Before the SaaS revolution, many niches which titles therein now fill, were once filled by a series of what we in the software world call “tool chains” These consisted of several general-purpose software titles being used together in a specific way, to achieve a cumulative goal and effect. Things like QuickBooks vs Netsuite weren’t an issue.
This is because at one point, niche-specific designs just weren’t profitable, on a traditional software platform. The expense of developing these, across many platforms, minting discs, distributing, patching and maintaining all of it didn’t get offset by the profitability of the niche.
SaaS, of course, alleviates all of that, so niche software like Netsuite can more than sustain themselves affordably and profitably. However, since the software making up tool chains didn’t become obsolete just because one possible use of them is now better served by something else … many people still use this software.
The truth is, Quickbooks can do many things that Netsuite can not, and vice versa. Now, admittedly, I have limited direct experience with Quickbooks, as companies I’ve worked for have always had proprietary financial software. In some cases, it was even software it was one of my jobs to write and maintain.
But, I know about Quickbooks, and I know about Netsuite.
Advantages to Quickbooks:
For one, it’s far cheaper, and more accessible to small and medium businesses as Netsuite, like Force.com and Dynamics, is a very costly service indeed. Along with this, Quickbooks integrates really well with pretty much anything with the help of PHP/ASP integration capabilities via WPF and the like.
However, it’s not without its disadvantages, the biggest being piss poor mobile support and no support for Linux systems at all.
Advantages to Netsuite:
Netsuite is better for larger businesses, who can afford it. It’s cross-platform and has honest to god mobile support that actually works. While the integration is a bit more of an ordeal, exposed API solves this problem in a Force.com manner, only, I think, more elegantly in light of learning from Force’s mistakes, if for no other reason.
Netsuite, however, is complicated and vast, meaning that a small group of people just picking it up and using it on a small scale is like a wasp wielding a cruise missile. It just doesn’t work out.
The Nitty Gritty:
So, when it comes to a point for point feature comparison of just financial maintenance, which one is easier to come to terms with? Probably Quickbooks, because it’s been around forever, and has its own unique brand of design and mindset pretty well honed to a science. But, when it comes to flexibility and expandability, Netsuite takes the belt easily.