QuickBooks Online is NOT a comparable product to QuickBooks desktop versions. KNOW the limitations before you switch.
August 21, 2017

QuickBooks Online is NOT a comparable product to QuickBooks desktop versions. KNOW the limitations before you switch.

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 1 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with QuickBooks Online

I am the only operations/finance professional in a small non-profit who has been using QuickBooks desktop for many many years. I’m an ex-IT professional who transitioned into non-profit operations back then, converting the books for this organization from paper/Excel to QuickBooks Premier for non-profits all those years back. We had been pretty happy with it, for the most part.

One downside for us is we are a Mac shop, so I have to run QuickBooks inside a Parallels virtual machine on my Mac (since the Mac version of QuickBooks lacks some critical functionality). This isn’t really the IDEAL solution, resource-wise, so I decided to look into QuickBooks Online. We also liked the idea of sharing a single accounting instance with our accountants and not having to spend money to bring our books into alignment every year at tax time.
  • Convenience is its strongest feature, being web-based, and being able to share your company financial data directly with your accountant real-time.
  • Really simple sales, invoicing, financial transaction reporting, for single-location businesses, or businesses that do not budget on multiple levels/locations/programs/projects.
  • Integration with banks to download/reconcile transactions on the spot is a good feature, using the direct connection feature.
  • Sales people seem to be VERY poorly trained as it relates to the differences between QB desktop and QB online. These differences need to be CLEARLY iterated, so that people transitioning know what they gain/lose, need to change/do differently, or most importantly, can no longer do at all.
  • The sales rep failed to mention that our budget would not transition from desktop to online. This was a minor 1-time inconvenience, though a bit time-consuming to re-enter.
  • The sales rep failed to mention that we would lose all of our custom saved reports. This was a bigger deal for several reasons. First, the time involved in re-creating them all. But the far bigger issue is the fact that QB online (and the associated app) is INCAPABLE, IN ANY WAY, of printing a report that is more than 1 page wide. I spent an hour on the phone with a tech support rep who bent over backward in every conceivable way to deny this was a design flaw/bug. She refused to admit that there is a problem with a software package that can PRODUCE lots of reports that are more than 1 page wide, but is incapable of printing said report. Her solution, export it to Excel, then spend the extra time going through a lot of re-formatting to get it to print with proper headers and footers, proper column headings and row labels, EVERY SINGLE TIME I need to print a report. So, what went from being a 1-click process, is now a 15 minute process, for 40 reports printed each month for management, and quarterly for board meetings. That’s a HUGE commitment to do something manually that used to be done with 1 click. That IS a design flaw/bug, but god forbid someone admit that.
  • The sales rep failed to mention that while QB online does support classes and sub-classes, it doesn’t work the same way that it does in QB desktop (this would be a critical piece of information to disclose in the pre-sale conversation to a potential customer has asked MANY questions about classes/sub-classes. QB online treats all classes and sub-classes in a FLAT manner (i.e. – they APPEAR to be hierarchical parent/child items, but the logic which made this such a great feature in QB desktop isn’t there, so they simply LOOK hierarchical, but are in fact FLAT). Why is this a problem, you ask? Well, we go back to reporting. In QB desktop, if I wanted a report showing activity for a specific sub-class, I could request that. If I wanted a report on a parent-level class, that would include all sub-class activity broken out under that parent-level class, I simply ran the report on the parent-level class. Simple. One-click, done. Not so with QB online. I can run a report on a sub-class just fine. But if I want a report at the parent-level class, I have to manually select the parent-class, and individually select every single sub-class as well. If your business is like ours, and your sub-classes are fairly dynamic, you can’t just save customized reports to do this, because you have to manually go back in to the filters and select new classes every single time you run the report. It’s maddening, and another huge waste of time, going from a 1-click process to a many-click, time-consuming process. Why would you take a hierarchical class list process and flatten it without telling people? Yes, SEEING it as hierarchical is nice, but far less important than logically PROCESSING it as parent-child.
  • Oh, did I mention you can’t search your data by dollar amount any more? How does that make sense?
  • It's cost us a lot of money, trying to find workarounds for the design flaws and outright bugs, and now we're going to have to spend additional money on either an add-on app to fix these QuickBooks Online issues or convert back to desktop.
  • It’s like the people who developed QuickBooks online barely had any idea how QuickBooks Desktop worked. It’s really disappointing to be sold something as an advancement/improvement, only to have its design flaws and inconceivable limitations cause your regular, standard business processes take lots more time. That is NOT an advancement/improvement in my mind. Not at all. I’m not even doing anything custom/special/fancy. The things I’m doing are all standard, basic accounting type stuff.
We chose QuickBooks online because it was the only option other than QuickBooks Desktop that supports the sub-class functionality that is essential for our business.
Simple, small businesses, or businesses that don't budget with locations/programs/projects, etc... would be able to best use QuickBooks Online.

QuickBooks Online Feature Ratings

Accounts payable
8
Accounts receivable
8
Cash management
8
Bank reconciliation
9
Expense management
Not Rated
Time tracking
Not Rated
Fixed asset management
Not Rated
Multi-currency support
Not Rated
Multi-division support
5
Regulations compliance
Not Rated
Electronic tax filing
Not Rated
Self-service portal
Not Rated
Global Financial Support
Not Rated
Primary and Secondary Ledgers
8
Intercompany Accounting
Not Rated
Localizations
Not Rated
Journals and Reconciliations
8
Enterprise Accounting
Not Rated
Configurable Accounting
Not Rated
Centralized Rules Framework
Not Rated
Standardized Processes
Not Rated
Inventory tracking
8
Automatic reordering
Not Rated
Location management
5
Manufacturing module
Not Rated
Pricing
Not Rated
Order entry
Not Rated
Credit card processing
Not Rated
Cost of goods sold
Not Rated
Order Orchestration
Not Rated
End-to-end order visibility
Not Rated
Order exception Resolution
Not Rated
Pay calculation
Not Rated
Benefit plan administration
Not Rated
Direct deposit files
Not Rated
Salary revision and increment management
Not Rated
Reimbursement management
Not Rated
Dashboards
6
Standard reports
5
Custom reports
2
API for custom integration
Not Rated
Plug-ins
Not Rated
Role-based user permissions
Not Rated
Single sign-on capability
Not Rated