By LeeAnn Huntoon
The Pros and Cons of QuickBooks Online (QBO)
Due to its popularity, QuickBooks Online for small business is known and utilized by businesses and professionals across various industries in the United States.
Through Quickbooks Online (QBO), Intuit takes its offerings one step further. With cloud connectivity and multi-platform sync, QuickBooks Online is a favorite of loyal and new Quickbooks users.
But QuickBooks Online is more than just an online version of the original Quickbooks. Besides being easily accessible to small businesses everywhere QBO has several accounting software features that are not available in the desktop version. Yet, it also falls behind on a few aspects that go beyond functionality issues.
Whether you need a modern solution to manage your company’s books or work as a professional accountant for other businesses, it is incredibly important to learn about Quickbooks Online and its pros and cons. The following guide can help small and mid-size business owners like yourself along the process and provide you with all the information you need to know about QuickBooks Online.
How Does QBO Differ from Quickbooks Desktop?
QBO is an online cloud-based solution that does not need to be installed on specific devices nor does it require a specific operating system. Instead, it can be accessed online from any modern web browser from any computer. This is in stark contrast to Quickbooks Desktop, which needs to be installed on your designated device before you can use it.
The second most notable difference comes in the form of the pricing plan. The highest QBO online subscription comes with the ability to add up to 25 users. Whereas, a Quickbooks Desktop subscription requires you to pay an additional amount for each user added to your software.
QBO also comes with the promise of free and consistent upgrades with the latest accounting software features. This is something that isn’t freely available with Quickbooks Desktop and either requires an expensive yearly subscription or a new license.
Apart from these significant differences, QBO also sports a few more functionalities that are either not available in Quickbooks Desktop or come at additional prices.
With these distinctions in mind, it becomes easier to see what QBO’s accounting software has to offer to your business and how it can help you streamline your accounting operations.
The Positives of Quickbooks Online
Quickbooks Online has quite a few pros which advocate its status for being an advanced accounting solution. These advantages make sure you can manage your financial reporting needs through a holistic program, while also using additional tools whenever the requirement calls for it.
User Interface Surpasses Expectations
If there’s one department where QBO excels it’s without a doubt the user interface (UI). Through its intuitive design and modern outlook, QBO makes the feature-rich program easy to use. With the way the application is structured, you can discover and utilize the functions you are looking for without seeking additional help or tutorials.
This has a positive effect on the learning curve of using QBO as an entirely new user. But it also lets you seamlessly transition from Quickbooks Desktop.
Customizable Reporting Improves Workflow
QBO also provides highly detailed features that can meet your specific needs and allows you to customize your financial reports. This brings more simplicity to the consistent task of managing your company’s books. It also provides access to key information at your fingertips.
This makes accounting processes more straightforward cutting back the time it takes for you to manage different financial statistics. By generating reports that fit your requirements, you won’t have to click through generic sheets to find what you need. You can glance at your generated reports to get a grasp on your company’s financials.
This is a highly dependable feature that sets QBO apart from other accounting solutions, and lets you make the most of your investment.
Latest Features Improve Adaptability
When Quickbooks Online first came to the surface, it offered limited features and provided restricted functionality. While it added some more options in its 2013 revamp, it still left a lot to be desired for various industries that needed an inclusive solution for their specific needs.
The latest version of QBO impressively resolves these concerns. With new features such as mileage tracking, batched transactions, and artificial intelligence (AI) powered automation, QBO fulfills the specialized needs of key sectors. This improves its adaptability and equips it to handle the requirements of certain segments.
This makes the solution more reliable for niche industries that cannot find access to certain accounting features in popular applications.
App Integrations Boost Compatibility
In today’s day and age, businesses have to use digital solutions for all critical functions. They must process data in specific ways and use that to make business decisions, stay compliant with regulatory authorities, and thrive in the marketplace.
But different apps can create compatibility issues, especially when you have to fetch financial information from various sources. QBO’s app integrations ensure this problem is a thing of the past.
QBO app integrations connect seamlessly to crucial divisions, including e-commerce platforms, payment processors, and payroll management, making accounting tasks easier for your business. This also reduces the possibility of human errors and makes your workflow more efficient. These add-ons can be accessed via the Quickbooks App Store. It is important to note some of these apps come with costs.
With the Fattmerchant Omni platform, you can sync your data 2 ways with our QuickBooks Online Pro Sync. You’ll streamline payment management, maximizing QuickBooks capabilities. Besides invoices, you can sync your customer data, payments, catalog items, and more. Invoices and payment history are tracked in both places, securely, so you can have peace of mind about your data and your customer data. Customer and transaction details are also individually listed and reconciled across both platforms.
Detailed Payroll Features Help With Management
One of Quickbooks’ biggest strengths shines through in the form of its payroll management. This also translates into QBO’s latest version, where the cloud-based program lets you approach critical payroll tasks with support from laser-focused functions and automated features.
Through its Self Service Payroll and Full-Service Payroll add-ons, QBO’s payroll management can help small businesses address complex payroll requirements with ease. The payroll features don’t end there. With additional app integrations, QBO can complement any business’ preferred payroll solution.
This ensures businesses don’t have to let go of their primary payroll applications because they choose Quickbooks as their accounting app.
The Negatives of Quickbooks Online
Similar to any other program, Quickbooks Online comes with a few drawbacks. However, since QBO offers a broad range of accounting processes, these disadvantages don’t mean you abandon the app altogether. Instead, you can simply switch to another solution to meet the specific need QBO fails to meet.
Inability to Revert to a Previous Version
One aspect where QBO falters is restoring to a previous version of your books. If you want to go back to a point where last transaction data is available, you will not be able to do so unless you are on the highest tier or price point of QBO.
QBO’s explanation regarding this issue refers to cloud storage and management, which updates and saves your data without creating any restoration points. As a result, you are unable to easily go back to transactions that are deleted or modified. To recreate them, you either need to enter them manually or pay for the Advanced plan that creates consistent backups for you.
This explanation is not only frustrating but also brings about questions of limited features. Many applications operate on the cloud, yet show their ability to execute restoration points within basic plans. QBO’s lack of support for this crucial functionality can create a lot of problems for accountants who want to have a backup plan without having to pay for an upgrade.
Expensive to Maintain and Add Features
While Quickbooks Online brings a world of features to the table, they remain quite expensive to maintain. Yes, online QuickBooks pricing is one of the less appealing aspects of the service. For instance, while the platform lets you add up to 25 users at the same price, this feature is only available at the highest price point of QBO that is 6x more expensive than the basic plan. This creates accessibility issues for those who are trying to maintain their books without breaking the bank.
This costly structure also extends to add-ons, which come with their own price. The mechanism also affects basic features such as automated data backups that let you restore your company to a previous point in time. These functionalities are not available unless you are going with the highest possible subscription for the application.
Other functionalities such as automated approvals, management charts, and customized reporting are also not available in the starter or mid-level plans. This makes it incredibly challenging to use the service’s full features as a small business. Some of QBO’s latest features, such as invoice batching, are only available to those who pay top dollar for the application.
Payment Processing is More Difficult Than It Should Be
Quickbooks Online undoubtedly excels at aspects such as payroll management. But it doesn’t do well at payment processing. While QBO can connect with select payment processors such as PayPal and automatically reflect new transactions for review, it doesn’t boast of the same convenience when it comes to its payment solution.
Quickbook Payments is Intuit’s premier solution to facilitate inward payments such as credit cards, debit cards, and bank transfers. But the service comes with its pros and cons.
Quickbook Payments adds the convenience of generating invoices, conducting mobile payments, and generating quick deposits right from the application. But these features come at a high rate.
For example, for payment cards that are swiped, the rate per transaction is 2.4 percent of the transaction amount + 25¢. For payment cards that are invoiced, the rate per transaction is set at 2.9 percent of the transaction amount + 25¢. For payment cards that are keyed in, the rate per transaction stands at a whopping 3.4 percent of the transaction amount + 25¢.
These rates may seem competitive at first, especially when you compare them with some of the most popular payment processors. However, studying them carefully and comparing them to specialized payment vendors paints a different picture. It’s because these charges are higher than the standard market rate of modern payment processors.
Is It Worth It?
Given that Quickbooks Online provides robust features but also comes with certain limitations, this can be quite a tricky question to answer briefly.
On the one hand, you have a set of critical functionalities that help your accounting operation through each essential step. On the other, you have to bear with the shortcomings QBO exhibits regularly.
It is essential to determine whether you will even use the provided functions.
Some of the most popular of these features include:
- Report customization.
- Multiple users.
- Invoice batching.
- Payment approval automation.
- Payment reminders.
- 24/7 support.
- Online training.
The Essentials plan, which is the basic version of QBO, doesn’t have any of these features but comes at a regular price to potential customers at $25 per month.
Potential customers will see this also holds true for the mid-tier Plus plan at $70 per month, with a few more functions but still lacks these capabilities.
Customers can take advantage of unique features available in the Advanced plan, which comes at the hefty price of $150 per month.
What’s the Best Approach to Take?
If any tier of Quickbooks Online seems to provide features you can’t do without, assessing whether you can afford these solutions is the way to go. If the answer is a resounding ‘Yes,’ you should go for it.
Otherwise, if the app falls short of your expectations on available functions regarding customer information, sales receipts, tracking bill payments, mileage tracking or time tracking, and despite wanting to do so, it is best to look for more affordable options that don’t strip your business of extra cash.
Alternatively, you can also move forward with using select solutions in QBO while substituting for other features. For instance, instead of signing-up for Quickbook Payments, you can find a more affordable payment processor and integrate its app within your QBO. This ensures you can strike the perfect balance between affordability and functionality.
That alternative option provides the best approach to take in this process because it enables substantial customization on your end. Fattmerchant offers payment technology solutions that can work for many business types who use Quickbooks accounting and processing payments.
As we’ve seen earlier, many business owners and managers might find it confusing to combine their accounting software and payment processing solution within one platform. The fact is Quickbooks online focuses on accounting but might not have the necessary features and ease of use businesses enjoy with solutions like Fattmerchant’s payment processing solution.
Because of this, a growing portion of businesses have made the switch over to Fattmerchant from Quickbooks payments because they find Fattmerchant provides simplicity and powerful features that make life easier for these managers.
Here are some of the features that differentiate Fattmerchant’s payment processing solutions from Quickbooks Online.
- Send and Track Customer Invoices
- Recurring Billing
- Mobile Application Syncing
- Overview of transactions and reporting while keeping credit card transaction costs low
- User Experience
- Next Day Funding for Qualified Businesses and 24 Hour funding for general businesses
- Human-Centric Customer Support and Service
Professionals can find a better experience by using Quickbooks for accounting software for bookkeeping purposes and Fattmerchant for payment processing.
We know the user experience is critical to our customers, you don’t want to spend excessive time on learning how to use an application, you want to save money and run your business more efficiently. That’s why we’ve designed our payment processing platform to quickly integrate with your current platform, so you can save money and time per month while focusing on your customers and your business.
You can get started with a simple tutorial that lets you see all of the critical features, from conducting a payment to sending an invoice and viewing overall credit card transactions. Of course, if you have any questions, one of our customer service representatives will be happy to help you walk through the platform.
You’ll appreciate our simple, clear pricing, that lets you skim over the report and quickly have an overview of your overall costs. Finally, as a smaller specialized company, customer service and general customer support is as important to us as it is to you. That’s why we have real people who will answer your call and answer any questions you might have.
The Omni platform equipped with its QuickBooks Online Sync: Pro provides a powerful solution that offers convenience while managing your payments. You won’t have to sign on to multiple accounts to check on outstanding invoices or to create new ones. With Omni by Fattmerchant, you can access everything you need in one place. You’ll know your data is secure with our commitment to data security and Level 1 PCI compliance.
To learn more about our top-ranked merchant services and how they can help grow your business, feel free to reach out to us today. We will be happy to answer any questions you have and help you obtain the right payment processing solution for your needs.