Don't use Accounting to Create Quotes May 7, 2019
Reasons not to use accounting software to create quotes or estimates
If you currently use your Accounting software to create quotes (often referred to as estimates), you may already be aware of the limitations of using your Accounting software to create quotes.
Part Number and Inflexibility issues
In most accounting software, in order to create a quote for a part number, the part number must already exist in the accounting software. This is a problem for several reasons. Whenever you need to quote a part number that is not already in your accounting software, you will need to create a new entry for it including description, cost, price, GL accounts, etc - before you can use it in the quote. Not all quotes result in orders, so you will end up with a lot of part numbers in your accounting software that have never actually been sold. To make matters worse, many accounting packages do not allow you to delete items once they have been entered into the accounting software, so that part number that you have never used will be stuck in your accounting software forever.
Who is going to create these part numbers in the accounting software? Are all the salespeople in the company going to have the security rights to add part numbers to your accounting software? Of course, you could have your accounting person add these part numbers for your salespeople every time they create a new quote, but that would be a tremendous waste of your accountant's time.
Pricing and Security issues
Using accounting software to create quotes is for larger offices that have many sales people, poses even more challenges. First, requiring sales reps to have access to your accounting software raises many security related issues. Your accounting software should only be used by the people who are well trained in accounting and the use of your accounting software. Furthermore, once sales reps have access to the accounting software, it is possible for them to view information other than quotes such as the companies' finances. Lastly, accounting software licenses are typically more expensive than quoting software licenses.
If you have remote sales reps in the field with laptops, will you install a copy of your accounting software on each of their laptops and then somehow try to merge those quotes back with the master accounting installation in the office. Accounting software is not designed to do this. Accounting software does not have the ability to let the sales person create a quote on a laptop, and then send it back to the main office where it can be imported into the master installation in the office. QuoteWerks can do this.
Lack of specialized quoting features
Quoting software is more flexible and more powerful in many ways. Quoting software has richer content, pictures, spec sheets, supports more pricing methods, links to other software such as your contact manager, and more. It focuses more on the assembly of the quote with a Configurator, required items, price comparison features, price refreshing, links to external pricing data sources, etc. It is more flexible in that you can easily adjust profit margin, quote products on-the-fly without first creating them in the database. Quoting software gives you much more control over the look and feel of the quote that the customer receives. Quoting software has built-in automation for assembling the quote, additional literature, spec sheets, etc and then automatically emailing it. Quoting software also includes much more flexibility in your ability to create reports to retrieve information about your quoting and ordering. QuoteWerks stores it's data in an industry standard database format so that you can use any software to retrieve information from. Accounting software usually stores their data in proprietary database formats that only the accounting software can read. Not all accounting software packages can track commissions (since commission calculations are usually complex). There are more shortcomings to using accounting software to create quotes, but you get the idea...
Do any of these quoting difficulties sound familiar? QuoteWerks can overcome all of them!
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