I recently went to a new client with the purpose of giving two of their staff members QuickBooks training. I had spoken with the office manager a couple of times before our meeting to understand their business and ensure that QuickBooks could meet their needs. When I arrived at their office, the owner of the business started asking me a completely different set of questions. They weren’t pertaining to the training but more about the different versions of and access to QuickBooks. Initially QuickBooks was going to be installed on one computer; they don’t have a server. I explained about sharing of the data file, access and problems that could arise with having numerous copies of their QuickBooks file. It then occurred to me that QuickBooks Online could be the solution to their problem. In the process, we discovered 5 good reasons to use QuickBooks in the Cloud.
The office manager, the owner and I sat at one of the computers and I quickly accessed Intuit’s webpage for their QuickBooks online information.
We quickly decided to set-up a 30 Day Free Online Trial account, which only took a few minutes. Once we were set-up we moved around the different screens as if they were receiving QuickBooks training. We entered invoices, posted receipts, wrote cheques and generated reports. Our online access knew automatically what the default printer was in the office. We imported their logo and manipulated the invoice template so it would appear exactly like the one they’ve always used. The experience was a good one.
The owner is cautious about making any changes so they are still playing with their Free Trial and will be making their decision soon.
What I like about QuickBooks Online are the same points that Intuit is using to get customers to buy into their new product.
1. Online access anywhere, anytime from a PC or MAC. Users of MAC have waited a long time for access to a Canadian version of QuickBooks, without having to run different operating systems.
2. Back-ups are done automatically
3. Accessibility for numerous staff and your accountant
4. Free, unlimited phone and online support. This is HUGE!
5. Free upgrades
The one negative I see at this point is for current users of QuickBooks. You cannot import or manage your data file with the online versions available.
There are currently three versions of QuickBooks available online;
- QuickBooks Online EasyStart
- QuickBooks Online Essentials and
- QuickBooks Online Plus
All three have different monthly fees, starting at $9 per month for EastStart. Most of my clients could use the Essentials version but for those that want to create budgets or track income and expenses by job or project then they would need to use the Plus version.
Going forward I will recommend QuickBooks Online to new users of QuickBooks or those that want to switch from their current accounting software. At the end of an accounting year current users of QuickBooks could take their year end numbers and start their Online accounting. I know online accounting software isn’t for everyone, but for those that are considering it should take advantage of the 30 Day Free Online Trial.
If you’ve had positive or negative experiences with any online accounting software I would appreciate you sharing those with me.
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Until next time,