Not long ago, we ran a comparison of QuickBooks Online (QBO) and QuickBooks Desktop (QBD) for AcuityCFO. Technology review is something we do often at AcuityCFO and AcuityComplete. It ensures that our clients are supported by the most current, cutting-edge technologies.
In every case, we look through the lens of how useful the technology is for our clients (startups and SMBs). Particular to QBO and QBD, we look not only at the services offered by each, but also analyze where Intuit is putting its focus to get a sense of the technology roadmap for both of these important tools.
According to a recent 10Q filing from Intuit, mobility, open development platforms and innovative open platform products all are strong indicators that QBO is more of a strategic focus than QBD.
As recently as last year, Inuit’s financials show that QBD generated almost double the revenue of QBO. As of today, QBO is generating almost 90% as much revenue as QBD. Quarter-over-quarter growth rate for QBO revenues has averaged more than 10%, while QBD is averaging 5%.
That outpaced growth means that within a matter of a couple of quarters, QBO should surpass QBD in revenue, positioning it as the leader in small business accounting software. The follow on consideration is which QBO product provides the most comprehensive, intuitive and cost effective functionality for your small business.
With that in mind, here are the three QBO service levels designed specifically for small businesses:
QuickBooks Online Simple Start
- This inexpensive ‘starter’ level is for those who need basic services for starting a business.
- It allows users to create estimates and invoices, and to download bank transactions.
- Like every QuickBooks Online level, Simple Start works on any device.
QuickBooks Online Essentials
- This mid-level solution works for almost everyone, and is described as a tool for those actively running a small business.
- It is relatively inexpensive and offers access to all Simple Start features.
- The software handles bill pay and management.
- Multiple users can access and use the account.
QuickBooks Online Plus
- This level is designed for those actively growing their business.
- In addition to access to all QuickBook Essentials features, users can track inventory and prepare and print 1099s.
- This is the only level that will meet the needs of companies that need to create budgets or add “classes” (i.e., departments, lines of business, geographies) to accounts.
The Bottom Line
For most small businesses, Essentials is the best option because it covers most needs and can be upgraded easily. Simple Start omits too many important features to be truly useful. For example, it allows only one user at a time and you can’t control what information that other users can access. Online Plus may be overkill for companies that need basic bookkeeping services like automated invoicing and estimating.
AcuityComplete has helped many companies select the right version of QuickBooks Online and we often can extend special pricing to our clients through our relationship with Intuit. Contact us.
What are other criteria in making this decision that you’d consider?