QuickBooks Online for the CPA
Updated November 11, 2015
QuickBooks Online for the CPA
Score 9 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with QuickBooks Online
We use QuickBooks Online ("QBO") to service small business clients remotely. We generally work jointly with our clients to help them with their accounting. They are usually performing day to day activities and we are helping them by either doing month-end reconciliations or reviewing their work on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. QBO helps us eliminate the need to have a client "pause" what they are doing for us to come on-site to fix things and it allows us to intimately collaborate with them when they have questions or issues. We can be looking at the same things at the same time and discuss solutions and or walk them through what to do so they learn how to do it themselves.
- It allows collaborative work to be done because more than one user can be working at the same time.
- It is easy to use - commonly used items that are routinely used are
- The bank feeds and the memorized transactions for those bank feeds a fantastic they can make the "data entry" side of bookkeeping almost non-existent.
- The speed of the interface can be very slow. When entering multiple transactions manually the speed of the system (or lack there of) because it is web-based is glaringly obvious.
- The integrated payroll solution is very basic and can create a lot of problems - the reminder notifications can't be sent to the accountant and there is no obvious place that shows you what is outstanding with an imminent due date - particularly with the payroll
- The reporting packages are very rudimentary as are the client information screens. You cannot easily customize these with extra fields or columns to fit your needs. We find ourselves exporting reports to Excel in order to combine different fields with reports to generate relevant reports related to sales and customer "sourcing."
- QuickBooks Online ("QBO") has allowed us to increase our efficiency by at least 20% on clients where we handle their actual activity entry. The use of bank feeds has been the largest contributor to this because we can memorize transactions and what categorization needs to happen to them - virtually eliminating the need to key in information for those clients.
- We are able to service more clients who are coming to us that want to use or already use a cloud based solution. Probably 2 of every 5 new clients already are using a cloud solution or want to use a cloud solution.
- We are able to have access to the clients books immediately via the easy granting of a free "Accountant's Login." Clients love that they don't have to pay for this easy to use feature and that we can immediately start collaborating on new work without having to jump through hoops to gain access.
QuickBooks Online is more powerful than FreshBooks from an accounting perspective. FreshBooks specifically says it does not intend to be an accounting package - they do not keep track of the "Balance Sheet" side of things. This causes clients to have a lot of confusion on how they should track things like their owner draws and things such as this. They just do not like being told "Well, FreshBooks just doesn't track that for you - unless you record it as an expense and remember it's not really an expense just a "place holder" for tracking the amount." They want software the does everything they want it to do.
- Fewer than 25% of my clients
Key questions are whether there are features that aren't available in QBO that are generally available in the Desktop version of QuickBooks - Job costing and more advanced payroll issues to name a few. It is well suited for a service business that wants the flexibility of having their accounting available "anywhere [there is an internet connection]" without having to carry around one device that has the "master file" saved on it.