If you’ve heard of accounting, you’ve heard of QuickBooks. Intuit was founded in 1983 with the idea of simplifying accounting. it has been one of the biggest names in accounting and personal finance for over 30 years. Since its release, QuickBooks has grown to over 4.3 million users and it is one of the best accounting software for a small business to use.
Quickbooks offers two versions, desktop and online, while desktop has more features, QuickBooks Online is aggressively adding new features every month. The desktop version also doesn’t offer the flexibility and scalability that Online does. Now let’s explore the online version and help you see why the online version is must have for your business.
Why QuickBooks Online?
QuickBooks Online offers some of the best pricing, with four plans designed to help the needs of any type of business. The company offers a 30-day free trial, but if you skip it, you can receive a 50 percent discount on your subscription for three months. No annual contracts are required.
The Self-Employed plan ( For independent contractors and freelancers)
Track income and expenses
Live bank integrations
Record and file receipts
27 Basic Reports
Note: You can’t upgrade to a higher plan, unlike the other plans.
Simple Start Plan
Live bank integration
Integrates with 200+ apps
One user, plus two accountants
Live bank integrations
Integrates with 200+ apps
Three users, plus two accountants
Live bank integrations
75 reports (Basic + Advanced reports)
1099 tax support
Integrates with 200+ apps
Five users, plus two accountants
Extra Costs: You can add payroll features to the top three tiers for an additional monthly fee, and these tiers are also suitable for nonprofit organizations that need accounting software.
QuickBooks Online is extremely easy to get started with even for non-accountants. The dashboard is intuitive, the side menu makes it easy to find the features you’re looking for, and you can access account settings from the gear icon in the upper right corner of the screen. On the dashboard, you can see a snapshot of your company’s financial status, with information such as overdue and paid invoices/bills, sales, expenses, profits and losses, and account balances of connected bank and credit card accounts. This gives you a quick overview of the health of your business everytime you log into the system.
If you need help with QuickBooks Online, there are several support services to choose from:
Phone: QuickBooks Online provides phone support from 6:00 am – 6:00 pm PST, Monday through Friday; Saturday hours are 6:00 am – 3:00 pm PST. Call customer support at 1-800-488-7330.
Help Center: Use the Help Center which has articles on all the features offered by QuickBooks Online.
Community Forum: One of the biggest support services QuickBooks offers is the community forum. Both Intuit employees and fellow customers can answer any questions posted.
Help Button: QuickBooks Online provides a help button in the top right corner of the software.
Video Tutorials: QuickBooks Online features video tutorials to explain how each function works.
YouTube: YouTube offers the same tutorials you can get on the QuickBooks Online website. You can also find helpful videos from fellow users and CPAs.
QuickBooks Resource Center: There is also a QuickBooks Small Business Resource Center that hosts articles, business advice, and guides.
QuickBooks Blog: QuickBooks has a blog with info on software updates and company news.
QuickBooks Pro Advisor: QuickBooks Pro Advisors can help walk you through the program (costs extra).
Social Media: QuickBooks has a Facebook page where they post updates and helpful advice articles. There is also a Twitter feed for all QuickBooks programs.
QuickBooks Online uses 128-bit SSL encryption and multi-factor authentication. Physical safeguards have been implemented at the Tier 4 data center, and routine testing ensures security. For more information on Quickbooks security, and to learn how you can play a factor in making your data even more secure, check out the Intuit website.
Best of breed features
Quickbooks offers a broad range of features and here are some of the most time-saving features that QuickBooks Online offers.
Automation: QuickBooks Online automates tasks, making accounting less time-consuming and less stressful for small business owners. The software can automate recurring invoices, bill payments, and payment reminders, sync data from bank and credit card transactions, and reconcile and categorize expenses, which eliminates the tedious, time-consuming task of manually doing so for every single transaction.
Built-in reports: Make better decisions with valuable insights provided by QuickBooks built-in reports while sparing you the time of creating financial reports from scratch. You can mark the reports you use most as favorites so you can quickly find them as needed.
Automatic backups: You never have to worry about saving your files on a flash drive. QuickBooks Online automatically backs up your data for you with bank-level security so you never have to worry about whether your books are safe and up-to-date.
Invoicing: Another time-saving feature that QuickBooks offers is invoicing, which helps you get paid more quickly. You can email invoices to your customers through the platform, track them, and accept online payments and electronic signatures.
Expenditure billing: Thanks to QuickBooks, you can easily maintain and manage expenses that come up in the day to day operations of your business. Costs such as mileage, meals, travel-related expenses and many others allow one to have an automated updating system s0 once the data has been uploaded, it becomes easier to have an accurate record of each expense.
Also, the tool makes it easy to manage your bill based on different categories, for instance, you can sort out bills according to a particular customer. One great thing about this is that it cuts down the stress of manual reconciliation and on top of that, one can instantly check the expenses of each client independently.
Link bank and credit card accounts: Link your bank and credit card accounts to you QuickBooks instantly and have visibility of all the transactions at the touch of a button.
Mobile apps: Both iOS and Android apps are available and included with your QuickBooks Online account. This allows you to do your accounting and view your business’s finances on the go. Here’s what they can do:
Create, customize, send and track invoices
Take photos of receipts and attach them to expenses
Customer management (view, add, and message customers directly from the app)
View dashboard, run reports and see account alerts such as past due invoices and more
Employee and role management
Accept payments from invoices
Integrations: QuickBooks Online integrates with hundreds of third-party applications, such as those designed for email marketing, e-commerce, inventory management, customer relationship management (CRM), payment processing, time tracking, payroll services and more. This can save you time by connecting the software to the business programs you already use, allowing you to automatically import, export and sync data in real time among the different services.
If you are using QuickBooks Desktop. It is now time to migrate to Online.
If you are using QuickBooks Desktop, you might be hesitant to make the jump. Here are a few reasons why you are afraid to make the switch and how to get past them:
Security is a huge concern for anyone migrating to a cloud platform. One of the most common fears people often feel about the cloud is the fear of inadequate security. After all, you are trusting your data/company secrets to another party. You might be thinking: we can secure our data better on a physical server in our company? Maybe you can, but with a lot of additional expenses and complications. Whatever your security solution is, your data will be more secure in the cloud, especially with a company like QuickBooks who have a proven track of keeping their customer’s data secure.
QuickBooks Online (QBO) is a monthly subscription that runs between $10-$50, whereas Desktop is a one time cost between $299 – $1100. Initially, you might think the Online version is much costlier than Desktop, remember that you will have access to the latest QBO features without upgrading and to access new desktop features you must pay to upgrade your software. Note, even tho QuickBooks Desktop is a one-time purchase, you will need to upgrade at least every 3 years to continue using support, payroll, and merchant services.
QuickBooks Desktop offers a better inventory management solution than that offered by QBO. But the inventory management offered by the desktop version is still basic in nature and isn’t comprehensive so most businesses are using an external inventory solution along with the QuickBooks Desktop. With Intuit stopping the support of the desktop API, integrations with Desktop will cease to exist and stop being seamless.
This is where QBO has a superior advantage. Check out Brahmin Solutions, which has designed an Inventory Management Software that provides a complete integration with QuickBooks Online. Brahmin Solutions Inventory Platform is designed to have inventory control specific features for wholesalers and retailers. The features designed in Brahmin Solutions are in more depth than the features offered by QuickBooks Desktop and have been designed specifically for the mentioned industries above. By integrating Brahmin with QuickBooks Online, you will have the best of breed application on the inventory end and as well as the accounting end.