QuickBooks vs Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

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QuickBooks and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV are both accounting software options for enterprises. They can all provide the fundamental accounting capabilities that a small firm requires. Beyond that, the two approaches are diametrically opposed.

Overall, QuickBooks is better suited to tiny and micro enterprises, whereas Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV is better suited to the more complicated needs of developing small and mid-size organisations. Many firms begin with QuickBooks and subsequently migrate to Business Central / Dynamics NAV as their needs evolve. If you’re ready to make the switch from QuickBooks to Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV, use our Price Calculator to create your migration plan.

In this article, I’ll go over some of the key differences between the two systems and when you should use QuickBooks vs. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV.


QuickBooks is owned by Intuit, and it has been around for a long time – Intuit’s “Quicken” was released in 1983. QuickBooks includes several excellent payroll and credit card processing add-ons that are an important part of the overall QuickBooks package.

QuickBooks is offered in a variety of editions, including QuickBooks Online Plus, QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions Platinum, Gold, and Silver, and QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions Platinum, Gold, and Silver. As you climb up the food chain, you gain access to more features, such as advanced reporting, payroll, inventory, and pricing.

QuickBooks Strengths

QuickBooks’ history and market presence are two of its strongest assets. According to their Wikipedia page, they had a 74 percent small company market share in 2005. It would be difficult to find a seasoned accountant who had never used QuickBooks. The QuickBooks product has a strong support network, public awareness, and community. This could help you save money on training.

QuickBooks comes with a variety of deployment options. The solution can be run in a “single-tenant” mode, which means you can move the app from a private cloud to a public cloud if necessary. QuickBooks is extremely simple to purchase and set up on your own.

When compared to Dynamics 365, QuickBooks has two distinct advantages: easy payroll integration and payment processing. Payroll and merchant services add-ons are, as previously said, fundamental parts of Intuit’s business. These features are nicely incorporated into the QuickBooks platforms since they are strong income generators for Intuit. (However, you are limited to the OEM tools provided by QuickBooks.)

While Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV includes a choice of apps to meet both of these criteria, getting them set up takes more time.

QuickBooks Weaknesses

Despite its advantages, QuickBooks is still thought of as accounting software for “micro-businesses.” As a result, it lacks the complete range of features that many SMBs and expanding businesses require. The following are some of its most serious flaws:

  • Weak user roles and security options — it’s too easy for mistakes to be made and for users to have improper access to data.
  • Not-so-robust audit trails — no record of logins/logoffs, and no record of changes to master records.
  • Limited/inconvenient reporting options — general difficulty across customer insights and analytical capabilities.

These flaws might expose QuickBooks-based firms to losses due to errors and possibly staff theft. As your team increases, so does the risk of being exposed.

In addition, QuickBooks isn’t scalable. If your company is growing, planning to grow, or has already grown, you will find that the QuickBooks database design is inadequate. QuickBooks becomes increasingly slow when you approach 1000 transactions per month or several users accessing the system at the same time. Furthermore, QuickBooks lacks multilingual features, limiting worldwide expansion.

Finally, QuickBooks lacks a number of critical functions that many accountants deem essential. They offer a restricted number of invoicing formats, therefore billing third parties or diverse client locations will be problematic. QuickBooks is also unsuitable for inter-company reporting. QuickBooks also doesn’t allow you to work with deferred revenue or expenses.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

When comparing Microsoft Dynamics 365 to QuickBooks, it’s critical to make sure we’re comparing the correct Dynamics 365 version. I’ll concentrate on Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV app for small and mid-sized businesses.

(Note: The Dynamics 365 family includes a number of other apps that can assist your company with customer engagement, HR, and even enterprise-level ERP needs.) More information about Microsoft Dynamics 365 solutions can be found here.)

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Strengths

When compared to QuickBooks, Business Central / Dynamics NAV has a variety of advantages, but one in particular sticks out: value. Business Central/ Dynamics NAV, according to Microsoft, contains around 800 capabilities that QuickBooks Online Plus lacks. In fact, Business Central has the capability to fix all of the above-mentioned QuickBooks flaws, plus it goes above and above in terms of scalability and reporting.

When comparing Dynamics 365 user pricing to QuickBooks user pricing, you’ll notice that the Business Central / Dynamics NAV Essentials subscription costs $70 USD ($89.60 CAD) per user/month*, but the Platinum edition of QBES can cost up to $184 USD per person/month. (The $40 “QuickBooks Online Plus” edition has significantly less features.) Please check our blog article Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV| Licensing and Pricing Answers for additional information on Business Central / Dynamics NAV licences.

Business Central Audit Trail and Reporting

The audit trail in Business Central / Dynamics NAV is far more thorough, safeguarding organisations from errors and employee theft. Users in Business Central / Dynamics NAV, for example, must reverse cancelled transactions rather than delete them (whether accidentally or intentionally). There will be a valid audit trail as a result of this.

In terms of reporting, Business Central / Dynamics NAV’s capabilities are very extensive, allowing you, for instance:

  • use a web-based reporting portal
  • see open purchase orders and purchase comparisons in accounts payable
  • connect your data easily to a full reporting solution, Power BI
  • see salesperson performance analysis in order entry reports
  • give different data access permissions to different users

Business Central Integration with Microsoft Office

The fact that Business Central / Dynamics NAV is connected with the rest of the Microsoft stack is obviously a huge plus. If you use Microsoft Office, Outlook, Excel, or any of the other Microsoft products, you’ll be amazed at how simple they are to use – and how quickly data flows between them. For example, you can create quotes and invoices directly in Outlook, as shown here:

See our blog post More Than an ERP | Integrated Microsoft Solutions for more information on how integrated Microsoft solutions help businesses enhance performance and efficiency on a daily basis.

Add-on Options in Business Central

There are options available if a software gap is discovered in Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV. There are several options for filling the gap and meeting your organization’s demands with Microsoft AppSource or Power Apps.

AppSource is similar to an app shop for Microsoft products. There are over a thousand programmes to pick from to fill common software shortages rapidly. The apps range in complexity from simple to complicated. Some applications are free, and others provide a free trial period to allow you to test them out. Addend Analytics can assist you in finding the best AppSource apps for your company’s needs.

Another option for filling a gap is to use Power Apps, which is part of the Microsoft Power Platform, to construct your own low/no-code programme.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Weaknesses

Overall, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV is a powerful ERP system, not merely a bookkeeping programme. This makes it more complicated and detailed than is necessary or beneficial for very small enterprises with fewer than five employees.

It’s also worth noting that deploying payroll in Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV costs more than it does in QuickBooks.

You can view exactly how much of your labour costs originate from different projects, departments, or any other dimension in Business Central / Dynamics NAV if you perform payroll as part of a full ERP through one of these Business Central / Dynamics NAV apps. Furthermore, the app model allows you more options in terms of who you do business with as well as the depth and breadth of features and services available.

Business Central – On-Premise has Fewer Advantages

Business Central / Dynamics NAV can be installed on-premises or in the cloud. The on-premise solution, on the other hand, offers less data security benefits, necessitates more frequent attention from your IT team, and costs more in the long term.

Some firms require the option of working only on-premises for regulatory or other reasons. When you choose Business Central / Dynamics NAV On-Premise, you’ll have to pay for your own servers, as well as a space to house them, electricity to power them, and other costs. In addition, instead of receiving free and automatic updates from Microsoft, you will have to pay for future updates.

It also means that your data will be protected by your own IT staff rather than Microsoft’s Azure Cloud. The audit trail and data permissions tools in Business Central, which I covered before, are still functional and strengthen your internal security. However, being on-premises leaves you less safe against intrusions like ransomware than being in the cloud.

Organizations considering shifting to Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV should be aware that if they are among the majority of companies that can go to the cloud, they will get the most out of Business Central/ Dynamics NAV.

Business Central Implementation

Another significant distinction between Business Central / Dynamics NAV and QuickBooks is the initial investment necessary. Because Business Central / Dynamics NAV pulls together so much of your company’s data and operations, it requires time and expertise to import your data, train your employees, and implement the solution.

This means that the cost of installation is determined by your company’s requirements.

QuickBooks or Microsoft Dynamics 365: Which One is Right for You?

Overall, I would score a win for Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV in most cases. There are a few scenarios in which you might choose QuickBooks, though:

  • Your company has five or fewer staff members.
  • You only have one or two accounting staff members (and you plan to keep it that way).
  • You or your accountant is deeply knowledgeable in QuickBooks, and you’re willing to continue training for new versions of QuickBooks rather than learning a new tool.

You should probably choose Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central if:

  • You perform more than 1000 transactions/month (or might get there in the next 6-12 months).
  • You have plans to expand to more than one country, or you currently operate in multiple countries.
  • You need to handle deferred revenue and/or expenses.
  • You place a premium on the reporting ability of a system.
  • You want your information to be auditable.
  • Security is a concern for you.
  • You want the want the efficiency gains from having your accounting solution truly integrated with Outlook and the rest of your Office suite.

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