- author: Ethan Willse
With over 4.3 million users, QuickBooks is one of the most popular accounting platforms for small and mid-sized businesses. Although it still offers a desktop version, the majority of business owners favor the cloud-based QuickBooks platform, which can be accessed on practically every device. Coupled with easy accessibility, this accounting platform also has various plans available, depending on the size and needs of your business.
Plans & Pricing
As one of the most-used accounting platforms in the world, it’s no surprise that QuickBooks has competitive prices that make them a more desirable choice over other industry providers. In fact, compared to their competitor Xero, who offers their premium plan at $70 per month, QuickBooks is a much more affordable option.
$5 per month for the first three months, $10 per month afterward. Designed especially for sole proprietors, the Self-Employed package is the lowest-priced option that QuickBooks offers. Despite being a budget-friendly plan, it offers several powerful bookkeeping and reporting tools for Schedule C filers. The core features include income and expense tracking, quarterly tax estimations, invoicing, and payment processing. Despite being the most basic plan, you can still run vital financial reports such as balance sheets and profit and loss statements.
$10 per month for the first three months, $20 per month afterward. The first of the small business options is the Simple Start plan. With nearly all the features of the Self-Employed plan, the Simple Start also has additional tools for tracking sales, maximizing tax deductions, and sending estimates that can later be converted to invoices. This plan is best suited for sole proprietors, as it only allows one user.
$17 per month for the first three months, $20 per month afterward. Intended for small-sized partnerships and non-profits, the Essentials plan comes with all the benefits of Simple Start, plus a few additional features like bill management and time tracking. Furthermore, this plan allows up to three users to access the QuickBooks platform. If you have multiple employees, this package is especially useful because you can clock employee time and automatically add it to invoices.
$30 per month for the first three months, $50 per month afterward. The most advanced option available is the Plus plan, intended for small to mid-sized corporations, partnerships, and non-profits. This plan comes with all the features of the Essentials plan, plus the ability to track projects, inventory, and manage 1,099 contractors. If your business is continually taking on new ventures, you can see how much you’re making on each one and allocate all expenses and unbilled work to the specific project. Together with the more advanced features, this plan also allows up to five users.
Features and Functionality
The mile tracking tool is available with the Self-Employed plan and uses your cell phone GPS to automatically track distances. It also allows you to categorize the miles and then deduct them from your taxes.
Invoice and payment tracking
The invoices and payments feature allows users to create custom invoices, accept payments from clients, and monitor past-due invoices. Each of these features is available through the desktop application or mobile device. The Simple Start plan also tracks sales tax at the time of invoicing, so you can easily keep track.
Depending on your plan, QuickBooks allows you to add enhanced or full-service payroll and pay employees via 24-hour direct deposits. The platform also stores W2 forms, so they can be printed come tax season.
Available with the Plus plan, QuickBooks lets you analyze the revenue and expenses of a particular venture to aid in long-term decision making for your business. Since the plan allows up to five employees to access the platform, all project stakeholders can easily see its successes and pitfalls.
Ease of Use
Although it’s not rocket science, familiarizing yourself with QuickBooks does take some effort. The platform itself is set up almost instantly; however, you need to set up your company at the beginning. Once your company information is added, you’ll find that the interface is clean and easy-to-use, with a navigation bar on the left-hand side and a simple layout. There’s also a search bar where you can find transactions, contacts, and reports.
Don’t be scared away if the dashboard seems foreign to you; QuickBooks has a rich library of tutorial videos to help you get up and running. Since it’s such a popular platform, there are numerous how-to videos on YouTube and other third-party sites. If you prefer to learn in-person, Intuit hosts two-day classes in various cities throughout the United States.
Add-ons and Integrations
Intuit carefully designed QuickBooks so that it could be integrated with multiple applications and platforms. Below is an outline of some of the essential add-ons and integrations that make QuickBooks so powerful:
- Import transactions from PayPal, Square, your bank, and other financial institutions
- Link Shopify and other e-commerce platforms to track both sales and sales tax
- Process payments with mobile credit card readers or POS
- File both federal and state payroll taxes directly from your dashboard
- Download the QuickBooks app on both Androids and iPhones
- Link with Bill.com to automate your accounts payable process
- Sync Method: CRM to keep track of all customer interactions
Pros & Cons
- Accessible on nearly every device
- Low cost & free mobile apps
- No contract required
- Many support resources available online
- No 24/7 support
- Limited amount of users
The team at QuickBooks is available via chat and phone 12 hours per day during the week and between 6 am and 3 pm PCT on Saturday. Along with technical support services, there’s a detailed FAQ page with questions ranging from payroll to backing up data. If you’re a visual learner, there are countless tutorial videos both on the company’s official website and YouTube.
Phone SupportThe company offers phone support during business hours.
Live Online ChatOnline chat support is available for all your inquiries.
Video TutorialsVarious video tutorials are available both on QuickBooks’s official website and on YouTube.
FAQThe company’s website has a comprehensive FAQ page.
Often regarded as the industry standard, QuickBooks is a powerful accounting tool for small to mid-sized businesses. From inventory management to financial reporting, the various plans available make it easy for you to find the right fit for your business.
The cloud-based platform is user-friendly and continually being improved with new features and add-ons. With tons of help resources available online, you’ll never be left in the dark. Not only will QuickBooks take away the headaches of pen and paper bookkeeping, but it will also give you more time and tools to analyze the profitability and success of your business.