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QuickBooks Online for the Small Business Owner

August 28, 2017 by Ed Becker

With QuickBooks Online, all you need is a laptop or desktop with an internet connection to gain access to your records at any time and from anyplace. This is a great advantage to you as a busy small businessperson on the go, especially if you prefer to do your books at home, away from the office.

No Need for Backups of Software Updates

One of the most important and most overlooked features of QuickBooks Online is automatic data backup. All of your accounting records are saved on QuickBooks servers, in multiple locations, so there is no possibility of your information being lost. In addition, you do not have to update your QuickBooks software like the users of the desktops versions need to. When you log onto any of the online versions, you will always be using the very latest approved version.

The busy owners of small and mid-sized businesses really appreciate these features, as performing backups is the one task everybody hates to take out time to do, and regrets not having done when it’s too late.

As was the case with QuickBooks Desktop, there is more than one version of QuickBooks Online.

  • Self Employed
  • Simple Start
  • Online Essentials
  • Online Plus
  • QuickBooks Online Accountant


One of the main attractions of this product for the small contractor is its capacity to keep personal and business expenses separate. Self-Employed also focuses on Schedule C’s and calculates quarterly estimated taxes automatically.

Simple Start

This version is designed to give the small businessperson full access to his or her accounting records at any time and from any place. It also allows you to engage one or even two outside accountants. This product can generate invoices, estimates, and it can also be used to calculate sales tax, print checks, download bank and credit card transactions, and interface with Excel. Additionally, it offers over twenty types of accounting reports, and can be configured with a payroll program to pay W-2 employees

Online Essentials

Online Essentials starts off by offering everything that Self-Employed and Simple Start does. It can also be used to establish schedules of when to make payments and create invoices. Another useful feature is the ability to delay the application of charges and credits, and if you run a retail establishment or do business internationally, Online Essentials’ ability to work in more than one currency will be a game changer. The program has over forty commonly used types of financial reports pre-established, which will very likely mean that you’ll have no need to take time out to develop any on your own.

Online Plus

This product starts off by offering the small or mid-sized business owner all of the features of Simple Start and Online Essentials. It also allows up to five users with varying privilege levels, and if you employ people who work on an hourly basis, you’ll really appreciate Online Plus’ ability to accommodate users who are only empowered to enter their work hours. Online Plus can also generate PO’s, estimates, 1099-Misc’s and track billable hours for each customer. Most importantly, it can track inventory by the FIFO method.

QuickBooks Online Accountant

This facility is actually more relevant to the professional bookkeeper or accountant who supports small business ownwers than it is to a non-financial small businessperson. With QuickBooks Online Accountant (QBOA) a practicing financial professional can easily and efficiently monitor and support all their clients from one dash board. It also offers wholesale billing, which is a way to lower the cost of Quickbooks Online subscriptions for each client. It is also an important step on any bookkeeper or accountant’s pathway towards becoming a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. For more information, see http://proadvisor.intuit.com

Two Major Worries are Eliminated with QuickBooks Online
With any version of QuickBooks Online, you are free from the fear of a malware attack for the very good reason that neither your accounting records nor your accounting program are resident on your computer. Everything is held on QuickBooks multi-location servers with Bank-level security and encryption. Two major issues are completely eliminated. You’ll have more time to do what you’re best at, which is running your small or mid-sized business.

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