“I tell my clients to avoid QuickBooks Online” is a common post I see on QuickBooks forums, and one that I continually rush to offset. For many accounting professionals, it seems that QuickBooks Online (QBO) is a “worst case scenario” for their clients. I want to share some new QBO features that may help change your mind and that might make QBO an option to offer to more clients (and increase your client base!)
QuickBooks Online is a web-based accounting solution offered by Intuit. It was introduced to the market in December 2000 as an additional option to the other editions of QuickBooks: Pro, Premier and Enterprise Solutions.While it has similar functions, because it is a web based application it looks at feels different from the desktop editions of which many of us are familiar. Let’s take a look at some important new features.
QuickBooks Online Invoice List
The Invoice List is a simple feature and one that I had never thought about needing until Intuit introduced it. It’s exactly what it says it is, a list of all invoices that you can filter by paid status or date. It allows you to sort by a variety of ways: customer name, amount, invoice number, etc.
What I like about the invoice list is that you can filter by overdue and re-send an entire group of emails to clients as reminders, or print the list from this screen. No need to create and memorize a report. It’s easy to get to, as well – directly from the Create Invoice screen or from the Customer menu.
QuickBooks Online Income List
Taking a page from the ease of the Invoice List, QBO recently added the Income List. I believe the idea was to help save time by eliminating the need to create a report. While not a true list of income, it’s more a list of sales transactions – both pending and open. I say pending because it pulls Sales Receipts, Invoices and Estimates.
As with the Invoice List, it allows you to print or email transactions directly from this list, and it has the ability to filter by transaction or customer (one at a time for each). This could be helpful in calculating simple commissions, or you could also use this feature to quickly print packing slips.
Copy Estimates and Invoices
One of the newest features to be added is the ability to Copy Estimates and Copy Invoices. This comes in handy for me personally – I find that I’m often quoting the same types of projects: Data file conversions, file clean up, new company setup, etc. Since I have a set system for monthly bookkeeping, I can create one estimate (or Invoice) in my copy of QBO and just copy it for any new prospect, regardless of the work. Another reason I like it is because sometimes I just feel lazy and clicking one button is much more inviting than typing a bunch of stuff in, right?
Add Estimates to Invoices
The copy features are a nice segue into another time saving feature introduced within the last year – the ability to Add Estimates to Invoices (or Add Purchase Orders to Vendor Bills). Similar to QuickBooks desktop functionality, QBO users can add items from estimates to invoices. The only difference with QBO is that you can’t pick and choose what you want to add – it’s all or nothing. In other words: No progress invoicing.
The biggest improvement to be added (at least in my little world) was Intuit GoPayment Integration (see Intuit GoPayment Brings Payment Processing to Small Business). Since I’m a big fan of (a) using mobile devices and (b) getting paid, I’ve been using QBO since 2005 and GoPayment since it was introduced by Intuit. This saves me the hassle of chasing money – QBO and GoPayment makes it easy to say “Fees are due at the time of service”.
Even though I could create and invoice on site with a client and immediately take payment, there was no way to directly connect the two. I would have to remember to manually receive a payment when I got back to my office and mark payment type as GoPayment. It was never really that big of a deal – but remember when I mentioned being lazy on occasion? Now all I have to do is click right on the GoPayment option in the Client/Customer menu and I can download transactions and apply them to invoices or create Sales Receipts.
These are just a few of the many recent additions that I think make QBO a better option than it was even a year ago. While not every company is a good fit for QBO – and that’s an entirely different article to be written – it’s certainly an offering that should be included in possibilities when doing a needs analysis and determining what accounting program to choose.