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Intuit QuickBooks Online Review

Donna Fuscaldo
Donna Fuscaldo
Senior Finance Writer

QuickBooks Online from Intuit is our pick for the best accounting software for small businesses. The software is feature-rich, supports a wide variety of integrations, is affordably priced, and has a great reputation in the market. Those are just a few of the reasons why QuickBooks Online stands out.

Intuit QuickBooks Online

Intuit QuickBooks Online

The Verdict

QuickBooks Online from Intuit is our pick as the best accounting solution for small businesses. It has a range of diverse features and a user-friendly interface that make it easy for small teams to navigate.

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QuickBooks has been serving small businesses for more than 20 years for good reason. When you choose this accounting software, you get everything you need to support your operations now and into the future. QuickBooks has both accounts receivable and accounts payable features and can track projects and inventory, making it a great choice for nearly every business type. It offers a range of service tiers and can grow its service with your business. If you want to customize the software with additional features, you can choose from hundreds of apps that integrate with this system.

QuickBooks

Payments 9.5/10
Automatic invoicing 9.5/10
Third-party integrations 9/10
Mobile app 9.5/10
24/7 customer support 9.5/10
Editor's score 9.4/10


Pricing

QuickBooks Online is competitively priced, offering plans for self-employed workers and small businesses. You can add payroll features to the small business plans for an additional monthly fee. A demo is available, allowing you an up-close view of the software before you make any commitments.

QuickBooks Online is currently offering 50% off for the first three months. The prices we've listed below reflect the cost per month without any discounts.

Self-Employed Subscriptions

  • The Self-Employed plan costs $15 per month and is for freelancers or independent contractors. You can send and track simple invoices, keep your business and personal expenses separate, maximize your Schedule C deductions, calculate quarterly estimated taxes, and automatically track mileage.
  • The Self-Employed Tax Bundle plan costs $25 per month and includes all the features in the Self-Employed plan, plus the ability for you to pay quarterly estimated taxes online and transfer information to TurboTax.
  • The Self-Employed Live Tax Bundle costs $35 per month and includes all the features in the Self-Employed Tax Bundle plan. It also allows you to work with certified public accountants within the software.

Small Business Subscriptions

  • The Simple Start plan costs $25 per month and is designed for a single user. You can create estimates and invoices, generate basic reports, and track your income, expenses, and sales tax.
  • The Essentials plan costs $50 per month and supports three users. It includes all Simple Start features plus time tracking, and bill pay and management tools.
  • The Plus plan costs $80 per month and supports five users. It includes all Essentials features plus t the ability to track project profitability and inventory. This is QuickBooks Online's most popular plan.
  • The Advanced plan costs $180 per month and supports 25 users. In addition to the features in the Plus plan, it includes one license of Smart Reporting powered by Fathom, up to 20 classes, on-demand online training, a dedicated account team, and the ability to automate workflows and restore company data.

QuickBooks also offers online setup sessions with a live bookkeeping expert for $50.

With QuickBooks, you get access to a live accountant who can work with you in real time.

QuickBooks Live Full-Service Bookkeeping

QuickBooks' live bookkeeping service is available to QuickBooks Online customers. There is a $500 charge for an accounting cleanup and onboarding for the first month. After that, you'll be charged monthly based on your average monthly expenses over three consecutive months.

  • If your monthly average is up to $25,000, the service costs $200 per month.
  • If your monthly average is $25,001 to $150,000, it's $400 per month.
  • If your monthly average is $150,001 or more, it's $600 per month.

FYIFYI: There is a $500 charge for an accounting cleanup and onboarding for the first month. After that, you'll be charged monthly based on your average monthly expenses over three consecutive months.

Timesaving Features

Starting a small business is stressful enough on its own, so good accounting software that saves you time and automates tedious tasks is a huge help. QuickBooks Online does both very well. It has automatic bank feeds that import your bank and credit card transactions, and smart reconciliation tools that identify and automatically match your bank transactions with those you've entered into the software.

You can create banking rules to further streamline reconciliation and categorization. QuickBooks can also automate payment reminders for your clients, recurring invoices and bill payments. It automatically backs up your data to the cloud, so you don't have to do it manually.

Here are some other timesaving features in QuickBooks Online.

Invoicing

You can create and send invoices from the QuickBooks browser version and mobile app. It also has an app that allows you to invoice directly from Gmail.

QuickBooks invoices are optimized for mobile devices, ensuring your customers can view them from their phones. If you set up online payments, either through QuickBooks Payments or using an integration for a third-party payment processor such as PayPal or Square, you can add a payment button to the invoices. That makes it quick and easy for your customers to pay.  

You can create estimates using QuickBooks Online, and once a customer approves an estimate, you can convert it to an invoice with a single click. The software then automatically links related documents to keep your billing organized and prevent duplicate invoices.

You can also create recurring invoices and schedule automatic payment reminders. The software lets you track and invoice billable hours and expenses and set the software to automatically include unbilled charges on your recurring invoices. Surprising numbers of accounting software solutions don't offer invoice generator software, so this is a big plus for QuickBooks.

Inventory

Essentials and Advanced plan users can manage inventory and vendors and create purchase orders. You can add images of inventory items and bundle products or services that are frequently sold together, saving you the time of entering them on an invoice separately. You can also track inventory, and the software shows you how many of a particular item you have in stock when you're creating estimates, invoices and purchase orders. This feature is extremely helpful for businesses that maintain large quantities of inventory.

TipTip: A big bonus is that the software alerts you when it's time to reorder inventory. Once your inventory arrives, QuickBooks converts the purchase order into a bill.

A big bonus is that the software alerts you when it's time to reorder inventory. Once your inventory arrives, QuickBooks converts the purchase order into a bill. You also get on-demand reports, giving you real-time insight into which products are doing well and which are languishing.

Mobile App

Available for both Android and Apple devices and included with your QuickBooks Online account, QuickBooks' mobile app gives you an overview of your business activity and allows you to accomplish multiple accounting tasks wherever you are. You can view dashboard data, create and send invoices, accept payments, capture receipts and attach them to expenses, reconcile transactions, view customer information, and message customers from the app.

QuickBooks' mobile app makes it easy to manage your business on the go.

Reporting

Report generation is another feature that distinguishes QuickBooks from other accounting software. QuickBooks Online has multiple built-in reports, including those for aged receivables, general ledger, profit and loss, and trial balance. You can set frequently used reports as favorites to make them easy to find, and the software can automatically run reports and email them to you on a schedule you create. The insights in these reports can help you make better business decisions.

Third-Party Integrations

Instead of manually exporting and importing data between QuickBooks and the other business programs you use – such as a POS system, e-commerce platform, CRM, project management software or payroll system – you can connect QuickBooks to them via third-party integrations, or apps, and automatically sync data between systems. QuickBooks integrates with more than 650 business apps, including Amazon Business, Square, Shopify, PayPal, QuickBooks Time, Fathom and SOS Inventory.

Did you knowDid you know? You can't upgrade from the Self-Employed plan to the Small Business plans (you would need to create a new account), but you can upgrade within the Small Business plans at any time.

Additional Features

QuickBooks Online has a rich assortment of features, but some are only on certain plans, so if you need specific tools, make sure to choose the plan that includes them. For example, mileage tracking is only available on the Self-Employed plan. Project tracking, inventory tracking, and 1099 contractor management features are only available on the Essentials and Advanced plans. Also, you can't upgrade from the Self-Employed plan to the Small Business plans (you would need to create a new account), but you can upgrade within the Small Business plans at any time.

Here are a few more things about QuickBooks Online to consider as you select accounting software for your business:

  • QuickBooks Online uses bank-grade security to protect your data, and you can opt in to two-factor authentication. You can also set user permissions to control the access of employees you invite to the system, and the software includes an audit log that tracks every login and logout as well as every change made to your files.

  • This accounting program is suitable for businesses with one or multiple locations, and it can also track classes if your business is organized by department.

  • Nonprofits in need of accounting software can use the Small Business plans and the statements feature to send end-of-year donation letters.

QuickBooks Online Pros

This online accounting software, like many of its competitors, is easy to set up. You answer several questions about your business, and it customizes the program based on your responses. After you set up your account, the software prompts you with basic tasks to get started. It has an attractive, intuitive interface and dashboard that shows several graphs to give you an overview of your sales over time, income, expenses, and profit and loss. You can click on the images to drill down into each set of information. You can also customize the date range for each graph.

It's also easy to customize invoices and forms. QuickBooks gives you several templates, accent colors, fonts, and font sizes to choose from, and you can upload and position your logo. You also decide what information to include in the header, select which columns to include in the body of the invoice and edit their labels and widths, customize the text, and add a message to your customers in the footer.

QuickBooks' invoicing and payment capabilities help business owners get paid faster.

QuickBooks Online Cons

While there is a lot to like about QuickBooks Online, there are a few potential drawbacks to be aware of before you select it as your accounting software:

  • You can't upgrade the Self-Employed plan, so if your business is growing or you think you might hire an employee soon, you'll need to choose one of the Small Business Plans.
  • You'll need multiple subscriptions if you run multiple businesses.
  • The plans limit the number of users; keep in mind how many people will need to access the software when you select a plan.

Customer Service

QuickBooks offers its customers multiple support resources. You can contact the company for help by phone or live chat, search the company website's knowledgebase, or ask questions in the community forum. You can also watch tutorial videos or webinars and enroll in training classes. The company posts information about new features and software updates each month on its blog, along with articles of interest to small business owners.

If you want in-person assistance, QuickBooks gives you access to local certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors, who can give you one-on-one help with using the software for your business.

Image Credit: utah778 / Getty Images
Intuit QuickBooks Online

Intuit QuickBooks Online

The Verdict

QuickBooks Online from Intuit is our pick as the best accounting solution for small businesses. It has a range of diverse features and a user-friendly interface that make it easy for small teams to navigate.

Visit Site
Donna Fuscaldo
Donna Fuscaldo
business.com Staff
Donna Fuscaldo is a senior finance writer at business.com and has more than two decades of experience writing about business borrowing, funding, and investing for publications including the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires, Bankrate, Investopedia, Motley Fool, and Foxbusiness.com. Most recently she was a senior contributor at Forbes covering the intersection of money and technology before joining business.com. Donna has carved out a name for herself in the finance and small business markets, writing hundreds of business articles offering advice, insightful analysis, and groundbreaking coverage. Her areas of focus at business.com include business loans, accounting, and retirement benefits.