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QuickBooks Online Review

Due to its flexibility, depth, and extensibility, Inuit QuickBooks remains a golden standard for small business accounting tools. Among other versions of QuickBooks, QuickBooks Online deserves special attention as an accounting platform hosted fully and completely online. In this QuickBooks Online Review, we are going to explore this popular software and discuss how it can benefit your business.

quickbooks review
quickbooks logo
Excellent customer support
Excellent customer support
Next day processing
Next day processing
Simple ordering process
Simple ordering process
Very affordable
Very affordable
Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk
Financial Sector Specialist and Content Strategist

Among other options for small-business accounting software, Intuit’s QuickBooks Online is a reliable choice for a range of businesses, especially those who regularly work with accountants and bookkeepers. While QuickBooks Online is not the cheapest nor the simplest accounting software out there, it is among the most popular ones, and not without a reason.The four plans offered by QuickBooks Online, along with a variety of add-on services, make the software flexible, scalable, and incredibly functional.

QuickBooks Online Is Best For

  • Small business owners looking for a flexible and customizable accounting software
  • Those looking to simplify customer invoicing and integrate payments and invoicing into the general ledger
  • Small business owners that wish to have on-the-go access to their accounting through the mobile app

QuickBooks Online Is Not Recommended For

  • Small business owners looking for accounting options that are easy to get started with
  • Small business owners prioritizing the affordability of the accounting platform

What Is QuickBooks Online?

QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based accounting platform that helps small businesses to manage their accounting, expenses, income, payroll, and more. With this all-in-one platform, no additional software is required, - instead, you can view all the accounts directly through the online login portal. The software comes with the native mobile apps for iOS and Android, which facilitate on-the-go expense tracking, sales receipt capture, cash flow management, and more.

Pros and Cons of QuickBooks Online 

Comprehensive reporting
Detailed record keeping
Hundreds of third-party app integrations
Some plans include inventory management
Easy to share information with the accountant
Lots of QuickBooks online resources available
Convenient mobile apps
Limited account users with each plan
Expensive as compared to competitors
Learning curve to getting started
Not the best customer support

Editor’s note: Quickbooks Online, not any of the other Quickbooks products. Other reviews and accounts tend to mix up all of the different versions of Quickbooks which can be confusing to most readers. Overall, I found Quickbooks Online to be deserving of its position as the top small business accounting solution, but it certainly comes with a hefty price tag. Small business owners will need to decide whether or not to pay a bit extra for a really smart and intuitive accounting platform – Quickbooks Online.

How Does QuickBooks Online Work?

While QuickBooks Online doesn’t offer a free trial, getting started with the software is quite easy:

1. Head on to the company’s website and choose the right plan for your needs. QuickBooks online comes with 4 options: Simple Start, Essentials, Plus, and Advanced.

2. Once you select the plan, you would have an option to add Payroll functionality. Here, you can choose between Payroll Core, Payroll Premium, and Payroll Elite. While having your accounting and payroll needs handled in one place is very convenient, it isn’t a must. You can skip the Payroll add-on altogether.

3. Finally, you can checkout and start using QuickBooks Online! Here is an example of what the monthly price would look like for the Plus plan with the Payroll Premium add-on. Note that QuickBooks Online offers a 50% discount for the first 3 months, which is a nice bonus.

4. Once you click on the “Checkout” button, you will be asked to create a new Intuit account (or sign into the existing one) and provide your payment information. From there, you can start using your QuickBooks Online immediately.

While there is no free trial, QuickBooks Online does offer a free demo for customers to test-drive the platform with pre-filled data. Upon starting the demo, you will see the convenient dashboard with shortcuts to all the most important functionality, such as “Add receipt”, “Add bill”, “Pay bill”, “Track time”, and more. Another way to access the accounting tasks is through the menu on the left-hand side.

QuickBooks Online is incredibly functional and customizable and comes with over 650 integrations. Among these are 25 different payment processing options like QuickBooks Payments. The Advanced plan also comes with a built-in Fathom integration and allows subscribers to access premium apps.

When using QuickBooks Online, you do not need to worry about online security: the platform has a number of measures in place to keep your information safe, including multi factor authentication, 128-bit SSL encryption, physical safeguards, and routine testing.

QuickBooks Online Main Features

One thing worth mentioning in this QuickBooks Online review is that the plan you choose will determine the features you have access to. Here are a few that stand out:

Record-Keeping and Reporting

With QuickBooks Online, keeping thorough, detailed records is easier than ever. For example, when you are adding an expense, you have an option to add permit numbers, reference numbers, attachments, and memos. You can even split the expense into several items or categories.

Here is an example of an Accounts Receivable Summary generated by QuickBooks:

Inventory Management

The Plus and Advanced plans of QuickBooks Online come with an inventory management feature, which allows you to track inventory and cost of goods, as well as set up low stock alerts. You can also manage vendors, create purchase orders, and sync your inventory with third-party platforms like Shopify or Amazon.

To give you an idea, here is how the inventory quantity adjustment window looks like:


As the most popular add-on, the Payroll feature allows you to run payroll and access other benefits from the same place. This includes computing taxes and accessing correct forms, as well as using the next-day direct deposit feature.

QuickBooks Online Pricing

QuickBooks Online comes with four pricing tiers: Simple Start, Essentials, Plus, and Advanced. With the most basic plan, Simple Start, you get all the basic accounting tools a small business might need. This includes income and expense tracking, invoicing and payments, financial reports, cash flow management, and more. 

The more extensive plans include all the features of the Simple Start plan, as well as more in-depth reporting, advanced tools, and additional users. 

PlanPriceWhen to Use

QuickBooks Online

Simple Start

$30/monthIf you have 1 user and require basic accounting tools.

QuickBooks Online


$55/monthIf you have up to 3 users and need time tracking.

QuickBooks Online


$85/monthIf you have up to 5 users and need inventory and project management features.
QuickBooks Online Advanced$200/monthIf you have up to 25 users and need more advanced features and reporting.

Additional QuickBooks Online Costs

While QuickBooks Online includes most of the typical features of an accounting software, there are a few add-ons you can purchase at an additional cost. One of the most popular ones is QuickBooks Payroll, with prices ranging from $45 to $125 per month, plus $5 to $10 per month per employee.

You can also pay for e-filing services starting at $14.99 or purchase a custom invoice template for $4.99. In addition, QuickBooks Contractor Payments is a relatively new add-on that is recommended for businesses that pay 1099 contractors. The service cost starts at $15/month for up to 20 contractors.

Finally, QuickBooks offers a convenient QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping service. With this service, for $200 to $600 per month, you will be matched with a personal Certified QuickBooks Advisor and accounting expert. The Advisor will take care of your bookkeeping tasks, such as reconciling accounts, categorizing transactions, closing the books, and reviewing your financials.

QuickBooks Online Ease of Use

Without a doubt, getting started with QuickBooks Online involves a rather steep learning curve. Some features are hidden in settings and might be difficult to find at first. However, once you get comfortable, you will find QuickBooks intuitive and easy to use. Plus, you can always make use of the built-in help button in case you can’t find what you need.

QuickBooks Online Customer Service

Wondering how to create an invoice in QuickBooks Online or how to delete an account in QuickBooks Online? Whatever your question, the dedicated customer support team from Inuit will be happy to help you. While QuickBooks Online doesn’t offer email support, they do provide phone customer service available from 6am to 6pm PST, Monday through Friday. The phone support is also available on Saturdays, from 6am to 3pm PST.

As for the quality of customer service, the users of QuickBooks Online have split opinions. Some find that they receive the needed assistance quickly and efficiently. Others, however, complain about not receiving clear answers and getting cut off during the phone call.

QuickBooks Online User Reviews

QuickBooks Online receives many positive reviews from the users. While Inuit is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, it has an A- rating. QuickBooks Online, specifically, has 4 / 5 stars on G2 Crowd and 4.3 / 5 starts on GetApp. The mobile apps are also ranked highly with iOS users (4.7 / 5) and Android users (4 / 5) alike.

Happy reviewers mention the platform’s extensive integrations, convenient online access, and detailed reports. The few negative QuickBooks reviews focus on expensive monthly costs, subpar customer support, and issues with the mobile app.

QuickBooks Online Alternatives 

When comparing QuickBooks Online to two of its two top competitors, Patriot Accounting and FreshBooks, there are a few instances where QuickBook undoubtedly wins. As such, QuickBooks offers a huge selection of features, customization options, and add-ons. 

Out of the three alternatives, FreshBooks is the most restricted platform. For example, both QuickBooks and Patriot employ accrual and cash-basis accounting methods, while FreshBooks only works with the accrual method. Furthermore, FreshBooks can only be used by one person, while QuickBooks can be expanded to be used by up to 25 users, and Patriot has no user limits at all.

It is worth noting that QuickBooks Online is one of the more pricey options on the market. To compare, QuickBooks may cost you between $30 and $200 per month, while FreshBooks comes with a more budget-friendly price tag of $15 to $55 per month. Similarly, Patriot Accounting costs between $15 and $25 per month.

Bottom Line

While relatively expensive, QuickBooks Online offers a broad range of features and has a selection of complex accounting capabilities that a small business owner might need. As seen in this QuickBooks review, the software offers an impressive number of integrations and add-ons, and you will be able to find the right monthly plan for your needs. Plus, the software comes with convenient iOS and Android apps to keep track of your accounting on-the-go.

So, if the accounting features and on-the-go usage are at the top of your priority list, QuickBooks Online might be just the right option for you.


Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Is QuickBooks Any Good?

Quickbooks is one of the best accounting platforms on the market. Its functionality is near unparalleled. Intuit is well-known in the accounting industry and if you want something done, then Quickbooks can do it. Of course, like many other products, there are some pitfalls. It’s not the most user-friendly and takes some getting used to. It is expensive compared to the other available options. But it’s a fantastic choice for businesses that want sophisticated accounting solutions hosted online, with a tonne of easy integrations. There are cheaper alternatives, but they are simply not as powerful.

What Is the Difference Between QuickBooks Desktop and Online?
To have an online solution means that multiple users can access it, once they have an internet connection. It is way more convenient. It is charged monthly and allows many people to access the same document remotely. Quickbooks Desktop is for static businesses with a single office. It is better suited to ‘traditional’ businesses that value security above all else. Businesses with a small number of people who need access to the books would prefer Quickbooks Desktop. Because the books are not accessible online, it is also more secure. People can only access it once they access the office location. However, Quickbooks Desktop is being discontinued – people are migrating to Quickbooks Online. After 2021, it will no longer be supported.
How To Process Credit Card Payments in QuickBooks Online?
Processing credit card payments are not automatic. You need to have a Quickbooks payments account in order to do so. Next, there are two primary ways to process credit card payments in Quickbooks online. The first is by receiving payment via invoices. Send your customer online payments and they can pay by credit card. The second way is a little more complicated. You can create a sales receipt if you do not accept invoices. Simply select ‘credit card’ as the payment method and you are good to go. These are two simple ways to process credit card payments in Quickbooks Online.
What Are Retained Earnings in Quickbooks?
Retained earnings are simply last year’s net profit or less. It will also show all of your income and expenditure from all previous years. At the end of the year, Quickbooks automatically runs an automatic swap to move money to retained earnings. In Quickbooks, you cannot deactivate retained earnings. To see what makes up your retained earnings, you’ll need to look at the profit and loss statement for the previous year. If you are looking to transfer funds to a different account, then you will need to create a journal entry. Just make sure to check this with your accountant first!
How To Transfer QuickBooks to a New Computer?
If you are using Quickbooks Desktop, which is being discontinued, then you can transfer it to a different computer. You must be the company administrator within Quickbooks. You will use a ‘Migrator Tool’ to copy Quickbooks Desktop to a USB flash drive, and then reinstall it to another computer. You will need between 150 – 250 MB to transfer the files and application. You will need to create a complex one-time password while switching over.
How Do I Get Paid in QuickBooks?
Quickbooks Payments is a remarkably flexible tool that allows clients to get paid in a variety of different ways. You can send invoices from any device to accept mobile payments. You can accept payment via debit, credit, Apple Pay, or bank transfer. It allows an easy repository to manage all kinds of payments. You can add an easy ‘Pay Now’ button on your products so you will get paid directly through Quickbooks Payments. You can select instant deposits if you want the cash immediately. Quickbooks invoicing and payment processing is very streamlined and user-friendly, unlike the Quickbooks Online application!
Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk

Written by: Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk

Financial Sector Specialist and Content Strategist

Independent writer, content strategist, and financial sector specialist. Tatiana has an extensive experience in working with financial institutions such as Bank of Canada and Risk Management unit at FinDev Canada. She holds an MA in Financial Risk Management from the University of Toronto.

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