QuickBooks Bookkeeping Software for Breweries? Stop Using It!

QuickBooks for Breweries - U-Nique Accounting

If you’re currently using QuickBooks Online for your brewery, stop right now. 

Don’t open the application again. 

Okay, maybe it’s not that serious.

But you are doing your brewery a disservice by continuing to use QuickBooks Online and in this blog, we’ll tell you why.

Why We Don’t Recommend QuickBooks for Breweries

If want to have a laugh and have some time to spare, you can hop over to YouTube where we cover this topic in a lot more detail. 

Otherwise, keep reading because we’ll cut to the chase pretty quickly. 

The number one reason why we prefer Xero over QuickBooks Online for your brewery is the custom reporting feature. 

Now, while there are a few reasons why we love and prefer Xero Bookkeeping Software instead of QuickBooks Online for your brewery, it is due to their superior reporting capabilities that it almost makes it impossible to continue using QuickBooks. 

Xero handles custom ratios/formulas and the 13-period accounting reporting in a way that QuickBooks just can’t hang.

When comparing the two, we like to use analogies. 

So, let’s compare the two software applications to a custom home builder versus a large home builder. 

(Bear with us.)

With a custom home builder, you’re going to work with an architect, an interior designer, and so on. You’re going to design your home how you want the rooms organized, where you want them, how many floors, and so on and so on. You have free rein to design it. 

Whereas with a large home builder, you’re going to go through more of a cookie-cutter approach.

They have several models to pick from and the rooms are going to be situated the way they have already designed it. 

You really just get to pick out colors and types of furnishings. 

So in this instance of custom versus large home builder, Xero is the custom home builder. 

Xero allows custom reporting to create reports that are actually meaningful for your business. 

QuickBooks Online, on the other hand, is like a large home builder. 

They have many easy-to-use canned reports in their software. 

But none of these are formatted to organize and analyze your brewery the correct way. 

And when running a successful brewery, your financial reporting is incredibly important. And here are some reasons why.

QBO for Breweries

Why Xero’s Custom Reporting is So Important For Your Brewery 

When running a brewery, you need software that can run reports based on a specific 13-month calendar. 

And if you’re wondering, “Wait..what’s a 13-month calendar?”

Please go watch our video here.

Your brewery should be using the 13-month calendar. 

Now, other software can run weekly reports, but these are formatted. 

Assuming that Sunday is the last day of the week, you cannot change it. 

Also, QuickBooks Online and other software do not allow custom dates as Xero does. 

With Xero, if your week ends on a Tuesday, rather than a Sunday, you can run weekly reports from Wednesday through Tuesday and do period vs. period analysis. 

Additionally, custom reporting is important in order to handle your four different business models.

As a brewery, you are a manufacturer and a distributor, you may have a retail shop, and you also run a taproom and restaurant. 

So you need software that can organize all of this data and the different types of operations. 

You need to organize costs by prime costs, your food and beverage costs, your direct labor costs, organize costs by controllable and non-controllable costs, and so on.

And you have to be able to run multiple gross and profit margin ratios.

Most software can’t do this, and if they can, they’re going to cost you thousands of dollars. 

Xero can do all this at $30 a month. 

I hope you can now see the power that Xero, an extremely affordable and easy-to-use software, can provide for your brewery.

More Reasons to Ditch QuickBooks For Your Brewery

If the custom reporting feature isn’t enough to ditch QuickBooks for your brewery, we have a few more reasons why Xero reigns supreme. 


Xero is Cloud Friendly

Xero is cloud friendly. 

Now, by cloud-friendly, we mean basic browser functionality. Things like when you click on a link, you have the option to open it up in a new tab or window, which allows you to utilize a multimonitor setup so you can do side-by-side comparisons. 

Xero was designed and built 100% for the cloud and operates exactly as you expect it should. 

QuickBooks Online, however, is not designed 100% for the cloud and has some limited ability to open new tabs and windows. 

They have this overlapping box concept, which is really just quite frustrating when instead of opening a new link, this box pops up with the information you want to look at, and it covers the screen you’re looking at completely. 

And the only way to get rid of it is to close it. It is really, really frustrating. 

Also, being cloud-friendly, we want to talk about browser inactivity. 

With most bookkeeping software, you will automatically get locked out after a period of inactivity due to security reasons. It’s a good thing. 

However, it’s what happens when you return from this inactivity that can make a difference in user functionality. 

In Xero, when you log back in, you will return back to exactly where you were on all the tabs you were using. 

Whereas in QuickBooks Online, it’s finicky. Sometimes it will take you back to where you were, but usually not. You’ll usually get kicked back to the home screen, which means you have to click on three to four different steps to get back to where you were. It is a waste of time… not to mention extremely frustrating. 


Superior Bank Reconciliations

The next reason is all about bank reconciliations. 

Xero’s bank rec feature is killer. In a good way.

To be fair, we do believe that both Xero and QuickBooks Online have good AI, or artificial intelligence, properties.

We just believe that Xero’s is slightly superior because of how it suggests recording transactions when it comes to naming and expense accounts.

And when it comes to formatting, Xero wins again. 

Xero utilizes a vertical format, which allows for easy side-by-side comparison of your bank feed versus your general ledger transactions. 

And each row is easier to read as they clearly separate each row. 

QuickBooks Online, however, utilizes a more clumsy horizontal format. 

The rows are denser and much harder to read. 

Additionally, the color scheme for bank recs in Xero is much more sensical. We won’t go into too much detail in this blog about that but just trust us. The color scheme that QuickBooks uses when it comes to bank reconciliations is really confusing and makes the process more tedious. 

This brings us to the actual process of bank recs. 

Xero has a one-step process. You perform the bank reconciliation while doing the bank feeds, and when you reconcile a bank feed, it becomes blocked. 

QuickBooks Online, however, follows a two-step process. Once you’ve done your bank feed matching, you now have to go to your bank reconciliation module. This two-step process is more complicated and open to errors, as you can actually unreconcile bank fees.

Yes, that’s right.

An actual transaction that came in from your bank account can be marked as unreconciled!

It’s just one of many things within QuickBooks that isn’t user intuitive. 


Built for Business Owners

Which brings us to our next point: Xero was designed for business owners.

Xero is organized from a business owner’s point of view. They have an easy-to-use top-down navigation format with three simple categories: operations, accounting, and contacts. 

QuickBooks Online, on the other hand, is organized from an accounting point of view. Meaning, it was really built for accountants. They have a left-hand navigation that has 10 or more categories, with additional subcategories, which makes it really hard to find anything. 

Xero is simply more user intuitive. And much more fun to use. 


Unlimited Users

Last but not least, Xero has unlimited users.

And this is extremely important. 

For auditing purposes, every role in your company needs different access to your accounting software so that you have a “segregation of duties”. 

Xero understands this, and accounts for it in their pricing structure. 

They allow for unlimited users, which allows business owners to provide access to whoever they want and give each user their own permission levels.

QuickBooks Online, on the other hand, does give you a few licenses included with their pricing, but they’ll charge you extra for more users. 

This causes business owners to let users share logins, which is very dangerous from a compliance point of view.

QuickBooks for Breweries

In Summary, STOP Using QuickBooks for Breweries! 

In summary, it’s no secret that we prefer the smooth operation and design of Xero over that of QuickBooks Online. 

But it is the custom reporting that sets Xero far and above QuickBooks Online for your brewery’s accounting needs. 

If you need help setting up your Xero account or modernizing your accounting process altogether, feel free to contact us with this link.

We’re happy to help, it’s what we’re here for. 

If you appreciate our advice, stay tuned for the next blog or follow us on YouTube.

Until then, remember to not confirm. Stay U-Nique.

Matt C


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