Why growing companies

Choose Puzzle over QuickBooks

Insights and metrics for founders

Cash, net burn, runway, ARR, and MRR are calculate daily and visible on the Puzzle dashboard immediately after onboarding

Daily drafted financial statements

Puzzle publishes updated financial statements daily, so founders have current information as they make operational decisions

A native Stripe integration

Directly connect and manage ultra-high transaction volumes. Drill down for precision accuracy

Accrual automation

Automatically create and manage accrual tasks in-app, like fixed asset depreciation schedules

Easy onboarding and migration

Puzzle onboarding takes 9 minutes, and our team makes data migration from QBO painless

Simultaneous cash and accrual financial statements

Business leaders need data about their cash to manage operations. Investors understand company health through the lens of accrual accounting. Puzzle gives you both

Real-time books and AI-powered automation

Native integrations with a modern fintech stack enable powerful automations and daily financial statement drafts so founders can make informed business decisions

Platform Comparison for High-growth Startups

Puzzle

QuickBooks

Native Stripe Integration
Detailed transaction data is always ready for deep-dive analysis us
Third-party integrations require tech stack management
Real-time drafted books
Puzzle updates your cash, P&L and Balance sheet daily
Quarantined data only becomes available after bookkeeper review/confirmation
AI-powered Categorization and Reconciliation
98% categorized in draft before you begin, conversational AI support to finish the job
Non-native Stripe integration results in lower fidelity Categorization.
Accrual Automation
Prepaid amortization and fixed asset depreciation schedules generate automatically
Prepaid amortization and fixed asset depreciation requires Excel
Simultaneous Cash and Accruals
Prepaid amortization and fixed asset depreciation requires Excel. Toggle between cash and accrual books with a single click
Switching reporting in your books is a system setting. Accrual schedule management requires external worksheets
Founder insights and operational metrics
Cash, net burn, runway, and ARR/MRR updated daily on the Dashboard
Does not calculate and track burn, runway, and ARR/MRR metrics
9-minute onboarding
1 min: Create a login 2 mins: Connect your accounts 6 mins: Calculate insights
Category rule creation and insights calculations prolong the onboarding process
FAQs
Which should you choose?

Puzzle is modern accounting software purpose-built for venture-backed companies. Financial statements drafted daily surface relevant information like cash, burn, runway, and ARR/MRR that enable actionable business insights. The platform is easy to use for financial professionals, and intuitive for business leaders. It guides users to the financial data that matters most and automates routine tasks so businesses have better visibility and control over their finances and operations.

Quickbooks was built as a generic accounting tool that spans a large set of use cases. Accordingly, it is not purpose-built for venture-backed startups, it is unintuitive for founders and frustrating for many accounting professionals, and drafted financial statements and insights are withheld by a bookkeeper. The result is founders/business leaders making important decisions without financial data and spending hours doing tedious tasks.

Feature Set

A native Stripe integration

Puzzle’s direct Stripe integration enables the platform to handle large volumes of transactions. Detailed metadata in concert with a layered rules engine facilitates remarkably accurate categorization and reconciliation automation. The result:

  • Time savings. More than 55% of processing time returned to bookkeepers from their most tedious tasks: deferred revenue setup, transaction coding, and deferred revenue review
  • Accuracy. Journal entries are logged with 100% accuracy and can be traced back to Stripe line-for-line, making revenue recognition easy in Puzzle
    • Puzzle’s immutable ledger ensures that humans don’t make clerical errors. Worksheets with Excel errors (#REF!, #NAME?, #DIV/O!) are a relic of the past
    • 1:1 mapping of transaction data allows users to drill down into transactions when they want to. For example, Puzzle will have full access to all 5 million Stripe transactions with supporting metadata. The platform then summarizes those transactions into simplified journal entries, but maintains data mapping at the most granular level for future access

QuickBooks does not natively integrate with Stripe. The result is an elongated data interpretation and transformation process across multiple disparate systems when managing subscriptions, discounts, rebates, and refunds.

  • Not real-time. Cross-referencing databases and worksheets is a slow, laborious task
  • Prone to human error. Manual verification invites inconsistencies
  • Lacks traceability. Transaction details are often posted as summary journal entries and omit vital supporting data for audit and financial accountability
  • Complicated. Bookkeepers are required to manage external spreadsheets to complete common accrual tasks in Quickbooks: fixed asset depreciation, deferred revenue schedules, and prepaid amortization. Accrual management requires coordination across multiple tables outside of QuickBooks. Interconnected systems quickly become tangled and difficult to keep organized
Daily financial statement drafts

Puzzle has native integrations with modern financial solutions that enable reconciliation and categorization automation across accounts:

  • Banks: Mercury, Brex, Meow
  • Corporate Cards: Brex, Ramp
  • Payroll: Gusto, Deel
  • Bill Management: Bill.com, Ramp
  • Payment Processor: Stripe
  • FP&A: Runway, Causal
  • Other banks and credit cards: Plaid

Puzzle AI reviews transactions and automates busy work with industry-leading accuracy. Focus features like Spotlight, which highlights variance outliers, and the Monthly Checklist, which outlines required bookkeeping activities, direct attention where it is needed most.

  • Puzzle does not quarantine data. Instead, we publish transactions directly to the general ledger and create drafted financial statements that are ready to use. This paradigm shift enables business leaders to view their Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss statement, and cash position daily rather than monthly. Drafted financial statements and business metrics on the Puzzle Dashboard provide timely information essential for running the business today. Meanwhile, bookkeepers can finalize monthly, quarterly, or year-end books in parallel and in preparation for tax filing
  • Confidence. Puzzle enables informed decision-making with drafted financial documents throughout the month. Business leaders using Puzzle understand the completeness of their books with a confidence interval rather than managing daily operations in the absence of financial data altogether. And when founders and bookkeepers referencing the same documents there is no opportunity for data discrepancy issues. Furthermore, categorization is improved over time both within a company’s local instance and across our global set of rules. Everyday Puzzle categorization gets closer to perfect

QuickBooks integrates with many technologies. However, it does not automatically upload transactions to the general ledger, so draft financial documents are not created. The result is business leaders making important operations decisions with outdated financial information. The difference in financial data from week-to-week is often material for growing companies, so stale data frequently leads to suboptimal conclusions.Puzzle has native integrations with modern financial solutions that enable reconciliation and categorization automation across accounts:

AI-powered categorization

Puzzle automatically categorizes 98% of transactions in draft. 98%. By combining our native integration with OpenAI and our proprietary rules engine hierarchy, Puzzle is able to achieve industry-leading categorization, automating away hours of tedious work per month for founders a bookkeepers

  • Three reasons why Puzzle categorization is more powerful than QuickBooks:
    • Native integrations with modern fintech (Stripe, Mercury) retrieves more metadata (subject line v. details) and allows Puzzle to map directly to data source fields, resulting in more accurate category identification
    • QuickBooks rules encourage users to confirm or review transactions manually before they are published to the general ledger, so drafted financials aren’t available and it takes longer to complete the categorization task each month
    • Puzzle AI gives users valuable insight, both through 2-way interaction and contextual tips like tax treatment and reasons why the system suggesting the category it did

QuickBooks only uses a rules engine to automatically categorize transactions, and their resistance to natively integrate with key fintech players inhibits their ability to categorize as effectively as Puzzle.

The do not currently offer AI suggestions that dynamically update as Puzzle does with the evolution of newer GPTs. Users also must confirm every auto-categorization before they are published to the general ledger, where Puzzle’s confidence interval allows for immediate publication. The result: compounding manual work and stale financial statements

Insights and operational metrics for founders

The Puzzle Dashboard provides founders with operational insights out-of-the-box. Immediately after integrating financial accounts, key metrics like cash, net burn, runway, and ARR/MRR are ready to use. Drafted financial statements provide Puzzle users with data every day of the month, so you can make confident decisions using the information that’s available and an awareness of the data that is still outstanding.

QuickBooks users do not have access to the same metrics updated daily. They need to use the output of QuickBooks to calculate net burn and runway outside of the application. And information isn’t always readily available. Bookkeepers are frequently the bottleneck as they are required to review and confirm transactions before they are posted to the general ledger. QuickBooks… more like SlowBooks.

Simultaneous cash and automated accrual financial statements

Small companies use cash books to ensure they are on top of their most vital resource. Growing companies need accrual books to attract investors and conduct board meetings. Puzzle enables companies to simultaneously view their books in both formats, increasing financial visibility across perspectives.

QuickBooks does not natively support accrual automation, so maintaining cash and accrual books simultaneously is a manual task. When done by founders they lose valuable time, and when done by bookkeepers the process costs more in fees for book closing and custom reports.

9-minute Onboarding

It only takes 9 minutes to onboard on Puzzle. With 12 clicks, you will link your financial accounts and immediately enjoy real-time financial data, the Puzzle business metrics dashboard, and automated accounting processes forevermore!

If you are switching from Quickbooks to Puzzle, our team will take care of the manual work. We just need you to connect your financial accounts and review the historical data transfer upon completion. For more details, take a look here.

With QuickBooks… you might be noticing a trend: more manual input, nuanced configuration, and manual rule creation yields minimal business insights out-of-the-box.

Segment

Formation, Pre-seed, bootstrapped, and friends & family funded startups

Newly founded companies choose Puzzle over Quickbooks because it makes accounting easy.

  • 9-minutes to setup - create a login, connect your accounts, and evaluate your financial documents in minutes opposed to days or weeks. Read here for more details about how easy it is to switch from to QuickBooks to Puzzle
  • Easy to use - the Puzzle UI embraces a modern, obvious design (we hear it all the time!), and the platform directs your attention to relevant information with features like Spotlight and automated transaction categorization status. Maintain peace of mind about your finances as you navigate the intuitive financial hub
  • Confidence in your numbers - bank reconciliations and transaction validation make drill-down reporting a part of your daily workflows, but only if and when you want them to be. Otherwise, you can view summaries of financial, vendors, and spending categories at a glance
  • Professional financial presentation - refined financial presentation imparts confidence on investors. Utilize the dashboard metrics, top vendor/category views, and AR/AP again reports to as you prepare your financials. Shareholder value is likely to increase when investors identify a founder who is in control of the business
  • Proactive planning - Kicking off financial accounting at the inception (or close to it) of your business makes things easy. You’ll avoid doing retroactive tasks and compliance won’t be a daunting task come tax season. Puzzle integrates with powerful FP&A tools like Runway and Causal which support today’s leading startup

QuickBooks…

  • Requires hours of manual work - defining transaction rules, modifying configuration settings, and extensive transaction categorizations delay time-to-value for QuickBooks users
  • QuickBooks difficult to understand and navigate for non-financially savvy individuals. If you don’t have a bookkeeping background you’ll likely be sifting through trainer videos and community channels as you search for the answers you need to get up and running

Seed, SAFE, and Series A or B companies

Venture-backed startups choose Puzzle over QuickBooks as they grow their businesses.
Puzzle…

  • Provides key startup insights and control - cash is king. Puzzle tells you exactly how much cash you have and projects your resulting runway. You can also identify trends and abnormalities in spend, earnings, and vendor accounts
  • Is a scalable solution built for founders - the more transactions you need to manage, the more you’re going to like Puzzle. As accounting tasks mount with increased complexity, accrual and Puzzle AI automations will return hours back to your calendar. On-demand cash, net burn, runway, and ARR/MRR calculations are always accessible on the Business Metrics Dashboard
  • Optimizes fundraise preparedness - raising capital is time-intensive and stressful. It’s also difficult without a clear picture of your historic financial performance, which serves as the foundation for your future growth projections. Drafted financial statements in Puzzle give you daily insight into company performance, and drill-down capabilities into transaction details provide peace of mind about how money is being earned and spent

QuickBooks…

  • Does not provide business insights out-of-the-box. Operational health metrics like cash, burn and runway need to be calculated. Transitioning seamlessly between Cash and Accrual accounting is not a button-click away like it is in Puzzle
  • Grows with you… until it doesn’t. A clear picture of your cash position is critical when making daily operations decisions. As your company grows, and you seek more equity investment, have more financially-focused board meetings, and surpass the IRS sales threshold, you will need regular access to accrual books. Thank goodness there’s a modern accounting solution that provides both simultaneously… hint: it’s not QuickBooks
Accounting Firms

The best accounting firms choose Puzzle over QuickBooks because...

  • Categorization, reconciliation, revenue recognition, amortization, and depreciation schedules are all automated in Puzzle, supercharging firm productivity. That level of automation also greatly reduces month-end errors, reinforcing trust in clients with each report
  • We’ve introduced founders to the ‘financial statements in draft’ paradigm, which delivers clients’ financial information while books are finalized. The result is reduced pressure on bookkeepers to deliver financial statements early because their clients have access to current operational data. Visibility into finances, even before they are signed off, empowers clients with actionable insights while the details required for statements to be tax-compliant are finalize


On the contrary, QuickBooks…

  • Does not automate accrual management
  • Requires manual human involvement before clients see financials. Transactions are quarantined when they enter the app and typically approved by a bookkeeper before they are reflected in the General Ledger. The result: angry clients and a time-consuming book closing process

First-time founders

First-time founders choose Puzzle over QuickBooks because…

  • Second-time founders told them horror stories about their experience using QuickBooks
  • It takes 9-minutes to onboard
  • It gives them actionable financial data, helps them keep an eye on cash, and makes them look good in front of investors
  • It’s easy to use

Serial founders

Serial-founders choose Puzzle because…

  • They know that QuickBooks hurts. It’s manual, general-purpose, and therefore mediocre at most accounting tasks. It’s easy to grow out of, and its UX is cluttered
  • They use a modern fintech stack and expect their accounting solution to match