Can Microsoft compete in the SME market?
On the surface you might not put the two products together as Dynamics 365 Business Central is more than just an accounting package, however, many small businesses start with an accounting-only package and then add more solutions resulting in a higher monthly cost.
QuickBooks markets itself as a simple, cost-effective accounting solution for small and micro-companies. Having been around since 2011 (UK-specific version) it’s hard to find someone who has not used or at least heard of QuickBooks.
On the other hand, you have Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. Not as widely known as QuickBooks, it was first released in 2018 and is Microsoft’s enterprise resource planning system for small to medium-sized businesses.
Both solutions fit a wide variety of sectors and industries so let’s take a closer look at the positives and negatives for both.
Dynamics 365 Business Central’s Strengths
- Scalability: Business Central comes with close to 1000 more features than QuickBooks. At its core, you get Financials, Purchasing, Inventory, Operations, Warehousing and Projects and can quickly extend your solution by adding capabilities using pre-built apps or adding customisations.
- Customisation: Business Central runs where you need it, in the cloud or on-premises, with the same user experience no matter how you deploy. The mobile version gives you on-the-go access across Windows, Android, or IOS devices.
Dynamics 365 Business Central’s Weaknesses
- Initial investment: As Dynamics 365 Business Central has to be installed and set up by an accredited partner there is an initial set-up cost associated, however, when you compare monthly user subscription prices a D365 Business Central licence at £52.80/user/month compared to a QuickBooks Online Plus licence at £30/user/month there is not a great deal of difference when you consider the functionality chasm between the pair.
- Training: As a newer solution team members may have no prior experience with Business Central. However there are lots of free helpful resources online and as the solution is sold via 3rd party accredited partners each partner will have their own support offering and training materials on hand.
- Quick Deployment: QuickBooks can be run as a ‘single-tenant’ configuration, meaning you have the option to host the app on a private or public cloud. Furthermore, due to the age and popularity of the solution, there are lots of free support materials available online to help you with getting started.
- Low upfront costs: No installation costs and the very basic packages starting from £6 per month plus Payroll.
- Scalability: If you’re looking for a solution that can grow with your business and adapt to your changing needs QuickBooks doesn’t offer much flexibility. It comes with data and user limitations and is not suitable for those with robust inventory management needs.
- No personal support: QuickBooks has a central telephone support offering which for businesses with more complicated requirements may not be sufficient. This differs from Business Central which is provided by a certified Microsoft partner meaning you get personalised support from a team that can get to know your business.
Monpellier is a Microsoft accredited partner based in the North East and Cumbria, specialising in business solutions for the SME market. For more information regarding Dynamics 365 Business Central, a free functionality demo or a personalised quote please don’t hesitate to get in CONTACT.
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