Unlike Netsuite or SAP, Quickbooks isn’t a true competitor to Microsoft Dynamics 365.
Sure, both platforms help SMBs handle basic accounting tasks, beyond that sliver of overlap, the two have little in common.
While Dynamics 365 covers the entire business, Quickbooks focuses solely on accounting, forcing users to rely on 3rd-party integrations for full coverage.
As a result, Quickbooks users bump up against many of the same challenges that come with other specialized tools like Dynamics SL or GP.
In this article, we’ll compare Dynamics 365 and Quickbooks. We’ll look at key features, target use cases, and the reasons why separation between apps means big trouble for growing SMBs.
Quickbooks vs. Dynamics 365: Key Features & Capabilities
Dynamics 365 is an all-in-one platform that handles much more than accounting.
In fact, many organizations migrate to Dynamics 365 BC when Quickbooks no longer serves their needs. Or, in some cases, when it becomes a barrier to growth and transformation.
See, D365 centralizes all data sources, apps, and business processes–and unifies them under a common data model.
Users gain access to a collection of flexible, customizable modules–each covering a different part of the business. Think–finance, sales, HR, and so on. But–all those units sync updates across the entire system and share data in real-time.
Dynamics 365 Business Central and Quickbooks cover a lot of the same financial features, including:
- General ledger
- Accounts payable
- Accounts receivable
- Fixed assets
- Financial reporting
- Purchasing & receiving
Quickbooks does include some features that don’t come standard with BC, like end-to-end time-tracking, payroll processing, and benefits management.
If you’re considering a QB to D365 migration, you may need to invest in ISVs or add-ons to cover any non-standard features you rely on.
You might add Dynamics Human Resources to your plan to handle benefits, compensation, and training programs.
If you need time-tracking and project accounting, you might look toward something like our Advanced Projects for Business Central to get more from BC’s standard feature lineup.
And—if you need a solution for processing payroll, AppSource has something like 300 options to choose from. What’s more, all of these “extras” integrate seamlessly with all Microsoft products.
Extensibility & Scalability
Again, Quickbooks only covers accounting (and some accounting-adjacent HR tasks) and Dynamics 365 covers the entire business.
Quickbooks can be great for freelancers or tiny companies on a tight budget. But it’s not an ideal long-term solution unless your big-picture plan is maintaining the status quo.
Let’s say you’re a freelance graphic designer. Chances are, you don’t need advanced accounting tools because you’re billing a handful of clients for simple projects.
In that case, Quickbooks is an easy, affordable solution for invoicing, tracking expenses, and budgeting.
But, were you to grow that business into something bigger, you’re adding more moving parts into the mix, including:
- New products, services, and business models
- Employees and everything that comes with the territory. Think–payroll, benefits, unemployment insurance
- New markets and customer segments
For a closer look at how Quickbooks hinders growth, check out this case study featuring accounting firm, Berkowitz Pollack Brant.
Visibility & Access to Actionable Insights
Now that the cloud is ubiquitous, fragmented solutions no longer cut it.
Even if you’ve curated a “best-in-breed” stack, you’ll still face issues because of the separation, as well as compatibility issues between each tool.
According to Splunk’s 2021 State of Observability report, 86% of respondents say tech issues like legacy tools and fragmentation prevent them from achieving 360-degree visibility.
And it’s not just the tools that are the problem— it’s how they’re configured. 56% of participants said challenges related to system complexity were holding them back. Think—too many data sources, silos, and trying to coordinate workflows across distributed networks.
Quickbooks is cloud-based and it does include some financial reporting tools. But–its lack of embedded intelligence, predictive modeling, and real-time data syncing with core business functions limit your ability to use data to improve business outcomes.
There’s also the fact that financial management tasks are siloed off from the rest of the business. So, insights are limited—and only tell pieces of the story—and may not be accurate or relevant.
Another problem is, a lot of accounting activity happens outside of Quickbooks—in spreadsheets, custom apps, or shadow IT. As a result, companies lose critical data, face regulatory non-compliance, use bad data to make decisions, or experience a data breach.
Dynamics 365 offers total visibility. Its unified ecosystem, embedded AI/ML, and Power Platform integration enable users to make financial decisions—in context. They can build automations that streamline tasks, maintain compliance, and protect sensitive data.
There’s way more where that came from. But the point is, you can only take advantage of these capabilities if your entire business operates on one unified platform.
Integrations & Customizations
Quickbooks is hugely popular, in part because it integrates nearly every business app on the market in a matter of clicks.
But—because the platform only covers accounting, Quickbooks users will always rely on 3rd-party apps.
Those easy integrations enabled orgs to tack on new capabilities—as needed—essentially building out their tech stack on an ad-hoc basis.
This approach can work okay—for a while. But as transaction volumes increase and you’re managing more people, projects, and revenue streams, small issues become serious problems. Think process inefficiencies, making decisions based on bad data, poor visibility, and so on. Again, it all points back to fragmentation.
Dynamics 365 also supports a wide range of third-party integrations–through AppSource.
But, those 3rd-party apps, like the ones within the Microsoft universe—are built on a common data model. Which means, you’re not dealing with compatibility issues, complex configurations, or middleware when you need access to non-standard features.
Both Quickbooks and Microsoft Dynamics 365 are cloud-based SaaS apps that charge users a monthly subscription fee. Quickbooks does still offer some on-prem options–but not at the entry-level.
Dynamics 365 charges per seat, while QB plans provide access to a certain number of users, based on pricing tier. For example, the Essentials plan supports up to three users, while the Plus supports up to five.
Keep in mind that the difference in monthly costs only represents one part of the bigger picture. Quickbooks users will need multiple subscriptions to support their business–and may also need to invest in customizations/middleware/ISV solutions to make disparate apps function as one system.
D365, on the other hand, eliminates the need to pay for multiple subscriptions and custom jobs. Integrations and add-ons will increase your monthly overhead–but you only “need” them if they add value to your business.
Both platforms have a great reputation and integrate easily with just about any app or platform you use to run your business.
But the big difference between Quickbooks and D365 is that they support very different growth stages.
Quickbooks is great for getting a small business up and running or supporting a one-person freelance operation. But at a certain point, you’ll face barriers caused by system fragmentation.
When financial data is siloed off from the rest of the business, critical decisions based on a false reality.
Every business function links back to the bottom line: inventory planning, resource allocation, the marketing strategy, sales quotas, your ability to pay employees and vendors on-time.
Velosio experts can help you migrate from Quickbooks to D365, integrate financials with the rest of the business, streamline processes, etc.
Contact us today to learn more about our process and services.