Have You Outgrown QuickBooks?

Outgrown QuickBooks? Finding a Better Fit is Possible!

Your small company is growing and so is the need for a project based ERP system that will scale with your growth/business strategy. You may be saying to yourself, “If it is not broken, don’t fix it!” But there comes a time when it is advantageous to make a change from QuickBooks to a purpose-built ERP tool. Change is difficult, and it is human nature to avoid it, but at what cost? If you are wondering if you have outgrown QuickBooks, ask yourself, “do any of the 5 signs below apply to me?” If you answer yes to 3 or more it might be time.

5 Signs You May Have Outgrown QuickBooks

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Say No to Chaos!


As companies grow so do the number of spreadsheets required to prop up QuickBooks. Many have love-hate relationships with spreadsheets. They have become comfortable, like a pair of old jeans. They have taken you to where you are today, but they will not take you to the next level. Right now, you may be juggling and hand keying information into 3,4,5…10+ off book spreadsheets. Can you really rely on them for disciplines (resource planning, KPIs, cost calculations, compliance support, etc.) that need accuracy and precision? Not only are spreadsheets inefficient and error prone, they also prevent you from having consistent processes. The more spreadsheets you have, the more silos are created in the organization. Silos just mean that the right people do not have the right information at the right time to make sound business decisions.

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Unanet is one totally integrated system that will help you seamlessly run your business. Unanet's complete project based ERP solution includes Resource Requesting & Management, Project Management, Project Accounting, Invoicing and Revenue Recognition, Timesheet Management, Expense Management, Teamwork Collaboration, and Financials capabilities in a single software solution. This integrated set of capabilities delivers real-time performance management of your projects, people, and financials in one application, eliminating the need for reconciling data between different systems and disparate spreadsheets.


Disparate systems and lack of process also cause concern for meeting security requirements. If you are a Government Contractor you were required to have a security plan in place by December 31, 2017 to meet the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-171, “Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information in Nonfederal Information Systems and Organizations.” If you are not a Government Contractor, security of your data is still critical.


The Unanet team assures our customers that our hosted environment will provide the basis for compliance. We have stayed on the pulse of the requirement. Unanet recently passed a SOC 2 audit and our cloud provider has mapped the requirements for NIST SP 800-171 (and NIST SP 800—53 compliance, in the case of CDI stored in cloud systems).

Manual Billings

Manual workarounds and processes are error prone, time consuming, and will ultimately rob profit from the business. Cash is King and without it there is no payroll or money for investment. Trusting billings/cash to a manual process done in an excel spreadsheet will not scale as the business grows.


Unanet Project Billing provides Invoicing and Revenue Recognition functionality with robust support for Fixed Price, Time & Materials, and Cost Plus contracts. By automating the professional services “bid-to-bill” lifecycle, Unanet allows organizations to forecast and track revenue across different contract types, shorten invoice cycles, and provide authorized managers with real-time insight. Providing a single integrated system to manage the entire services bid-to-bill cycle allows for disparate standalone systems to be replaced, resulting in greater productivity, fewer errors, and lower costs.

G&A Cost is Growing

Your G&A costs are growing as your finance team is scrambling to reconcile, re-reconcile, assimilate, bill, account, and plan in spreadsheets and disparate systems. Your finance team is not analyzing, they are running around just trying to survive the chaos. Expenses are increasing to just handle the basics and your teams are becoming more and more frustrated.


Unanet provides complete Professional Services Automation (PSA) in one business management software solution. This integrated set of capabilities delivers real-time performance management of your projects, people, and financials in one system. Visual insight of resource demands, commitments, and capacity ensures managers have the information needed to make optimal decisions about your project portfolio, and to improve the performance of your professional services organization. Your existing accounting and finance team can handle the basics with ease and concentrate on providing insight/analysis to grow the business with existing staff, lowering costs.


Complying with regulations can be very scary if you don’t have faith in your financial data. Whether you are facing an internal audit, SOX, GAAP, or DCAA a reliable data is the backbone of your preparation. Auditors will want information, and they will want it in a certain format. Disparate systems, lack of processes, and untrained people make it hard to trust and deliver the information needed to be compliant. Scrambling to pull data together is costly and risky.


Unanet recognizes that the organizations we serve are obliged to follow the DCAA (Defense Contract Audit Agency) guidelines, Sarbanes Oxley (SOX), Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP), and others.

Tips for Selecting a New Project Based ERP Tool

Selecting the right tool to replace QuickBooks for your business is a critical decision. Generic ERP systems just won’t cut it if projects are the center of your world. Selecting the wrong tool can be very costly to implement and, worse, costly to maintain. Pick your new tool wisely as you will be together for a long time.

When picking and implementing a tool, make sure you can answer these questions:

  • Is the system you are considering truly project based?
  • What is the architecture of the software? Web-based? One database?
  • Is the company you are buying from customer centric?
  • Will the system require customizations?
  • Will the system meet the needs of the teams?
  • Will the teams save money and time from the proper use of the system?
  • What is the reputation of the software company you are dealing with?
  • What is the TRUE total cost of ownership (TCO)?

The most important tip is to pick a project-based ERP system that truly makes projects the center of the universe and makes the project lifecycle come alive in ONE tool—Plan, Perform, and Account. Real-time Analytics and KPIs should be natively available for all functions at the enterprise, portfolio, department, and project level.

To learn about more signs it's time to move on from your outdated system, download our whitepaper: "Have You Outgrown Your Existing ERP? Finding a Better Fit is Possible!"

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Kim Koster

Kim Koster

Kim is currently the Vice President of Product Marketing for Unanet. She concentrates on thought leadership and market positioning specifically in the areas of project management, accounting and government contracting.  She started her career working for Raytheon where she held multiple management positions such as the Javelin Joint Venture Controller and Product Line Business Manager. Her love of project management developed in the early years of her career and today still enjoys talking about it and providing direction on best practices. After 17 years at Raytheon she joined ATK where she held the positions of Director of Business Systems, EVM Focal Point, and Finance Director.  Over the years Kim led multiple large ERP system implementations. She has been a mentor for her organizations and has provided guidance to many project and executive teams. Kim holds a BBA in Finance from the University of North Texas.

"Unanet billing is so great. I don't know why anyone wouldn't use this!"- Jackie York Controller, Quallion
"We selected the Unanet PSA product suite because it works, is simple to administer, and has rich functionality."- Brian MacDonald Director of Information Systems L-3 Communications Corporation
"I love Unanet! It is great that you can run a report and easily see who is available, what projects a person is assigned to, and how many hours people are charging."- Michelle Graffin Controller, Orbital Technologies
"We initially used to use Unanet for our timesheets. Now we use it to rework our business. It's amazing. It saves us millions. It improves process and has changed the way we manage our business." Finance Manager, CB Richard Ellis
"Unanet enables us to plan staff  based on both their competency and existing commitments." - Jeff Kidwell CEO, Adayana