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10
Jun
2020
Should I Switch to QuickBooks Online?

Should I Switch to QuickBooks Online?

Why I am still using QuickBooks Desktop instead of QuickBooks Online

by Frank Ableson

A few months ago I decided to try out QuickBooks Online (QBO). My ambition is to keep (reasonably) current with popular software and I had heard mixed reviews about QBO. Like many entrepreneurs I have more than one organization to manage so I decided to migrate a small, relatively sleepy set of books from QuickBooks Desktop (QBD) to QBO. 

The migration process was pretty painless as this is an activity that Intuit wants to encourage. Why? Because many folks will choose to not upgrade their QBD every year, depriving Intuit the most precious commodity in business today: Monthly Recurring Revenue, or MRR. QBO is a subscription product so Intuit gets to charge your credit card each and every month.

I started with the lowest option as I only have about 10 transactions a month (this is for a real estate company) and I am the only user. And yes, I did want to keep the price to a minimum. At $6 per month, I was willing to give it a try.

Features Limited

To my extreme displeasure, the two features I rely upon the most were not included. For a small real estate company with the same transactions virtually every month, I rely on two features to keep overhead to a minimum: memorized transactions and the ability to mark transactions with a "class" to aid in reporting and one of the key ways I track revenues by business unit. Both of those features are part of the pricier subscriptions.

I decided that I could live without the class feature and that I would give the entirely different approach to creating invoices a try. I slogged through about four or five months of clicking and clacking. What took me about 5 minutes per month in QBD now took me about 20 minutes. Not fun, but I was learning.

Raised Prices

Then, in order to help me "get more value out of my subscription", Intuit increased the price from $6 per month to $20 per month. That did it - I decided it was time to go back to my already-paid-for copy of QuickBooks Desktop. After about an hour of keying in a few monthly transactions I was back to the comfortable confines of QBD, complete with memorized transactions, classes and easy to navigate reports.

To be fair, QBO does have advantages for remote teams and in the day of Covid, forcing people to work from home, online subscription software options are worth taking a look at.

I would recommend evaluating QBO for a new startup business, but would discourage anyone with a more mature business from switching from QBD to QBO.

If QBD is not getting the job done, you will want to consider other options beyond QBO.

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