Quickbooks Pro to use or not to use
Updated September 30, 2015
Quickbooks Pro to use or not to use
Score 6 out of 10
- I've used Quickbooks since version 6 though the 2014 and online versions
Overall Satisfaction with QuickBooks Pro
We use QuickBooks Pro to access our clients' information as well as track our own accounting income/expenses. Everyone in the organization is trained to use the program. In most cases QuickBooks Pro is fairly intuitive and easy to use, however, some of the users have trouble coding the entries into the proper categories. The biggest problem I've seen with QuickBooks is that users generate an invoice and then just write a check which leaves the invoice unpaid and double books the entry.
- QuickBooks Pro works like a checkbook and is intuitive to use.
- QuickBooks Pro makes it easy to track income and expenses by requiring a category to save the entry.
- QuickBooks Pro tracks 1099 vendors and can print the 1099's directly from the program (if set up to do so).
- QuickBooks Pro could use improvement with setting the category for the transaction. Most users aren't accountants and some can easily incorrectly categorize assets as expense items. A short accounting tutorial for users might be beneficial on types of expenses or assets like inventory.
- QuickBooks Pro could use improvement with invoices to be paid. Some users will set up an invoice and then just write the check leaving the invoice in accounts payable and doubling the entry. More could be done to remind users to either pay the invoice or take them to that area and ask if they were paying an invoice or match up transactions easier.
- QuickBooks Pro could use improvement with fixing transactions that are either doubled or need to be matched up but some of the categories cannot be changed with a journal entry and require countless hours of time to go back and edit transactions. It would be nice if there were some kind of override for accountants so we could easily manipulate any and all categories with a journal entry to fix problems we encounter when reconciling the books for tax purposes.
- QuickBooks Pro makes it easy for any member of the team to quickly and efficiently pay a bill or record a deposit leaving more time for other aspects of the business.
We have used Sage and Peachtree as alternatives to QuickBooks Pro and have found for the money and ease of use for any employee QuickBooks is a better option for our firm. Sage and Peachtree require more training to use and some reporting is harder to locate in the program than in QuickBooks Pro. We have clients who use other accounting solutions such as FreshBooks, Quicken and Wave but again the reporting on QuickBooks is quick and easy to use, print, and share.
To my knowledge QuickBooks Pro can't be cloned unless you have a backup of a freshly set up with no transaction company, however, our firm hasn't set up QuickBooks for anyone in a year or more. Given that QuickBooks is easy to learn and fairly easy to fix we rated the program a 6. However, given some of the problems with categories and the ability to either mispost transactions or double up transactions we didn't give it a higher rating. One other problem with the program is that for the payroll functionality they force an upgrade when otherwise you wouldn't need to upgrade the program.
- Fewer than 25% of my clients
I would recommend the desktop version of QuickBooks Pro but not the online version. Our firm has a few users in the cloud with the online version and the features you get for free in the desktop version you pay extra for in the online version. Just about anyone can use QuickBooks if you know how to write a check but larger firms might want a more robust accounting system if they have more than 10 users or need to track inventory better.
QuickBooks Desktop Pro Feature Ratings
Using QuickBooks Pro
3 - We are all accountants using the software both for our business and for our clients. We mainly decided to go with QuickBooks for the cost for our own firm use. We recommend it to clients for the ease of reporting and ease of use. Given we are a small firm one person does all of our accounts payable, accounts receivable, billing and check writing but all three users could use the program for that as well.
1 - Personally I've been a QuickBooks Pro advisor the entire time I have used QuickBooks Pro but I don't believe that is a requirement to support the QuickBooks Pro program. I think anyone who has a bit of technical knowledge with a computer could use the program.
Evaluating QuickBooks Pro and Competitors
Yes - We used Sage before and when our firm split off from our former partner we needed something cheaper with excellent reporting properties to fulfill the needs of our firm. In using the software for clients we had experience with QuickBooks Pro so that use facilitated our transition and selection process and helped make it a seamless transition.
- Product Usability
- Prior Experience with the Product
As a small firm price was the single most important factor to our firm. As an accounting firm we needed to purchase the software for our clients anyway so it also made sense for us to purchase it for our own needs as well. We haven't regretted our decision.
If we had to do it again we might do more research to see what other products were available at the time as we aren't aware of each and every software available for accounting needs, however, I am fairly certain the results would be the same and we would still choose QuickBooks Pro over the competition for the reporting. It meets our needs.
QuickBooks Pro Implementation
In hindsight I would've gone back further and input another year back of historical data for 2 year comparison purposes in the account balances. It makes all the difference in our firm to compare the balances from year to year and would've helped to at least be able to see the historical data for comparison from our prior tax returns.
Change management was minimal - We didn't really experience change management while implementing QuickBooks Pro.
QuickBooks Pro Support
The functionality of the program is such that I haven't had to use support overly often but they are available when I've needed them to reinstall the program in the event of a computer crash or answered questions that arise that Google hasn't been able to answer. Many times though I find the frequently asked questions section faster and easier than contacting support.
Problems get solved
No escalation required
Support understands my problem
Quick Initial Response
No - Rarely need expert support as they have the frequently asked questions support and Google often has the answer to some support questions as well. Sometimes what I would like to see just simply isn't available yet on the program either.
Yes - Yes, mostly. We had a client that had lost backups and needed a restored version from an accountants copy. QuickBooks was able to recondition the accountants copy to a usable version of QuickBooks for a separate fee but we reported that they should be able to allow the client to use the accountants copy as well as if they had just sent a backup rather than the accountants copy he would've been up and running again for free.
When a client had his computer stolen and his desktop crashed he was unable to retrieve any backup files from his QuickBooks. We helped him contact QuickBooks in order to restore the file we had to his system as he'd only sent us the accountants copy rather than a backup. In a few weeks he at least had his customer database back up and running without recreating it even though he lost a few months of transactions.
Using QuickBooks Pro
QuickBooks is readily available and simple to learn to use. Many people can start using it with ease as it is very intuitive. The problem is that no accounting knowledge is required (or introduced) so if you have no idea what an expense is or what an asset is many items can be misposted in the wrong category causing your books to need a lot of work with an accountant.
Like to use
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Quick to learn
Feel confident using