QuickBooks Online Review 2023: Before You Buy
Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you'll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.
QuickBooks Online has remained a significant player in the ever-evolving realm of business accounting. This cloud-based software, developed by Intuit, offers a comprehensive solution that caters to various business needs. From startups to established enterprises, many have turned to QuickBooks Online to streamline their financial management.
If you're wondering what the 2023 version of QuickBooks Online brings to the table, this review delves deep into this popular tool's features and benefits and provides insights that may help you decide whether it's the right fit for your business.
What is Quickbooks Online?
QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based accounting software solution designed by Intuit. It's designed to cater to the financial management needs of small to medium-sized businesses.
It provides many features, including efficient bank reconciliation, inventory management, time tracking, and invoicing.
With QuickBooks Online, you can manage your chart of accounts, track expenses, and even process payments through integrations with platforms like PayPal. It offers a user-friendly interface and is backed by a vast network of ProAdvisors who can provide expert support.
Despite being a little pricier than other options, QuickBooks Online makes up for it as it offers a comprehensive solution for many businesses' accounting needs.
What are the key features of QuickBooks Online?
QuickBooks Online offers many features to streamline and enhance business operations across various sectors.
Here are a few of the features that can benefit businesses of all sizes:
One of the strongest suits of QuickBooks Online lies in its comprehensive accounting capabilities and advanced features. It serves as a one-stop platform for managing business finances with utmost efficacy.
The software enables businesses to keep track of income and expenses systematically and organized. It further offers the ability to manage customer and supplier data, keeping your accounts receivable and payable in check.
In addition, QuickBooks Online facilitates the generation of essential financial reports such as Profit and Loss statements or Balance Sheets, offering valuable insights into your business's financial health.
The real-time data feature is handy, providing up-to-the-minute financial information that can inform and drive decision-making processes.
QuickBooks Online takes the hassle out of bank reconciliation with its seamless banking integration feature. By allowing you to directly connect your bank account to the software, it ensures an efficient and effortless bank reconciliation process.
This feature extends to automatically importing and categorizing transactions, eliminating the need for manual input and significantly reducing the potential for errors, ensuring your accounts remain accurate and current.
The ability to effectively track and manage business expenses is another notable feature of QuickBooks Online.
The option to link your credit or debit cards to the software enables the automatic import and categorization of transactions. This reduces manual data entry and minimizes the risk of errors, thus ensuring that your expense tracking remains as accurate and efficient as possible.
QuickBooks Online comes equipped with robust reporting capabilities designed to provide valuable insights into the financial health of your business.
The software allows you to generate customized reports, including profit and loss statements, balance sheet reports, and cash flow statements.
These reports can be tailored to meet your business needs, offering a comprehensive view of your financial status and performance.
QuickBooks Online simplifies sales management with its user-friendly features.
It enables businesses to create and send professional invoices, accept payments, and track sales by product or customer. This comprehensive approach to sales management ensures a streamlined and efficient process, improving your overall sales operations.
Regarding customer support, QuickBooks Online stands out with its exceptional service.
The software provides access to a vast network of ProAdvisors — certified experts who can provide advice, assistance, and tutorials on various aspects of the software.
This support extends to phone service and online resources, ensuring that users always have access to the help they need when they need it.
Tax management is made simple with QuickBooks Online.
The software includes features for automatic sales tax calculation and the generation of comprehensive tax reports, helping to ensure small business owners remain compliant with tax regulations.
This can significantly reduce the stress and confusion of managing business taxes.
QuickBooks Online also offers features to facilitate efficient workforce management. The software makes it easy to manage employee information, process payroll, and track employee time, which are all crucial components of workforce management.
QuickBooks Online helps businesses ensure accurate and timely payroll processing by making these tasks more efficient while improving overall workforce management.
What are the advantages of Quickbooks Online?
QuickBooks Online offers a host of advantages for small to medium-sized businesses. Its ease of use and multiple features are tailored to meet diverse business accounting needs, enabling business owners to focus on growth while keeping bookkeeping stress-free.
Here is a more detailed breakdown of the most significant advantages of using Quickbooks Online:
Scalable plans are among the critical benefits of QuickBooks Online. It offers options like Simple Start, Plus, and QuickBooks Self-Employed, catering to freelancers, startups, and established businesses.
Each plan has a different monthly fee, allowing businesses to select the one that best suits their needs and budget.
Efficient bank reconciliation
Efficient bank reconciliation is another feature that sets QuickBooks Online apart. Business owners can link their bank account and credit/debit cards directly to the software, and transactions get updated in real-time.
Any discrepancies between your bank balance and QuickBooks balance can be easily spotted and addressed.
This enables the system to automatically download and categorize your transactions, making it easier to keep your books, reconcile your accounts, and ensure accurate cash flow tracking.
Excellent inventory management features.
Inventory management in QuickBooks Online is impressive, catering to the needs of various businesses. You can track the quantity and cost of goods, create purchase orders and manage your inventory in real time.
The system also sends alerts when your inventory levels are low, helping you to avoid shortages. Tracking inventory can be invaluable for businesses with tangible goods and is an essential part of the overall operation.
Automatically calculates sales tax rates.
QuickBooks Online significantly boosts small business accounting with its automatic sales tax rate calculation feature.
The software uses your business and customer location to calculate the appropriate sales tax on billable goods and services. This makes it easier to categorize and track expenses, heavily reducing the chances of errors during tax season.
Robust mobile app.
The user-friendly app allows business owners to send invoices, manage accounts receivable and perform other essential tasks. It offers real-time access to financial reports, making it an indispensable tool for modern businesses.
A vast network of QuickBooks Online ProAdvisors.
QuickBooks Online is backed by a vast network of ProAdvisors — certified professionals and CPAs who can provide expert advice and support.
Whether you need help setting up your software, troubleshooting issues, or understanding complex features, a ProAdvisor can be invaluable. You can access this network via phone support or online, making it a flexible and accessible service.
Why Is QuickBooks Online Worth the Investment?
QuickBooks Online, a standout in the realm of accounting software providers, has many features to consider. To make an informed decision, it's essential to understand what this platform brings and how it measures up to your specific needs.
Yes, QuickBooks Online is more expensive than some other options, such as Xero or Freshbooks. This might initially seem like a drawback, but it's crucial to consider the broader picture. The higher cost reflects the comprehensive suite of available tools and resources.
When you assess the value these bring to your business operations, the price might not seem quite as steep.
Comparatively, QuickBooks Online might seem to have fewer features than its Desktop counterpart. This might be apparent in areas such as financial report customization.
While the Online version may not provide extensive template tailoring, it's worth noting that this only requires more manual input. It's a minor trade-off considering the benefits and accessibility of meeting your accounting needs online.
One area where QuickBooks Online has room for improvement is in comparing estimated to actual project costs. This function, crucial for tracking project profitability, is currently unavailable.
But before you dismiss QuickBooks Online, remember that it does offer robust time-tracking and expense-tracking features. There is a learning curve, but it's worth climbing for the comprehensive benefits.
Additionally, while QuickBooks Online is highly versatile, it might lack some industry-specific features that niche businesses require. For example, it might not cater to unique charts of accounts or complex inventory tracking.
However, QuickBooks Online allows the use of add-ons. These augmenting tools could be the key to fulfilling your specific business needs, making QuickBooks Online a suitable, adaptable choice.
QuickBooks Online, like any other platform, is not without its limitations. However, its robust features, adaptability, and the convenience of an online platform continue to be a worthwhile investment for many businesses.
How much does Quickbooks Online cost?
Quickbooks Online features a free 30-day trial, but after that period ends, you'll need to select one of the following paid plans:
- Simple Start: $30 monthly that provides basic accounting tools on a single-user license.
- Essentials: $55 monthly that includes the same features as the Simple Start plan for up to three users. You'll also have access to bill management software and the ability to add employee time to invoices.
- Plus: $85 monthly that includes the same features as the Essentials plan for up to five users. You'll also have access to project tracking and inventory tracking features.
- Advanced: $200 monthly that includes the same features as the Plus plan for up to 25 users. You'll also receive a dedicated account team, employee expense management, batch invoicing, advanced business analytics, workflow automation, and other elite features.
Quickbooks Online FAQs
What's the difference between Quickbooks and Quickbooks Online?
QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online are accounting software solutions from Intuit QuickBooks, designed to assist with small business accounting.
The primary difference lies in their deployment: QuickBooks Desktop is a software program installed on a single computer. QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based platform accessible anywhere with an internet connection.
QuickBooks Online also offers real-time collaboration, automatic updates, and the ability to link directly to your bank and credit card accounts for real-time updates.
Are there security risks when using accounting software?
While no online system is immune to security risks, QuickBooks Online employs robust security measures to protect your data. This includes data encryption, secure webmail, and routine third-party audits.
However, users are also encouraged to use strong passwords, regularly update their software and exercise caution when dealing with suspicious emails to further mitigate risks.
How do you get QuickBooks Online for free?
QuickBooks Online does not offer a completely free version. However, it does provide a free 30-day trial for its online software, allowing businesses to use QuickBooks Online and explore its features without a commitment.
After the trial, businesses can continue with a paid plan that best suits their needs. Some features, such as QuickBooks Payments and QuickBooks Payroll, are add-ons with additional costs.
Is Quickbooks Online the right accounting software for you?
Choosing the right accounting software can be a pivotal decision for any business.
QuickBooks Online offers a robust suite of features, from efficient bank reconciliation to excellent inventory management. Its vast network of ProAdvisors provides an extra layer of support, ensuring users can maximize the software's potential.
However, it's pricier than some alternatives and may not cater to all industry-specific needs. Whether QuickBooks Online is the right choice depends on your business needs and budget.
It's always a good idea to consult a CPA to ensure your chosen software aligns with your financial management goals and compliance requirements.
If you want to learn more about accounting software for your business, check out Entrepreneur's other articles for additional information.