What do you like best?
DISCLAIMER: My review is based on my experience with other accounting software like Xero (recently used), QBO (recently used), MSGP (back in 2014), Intaact (2012), ACS Technologies (2009) and BPCS (2009).
The QuickBooks Desktop product line (e.g. Pro, Premier, Enterprise, Accountant, etc.) is my number one favorite accounting software. Relative to other accounting software, some reasons why QuickBooks is #1 in my opinion are:
1) It's intuitive (which makes the owning softwar company's name, Intuit, very fitting). You can find what you are looking for easily with its menus or online community portal.
2) Unlike other Frankenstein software like MSGP, QuickBooks desktop is put together from beginning to end in mind. MSGP by comparison is a mess because in order to satisfy what the company needs for accounting, the user has to incorporate a bunch of add-ons. The whole conversation process costs a fortune and the contractors you hire to make the switch seem to NEVER finish the implementation. It's just a huge mess with good money thrown after bad.
3) You'll find your answers. QuickBooks is ubiquitous among businesses small and large. If you can't figure out what you need yourself, go to youtube or google and ask your question. It's rare that I don't find an answer to what I need this way.
4) It's fast. QuickBooks can move as fast as you can hit the keystrokes. Their shortcut keys make for higher productivity. Reports can be modified in seconds. You can find stuff in no time.
5) There's a audit trail report.
What do you dislike?
There's not much I dislike about QuickBooks desktop. Maybe a few things are:
1) I cannot have more than one A/R or A/P line item in a transaction.
2) Aside from manual journal entries, I wish that QuickBooks would default the debit line item first before credits after a transaction is entered.
3) There are plenty of controls, but it might be nice to have it so that a staff accountant can input the transaction, but the manager has to approve it.
Even though QuickBooks is user friendly by comparison, if you don't understand accounting, there's a very good chance you'll screw up your books. That's no fault of QuickBooks - it's user error. Maybe this is why QuickBooks has a stigma with accountants in larger companies - "QuickBooks is for neophytes, not sophisticated financial professionals like myself," they say.
QuickBooks has the reputation for only being suitable for mom-and-pop companies, not larger companies with employees. I've had accounting supervisors tell me this multiple times at different companies. When I press them for specific reasons why QuickBooks does not work for their company, many times they cannot think of a reason why - it's just the fashionable thing to say.
There may be some legitimate reasons why a company needs to upgrade from QuickBooks Pro. For example, you cannot consolidate financial statements from multiple companies (but QuickBooks Enterprise can). Or if you need a full blown ERP.
But before you make the switch ask yourself: DO THE BENEFITS OUTWEIGH THE COSTS!! If you switch to a Frankenstein software (like MSGP), you might get new functionality and integration from other departments, but now you LOST the streamlined ease and basic functionlity that QuickBooks offers. Maybe you should consider having SEPERATE software applications to keep track of what it is you are trying to incorporate into your accounting system. Or use a company like Level Field which can lay on top of all of your software applications (CRM, ERP, accounting, marketing, etc) in real time. Talk to my friend Jude Samson to learn more - http://www.levelfield.com.
Recommendations to others considering the product
Even though QuickBooks is user friendly by comparison, if you are a small business owner and don't understand accounting, there's a very good chance you'll screw up your books. That's no fault of QuickBooks - it's user error.
I would definitely have a qualified accountant or bookkeeper help you set up, periodically review or manage your books.
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
Everything! It's a full accounting information system that is suitable for probably 90% of all businesses out there. It's no ERP, and it may not have all the solutions for all companies, but it's a whole lot better than the majority of other software I have used.