Technology is constantly evolving and changing the way we conduct business around the globe and Intuit has created QuickBooks Online to help meet the dynamic needs of businesses today. Using the principle of the cloud, the QuickBooks Online platform is a browser based version of the best-selling QuickBooks software that can be accessed anywhere at any time.
If you’re going through the process of deciding which software package will be best for your accounting needs, QuickBooks Online has several benefits, but also several limitations.
1. Constantly Updated Records – Up to date financial records are vital for any decision maker in a business, whether they’re the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or the sole proprietor of a “mom and pop” corner store. QuickBooks Online allows any user to view up to the minute reports and figures anytime they log in; no more waiting for someone to send an updated file.
2. An App Store – QuickBooks isn’t perfect and Intuit recognizes this, so they have partnered with many developers to allow an approved “App Store” in which users can find both free and subscription based add-ons that enable extra features. These apps handle everything from payroll and time-entry, to importing credit card merchant data directly into your books.
3. Instant Backups – When it comes to business continuity and disaster planning, backing up computer systems is one of the most important steps to take. QuickBooks Online removes the hassle of remembering to back up your financials, as everything is automatically saved into the cloud. This means you’ll never need to remember to hit save or worry about computer systems on-site being damaged and losing years of financial records.
4. You’ll Need Internet Connectivity – One limitation of QuickBooks Online is it requires an internet connection in order to view or record data. Traditional desktop versions of QuickBooks don’t need an active internet connection, however QuickBooks Online browser based access requires this. If you have spotty or limited internet access, this is something you should consider.
5. Fewer Features – A downside to QuickBooks Online is that it isn’t as feature rich as QuickBooks Desktop versions. For small businesses with less activity, this may be a plus as it’s easier to navigate and work with. But for larger businesses, there may not be enough features when it comes to inventory, job costing, and customer specific costs.
6. Data Drag – This is not an issue for smaller businesses with little data, but if you’re larger with a lot of information and data to house, it can mean slower load times when using the online version.
There are numerous other pros and cons of QuickBooks Online, but I see it as one of the best options available for a cloud based accounting platform, especially if you’re a smaller company or not as experienced at bookkeeping. If you are pushing 10 million or more in revenue, you may want to look into the desktop version of QuickBooks or into another full featured accounting software.
Let us know if you have any questions about Quickbooks Online by contacting us.
Article contributed by Mitchell Stahm, MKS&H Staff Accountant,
QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor Certified
McLean, Koehler, Sparks & Hammond (MKS&H) is a professional service firm with offices in Hunt Valley and Frederick. MKS&H helps owners and organizational leaders become more successful by putting complex financial data into truly meaningful context. But deeper than dollars and data, our focus is on developing an understanding of you, your culture and your business goals. This approach enables our clients to achieve their greatest potential.
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