NetSuite vs QuickBooks: Which Suits My Business The Best?


The accounting needs of a growing company can become tricker and more complex. Reliance on a robust accounting software system becomes increasingly vital under these circumstances. Such businesses can no longer rely on multiple spreadsheets or third-party access files with custom formulae. Two leading accounting products aim to solve the accounting challenges of small and mid-size businesses – QuickBooks by Intuit and NetSuite by Oracle.

However, each software has its differences, applications, and functionalities best suited for certain types of businesses and their needs. Our clients often contemplate switching their accounting software (for various business reasons). One common question asked is if they should convert NetSuite to QuickBooks or, in other cases, QuickBooks to NetSuite data conversions. We first try to understand the specific business case in either situation and recommend the best course of action. This article covers some common questions relating to NetSuite and QuickBooks, their comparative features and their uses.

What is the Difference Between NetSuite and QuickBooks?

First off, NetSuite is a CRM solution for mid-sized businesses. The NetSuite account structure supports processes beyond the accounting department, including eCommerce, ERP, HR, etc. The additional functionality also means that NetSuite is best suited for mid-market companies and is priced accordingly. As they say, you get what you pay for. 

On the other hand, QuickBooks evolved from accounting software that offers other essential functions like payroll and time-tracking within the financial accounting domain. QuickBooks is ideal for small to mid-sized businesses that do not have overtly complex accounting processes and workflows – this covers a large percentage of users.

How do NetSuite Features Compare to QuickBooks?

QuickBooks offers features that cater to most small businesses. Their Enterprise (QuickBooks Desktop) or Online Advanced editions incorporate additional functions to support mid-sized firms, franchises or multi-location businesses.

NetSuite is an out-of-the-box ERP and can quickly integrate with various departmental functions. NetSuite prides itself as the leading mid-market ERP as a QuickBooks enterprise alternative and has the backing of the leader in ERP and database technology – Oracle.

Both software supports financial processes, and this is the domain where it’s easier to make apple-to-apples comparisons between NetSuite and QuickBooks. 

Accounting ReportsAbility to create custom industry reports, and it offers a consolidated view of financial data.Advanced reports library with access to 75+ built-in performance indicators.
DashboardsSimple and easily configurable dashboard views essential for the day-to-day management of an SMB.Detailed, customizable dashboard with user access privileges. Requires some setup but can offer in-depth views across multiple data points.
General LedgerUses tags to categorize ledgers but has certain limits on tags. Sufficient for typical SMB usage.Multidimensional reporting removes the need for a complex static general ledger.  NetSuite builds a dynamic GL that info, processes and workflows at the transaction level. Ability to assign parent and subsidiary relations.
Accounts PayablePre-set controls for purchasing, approval workflow engine and user permissions.Similar approval workflow engine with advanced user permissioning, including remote, hybrid and onsite approvals.
Inventory ManagementThe online edition allows inventory uploads via Excel or sync with Amazon, Shopify, etc. It also integrates with 3rd-party apps like Fishbowl or Webgility to manage Inventory.Has an inventory management module in the ERP that offers a 360-degree view.
UsersUp to 40 usersUnlimited
PayrollQuickBooks offers a payroll module and an option to access Assisted Payroll, a dedicated bridge to a payroll expert.NetSuite has an advanced payroll management module. However, any assistance with payroll functions can be accessed via 3rd-party consultants.

Who Uses NetSuite and QuickBooks?

NetSuite ERP is ideal for manufacturing firms, companies with multiple subsidiaries, global business locations with an extensive inventory, or multi-currency. NetSuite offers an all-in-one solution to consolidate various sales, inventory, financial and asset data and provide a single source of information. However, there may be instances where a business is downgrading its IT infrastructure costs, shutting down subsidiaries or reducing cost overheads. It’s also possible that a company, having tested a full-fledged ERP, realizes they do not need a complex system to manage its accounting. Hence, several clients prefer to migrate from NetSuite to QuickBooks for their accounting data..

QuickBooks Online and Desktop products are designed to be affordable, user-friendly, and manage accounting and books as part of financial management within a business. The QuickBooks Enterprise and QuickBooks Online Advanced editions offer additional capabilities to manage larger companies, inventories and more complex charts of accounts. Most small to mid-sized businesses find QuickBooks fulfilling their day-to-day operations, including invoicing, billing, expense and time tracking, and payroll. However, a company can outgrow QuickBooks in terms of items within the database or the performance or complexity of the business. Businesses may consider QuickBooks to NetSuite accounting data migration at such a stage.

When is the Right Time to Switch from NetSuite to QuickBooks or Vice-versa?

Business analysis and estimation of operating costs give a fair picture of the ROI from each IT investment. But the most common indicators for considering a switch between platforms are:

  1. Reduced operational need
  2. High IT overheads
  3. Limited access to consultants who support the platform
  4. End of life or end of support by software provider
  5. Reduced performance, slower output or software crashes
  6. Running out of space, items or user licenses

NetSuite ERP System Vs QuickBooks – Pros & Cons


Comprehensive one-stop ERP system suited for small enterprises and scalable.
Convoluted implementation process.Allows multiple users, including the company accountant.Difficult to unify simple tasks for everyday business activities
The business intelligence and reporting features with a tailored dashboard.Documentation and manuals proved challenging to decipher.Enables invoicing and faster payments.Doesn’t have an ‘undo’ option and is not very intuitive in making corrections.
Offers 24/7 customer support.
Easy to add new companies by expanding the use of the software with the business growth.
Services like assisted payroll (available with QuickBooks) are offered by third-party providers that often add to costs.Contains a set of add-ons and custom report options for a faster and streamlined workflow.Comes with a longer learning curve.
QuickBooks doesn’t offer 24/7 telephonic support. Customers need to book a call in advance.
It is cloud-based and integrates with many 3rd party systems. NetSuite offers 24/7 phone support whileHelps with self-employed accounting and categorization of purchases.Categorizing expenses, separating transactions & invoices, and marking revenue/returns can get messy if logged by untrained persons. Offers easy access to bookkeepers or accountants, known as Pro Advisors.
Offers Marketing Automation, CRM, inventory, Point of Sale & and Accounting, among others.Requires customization to adapt to individual business processes that can add to the capital cost of implementation.The integration with banking transactions makes daily transactions in real-time easier. Covers most financial, inventory, time and payroll functions.Every edition comes with a limit on users ( up to 40) and a cap on the number of items the software can hold (about 14,500). It becomes crucial to condense the installation with help from third-party service providers or upgrades.

Choosing The Right Accounting Software

Small to mid-sized businesses find QuickBooks products sufficient for their accounting and financial operations. However, as the business grows complex and other variables like multi-location, subsidiaries, etc., feature in the operations, a more extensive evolved ERP may be required. Depending on the budgets and availability of resources, a business may consider upgrading from QuickBooks to NetSuite and moving their accounting data. 

Larger businesses that use NetSuite for accounting may find that their operations do not require a comprehensive ERP and are under-utilizing their investment. Some companies struggle to find the right resources to support their ERP infrastructure or fund the increasing maintenance cost. In such situations, it is prudent for a business to consider moving from NetSuite to QuickBooks – be it QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise or QuickBooks Online Advanced, as defined by their business needs.

About SaaS
SaaS Direct is a multi-award-winning official QuickBooks Service Provider (QSP) in the US and Canada. A leader in data conversions with 20+ years of experience with clients across North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe & the Middle East. We move data error-free with zero downtime across 50+ major accounting systems and ERP. Talk to us regarding your data conversion needs for a session of expert advice.