Small business accounting is full of challenges. From invoicing to payroll, to end-of-year taxes, trying to figure everything out without accounting software (or even a simple accounting platform) can be difficult. That’s where QuickBooks comes in.
QuickBooks offers three versions of their state of the art accounting software. Two are desktop versions, where the program is downloaded to your computer and all of your information remains on your local hard drive. The other is an online version.
The online version means that you use the program in the cloud and your data is stored on Intuit’s (the company that makes the program) secured servers.
While all the versions of QuickBooks operate in similar ways, many people prefer the online version. At Cook Martin Poulson, P.C., we’ve helped small businesses take advantage of the many benefits QuickBooks offers. We go through those advantages below:
1. Shared Data Access
If you share your company’s accounting tasks with others, then you’ll appreciate the way that QuickBooks’ online program works. Since the program is based in the cloud, all you need in order to access it is a username and password. This means that anyone in the company who has a login can go in and use the software; they won’t have to be on your specific computer.
There are also options for additional users. If you choose one of these upgraded packages, then you can have multiple people using different aspects of the program at once. It’s very useful that way. The software also allows your accountant to access the data to help you keep your books balanced and accurate.
However, if you worry about someone getting a hold of your login and password and then changing things around, just make sure to keep that information confidential and choose a tricky password to crack.
2. No Need for Backups on Your Office Computer
With traditional QuickBooks programs, there’s always that constant, underlying fear about losing your data. Since it’s initially saved onto your computer and has be backed up onto your personal server (and whichever thumb drives you can fit it on), the possibility is there. You might lose that crucial information if something should go wrong with your office technology.
Thankfully, this isn’t an issue with QuickBooks online. The program automatically backs up everything for you, and all of your company’s financial information is stored on Intuit’s servers.
3. Online Help is Available When You Need it
If you ever need help with anything pertaining to QuickBooks online, as long as you pay for the user license, you have fast access to Intuit’s online help desk. Their professionals can answer questions about set-up, help you get you out of a jam, and even assist with general issues, such as how to upgrade the program to add on an additional user. If you have any problems with the program while using it, you know where to turn. You also won’t have to pay anything extra for the service.
4. Automatically Send Invoices and Statements to Clients
QuickBooks online is extremely useful if you have to send invoices and statements to clients on a regular basis. Rather than doing things the old-fashioned way by printing out those invoices, attaching the supporting documentation, and then mailing them out, you can just have QuickBooks send them for you.
All that you need is the email address of the accounting department for the company that you’re sending those invoices and statements to, and then the program will take care of the rest. If you have to, you can scan in the supporting documents to have them sent over as well.
5. Certain Transactions Will Automatically Load into the Program
Some transactions, such as purchases and payments, that come out of or go into your bank account will automatically upload into QuickBooks online. This means that you just have to go through them to verify that everything is correct. You might also have to switch things around a little to add in the proper codes and details.
However, all of that is much easier than inputting every transaction by hand and then coding it appropriately. Yes, QuickBooks online will definitely save you time this way. You’ll appreciate how much easier it to just go in and double check this information.
6. Can Receive Electronic Payments Directly
Electronic payments will make life so much easier. You won’t have to go to the bank, process checks, and even input those payments into QuickBooks by hand. It will be so much easier to process electronic payments, such as bank transfers, ACHs, and credit and debit card payments.
QuickBooks online simplifies the process for you – once your client receives their invoices, they just have to click on the link to pay it. The system will also note the payment right away as well.
7. Useful iPhone and iPad Apps
If you truly need to update your financial records from anywhere, then you’ll want to use the QuickBooks apps for the Apple iPad and iPhone. Both of these are available to use with your QuickBooks online user license.
Even better, both apps link directly to the cloud version of the software. This means that any changes you make in one version of the program will directly appear in the other. It really adds to the program’s versatility. While you probably don’t want to work on your company’s books when you’re on vacation, it’s good to know that you can.
8. Run Reports from Everywhere
The online version of QuickBooks comes with a number of reports. The amount that you receive is determined by your overall user license. If you want to run reports than those that are included, you’ll need to contact customer service.
However, our point here is that you can check these reports from just about anywhere. Since the program is in the cloud, you can get to it from wherever your laptop (or phone) is located. If your boss requests a report and you’re in the middle of your morning commute, then you can pull up that report on your iPhone and sent it over with ease. This inter-connectivity just makes it simpler.
9. Inventory Tracking is Easy
QuickBooks online does more than just accounting – it can even track your inventory. Thanks to the multiple uses of this program, you’ll find that it’s indispensable. The apps that we previously mentioned go a long way, especially when you’re in your warehouse, checking to ensure that you have all of the inventory that you’re supposed to. If anything needs updating on the fly, then you can do it right in the program.
10. No Need to Worry about Software Upgrades
Software upgrades can be a nightmare. You have to stop what you’re doing, back-up your existing program and all of its information, and then hope that the upgrades install correctly. If they don’t, then you’ll end up on the phone with the help center for hours trying to fix your program. With the online version of QuickBooks, this isn’t an issue. The program remains in the cloud, and new versions are automatically handled. Since QuickBooks handles these upgrades in-house, you won’t have to lift a finger. The new version will just magically appear.
As you can see, there are many advantages to using QuickBooks online. If you have any questions about the program or want to get set up on QuickBooks, please give us a call. You can reach us, Cook Martin Poulson, P.C. at (801) 467-4450.