Often times I am asked by new (and not so new) business owners, “What do you recommend I use to keep track of my business transactions?” Do a search for accounting software and you will be overwhelmed by the options. However, despite the wide array of options out there, QuickBooks Online is still my top pick. Here’s why.

Using PC Magazine’s Top 10 Small Business Accounting Software picks for 2019, I began my evaluation. Their top 10 were, in no particular order:

  • QuickBooks Online
  • FreshBooks
  • ZohoBooks
  • QuickBooks Self-Employed
  • Billy
  • GoDaddy Bookkeeping
  • Xero
  • Wave
  • Kashoo
  • WorkingPoint

If you are a small business owner that is serious about your business and you are not a hobbyist, freelancer or independent contractor (like a real estate agent or insurance agent), you should eliminate five of these right off the bat because they are basically souped up checkbook registers that group your transactions by category but do little else. Those five are:

  • FreshBooks
  • QuickBooks Self-Employed
  • Billy
  • GoDaddy Bookkeeping
  • Wave

If you are a hobbyist, freelancer, or independent contractor, these may be viable options for you. I can’t say much because I haven’t had experience with any of them except for QuickBooks Self-Employed which I found to be very frustrating and impractical. However, that could be because, as an accountant, I know that the method used in QuickBooks Self-Employed is not proper accounting (and it isn’t meant to be). Obviously that would frustrate any accountant. Proceed with caution on any of these and make sure they will deliver what your tax preparer needs and what the IRS requires for documentation. Reporting is very limited and your accountant may request a balance sheet which typically isn’t available in this type of software. (Stay tuned for an upcoming post, “If I made that much profit, then where is it?” to learn why a balance sheet is an important report in your business). Also, “BUYER BEWARE,” some of these offered free versions of their software (at least at one time). I have two warnings for you here:

  1. If they allow you to connect your bank account to feed in your transactions, please think twice before giving access to your bank account to “free” software
  2. If they are free, they have no obligation to deliver. That means, they could close up shop at anytime without warning and you could potentially be left with no financial records for your business. Perhaps an unlikely scenario; but, why take chances with something so important?

We are now left with:

  • QuickBooks Online
  • ZohoBooks
  • Xero
  • Kashoo
  • WorkingPoint

Ask any business owner who has tried to find a good bookkeeper and they will tell you it is a daunting task at best, especially finding one who has experience with your accounting software. I don’t know any actual statistics; but, I can tell you that in my 20 years of being an accountant, I haven’t met one CPA or bookkeeper that isn’t familiar, at least somewhat familiar, with QuickBooks. In fact, there are over 200,000 Quickbooks ProAdvisor Accountants worldwide.

In my six years of being in business, I have come across one client using Xero and I obliged for a short time; but, eventually their accounting advisor and I agreed that it was time to switch to QuickBooks online for better reporting capabilities and a more streamlined process.

I have not used ZohoBooks, Kashoo and WorkingPoint. This is probably because up to this point, I had never even heard of them. If someone who has been an accountant for 20 years has not heard of them, it is unlikely there is a wide network of professionals who know how to use this software. Remember how I mentioned earlier how difficult it can be to find a good bookkeeper who knows your software? I assure you it would be an even bigger challenge if you were looking for an expert in these three options.

In addition, I know Zoho as a contact management database. There are plenty of examples of businesses out there who deviated from their area of expertise, only to find failure. I’m not saying this is true of Zoho; but, I am generally leary of those who are a jack-of-all trades, master of none.

  • If these reasons weren’t enough, I choose QuickBooks Online because:
    They are a national, if not world, leader in small business accounting software. They have been perfecting it for longer than I have been in my career and they really listen to their ProAdvisors suggestions on ways to make their software even better. I have seen many of my feature requests come to fruition over the years because enough of us asked for them.
  • QBO learns and categorizes over 70 percent of transactions, saving small businesses an average of 11 hours each month.1
  • Small business owners who use QBO get paid twice as fast as those who don’t.1
  • 83 percent of QuickBooks customers say they are more confident about their financial data.1
  • 89 percent of small businesses say they are more successful when they work with an accountant. Intuit uniquely brings those two groups together serving 300,000+ accounting professionals worldwide, with 600,000+ QBO customers now linked to a QBO Accountant customer.1
  • Did I mention there are 200,000 QuickBooks ProAdvisor accountants worldwide that are dedicated experts in QBO and ready to help you?1

So despite all of the emerging accounting software solutions out there, what do I say when someone asks me, “What do you recommend I use to keep track of my business transactions?” My answer is still, QuickBooks Online.

If you have any questions about QuickBooks or a specific software you are considering, you can visit our contact page and book an appointment for a free consultation and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Source:
1Chris. QBO Surpasses 2 Million Global Customer Milestone. Retrieved from https://quickbooks.intuit.com/blog/thought-leadership/more-power-2-you-quickbooks-online-surpasses-2-million-global-customer-milestone/.