Intuit – QuickBooks Online
From the May 2012 review of SaaS Small Business Accounting Systems.
- Friendly user interface and simple navigation
- Automated deposit and credit card account data imports from most banks
- No contracts or long-term commitments.
- Product supports most major internet browsers.
- Limited inventory and project/job costing functionality
- Does not support consolidations, multiple currencies or multiple languages
- Does not integrate with as many solutions as the locally installed application, although the product integrates with more third party tools than any other application in this review
Best Fit: Companies who prefer the ease of use of the desktop edition of QuickBooks, but do not need some of the specialized features like job costing, consolidated/combined financial statements and multiple currencies.
With over 300,000 users *, Intuit’s QuickBooks Online is one of the most popular SaaS financial applications for small businesses. The product offers small businesses a complete basic accounting system, including cash receipts, cash disbursements, accounts payable, payroll, bank reconciliation, and general ledger reporting for a low monthly fee.
Basic System Functions - 4.5
The secret most accountants do not know about QuickBooks Online is that it is a separate product with a different development roadmap than the desktop version of QuickBooks. Although there are attempts to provide similar functionality between the online and desktop versions (such as the QuickBooks Online Accountant tool), there are significant differences in the menu structure, reports, and capabilities of the two product lines. Unfortunately, the common name invites comparisons between capabilities of QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Pro/Premier, which usually end with the user discovering that the online version has fewer capabilities in most areas than QuickBooks Premier.
There are three versions of QuickBooks Online (Online Simple Start, Online Essentials, and Online Plus). This review will focus on the features available to users of QuickBooks Online Essentials and QuickBooks Online Plus. We will also discuss the multiple-client features available to accounting professionals who support multiple QuickBooks Online companies using the QuickBooks Online Accountant tool, which has been in an extended pilot testing program since the third quarter of 2011.
Behind the scenes, Intuit is updating QuickBooks online to increase its compatibility with more browsers as well as new standards like HTML5. There is also a QuickBooks Online app available for the Google Chrome Browser, so the product works on the Windows, MacOS, and ChromeOS platforms.
Core Accounting Capabilities - 4.25
As mentioned earlier, QuickBooks Online has a different feature set than the desktop product. The online edtion includes some product enhancements not available in the desktop version such as anytime, anywhere access, free technical support, benchmarking against other companies in the same industry, as well as access to the QuickBooks Online Accountant tool for accountants supporting multiple QuickBooks Online companies.
Professional service firms who track and bill for time and those who need multiple locations or divisions, or those who need to track inventory will need to subscribe to the Online Plus edition to facilitate time tracking in their company file.
Users can log in from anywhere, and the Online Plus edition supports up to twenty simultaneous users.
Day-to-Day Operations 4.75
The application is a forms-driven system which is organized around a limited number of transaction types (e.g. purchase order, sales order, invoice, bill, check, bill payment, payroll payment, etc.). The user completes a web-based mock-up of one of the forms, and the data entered is used to update the general ledger and supporting subledgers. Although many accountants who use the QuickBooks desktop product focus on the features not included with the online edition, the online edition has a number of attractive features which are not included other editions, including: