What’s after QuickBooks? How SMBs are getting smarter

Small businesses understand that to stay competitive in a fast-paced world means changing with the times to keep customers happy. Above all else, migrating to the cloud has the greatest impact on how well businesses can scale, interact with their customers, communicate across teams, and keep costs down.

Much of what prevents businesses from evolving as they need to—ordering and processing hiccups, holes in reporting, the frustration associated with information silos—is a reliance on or a reluctance to leave behind the same standard business management systems they started out with, being limited by off-the-shelf features and being too dependent on IT.

By shaking off those old system demands, SMBs overcome the fear or anxiety of change and embrace all the ways new technologies can help them grow and improve. Today’s business management applications enable you to see exactly how your bottom line is affected every day.

There is life after QuickBooks. It’s fast, easy, and fully integrated.

And it looks like this:

Greater flexibility, lower costs, and more reliable information

Cloud computing has eclipsed buzzword status and is now in the mainstream, leaving the traditional way of working—desktop-based, standalone products—far behind. Today’s cloud services can encompass everything from software to infrastructure to entire platforms (SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS).

Keeping all the names straight might feel a bit overwhelming, but fortunately, soon these names won’t matter much. International Data Corporation (IDC) projects that by 2020, clouds will stop being referred to as ‘public’ and ‘private’ (and every other label we can think of) and will simply be the way business is done.

The cloud is fundamentally changing where and how people work. It’s making businesses more agile, scalable, and profitable in the process by enabling greater efficiency, lowering costs, and providing more reliable access to powerful tools. If you’re wary of security issues, understand that now even the most complex business processes can be managed easily and securely with the right service provider and applications.

Cloud + mobile + social = digital transformation

Less technologically mature businesses rely on separate, disconnected technologies to manage individual aspects of their operations. Manually managing various systems—bookkeeping, inventory systems, sales management systems—and having to log in to each one for a specific activity is time-consuming, resource-intensive, and inefficient.

In contrast, businesses that digitally connect their people, processes, customers, and data in the cloud (infrastructure, mobile, and social analytics) are able to gain a competitive advantage, become more adaptable, and increase financial stability.

Ultimately, leaving behind your entry-level software in favor of integrated cloud services is a key step in gaining a deeper, more holistic view of your entire business. You’ll be able to better anticipate change, act quickly, and drive growth—even in the face of a rapidly changing business environment and evolving customer demands.

Empowering SMBs with data

It’s no secret that knowledge is power. Businesses rely on information to make decisions, and the more complete that information is, the more informed your decisions will be. Integrated cloud technologies help businesses collect and analyze data in ways standalone products can’t, allowing you to identify crucial patterns and trends and more accurately predict behaviors.

Want better insight into customers’ quirks and tendencies? Hoping for greater operational efficiency? Eager to uncover a profitable niche in the market? Whatever your goal, data from both inside and outside of your business can be now be collected, measured, and accurately framed through the use of advanced data analytics.

When you know more—when built-in intelligence can quickly point to an answer rather than a guess—you can effectively strategize ways to maximize your customers’ satisfaction and sustain your business’s growth.

More mobility and connectivity

Employees need to be connected now more than ever—wherever they are, at any moment of the day, and on any device. By the same token, customers expect immediate access to information, whether they’re trying to resolve an issue or schedule an appointment—information can no longer be delivered via a follow-up phone call or traditional customer service chain of command.

Replacing your outdated desktop business management software with cloud-based services helps turn business theory into practice, enabling faster customer service and more productive interactions anywhere and at any time. How your business grows depends largely on the responsiveness offered by a consistent and cross-functional mobile experience, and now you can deliver it from anywhere, on any device.

Getting a fresh start

Upgrading from established products like QuickBooks can feel like saying goodbye to an old friend. It was there for you when your business began and loyally served you up to the point where you just needed to go in different directions.

It’s going to be okay. Microsoft’s modern, cloud-based Dynamics 365 for Financials is your SMB’s new best friend because it gives you the freedom to pursue bigger goals without limitations. Dynamics 365 will enable your business to:

  • Track every step of the sales cycle—from initial quote to final payment—without having to switch applications or leave your inbox, relying on the same Office tools you use every day
  • Acquire mass information through business-wide data analysis, uncovering trends and insights, customer behaviors, revenue sources, and under-performing products, and combining your data with public data for a detailed picture of the market and industry
  • Efficiently handle your business from the field, managing quotes, orders, and service on the go with full access to customer histories, inventories, and schedules at your fingertips
  • Get up and running easily with a one-point platform integrating all your processes and apps in a fast and intuitive way

The post-QuickBooks reality is a chance to begin anew. You’ll waste less time on non-essential tasks, make more strategically sound and informed decisions, all while growing your business at the pace and trajectory you’ve always wanted.

Learn more about Dynamics 365 for Financials and start your free trial today!