Whether you’re running a brick-and-mortar store, or an e-commerce store, you need a robust accounting package that’s up to standard. Two of the best ones people often consider for the task are QuickBooks and FreshBooks. But are they any good for retail businesses dealing with stock/inventory?

In this article, we look more closely at this side of the equation.

Do You Work Freelance & Operate an Online Store as a Side Hustle?

It may seem like an odd question to start with but bear with us.

You see, many freelancers find that FreshBooks is ideal for their purposes. They only have small online operations and deal with limited stock. Therefore, they can handle that with FreshBooks but also track their hours through the app too.

However, when not freelancing, QuickBooks should be taken more seriously because there are some advantages when getting more involved on the retail side.

Retail as the Sole Focus

For retailers that handle in-person sales, and perhaps online sales too, stock levels must be maintained. They will need to know when to reorder supplies, and tie it all together neatly to avoid stock level management difficulties. QuickBooks takes this all in its stride.

Certainly, it will take longer to learn every aspect of this software, but the upside is that it can be used to cover many parts of the retail equation and avoid needing to use a large collection of software solutions.

For example, there’s the QuickBooks Point of Sale that handles in-person transactions without needing separate software for this purpose and needing to transfer sales between systems. The software will handle all the complex invoicing and financial management needs – it’s often preferred by U.S.-based accountants for this reason.

How Fast Can You Grow?

Do you have ambitions to turn a single retail store into a multi-store chain that will eventually stretch across the country?

If that’s the case, then it’s a good idea to think bigger. Is it possible to begin with FreshBooks, enjoy its simpler interface and more basic features, and then switch to QuickBooks later? Sure, but it will be a huge headache at a time when you’re growing quickly and the last thing you need is one more thing to deal with!

On the flip side, taking on a more complex accounting package today will require a willingness to dig in and learn enough to make it usable for your team. Yet once you’re over this hump, future growth plans are well within the current capabilities of the system. That way, you skip the unpleasant late decision to switch accounting system because of failing to plan far enough ahead.

Data Management

Managing customer information and transactional data becomes more complicated as your retail business grows in transaction volume and size. From this perspective, QuickBooks will find greater use from an analytics perspective because it collects more information. However, this will only get you so far.

When you’re using several different systems for Point of Sale, online transactions, and more, then you’ll need a way to tie this all together. A tool like PieSync allows you to do just that. The link provides more information on the comparison of QuickBooks to FreshBooks, but while on their site, look the PieSync tool over too. It’s very handy when dealing with multiple systems and needing to share data between them efficiently.

When choosing an accounting package, if it wasn’t clear about the importance of selecting one that supports retail businesses, then it should be now. It’s a clear point of distinction when making this decision.