Published: April 20, 2023
Just about everyone has heard of QuickBooks. QuickBooks is a popular accounting software used by small and medium-sized businesses to manage their finances and often you will find container and/or trailer rental, sales and leasing companies using this software to handle their business transactions.
Here's a question: Is this the most efficient method to run a container or trailer business? In this article, we’ll consider why Quickbooks may not be the best fit for trailer and/or container rental and sales companies for several reasons:
Limited functionality: QuickBooks is primarily designed for accounting purposes, and while it offers some basic inventory tracking features, it lacks the specific functionalities required for trailer and container rental and sales companies. These businesses need software that can track container / trailer deliveries, pickups, and returns, manage rental contracts and varied billing methods, track maintenance and repairs and, in many cases, handle container modification projects. QuickBooks does not have these features built-in, and integrating third-party software can be complex, costly and ultimately inefficient
Inefficient data entry: Container rental and sales companies typically deal with complex billing situations, which can be time-consuming to enter manually into QuickBooks. Some customers may want one invoice per month; others want one invoice per rental contract. Monthly contracts may vary, some to be billed on the 1st of each month, or the unit rental anniversary day each month, or on a user-defined schedule, or on a 28-day or 30-day cycle, or… you get the point. Billing is typically the biggest challenge for many container companies because it is so time-consuming. QuickBooks is not designed with the flexibility to handle the varying billing methods and requirements that container companies need to deal with..
Limited scalability: As trailer and container rental and sales companies grow, their accounting and inventory management needs become more complex. For example, some companies open a retail division for parts and accessory sales and need point-of-sale functions to streamline that part of their operation. QuickBooks has already announced that their Point of Sale product has reached end-of-life and will no longer be available or supported after October 3, 2023.
Trailer and container companies often need to scale when they expand operations to multiple locations either through organic growth or business acquisitions. QuickBooks is not designed to to handle the increased workload related to asset location tracking when units are picked up from one yard and dropped at another. Multi-location container and trailer companies also often benefit from divisional reporting, not just in terms of asset location but also financial performance. Often, this is not something that can be provided by generic accounting solutions.
No specific industry features: This is a big one! Because it is designed to be general accounting software, QuickBooks does not offer any specific features tailored to trailer and container rental and sales companies. In contrast, industry-specific software can offer specialized features such as tracking every transaction activity from acquisition to disposition of a unit, container availability (even by location/region for companies storing containers through depots, rental revenue, billable damages, capitalized and non-capitalized repair costs, and utilization statistics.
Overall, while QuickBooks may be suitable for some small businesses, it does not provide the specific functionalities required by trailer and/or container rental and sales companies. Businesses in these industries recognize measurable benefits from using specialized software designed for their unique needs.