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How does QuickBooks Online compare with other Finance & Accounting apps?
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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.
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.
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] (http://www.getapp.com/method-crm-application-1), [Time Tracking by TSheets] (http://www.getapp.com/tsheets-online-time-tracking-application), [Bill.com] (http://www.getapp.com/bill-com-application), [Jobber] (http://www.getapp.com/jobber-application), [Shoeboxed] (http://www.getapp.com/shoeboxed-application) and [Mavenlink] (http://www.getapp.com/mavenlink-professional-services-automation-application).
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.