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QuickBooks Review: The Accounting Software for Small Businesses

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In today’s fast-paced business world, keeping track of your finances is super important for success. QuickBooks, made by Intuit, is a top accounting software that helps small and medium-sized businesses, freelancers, and independent contractors manage their money matters. With loads of cool features to help with bookkeeping, invoicing, payroll, and more, QuickBooks aims to save you time and help you make smart decisions.

In this Quickbooks online review, we’ll take a closer look at software, exploring its features, benefits, different versions, and alternatives, so you can figure out if it’s the right fit for your business.

What is QuickBooks?

quickbooks homepage

QuickBooks is a popular accounting software developed by Intuit, an American financial software company. Launched in 1998, QuickBooks was initially designed to cater to the needs of small businesses. Over the years, it has evolved into a comprehensive financial management tool used by millions of businesses, freelancers, and independent contractors worldwide.

The software’s success is in part fo its ability to simplify complex financial tasks, business processes, and provide valuable insights. Some of the most important features that make QuickBooks stand out include:

  • User-friendly interface: QuickBooks offers a clean, intuitive design that makes it easy for users to navigate and manage their financials.
  • Invoicing and payments: The software allows users to create professional, customizable invoices, set up payment reminders, and automate recurring billing.
  • Expense tracking and management: Users can easily capture receipts, categorize expenses, and monitor spending patterns to optimize cash flow.
  • Payroll management: QuickBooks simplifies payroll processing with automated calculations, direct deposit, and compliance features.
  • Banking and reconciliation: The software connects with bank accounts for seamless transaction management and reconciliation.
  • Reporting and analytics: QuickBooks provides a range of pre-built and customizable reports to help users better understand their financial health.
  • Integrations and add-ons: Users can extend the software’s functionality by connecting it with various third-party apps and tools.

With its rich feature set, QuickBooks has become the go-to accounting solution for businesses and individuals looking for an efficient and reliable way to manage their finances.

Features and Benefits of QuickBooks

Let’s dive into the features and benefits of QuickBooks. Here’s a rundown of some key features that make QuickBooks a popular choice for businesses:

1. User-friendly Interface

QuickBooks offers a clean, intuitive interface that makes it easy for users of all levels to navigate through the software. The customizable dashboard provides an at-a-glance view of your financials, including income, expenses, and overdue invoices.

quickbooks dashboard interface

This user-friendly design ensures you can quickly access the tools and features you need to manage your finances efficiently.

2. Invoicing and Payments

QuickBooks allows you to create professional invoices in just a few clicks. Choose from various templates, customize them with your logo, and even add personalized messages to your clients. You can set up payment reminders to automatically notify your clients when their invoice is due or overdue.

quickbooks invoicing menu

For recurring payments, use the recurring billing feature to automate invoice generation and save time. The great thing is that once you’ve added your customer details and the type of billing/invoicing you want to do, the whole process becomes a matter of a few clicks.

quickbooks recurring transactions menu

Additionally, QuickBooks supports multiple payment options, including credit cards and bank transfers, making it convenient for your clients to pay you.

3. Expense Tracking and Management

QuickBooks simplifies expense tracking by allowing you to capture receipts using your smartphone camera. The software then extracts the relevant data and categorizes the expense accordingly.

You can also manually enter expenses, split transactions between categories, and attach notes to provide context. With QuickBooks payments, you can easily monitor your expenses, helping you identify patterns, reduce unnecessary spending, and improve your overall cash flow.

quickbooks expense template

The expense templates are thorough and let you choose payment accounts, type of bill, categories and more so that you can easily sort through your expenses.

4. Payroll Management

QuickBooks’ payroll management features help you ease the payroll process, ensuring your employees get paid accurately and on time. The software calculates employee wages, deducts taxes, and takes care of benefit contributions automatically.

You can also set up direct deposit to securely transfer funds to your employees’ bank accounts. QuickBooks keeps you compliant with tax laws by providing automatic tax updates, generating tax forms, and offering e-filing options.

5. Banking and Reconciliation

Connecting your bank account to QuickBooks allows you to view and manage your transactions within the software. The automatic transaction matching feature compares your imported bank transactions with those recorded in QuickBooks, making it easy to spot discrepancies and reconcile your accounts.

quickbooks bank reconciliation reports

You can also create custom bank rules to automate the categorization of transactions, helping you maintain accurate financial records with minimal manual intervention.

6. Reporting and Analytics

QuickBooks offers a range of pre-built report templates, covering areas such as profit and loss, balance sheet, cash flow, and more. You can customize these reports by adjusting filters, date ranges, and display options to get the insights you need.

quickbooks consolidated reports dashboard

The software also allows you to create visual representations of your financial data using graphs and charts, making it easier to identify trends and make informed decisions. With QuickBooks’ reporting and analytics capabilities, you gain a better understanding of your business’s financial health.

7. Integrations and Add-Ons

QuickBooks boasts a robust ecosystem of third-party integrations and add-ons that extend its functionality and help you streamline your business processes. It integrates directly with 750 apps.

quickbooks integrations

From customer relationship management (CRM) and inventory management to time tracking and project management, there’s an integration for virtually every aspect of your business.

Who is QuickBooks for?

Each version of Quickbooks is tailored to specific user needs, making it a versatile solution for different types of businesses and individuals. Let’s take a look at the three main editions and find out who they’re best suited for:

1. QuickBooks Online

Intuit QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based solution that’s perfect for small to medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs who need to access their financials on-the-go. Since it’s hosted in the cloud, you can access your data from anywhere with an internet connection – whether you’re using a computer or the mobile app.

This edition offers multiple pricing plans with varying features, allowing you to choose one based on your business needs and budget. With real-time collaboration, automatic updates, and seamless integrations with other apps, QuickBooks Online is ideal for businesses looking for a flexible and scalable accounting solution.

2. QuickBooks Desktop

QuickBooks Desktop is a locally installed software designed for businesses that prefer a more traditional approach to accounting. This edition offers advanced features, such as inventory tracking, job costing, and industry-specific tools, making it a great fit for businesses with complex accounting requirements.

Since it’s a one-time purchase, QuickBooks Desktop could be a cost-effective choice for businesses that don’t need constant access to their financials from multiple devices. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to upgrade to the latest version periodically to continue receiving support and updates.

3. QuickBooks Self-Employed

QuickBooks Self-Employed is specifically designed for freelancers, independent contractors, and gig workers who need a simplified accounting solution. This edition focuses on essential features like income and expense tracking, invoicing, and tax estimation, making it easier for self-employed individuals to manage their finances without getting overwhelmed by complex tools.

With its affordable pricing and user-friendly interface, QuickBooks Self-Employed is an excellent choice for those who are just starting out in the world of self-employment and need a straightforward way to stay on top of their financials.

Customer Support

QuickBooks offers a variety of support options to help users with their accounting needs:

  1. Resource Center: Find articles, guides, and video tutorials covering a wide range of topics.
  2. Community Forum: Connect with other users and experts to ask questions, share tips, and learn from their experiences.
  3. Tutorials: Videos and webinars that cover basics of using the software
  4. Live Chat and Phone Support: Get personalized assistance from knowledgeable support agents (availability may vary depending on your subscription plan or edition).

QuickBooks provides a solid customer support experience with multiple channels to choose from, making sure users have access to the help they need.

QuickBooks Pricing

quickbooks pricing page

QuickBooks offer four subscription plans for their online accounting software:

  • Simple Start ($30/month): This plan includes features such as income and expense tracking, invoicing and payments, tax deductions, general financial reports, receipt capture, mileage tracking, cash flow, sales and sales tax, estimates, and the ability to connect one sales channel.
  • Essentials ($55/month): This plan includes all the features of Simple Start plus enhanced reports, the ability to connect three sales channels, bill management, time tracking, and support for up to three users.
  • Plus ($85/month): This plan includes all the features of Essentials plus comprehensive reports, the ability to connect all sales channels, inventory tracking, project profitability tracking, budget management, and support for up to five users.
  • Advanced ($200/month): This plan includes all the features of Plus and data sync with Excel, batch invoicing and expenses, custom access controls, workflow automation, data restoration, 24/7 support and training, revenue recognition, and bookkeeping support. You also get a dedicated account team.

In addition to these main subscription plans, QuickBooks also offers add-on services such as Live Assisted Bookkeeping for an additional $50/month.

Pros and Cons

What’s great about Quickbooks

  1. User-friendly interface: QuickBooks offers an intuitive design that makes it easy for users to navigate and manage their financials.
  2. Feature-rich: The software covers a wide range of accounting tasks, from invoicing and expense tracking to payroll management and reporting.
  3. Scalable: With various editions tailored to different user needs, QuickBooks can grow with your business as it evolves.
  4. Integrations: QuickBooks connects with numerous third-party apps, allowing you to extend its functionality and streamline your business processes.
  5. Cloud-based access: QuickBooks Online and Self-Employed provide the convenience of accessing your financial data from anywhere with an internet connection.

What could be better

  1. Pricing: Some users might find the subscription pricing for QuickBooks Online to be on the higher side, especially when compared to other accounting software options.
  2. Learning curve: While QuickBooks is generally user-friendly, mastering some of its advanced features may require a bit of time and effort.

Alternatives to QuickBooks

While QuickBooks is a popular choice for accounting software, it’s always a good idea to explore alternatives to ensure you’re finding the best fit for your needs. Let’s take a look at some other options worth considering:

1. Xero

Xero is a cloud-based accounting solution that rivals QuickBooks in terms of features and ease of use. With its clean interface, robust reporting, and extensive app ecosystem, Xero is an excellent option for small to medium-sized businesses. It also offers unlimited users on all plans, making it a cost-effective choice for growing teams.

2. FreshBooks

FreshBooks is a user-friendly accounting software designed specifically for freelancers and small business owners. It excels in areas like invoicing, time tracking, and expense management. If you’re looking for a more affordable and straightforward option than QuickBooks, FreshBooks might be right up your alley.

Try Freshbooks today

3. Zoho Books

Zoho Books is part of the Zoho suite of business apps and offers a comprehensive accounting solution for small businesses. It boasts an intuitive interface, customizable reports, and seamless integration with other Zoho products. If you’re already using Zoho tools or want an affordable alternative to QuickBooks, Zoho Books is worth checking out.

Try out Zoho today

4. Wave

Wave is a free accounting software that caters to small businesses, freelancers, and sole proprietors. It offers essential features like invoicing, expense tracking, and basic reporting. While it may not have the advanced capabilities of QuickBooks, Wave is an excellent choice for those on a tight budget or just starting their business journey.

Try Wave today

There are several viable alternatives to QuickBooks, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. By exploring these options, you can make an informed decision about which accounting software best meets your unique business needs.

You can also read our guide on the top budgeting and accounting software that goes over the best options out there to see if another app suits you better. We also have a guide dedicated to invoicing software suited for freelancers.

QuickBooks Online Wrap Up

In the world of accounting software, QuickBooks has made a name for itself with its versatile editions and feature-rich offerings. From managing a QuickBooks Online account to leveraging the power of cloud-based accounting software, businesses, and individuals have found value in this popular solution.

However, as we’ve explored throughout this review, there are also some drawbacks to consider. It’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons, evaluate customer support options, and explore alternatives before making your final decision.

So, what’s the verdict on QuickBooks Online and its other editions? While it may not be the perfect fit for everyone, QuickBooks remains a reliable and robust accounting software choice for many users. With its intuitive interface, comprehensive features, and integrations with third-party apps, QuickBooks is a great choice for those seeking an all-in-one accounting solution.

You might also want to check out alternatives to Quickbooks before making a decision. Other software reviews to check out: FreshBooks In-depth Review

FAQs

Is it worth it to use QuickBooks?

Yes, QuickBooks is worth considering for its user-friendly interface, comprehensive features, and scalability. However, it’s essential to evaluate your specific needs, budget, and available alternatives before making a decision.

What are the cons of using QuickBooks?

A: Some cons of using QuickBooks include potentially higher subscription costs, limited live support availability, and a learning curve for mastering advanced features.

Is QuickBooks good for beginners?

QuickBooks is generally beginner-friendly, thanks to its intuitive interface and helpful resources. However, some advanced features may require time and effort to master.

Is QuickBooks good for small businesses?

Yes, QuickBooks is suitable for small businesses, offering various editions tailored to different needs. It covers a wide range of accounting tasks and can grow with your business as it evolves.

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