create and customize A/R and A/P aging reports using both accounting solutions, which allows you to keep track of coming due or overdue customer invoices, as well as bills owed. Invoices can also be customized with your company logo using either software.
Both NetSuite and QuickBooks can handle most invoicing and billing needs as this is a pretty basic function of any accounting solution. You cannot go wrong with either software’s A/R and A/P functionality.
NetSuite and QuickBooks Enterprise offer payroll management, which helps to streamline time tracking, paychecks, and tax filings.
NetSuite’s Human Capital Management system includes a Time-Off Management module, allows employees to easily connect with HR information, offers assistance with multi-state employees, and much more.
With QuickBooks Enterprise, you have the option to select basic, enhanced, or assisted payroll depending on your plan. QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll lets you write unlimited checks, use direct deposit for free, file payroll taxes, and create W-2s. With Assisted Payroll, QuickBooks files and pays taxes for you.
Although NetSuite’s payroll system is robust, the option to select Assisted Payroll with QuickBooks makes it a better choice especially for small to mid-size companies. Freeing up some administrative tasks like filing taxes may be a huge relief for employers, all while avoiding costly tax penalties.
NetSuite’s inventory management system offers cost savings and cash flow optimization through its automated processes. Features, such as automatic replenishment, inventory count, traceability of products from purchase order to delivery, and multi-location inventory tracking, give you a clear picture of stock needs across your entire organization.
QuickBooks Advanced Inventory also offers powerful inventory management tools like customizable inventory reports, multi-location stock tracing, mobile barcode scanning, cycle count, streamlined order fulfillment, real-time ordering, and prioritized picking.
Inventory management is a basic, but extremely important, requirement for many businesses, and NetSuite and QuickBooks have this process down pat. Each software offers you great visibility, cost savings, and efficiencies through their many optimization tools and reports.
Fixed Asset Management
Both NetSuite and QuickBooks Enterprise have the ability to manage your fixed assets. You can record fixed asset purchases, assign useful lives, run depreciation, and dispose of assets using either software. You can choose from several depreciation methods and access predefined and customizable asset reports using both software solutions.
NetSuite also allows you to create and use custom depreciation methods when needed. In addition, you can run a waterfall schedule in NetSuite, which shows you all future monthly depreciation for all of your assets. NetSuite offers more overall flexibility and visibility within its Fixed Asset Module, which ultimately lends itself to better planning and forecasting.
If you have multiple subsidiaries, consolidated reporting is essential for getting a clear view of the financial health of your parent company.
With NetSuite, creating consolidated statements is very easy with almost any report. A consolidated view is set up just like another entity within the software making it quick and simple to just click on that option when running a report and view your combined reporting.
QuickBooks Enterprise is the only edition of the software that offers consolidated reporting without the need for a third-party program. With QuickBooks Enterprise, consolidated reporting is a feature separate from normal reporting and can be accessed through the reports menu.
Combining reports from multiple entities is a much more manual process with QuickBooks. You must select the reports for combining and headings, naming conventions, etc. must match up exactly in order for consolidation to work.
NetSuite’s consolidation process is much simpler and limits the possibility for user error. You are also limited to which reports you can consolidate with QuickBooks Enterprise, whereas almost any report can be aggregated across all entities with NetSuite with the click of a button.
QuickBooks Standout Features
- Ease of Setup: Because of the mere fact that NetSuite is a more inclusive software system than QuickBooks, the latter is much easier to get up and running. According to a G2 survey, on average, QuickBooks Enterprise takes 1.3 months to fully implement, while NetSuite takes 5.3 months.
- Ease of Use: With so many more features and modules, NetSuite’s display can be a bit overwhelming and lend itself to user confusion. QuickBooks offers a much more simplified and intuitive home screen. Again, through a G2 survey, we see that QuickBooks Enterprise rates higher among users for ease of use.
- Return on Investment: As was mentioned above, QuickBooks comes at a significantly lower cost than NetSuite. Return on investment is gaged to take about 12 months with QuickBooks, while NetSuite customers experience a ROI in about 27 months.
- Many Options: Although we mostly focused on QuickBooks Enterprise, the company has many different products and product tiers that you can choose from. QuickBooks Online is web-based and is available in three different levels. QuickBooks Desktop is also available in three different levels, and hosting can be purchased with each of them.
NetSuite Standout Features
- ERP: Unlike QuickBooks, NetSuite is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, which integrates many business functions and processes in one system. Key business areas that NetSuite manages include financial reporting, revenue reporting, inventory control, order management, billing, e-commerce, and CRM.
All of these processes are streamlined into one software, where you can produce interactive and analytical data that gives you visibility across your entire business.
There is less of a need for you to integrate third-party software to manage your business processes.
- CRM: A very important integration that comes standard with any level of NetSuite software purchased is the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) feature. NetSuite’s CRM system gives you access to customer service management, marketing automation, partner relationship management, and Sales Force automation.
The CRM software manages your sales all the way from lead to post-fulfillment aiming to maintain healthy customer relationships, as well as provide continuous support that may result in upselling and cross-selling.
So Which Accounting Software Should You Use?
- Use NetSuite if:
- You are a growing small to medium-sized business that foresees needing access for more users than the maximum 40 allowed with QuickBooks.
- You want a solution that not only handles your financial management needs, but also most of your core business processes and functions.
- You want to limit the need for third-party applications and integrations.
Check out NetSuite’s various options if you believe this could be the right business solution for you.
- Use QuickBooks if:
- You are a new and/or small business that does not plan on hiring many employees.
- You want a simple accounting solution that does not require a lot of effort or time to setup.
- You want an affordable accounting software.
Browse the many QuickBooks products and find the right fit for your business.