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Alox versus Quickbooks

Quickbooks is a venerable small business accounting tool with huge name recognition. If you picked a random local business out of a hat, there's a high likelihood that organization is using it right now or has sometime in the past. One of the best things about it is how easily you can accomplish what most new business owners want to do, "How can I keep a record of what checks I've written?"

But your business has probably grown beyond that.

Fundamentally Quickbooks fits a sole proprietor very well. With only one person doing the work, it's fine that you can go back and edit records, fix mistakes, or delete invoices or checks. With that setup, you only need to trust yourself. In a larger, multi-user situation, there absolutely needs to be a segregation of what capabilities are available to each user. Alox was designed from zero with the idea that multiple people would be using the system, and obviously the cashier wouldn't be one click away from your profitability reports.

The networking setup of Quickbooks and Alox are fundamentally different. Quickbooks typically has a datafile that lives on one of the PCs in the building. That file is access by other PCs via sharing network drives. The somewhat ad-hoc nature of the local network configuration means there are often problems where that file won't load, can't be found, disappears in the middle of use. Alox data lives in the cloud using a proper database server architecture. If you can open a tab and load Google or Facebook, your data is available. Connecting to the internet is much easier than managing a local conglomeration of PCs and their various domain controllers, drive mount access, SAMBA configurations, and password setups.

Inventory rigor is a core concept of Alox. Quickbooks has a different opinion: it was designed to simply count how many of a thing was in stock. But inventory and its alterations is tricky business, if you thought you had 20, but you now have 16, the four that are missing, are they part of the 10 you bought at $8,000? Or part of the ten that you bought at $4,500? Because that's going to make a huge difference in future accounting when it comes time to pay taxes on how much profit was made. The Alox core was built on the concept that every item sold or transferred had to be tracked all the way back to its original cost when it arrived at your doorstep.