The NEW QuickBooks Online vs. QuickBooks for Windows (Desktop)

I can't believe it has only been just over a year since my post reviewing QuickBooks for Desktop vs. QuickBooks Online vs. Xero and so much has changed! Since then, I have abandoned Outlook, which I had said I would never give up, and migrated my email to Google Apps so that I could take advantage of Method CRM's Gmail Gadget and Google Calendar Sync. I am so glad I did because now I am more productive and organized than before, not to mention I have discovered the many benefits of being more cloud-based, such as having my emails and appointments syncing across all devices. 

When I learned that it was possible to re-import my QuickBooks for Desktop (QBD) data into QuickBooks Online (QBO), I was excited to take another look and test out the new QBO after learning about its cool features while doing the new QuickBooks Online certification. I have been actively using QBO in tandem with my desktop version, Enterprise Solutions Accountant 14.0. I know, I know...I always consult against doing any kind of duplicate data entry, but this is a great exercise to compare the two using live processes. And this is definitely what I would recommend anyone to do so that you can really see the difference, if you are concerned about switching.

One of the biggest pushbacks I hear from other ProAdvisors is that it is so much faster completing tasks in QBD. That would certainly be true if you don't actively use QBO. But once you know where everything is and learn all the shortcuts and tips, it is really fast! Of course, it helps to have a fast broadband connection. And instead of always talking about what QBD can do that QBO can't, I have some quick notes on the cool features in QBO that are not in QBD. This is an ever-changing list as Intuit is constanting updating QBO, unlike QBD that only gets major upgrades once per year, as their latest QBO update was just a couple of days ago. And I am probably missing some other features, so please feel free to add to this list:

  • Ability to show Discount and/or Deposit by the total on the invoice.
  • Automatically create and email invoices to customers.
  • Track when customer views emailed invoice; by not attaching invoice as PDF, customer has to click on link to view invoice.
  • Audit Log shows history of transaction and list changes with visual representations (changes in Orange) with date & time.
  • Audit History on each transaction.
  • Scrolling activities in Accountant area.
  • Create expenses to any source account on the fly.
  • Ability to put billable rate on single time activity which also shows total dollar amount to be billed.
  • Creating invoice for a customer shows all unbilled time and expenses conveniently on the right, which can be quickly added.
  • Unlimited time tracking users for employees and subcontractors.
  • Bank Feeds update automatically.
  • 1099 filing included free with Plus.
  • Free attachments to transactions in Plus.
  • Help is not a pop up but rather a frame within the browser.
  • Import transactions from Square.
  • Refund Receipts instead of Credit Memos that then have to be refunded (extra step).
  • Reconcile reports saved automatically and shows date of when it was reconciled.
  • Ability to see changes in any reconciliation and fix by clicking on the amount or undo reconciliation and re-enter deleted transaction and then reconciliation (Accountant only). Undo resets ALL the reconciliations (you don't have to undo each one going back).
  • Reports: Exceptions to Closing Date with visual changes & Recent transactions.
  • Multiple A/R or A/P on Journal Entries.
  • FIFO inventory.
  • Clicking "map" for a contact goes into Google maps tab directly.
  • Overdue invoices in mobile app.
  • Check written instead of bill payment, if reconciled already, can easily convert check to bill payment by adding bill.
  • Can click on old uncleared checks within the reconciliation report to void.
  • Online Invoicing included free (without payments).
  • Customer can add a message and an attachment to the invoice viewed in the portal. Viewing the invoice in QBO shows all the history with date/time.
  • Likewise, you can post a message to the invoice that the customer will receive via email.
  • With QuickBooks Payments account, payments, deposits, and fees are recorded automatically.
  • Write off invoices using Account instead of Item.

Intuit Upgrades QuickBooks Payments for Credit Card Processing

QuickBooks Connect Conference: Accountants, Small Businesses, Entrepreneurs, and Developers Take QuickBooks Online to the Next Level