QuickBooks Online is for freelancers and small businesses aspiring to save time and mental energy by simplifying small business accounting via an integrated financial software system. It allows full capabilities to up to five users and limited functionalities (e.g., entering timesheet hours and viewing reports only) to an unlimited number of users. It is used primarily by small business owners, solopreneurs, finance officers, accountants and bookkeepers.Read the full GetApp Analysis
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- QuickBooks Online Essentials: $26.95/pm
- QuickBooks Online Plus: $39.95/pm
*Free 30 day trial
QuickBooks online is a cloud-based financial software for small businesses that takes care of accounting, billing and invoicing – all in a single platform. It allows you to create and manage invoices, print checks, reconcile banking and credit card transactions, track payments, enter and manage bills, create estimates, among others.
Created for freelancers and small businesses, QuickBooks Online offers an intuitive and user-friendly interface, with mobile tools for iPhone, iPad and Android devices for more flexible and time-efficient invoice creation, expense tracking and accounting experiences. Some of QuickBooks Online’s main features include easy invoice creation, online banking integration, app integrations, mobility and built-in reports that can be run in just a few clicks.
Launched in 2001, redesigned in 2013 and now serving more than 683,000 users, QuickBooks Online is a web-based small business accounting software that saves users time while keeping their finances organized. Depending on the plan you’re subscribed to, it combines a number of features in one platform: estimates, invoicing, time tracking, accounts payable, bank/credit card reconciliation, reporting, inventory, contacts, sales tax, tax forms, location and class tracking.
It also has a user-friendly dashboard that emphasizes overdue and open invoices, account balances, cash flow, and other tasks, affording you the ability to see important activities at a glance.
On the top middle section of the QuickBooks Online dashboard, there are three buttons that allow users to search for transactions, create invoices and other financial forms, and view recent transactions. To create a customer invoice, click on the plus (+) button and select Invoice from the drop-down menu. You will be taken to the Invoice page where you then will be required to input the invoice’s particulars such as customer name, email address, billing address, payment terms, invoice date, due date, and others.
Product/service line items can be manually entered or selected from pre-defined fields. Tax calculations and discounts are automatically deducted from the invoice amount shown in the top right corner of the screen. Invoices can be personalized by adding your company logo, a background image, choosing your own font and designating custom fields. Invoices can also be sent in batches or individually.
With QuickBooks Online’s banking integration feature, you can securely connect your online bank to automatically download financial transactions, so you won’t have to manually input the necessary data. Once synced, using the information your bank stores with the money going in and out of your account, like amounts, transaction dates, the places where the transactions occurred, and such, you can either accept or delete transactions, and categorize and assign them to suppliers or customers.
To connect your bank with QuickBooks Online, you will need your online banking username and password ready. This allows QuickBooks Online to establish a secure connection with your bank or credit card company. From the QuickBooks Online dashboard, choose Transactions, then Banking. On the upper right hand side of the screen, you will see a blue button marked Add Account. You will be prompted to enter your bank or credit card company’s name or URL, or choose from a list of popular financial institutions. Once your login credentials are verified to be working, simply follow the prompts to continue.
Integration with other software systems is one way to enable a seamless information flow between applications, thereby reducing data entry requirements and simplifying the way companies run their businesses.
QuickBooks Online doesn’t only integrate with QuickBooks Online apps and other add-ons. Through the Intuit Partner Platform, it also allows third-party app developers to create custom application systems that can benefit its base of small business users.
It happens even to the best of us. You purchase a spare part for your customer, and make a mental note that you need the receipt for later but end up losing it one way or another. With QuickBooks Online’s mobile apps, expense reporting is made easier through mobile receipt capture. You can even add photos and notes so you don’t forget the relevant details.
While the mobile versions are still lacking in terms of the full software’s functionality, QuickBooks Online’s mobile apps let you review your transactions even when on the go, see customer balances, and mark invoices as paid. Electronic signatures also enable you to immediately approve estimates.
QuickBooks Online has a long list of pre-built reports that show the overall financial health of your business. These reports fall into several different buckets: Business Overview, Manage Accounts Receivable, Manage Accounts Payable, Accountant Reports, Reconciliation Reports, Manage Products and Inventory, Review Sales, Review Expenses and Purchases, Manage Sales Tax and Manage Employees.
To run a report, go to Reports from the QuickBooks dashboard and select the type of report you want to run. Next, customize your reporting fields, if needed. Select a transaction date from a drop-down menu or specify your target date range. After clicking on Run Report, you are ready to print, email, export the report as an Excel file, or save customizations.
Aside from easy integration with other QuickBooks applications such as QuickBooks Payments and QuickBooks Payroll, QuickBooks Online offers add-ons such as Method CRM, Time Tracking by TSheets, Bill.com, Jobber, Shoeboxed and Mavenlink.
And then, there’s the QuickBooks API that provides app developers the ability to integrate their products with QuickBooks Online and expose their products to a large pool of small business owners. The QuickBooks API client allows them access to their customers’ data via a REST-based API that works with QuickBooks Online. Also, Intuit’s Apps.com is a place where third-party apps can be published and found by businesses looking for systems to further simplify their processes.
QuickBooks Online offers three pricing packages: Simple Start, Essentials and Plus. Simple Start is priced at $9.99 a month and allows one user to reconcile bank transactions and create estimates and invoices. The data can be shared with two accountants.
Essentials is pegged at a monthly $19.99 and includes all the functionalities of Simple Start, with an accounts payable feature that allows up to three users to track and pay bills. With inventory and 1099 preparation included to the regular Essentials plan, Plus is at $29.99 per month and supports up to five users.
Jessica McCann, Digital Marketer | Geographer | Traveler
I use QuickBooks online to enter my time, classify my time, and run reports. It's user-friendly and we've never had any bugs or other issues. I cannot speak to the value of the app because I'm not sure what we pay for it.
Pros: Easy entry, easy classification, easy to run reports. No bugs.
Cons: A huge con is that when you're viewing your list of clients or projects to bill to, you can only see the first couple of words. We have very long project names so this is super annoying. Other than this, I've never had any issues.
Sharon Means, CPA, Sharon Means Business! Dynamic CPA/Controller with over 20 years of experience
QBO is the best way to do accounting in the cloud. We have used it at our firm exclusively for over 5 years. It gives you and your client 24/7 access to your accounting data. It connects to some many different apps as well, making it the perfect platform for any business.
Pros: In the cloud, available 24/7, easy to use, price, great platform for other apps.
Cons: Nothing! They are coming a long way from where it started, it truly is where the future is headed.
Ease of use
Value for money
John North, Looking for Authors | Marketing and Business Strategist | CEO | 2 x #1 Best Selling Author
I've been using Quickbooks Online for quite some time now and I've very satisfied and impressed on how it works! It definitely saves me a lot of time and energy because this all in one accounting software does everything for you. This software is very easy to use and to understand and is also mobile compatible and print friendly.
Pros: The multi-platform is very transparent and it auto-syncs to all your connected devices and up to five users can connect at the same time. Restrictions can also be created for each user.
Cons: It may have limited functionalities for an unlimited number of users but overall, Quickbooks online is very easy to manage.
Ease of use
Value for money
William Avon, LUTCF, Leveraging Financial Services, Insurance and Income Generation Programs for Asset Protection and Financial Growth
Quickbooks online is very easy to use and navigate. We love it much better than the local version so we have ease of access an billing. The only downside is it does lack good support.
Pros: Quality accounting program. Easy to use. Great integrations.
Cons: Customer support is seriously lacking for anything above basic tasks.
Ease of use
Value for money
Tim Mokry, Director of Operations & Consultant at No Roof Restaurant Group
QBO is a great app for small business and has all the features needed to probably do all your book keeping and basic reporting.
Pros: Ease of Use, Speedy to learn for even the novice individual
Cons: Wish it would let you customize your reporting more as we utilize 4,4,5 period accounting and can't compare periods against each other. If it did this, it would be perfect!
Ease of use
Value for money
Bob Cooke, Consultant at Bob Cooke Procurement Consulting, LLC
The arrogance off these QB online is palpable. Nothing on the transition between QB Pro to Online went as the said it would. Many of the payroll transactions had to be entered manually even though they clear done on the Pro version. I have used the Pro version for a few years but the online version is junk. I am quitting the online version and going to somebody else that knows how to do support. Barely understandable support people that are not well trained, trying to support a product that does not work well.
Pros: I can use on any computer that I like, which is the reason that I changed from the Pro version to the online version
Cons: Extremely poor support, bad data transfer, one way feedback. (they have never responded to the many comments and constructive suggestions that I have made). Invoicing uses the ugliest forms that I have ever seen. I am ashamed to send an invoice to a client that looks so amateurish.
Kathy aleman, Independent Health, Wellness and Fitness Professional
the online version according to QuickBooks customer service does not work for our business
Pros: if it works for your business I guess it's okay
Cons: after about 10 codes to customer service we found out from a test that the online version would not break down payment for our customers we are kitchen showroom and we charge people 50 percent 45 percent and 10 percent at the end. QuickBooks Online said they could not accommodate this small feature that we needed we must have talked to 10 different customer service reps before finding this out and waiting on the phone sometimes as long as 45 minutes I would not recommend QuickBooks really to anybody it's gotten way too complicated we are looking for another accounting system
Angela Blackburn, Experienced Operations Executive, Contact Center Information and Technology Architect and Transformation Expert
We have a small family owned business and have been using QB for Mac 2014 for about 18 months, along with Intuit Payroll for Mac and GoPayments for credit card processing. Our accountant lives 3000 miles away so we agreed that QB Online would be a great way to allow her access and share information. Well, I cancelled my subscription the day after signing up! Shortly after trying the online version, my desktop login's corrupted so I had to spend over an hour on the phone with customer service only to be told it is not a software problem and that the tech team can restore it for $250-$750! When also tried to charge me $59.85 for the call after the fact - absolutely no disclosure up front that I may have to pay for her help!
Pros: The desktop software meets our basic needs for providing estimates, invoicing, running payroll and running credit card payments. The online version has some great benefits like the ability to share with my accountant, and the ability to access all our customer information via our portable devices. The migration from our desktop version to QB Online went fine, and I loved the fact I could see all my data and reports on my iPad. However, that's where the benefits ended!
Cons: Desktop version for Mac is more limited - a sad reality that I had hoped the online version would fix. Well, our Intuit Payroll for Mac cannot be imported automatically so I had to manually add our payroll data for 2015, and reapply for the e-file services. Then I find out that I cannot input prior year payroll history. The real killer came when I uploaded our logo and wanted to design our customer forms in keeping with our marketing style. I tried using the online forms and was immediately disappointed by the inability to move and add fields, and I was unable to resize our logo due to the limitation of the field. So I looked for an app to upload a customized form - there is none! Intuit's engineering and development teams need to spend time on the community and actually use the software. This is unacceptable for the leader in this industry!
John Moushati, President at Complete Family Dentistry, LLC
I have been a QuickBooks online customer for 6 years. Year by year the service is getting worse. I used to call and get someone to fix an issue immediately. Recently, I had an error in QuickPayroll that I couldn't pay my employees. I had to do it manually. The customer service phone number was hidden from the public eye and you have to work hard to dig it. The waiting period to hold is more than 1/2 hour. Finally, I got someone oversees that was reading from a script and technically incompetent. He promised to escalate the issue. When I complained I got an email to be patient. One week after, no one had the courtesy to contact me. Enough said that I have to drop the software.
Wendi Gilliam, Reclaimed Lumber Products
We have used QBO, Payroll and Intuit payments for over 3 years now. The service continues to get worse. Hold times are long and the staff that finally does take your call are very polite but inexperienced. As a result I have spent many hours dealing with problems because the staff takes so long to figure out the issue. I have called three different times about an issue and gotten 3 different explanations. There are glitches with how Payroll and Payments interfaces with QBO. We need the cloud based version as we are on the road a lot but I much preferred the desktop version and the payroll service was better before they were acquired by Intuit. It is almost like Intuit has gotten too big and cannot service it all well.
Pros: -Cloud based -The idea of payroll and payments being automatically linked to your bookkeeping is great but the actual interface of the three still has problems.
Cons: -Long hold times -Inexperienced customer service reps -Inability to escalate concerns -Troubles with their system being down. -You are kind of captive once you sign on to all their services. -Holes in interface between services. You make changes to payroll through QBO and everything appears fine to you as the user. There is no notification that additional steps are required. We had a new checking account. Made all the changes we could see to have payroll run from the new account. The QBO registers showed it pulling from the new account but the actual payroll paid from the old account. -Intuit payments does not consistently notify you when a payment is returned. We also shipped $2200 worth of product and were never notified that the payment had been returned.
Below are some frequently asked questions for QuickBooks Online.
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