QuickBooks Online: to be or not to be?

QuickBooks Online (QBO) has been around for awhile. It’s developed by Intuit, a company that has a big presence among small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with its QuickBooks Desktop (QBD) software. Many SMEs owners are considering or struggling with whether to adopt this new cloud accounting solution. In today’s article, we will share our experience with QBO from our own testing with our clients, as a reference for you to make a better decision for your company.

QuickBooks desktop software charges  a one-time purchase price. However, QBO is charged on monthly subscription fee basis. There are three different product options:

  • Simple Start: for businesses with only simple transactions
  • Essential: for businesses requiring the majority bookkeeping functions, like bank reconciliation, billing and invoicing, sales taxes, and etc
  • Plus: the same features as Essential with more advanced management accounting functions, like budgeting, inventory management, and etc

If you want to have pay-cheques and source deductions calculated, you’ll need to subscribe to their Online Payroll service separately.

QuickBooks online offers a number of advantages:

  • Online access anytime, anywhere
  • Easy sync function with bank data
  • free technical support

However, here are some of the issues we encountered with QBO so far:

  • A lot of manual check work is required during conversion process, if you switch from other desktop software to QBO.
  • There is no method to export or backup the QBO file.
  • Technical issues appear to happen quite frequently for login or access to files.
  • Number and format customization features for reports are limited compared to the desktop version.
  • Information could be mixed up if multiple users are working on the same file.
  • The only method for recording inventory is First-in-First-out.

All the concerns aside, QuickBooks Online seems to be the way all accounting software is going. The real question is whether QBO is ready for prime time. At the moment, there still seem to be some glitches with it. We’ll continue to monitor it’s progress and let you know if we find that changes.

Switching accounting software is an extremely important decision for a company, attached with risks to financial information preparation, reporting, and government filing. We highly suggest business owners first assess and discuss business needs with your accountant, or contact us for a consultation at 416-495-1098 or info@apbs.ca.

The blogs posted on our website provide information of a general nature. These posts should not be considered specific advice; as each reader's personal financial situation is unique and fact specific. Please contact a professional advisor prior to implementing or acting upon any of the information contained in one of the blogs.

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