There are many versions of Quickbooks, not least the offline but here we look at the cloud accounting version. In this review, we will talk about the pros and cons of Quickbooks Online.
Pricing -How much does Quickbooks Online cost?
This package is €15 per month for the middle version ( Essentials ) which has all the features except stock and €10 per month for the low-end version ( Simple Start ) which does not have multiple currencies and the reporting is quite limited. The is a version called Plus which has too many features for the average user at €20 per month.
The prices above are the long-term prices, there is a free one-month trial which we consider the minimum where someone is buying a package like this, and there is a 30% discount for the first 6 months.
Ease of use/jargon free?
The package is easy to get to grips with for the non-accounting person, but as with a lot of packages there is a language barrier – Sales invoices are things that you send to your customers. Purchases Invoices are things that you get from your suppliers and are expenses in your Profit and Loss – they reduce your Profit.
One great feature is that you can do your accounts on a cash basis. So it’s money in – money out. Accountants use the Accruals basis which brings in all expenses you were invoiced for and credits all income you invoiced to your customers. Some users prefer the cash basis, because you are not looking at the accounts with a nice profit and an overdraft saying to yourself ‘’nice but where’s all the money?’’
Integration with other packages
Quickbooks integrates with other packages and also links to the main banks. All our favourites are there like the expense scanning programs like Auto Entry and Receipt Bank which link straight to Quickbooks.
There are no final accounts packages that link to Quickbooks – so you can’t do statutory reporting using this package, you have to have an accountant do that for you that has the programs to convert Quickbooks files to the legal formats required.
Useful for your accountant
Most accountants are familiar with Quickbooks, and the reports are acceptable. You can export to Excel and also import from Excel. You will have access to many bookkeepers and accountants who will be familiar with Quickbooks.
The package produces good reports for year-end tax reporting. However, for financial reporting, you will have to have an outside accountant.
Like all cloud-based packages, you can have your accountant log in and view the transactions.
The reports are acceptable, but it seems hard for the non-accountant to customise them. In keeping with our normal approach, we asked a non-accountant to review the package and they struggled with this aspect of the package.
This is where Quickbooks really hit a sandbank. There is no support unless you use a 24-hour email address who will come back to you in time, but that is no good if you are stuck with a transaction. Unless you take out a wildly expensive support contract you are not getting support any quicker. That’s fine for experienced accountants but for someone not familiar with accounts it is really unacceptable.
That is why we would never recommend Quickbooks for an inexperienced user, and far prefer Sage for the starter business.
The Essentials package ( middle one ) is what most businesses need. However, what really holes this package below the water is the price of a support contract. If you need actual live people at the end of a phone line to help you through the accounts, you will have to take out an expensive support contract.