As a software product built on delivering a simple accounting-focused solution for small businesses, QuickBooks does laudable work. But start adding other processes—sales tax, inventory management, warehouse, and the like, and the solution no longer delivers answers. Just questions, spreadsheets, and workarounds.
Following our last blogs on the annoyances that come with a QuickBooks file size limit that holds your business back and the challenges that come from a desktop software in a remote world, we would today like to turn our attention to another challenge—or should we say commonality—of using QuickBooks: The use of workarounds.
Shadow IT and the Necessity of Workarounds in QuickBooks
As discussed in a recent article on the risks of Shadow IT, “Shadow IT is any IT service that is accessed without the oversight of company information technology teams. It can be in the form of spending approved by business departments or it can be accessed by individual employees without the knowledge of their supervisors.”
Why Employees Use Shadow IT
These services are often used either as a workaround, a simplification, or an ad hoc integration, and any way that you look at it, they present risks to both security and visibility ranging from unforeseen audits and penalties to risk of data loss, breaches, and more. Employees use shadow IT to overcome some kind of limitation or annoyance that comes from using a software product. Though not limited to QuickBooks, the product’s limitations are often a common reason that employees use it.
If it sounds scary, unvetted technology is one of the most common parts of QuickBooks. Everything from Excel Macros to side products might be considered shadow IT.
Another Tradeoff for QuickBooks Users
Yes, they may help you work around the limitations set in QuickBooks, but the problem comes in the lack of vetting from IT, the unnecessary permissions or access given to the workaround, or vulnerabilities in these workarounds that leave blind spots and openings for hackers.
Pair this with a lack of good user permission control, and one poorly vetted application could start running rampant through your storage, leaving you high and dry.
This is bad enough, but remember, if you’ve been paying attention to our series, you know that there’s a difference between business as usual and the current environment where security and product ability is already stretched thin.
Shadow IT and the Demonstrated Need for New Technology
That said, the use of shadow IT does provide one fringe ‘benefit’. It helps you understand how your employees work, demonstrates that your current software isn’t standing up to its promises, and points to the necessities that will be needed in any future solution. If your goal is to eliminate the need for shadow IT, a new solution can take you there.
Better yet, with many new solutions delivering a marketplace-based source for vetted and easy to set up applications, it’s much easier to overcome the dangers of shadow IT.
For example, the Acumatica Marketplace gives users an easy way to find the right add-ons or integrations for the specific needs of the business, taking the shadow out of shadow IT.
Secure, Easy to Use and Configured for You: Get to Know Acumatica
Growing businesses need to handle growing challenges—and QuickBooks is rarely built to handle these. Built on modularity and easy customization, Acumatica helps you get what your employees want and need.
Acumatica delivers a full-featured accounting suite that addresses the most complex requirements for companies of all sizes. Plus, it integrates with Project Accounting, Customer Resource Management (CRM), Manufacturing Management, and other product suites offered by Acumatica.
We invite you to learn more about your journey from entry level to the cloud by reading Seven Signs You Need ERP Software, 5 Benefits of ERP for Accounting and Financial Management, and How to Improve Efficiency with a New ERP Solution. Read to learn even more? Contact us for a free consultation.