QuickBooks has become the de facto standard for small and medium-sized business accounting choice for nearly three decades. Year after year, Intuit, QuickBooks parent, has released iterations of the small business accounting software with more functionality and versatility. QuickBooks has been so popular because businesses of many different industries can seamlessly use the accounting software without any existing accounting knowledge. The user interface lets business owners glide through using the software, inputting data based on the terminology they understand, bills, sales, paychecks, etc.
Most businesses still end up hiring bookkeepers and accountants to use the software in their business to accurately record their finances in accordance with the US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Furthermore, accounting offices and bookkeeping services prefer the QuickBooks accounting software over many of its competitors because of its functionality, such as audit trails and data security, to do their job efficiently.
Below we review some key features and functionalities of QuickBooks Online 2021 that are important for many small businesses today to decide on the software.
So what attracted over 70% of small businesses to QuickBooks? We’ve heard a consistent accolade; you don’t need to understand accounting-word to use the software and see your financial position. Business owners no longer need to care about what debits and credit are, and their user interface has always been such that you enter your data based on the item is, bills, workers, timesheets, sales, etc.
The true ingenuity of QuickBooks has always been doing away with the convoluted, stodgy language and providing a real-time picture of their financial health. You no longer need to pull in the Statement of Comprehensive Income if a business owner wants to see their performance. Simply refer to it as Profit & Loss, and they can see it in real-time from their mobile app.
The advancements have not sacrificed any accounting functionality. QuickBooks Online is also accountants’ most preferred accounting software. It gives them an audit trail of transactions, bank-grade security features to protect financial data, and easily integrates with numerous client accounts to review the books remotely.
Third-party integrations are another vital asset of QuickBooks Online. Business owners can easily integrate bank accounts and credit card accounts with QuickBooks Online to automate an intuitive reconciliation process to categorize expenses based on past activity and add that to the review tab for users.
QuickBooks Online users can use the cloud-based software, and the mobile app can integrate with Gmail to directly invoice clients from the email service.
Payment processors, online marketplaces, payroll systems, CRM tools, and more than 650 business apps tout QuickBooks integration as an advantage to quickly sync data for faster and more efficient reconciliation and recordkeeping.
The robust reporting functionality of QuickBooks Online is another key differentiator of the small business accounting software among its peers. There is a slew of standard reports available for businesses to easily pin as favorites to access at easily anytime, including via the mobile app. These reports include aging receivables, profit and loss, job costing, payroll reports, and many more.
Users can also take advantage of QuickBooks’QuickBooks’ scheduled reporting functionality. The software will automatically generate specific reports at a specified time and email them to particular recipients on a recurring basis.
A significant component of a business’s brand and online reputation can be its investment into its customer support initiative. It is one of the most complained about aspects of a company, ”I can never get a rep on the phone to resolve the issue.”
Although customer support hasn’t always been a strong suit for QuickBooks, Intuit has made great strides in improving its track record. Today QuickBooks offers a bevy of help articles, a discussion board with other QuickBooks users managed by Community Managers, video tutorials, FAQs, an extensive network of QuickBooks Pro Advisors, and the traditional customer support.
QuickBooks Online is available via a tiered pricing model based on four options businesses can choose from based on their needs. The company often has a promotional offer of 50% off the first months on their standard monthly pricing. Below we present the details of their four tiers, regular monthly costs, and some of the features of each tier.
|Plan||QuickBooks Online Simple Start||QuickBooks Online Essentials||QuickBooks Online Plus||QuickBooks Online Advanced|
|Features||• Send out invoices and receive payments|
• Record and monitor income and expenses
• Categorize income and expense heads based on tax classification
• Run financial reports
• Upload or email receipts on the go with the QuickBooks mobile app
• Use smartphone GPS to track miles.
• Cash flow monitoring
• Client estimates can be customized and sent out
• Payment management for 1099 Contractors
|• All of Simple Start features plus|
• Enhanced reporting capabilities around sales, receivables and payable
• Bill payments
• Time tracking and monitoring billable hours
|• All of Essentials features plus|
• Enhanced reporting capabilities around inventory, profitability, budgeting, specific expense tracking reports.
• Reports can ran and customized using pre-built templates
• Third-party integration of inventory and cost of goods
|• All of Plus features plus|
• Customizable dashboards
• Monitor KPIs Fathom analytics (included)
• Control and assign user access by role
• Batch invoicing, task management and exclusive integrations
• Membership to Priority Circle Support which includes 24/7 priority phone and message support along with a dedicated Customer Success Manager
Over the years, Intuit has been very proactive in keeping QuickBooks Online abreast of industry and business changes, quickly adopting common product enhancement recommendations vital for businesses to continue using the accounting software uninterrupted by the competition. The company has continuously met business needs such as third-party integrations, payment processing, a mobile app, robust online reporting and dashboards, and numerous other add-ons for businesses to incorporate as they are needed.
Although many new players in the accounting software market compete effectively only on price, it is hard for them to unseat a giant in the industry at the helm for well over two decades, with nearly three-quarters of the market share of small businesses accounting software. In 2021, the best accounting software is QuickBooks Online.