Some tire store software programs come with their own “real time” accounting built in. Others integrate with outside accounting programs. Which is better?

Built in accounting sounds better.  After all, why have 2 programs when you can just have one.  Why have to “post” activity at the end of the day if the software can assign transactions to the proper GL account as you work in real time.


Think about it.  As you are making mistakes and corrections at point of sale, all that activity is going into the accounting system effectively filling it up with junk.   And what’s worse, it can be difficult if not impossible to correct errors on tickets because they have already affected the general ledger.  Errors cannot be corrected. They have to be “offset”.  If the order is closed, you can just about forget about it.   What sounds like a good idea actually creates a tangled mess.

When business activity is posted in a batch, sales people can correct errors “on the fly” because they have not already affected accounting.  Also, potential balance problems make themselves apparent allowing the appropriate action to be taken before the post.

Built in accounting has other limitations.   For one thing, it usually is very, very weak as compared to programs such as QuickBooks Pro ($300).  In fact, many of the “built in accounting” program users actually end up making manual entries into programs like QuickBooks anyway.  Unfortunately, even when they decide to manually enter data into QuickBooks, they are still strapped with the error correction problems mentioned above.

Does a 20 store business have the same accounting needs as a 2 bay single store?  Built in accounting tries to be a “one size fits all” solution but simply struggles to fit the lowest common denominator.