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Why QuickBooks/Excel is not the best choice for importers
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Why QuickBooks/Excel is not the best choice for importers

QuickBooks has over 3 Million customers so Intuit is doing a lot of things right.  The QuickBooks software is generally considered the easiest accounting software to learn and use.  In addition to having an intuitive user interface, the elegant simplicity of the software itself makes it an easy choice for any new company starting out.

The positive attributes of the software is also what works against it for most businesses as they grow and become more complex.  As a result, many companies start supplementing the shortcomings of QuickBooks with Excel spreadsheets.  This poses a significant danger to the business particularly if each employee is managing their own spreadsheets because a lack of a centralized database is one of the most significant efficiency drains on a growing company.   The typical importing company will be managing multiple separate Excel spreadsheets independent of QuickBooks including:


  • Spreadsheet to estimate landed costing and calculate sale price for quoting customer
  • Spreadsheet for all shipments coming in, status on this shipments, what is in the containers, what customer the goods are allocated to, ETD, ETA, FDA holds, Customs Inspections, etc.  These can also get quite colorful
  • Spreadsheet to manage inventory, sometimes with multiple worksheets for each warehouse
  • Spreadsheet to keep track of customer inquiries and sample requests
  • Spreadsheet to manage commissions
  • Spreadsheet to manage customer deliveries


You can see that any gains that the company is seeing by using simple accounting software, quickly disappear as they wrangle with all the complications that grow exponentially every time someone creates a  new spreadsheet to manage something else.  The problem becomes:

  • No one is sharing the same information so time is wasted sending email or calling between departments asking people to look up information on their spreadsheets
  • Time is wasted entering the same information in QuickBooks and the series of spreadsheets
  • Most importantly, the problems that arise when conflicting information is entered in the multiple systems

It is usually this point in the growth cycle when companies start to look for alternative software solutions.  For a business that imports/exports and distributes products this is a good time to consider using VISCO.  VISCO will serve as a centralized database to manage all of the order processing, shipping, inventory, deliveries, document generation, and costing.  Everyone in the company then has access to this information (permissions can be set for each user) and its only entered once.   Then the accounting information gets posted into QuickBooks.  This allows you to continue to benefit from the simplicity of the QuickBooks accounting software, while also benefiting from a system designed specifically for your business.

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