PROS / It can handle an unlimited number of inventory items.
CONS / It doesn't have automatic payment reminders.
VERDICT / QuickBooks Online is an intuitive, feature-rich accounting system that can support the needs of most small and medium-size businesses. Apps allow for further customization as needed.
QuickBooks Online is small business accounting software from Intuit. It offers three service tiers: Simple Start, Essentials and Plus. Simple Start is for a single user and includes invoicing, income and expense tracking, check printing, and banking features. Essentials supports three users and includes all Simple Start features plus recurring invoicing, bill tracking and user management. Plus supports five users and includes the previously mentioned features along with the ability to create purchase orders, manage inventory, track billable hours, and give your employees limited access to time sheets. For these features and more, QuickBooks Online earns the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award.
If you want to customize the software with additional features, you can choose from more than 400 apps that integrate with this system. QuickBooks Online is updated monthly, and the company provides details on its blog about the improvements and new features of each update.
This online accounting software, like its competitors, is easy to set up. After you answer several questions about your business, it customizes the program based on your answers. After you set up your account, the software prompts you with basic tasks that you can choose to complete then, close or show you later.
The main dashboard shows several graphs that give you an overview of your sales over time, income, expenses, and profit and loss. The images are interactive; you can click on the images to drill down on that particular set of information. You can also customize the date range for each graph.
The interface is attractive, and, for the most part, it's easy to navigate. Most action items can be quickly accessed from the plus sign in the Global Create Menu at the top center of the screen. However, inventory tools were tricky to find, as there isn't a tab for them on the left menu bar nor in the Global Create Menu (though you can adjust item quantity from this menu). Rather, you access it through the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and select Products and Services.
You can create estimates and convert them to invoices with a single click. One unique feature is that the software keeps related documents connected. For example, it adds a note on the invoice that there's a linked transaction, and you can click on it to see the type (in this case, the estimate), date, and amount of that transaction, along with a link to open that document.
QuickBooks Online's invoice customization is very easy to use. You can select from five templates, 18 colors and four fonts in three sizes. You can upload your logo, choose where to place it on the page and how large you want it to be. You can set header and footer text as well as a message to your customers. You can also choose to include an account summary on the bottom of your invoice, which could be useful if you'd rather not send out monthly statements.
You can create recurring invoices and send them automatically or schedule a reminder to send them. You can track and invoice billable hours and expenses and include unbilled charges on your recurring invoices, which could be a timesaver for a busy office. QuickBooks Online doesn't have an automatic payment reminder feature.
Accounts Payable & Inventory
This small business accounting software can manage vendors, create purchase orders and manage inventory. It can handle an unlimited number of inventory items. When you enter products into the system, you can add images. You can also bundle together products or products and services that are frequently sold together.
When you create estimates and purchase orders and add a product, a box showing how many of that particular item you have in stock pops up. However, the software doesn't alert you if you enter a larger quantity than you have in stock. QuickBooks Online can manage your fixed assets, track your bills and print checks.
You can create many different reports using QuickBooks Online, including aged receivables and general ledger reports. More than 20 reports are available with the basic service tier and more than 65 come with the premium tier.
You can connect your bank and credit card accounts to this small business accounting software. QuickBooks Online includes reconciling tools that identify possible matches between your bank transactions and those entered into the software. You can create banking rules to further streamline reconciliation.
Like all of the online accounting software we reviewed, QuickBooks Online can be set up to accept invoice payments online. You can use QuickBooks Payments for your payment processing or a third party, such as PayPal or Square, both of which integrate with QuickBooks Online.
Access & Support
QuickBooks Online can support multiple businesses, but it requires you to purchase a subscription for each organization, though a discount is available and you can use the same login information for both. The software supports multiple locations, and it can also track classes if your business has departments.
Mobile apps for QuickBooks Online are available for both Android and Apple devices. You can use it to see an overview of your business, create invoices, capture receipts and reconcile transactions.
Ongoing business education is offered through the company's Small Business Center, which features a blog, articles, video tutorials, step-by-step guides and training classes. If you need customer support, you can contact the company via phone or live chat.
QuickBooks Online uses bank-grade security to protect your data, and you can opt in to two-factor authentication. You can 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.
QuickBooks Online is one of the best accounting software applications we reviewed and can meet the needs of most small- and medium-size businesses, including those with multiple locations and departments. It includes nearly every accounts receivable and accounts payable feature we looked for in our testing. However, some features are only offered in the mid (Essentials) and premium tier (Plus); it doesn't include automatic payment reminders, and you will need multiple subscriptions if you run multiple businesses.