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QuickBooks: Pros and Cons of using Recurring Transactions for Subscription Management

#Invoices, #Quickbooks, #Automation, #Payments, #Subscriptions January 10, 2019

Those of you familiar with QuickBooks Online or Desktop accounting software know how useful the program is for record keeping, billing, and payroll; but is the system truly fit for managing subscription billing with ease?

The Recurring Transaction feature of QuickBooks is popular with many "SaaS" and service based businesses that utilize a recurring revenue or subscription based pricing model. We made a list of some Pros & Cons of using recurring transactions in QuickBooks for subscription management to help you find out if it really is the best solution for your business.





  • Ease of Setup: The QuickBook's "Recurring Transaction" feature is easily enabled with directions for setup readily available online. It requires an initial template for the billing; where you can set basic parameters, standard receipt guidelines, and bank account or credit card information. A little bit of time manually inputting some information and you're good to go.
  • Good For a Small Businesses: QuickBook's recurring transactions are a good option for smaller companies, or businesses that are just getting started in the subscription based service world. The system is easy to understand, and helps keep billing on track; as it will continue generating invoices until you stop it.  This keeps billing consistent without much oversight or need for dedicated billing resources (which is perfect for small teams).
  • Cost: Recurring Transactions are available in a basic Quickbooks membership so it's a great way to manage subscriptions while keeping expenses low.



  • Limited Functionality: Although QBO recurring payments and billing is easily setup, unfortunately there is not a large variety of functionality. Functions such as altering subscription details, auto advancing service periods, usage based or metered billing, setting up one-time charges (setup fees), or viewing the overall subscription statistics are all either difficult to navigate, or unavailable. A simple solution for accounting for subscriptions maybe be optimal in the initial stages; but a larger, more diverse customer base requires diverse functionality and flexibility for individual needs.
  • Lack of MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) Option: MRR is a simple measure of your predictable revenue stream. QuickBooks recurring payment options currently do not offer any MRR solutions. Without an MRR option, performance reporting across dissimilar subscription terms is not possible, and you are limited in your ability to keep track of, or make needed changes to subscription services in order to improve your Quote-to-Cash process. MRR is the most important measure in any subscription based business, without it, you're already a step behind competitors that do.
  • No Connection to Other Quote-to-Cash Process Components: Yes QuickBooks is an easy accounting solution for subscriptions, but it does not offer a way to integrate the accounting portion of your business into a smooth, cohesive stream of steps to improve your Quote-to-Cash process. This process is vital to maintaining current clients, as well as acquiring new ones. The more diverse functions and steps in the process that your systems can cover, the easier the process is-and the happier you and your clients are.


So the answer is- maybe. QuickBooks in certain scenarios may be an adequate solution for managing subscription billing. However, using a service such as Armatic for managing subscriptions is a much more robust solution. We provide much more functionality for creating a recurring invoice with seamless integration into the QuickBooks system. This means you can still use QBO for all your accounting needs, but Armatic can help with the complications and necessities of your subscription billing, and then integrate it all into the program for you. The best part is, invoices created in the Armatic system are then pushed into Quickbooks automatically.

Armatic subscriptions even have a "Service Period" built in, that will automatically adjust and be listed on the customer invoice. This service period can also have the option to be in advance of, or at the end of the billing period. Armatic will also automatically calculate your MRR for you, and provide critical reporting (a necessity for successful subscription services). Additionally, an Armatic subscription can also be linked and automatically configured by our larger Quote-to-Cash solution, which will handle the proposal, electronic signature, invoice creation, payment, reporting and ongoing customer communication.

Want to learn more? Armatic has an outstanding customer service reputation (just ask G2 Crowd), and offers free trials as well as step-by-step guidance to help you optimize your subscription billing services, all while keeping it simple. Start your free trial today- risk free with Armatic.

About the Author
Alyssa LeBlanc

Alyssa LeBlanc

Content Strategy @ Armatic

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