Software Review: QuickBooks Online

From cloud-based accounting software to desktop software to simple Excel documents, business owners can use various methods to track their monthly income and expenses. And if we are being honest, each accounting software has pros and cons.

Here is our review of the popular Quickbooks Online (QBO) software many small business owners utilize. This cloud-based accounting software allows business owners and accountants to view data anywhere and anytime.

Cost Breakdown

There is a natural cost of doing business – whether it be your time or money. QBO has plans that range from $15/month to $140/month, depending on the business’s level of needs. The more expensive the plan, the more features available for the small business.

Do you require payroll to be done through Quickbooks? That will cost you an extra $20/month + $4/employee (per month!).

Quickbooks often has promotions that save SMBs as much as 50% over the first few months. However, if QBO is your product of choice, consider reaching out to your accountant first, as they may have a lower monthly rate.

Pros of Quickbooks Online

  1. Bank Transactions – When asking around the office, the most popular pro for QBO is its ability to import banking transactions and copies of bank statements. Now, there may be some banks that don’t allow this feature. However, you can often still manually upload the transactions in those instances.
  2. Supporting Documents –QBO provides a convenient place to upload copies of receipts for each transaction. This becomes particularly useful when you go back and see what a particular transaction or expense was for.  And if CRA ever comes calling, you won’t have to search old records to find that one fuel receipt.
  3. Accountant Access – As it is cloud-based software, your accountant can view the information in real-time. Are you experiencing a problem with an entry? Your accountant can simply hop onto the system anytime and help with the problem. You no longer need to drop off a USB drive for your accountant to see the problem you are talking about with your bank reconciliation. That saves time and money!
  4. Help from Quickbook Online Support – The support from the QuickBooks team has been fantastic on their online product. They have a chat feature that typically connects you with an agent within fifteen minutes, and while the support doesn’t always give the answer we want, we at least connect with someone to help with the issue.
  5. App Integration – QBO has many apps it integrates with (almost too many!). There are apps that you can integrate for determining quotes, customer management, inventory tracking, receiving payments, and so much more.

Quickbooks Online Cons:

  1. Bank Security – The top pro for QBO also happens to be one of its cons.  Some banks require dual authentication or new passwords every few months. This often causes your QBO file to “disconnect” from your bank requiring you to re-establish the link. Quite frankly, it can be a headache for business owners. And if you have a bookkeeper or your accountant completing the work, they likely will need to email you to reconnect everything. The process gets incredibly frustrating if you aren’t bookkeeping monthly, as only 90 days of transactions are often retrieved.
  2. Learning Curve – One of the biggest frustrations with QBO is that when it goes wrong, it can go really wrong. When you have multiple bank accounts or are using the receivables or payables module, it becomes essential to understand how data should be entered. Depending on the company’s complexity, users can have a significant learning curve. For example, when there are multiple bank accounts, users may end up double recording transfers rather than using the matching feature that connects the transactions.
  3.  Account Numbering – QuickBooks has never made account numbering mandatory. While QBO does allow for accounting numbering, it also doesn’t force the issue. Perhaps not a huge deal for most, but from an accountant’s perspective, we like to see those account numbers. It tends to make our lives easier.
  4.  File is Active – The bonus of a cloud-based system is that as long as you have a solid internet connection, you can access the most up-to-date data anytime. However, the downside of this is that the file is always live. When you hand your file over to an accountant to complete the year-end, if you continue to add transactions after the fact, they are working with a moving target.  And you can’t simply copy the data or backup up the data (unless you have QBO Advanced, which includes a backup feature).  Sometimes, you want to test things out without impacting your current data.

Our JMH Ranking for Quickbooks Online

When asked around the office, the average ranking for QBO was an 8 out of 10.  The consensus is that when it works, it is fantastic.

If you are thinking of making the switch or want some help to obtain even greater value from Quickbooks Online, reach out to us here at JMH & Co. Many of the team here are QuickBooks Advanced Pro Advisors and can help ensure your success.

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