Pros and Cons of Quickbooks for Small Business Bookkeeping

Pros and Cons of Quickbooks for Small Business Bookkeeping

We get asked often about software programs that are available on the market for small business owners and their offices. The series this week is intended to take you through the major players, and will summarize with our common recommendations.

Today, we are going to discuss Quickbooks. For this discussion, I’m going to lump all Quickbooks versions into one effort. There are differences between versions, and we are happy to help you make decisions accordingly. We have clients doing their small business bookkeeping in every single version of Quickbooks on the market today. These include Pro, Premier (including industry versions such as Construction), Accountant, Enterprise and Online. There are also many modules that plug in to Quickbooks, such as POS, payroll, merchant service processing, Intuit credit card for business, and all sorts of online banking.

The entire small business market has a love vs hate relationship with Quickbooks. To offer full disclosure, our firm has several Quickbooks ProAdvisors on staff, so we do know our way around this program (to say the least).

Pros Cons
Cost: $400 / seat, so most businesses spend less than $1,500 for a rather robust accounting program
Flexible: you can edit, fix, change – almost anything at any time. It’s easy to work around any password protections, and cleanup happens promptly. Flexible: you can smash, break, totally err your taxes in moments. You cannot password protect anything in a secure way.
Many ways to do each task. You can do journal entries (for those trained in accounting), work through the check register (for those based in home and learning upward), use the dashboard, drill through reports, or many other ways to get to each transaction. Many, many ways to do each task. How did I get there again?
Reporting is great. You can run intuitive reports, switch between cash and accrual, and memorize the useful ones (including filters). Reporting is Krystal Reports. This means that if you cannot get to the report you want easily, building it is a programming effort with specialized talent.
Help is Available! Every CPA, bookkeeper, and trained money person is semi-familiar with Quickbooks. You have options for help! Real talent is hard to identify.
Many add on modules are available and many programs “talk” to Quickbooks This is true and crazy-talk, all at once. This is a programming function that we have found lacks serious testing from almost every program. Generally, this “talking” is a total disappointment.

Should I go on? I could list features and cons all day (sadly). Do you want to discuss YOUR small business? We have ProAdvisors on staff to help you navigate this process, and we’re thrilled to do it. You should know that we also use other programs. YAY! We are happy to help you make the right decision for your small business.

About the Author Barb Fisher

Barb is the CEO of Fisher Bookkeeping, an outsourced bookkeeping consultancy that provides small businesses with a full-service financial department. Her favorite aspect of work is to break down the accounting to meaningful bits, so entrepreneurs can make a powerful difference in their own business. She's also a power lifter (squat: 215, DL: 270).

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