Good / QuickBooks Online is very easy and affordable option to use, even for those unfamiliar with accounting. It’s also intuitive to use and feature rich giving you better control over your small business. Intuit has also made some good improvements to the interface this year.
Bad / Sometimes the filters need to be adjusted a few times before Quickbooks can automatically sort expenses / transactions the way you want them to. Quickbooks original (not online) has more depth and complexities for bigger businesses.
Verdict / QuickBooks Online is a simple software perfect for freelancers, independent contractors, or small businesses. Even though it’s simple, Quickbooks Online can make a huge difference in alleviating tax stress and anxiety. By using it, you’ll come to understand how your small business expenses and profits operate so you can make accurate quarterly tax payments on time.
QuickBooks Online Review
Intuit is one of the most popular and well-known authorities in tax keeping software and tax payments. They are the company behind TurboTax and Quickbooks (not online).
However, that doesn’t mean that their services are necessarily worth using (we’ve noted before like with Norton AntiVirus or McAfee AntiVirus that old companies don’t always mean good products).
In this detailed look Quickbooks Online Review, we’ll give you a review from the perspective of someone who doesn’t know much about taxes but still enjoys using Quickbooks Online on a daily basis.
Quickbooks uses a subscription model where you pay monthly based on what you need. For most small business owners or freelancers, the basic monthly model is perfectly fine.
|Self-Employed||$10 a month|
|Simple Plan||$15 a month|
|Essentials Plan||$30 a month|
|Plus Plan||$40 a month|
The basic package, named by Intuit the Self-Employed plan, starts out at $10 a month and includes most features you’d need like the ability to pay quarterly payments, calculate mileage tracking, separate business/personal spending, and maximize deductions.
If you need the ability to create estimates and invoices or capacity to sync bank accounts and other apps, you can get the simple start plan for $15 a month.
The Essentials plan is the next tier, and this gives you the ability to manage and pay bills as well as generate instant sales and profit reports for $30 a month.
Lastly, you can get the plus plan for which gives you the ability to prepare and print 1099s, track inventory, as well as the other features included in the other plans.
Depending on which type of small business or independent contracting you do, you should be able to find a suitable plan. For me, I just use the basic model, and it has all of the features I need for a good price.
Interface / Features
Quickbooks Online was recently updated with a brand new modern interface that looks and performs well. I love how easy it is to use and understand even with a lot of useful function and utility.
The online app works in 6 tabs; home, transactions, miles, taxes, reports, and invoices.For the majority of your time, you’ll be working in the transactions tab since this shows you your transactions.
The miles tab is useful if you drive a lot and need to track your miles. The taxes tab is where you can see your quarterly tax payments.
The reports tab is where you can generate downloadable reports of profits, tax summaries, tax details, and the invoices tab is where you can send invoices.
The transactions tab is laid out well since you can filter what you see by your included bank accounts (you can even add PayPal here) as well as the time (I like using year to date as a filter–and I almost wish it was the default option instead of last 12 months), and type of income that you want to see (income, spending, business/personal, or transfers).
At the top of the page, you get a basic rundown of your revenue and spending as well as a small graph that shows your income in green ascending vertically and your spending descending downwards.
The transactions are organized by data, transaction type, and the amount as well as type and category. It looks similar to how your transactions might look in your online banking–except each unrecognized transaction needs to be sorted. This is where the magic of Quickbooks Online comes into play.
The program works by recognizing things you’ve sorted before and suggesting an auto filter to be setup which means that next time you go to Mcdonald’s you won’t have to keep putting it as a personal expense, and the next time you get paid from the same source, you can automatically label it as business income.
For the most part, this system works VERY good and after time you’ll recognize that you might not want the auto-filter for some things (sometimes it’s too aggressive, and if I set one business payment transfer it’ll start to recognize all transfers as business) and other things like shopping work well to exist in the filter saving you time.
After a few weeks of sorting through your transactions, you’ll only have to spend a minute or two every few days categorizing any new types of transactions. I like doing this as it’s quite fun and easy to sort things and feels fulfilling to be organized. That’s the best thing about Quickbooks Online. It makes being organized with your accounting for your small business easy and fun. Yes, that sounds corny, but it’s true.
Before I was using QuickBooks Online, I was just a new freelancer lost in the world late on taxes with no idea on how to do them.
Quickbooks Online takes all that difficult away since when you label things as business expenses it automatically deducts what you will owe in quarterly taxes. Paying taxes quarterly also works well with Quickbooks since it directs you to online tax payments through the IRS with the exact amount you have to pay, and it keeps track of these payments in the taxes section as mentioned before.
Some other cool things about the transactions is that you can click individual transactions to see more detailed transaction info. You can also attach an imaged receipt!
Summary of Quickbooks Online Review
Quickbooks Online is by no means a complicated bookkeeping or tax keeping software for freelancers or small business owners. At the end of the day, it just helps you sort through your expenses and income in an intuitive and feature-rich interface. However, that is Quickbooks Online’s best strength and selling point.
Sure you don’t NEED Quickbooks Online. You could keep track of everything in an excel document and root through your bank statements like I use to and use calculators and complicated forms from the IRS to calculate how much you owe. If this sounds like fun for you, then you can save something like $100 a year by not buying Quickbooks.
However, for a writer like me who hasn’t taken on accounting class–this methodology was a headache for me, and using the forms to calculate quarterly taxes (if you don’t pay quarterly taxes you’ll owe a fine when tax season rolls around) were like reading another language. I ended up owing money since I didn’t do my taxes right and pay quarterly payments.
If you need a program to help you pay taxes, to keep track of what expenses you incur and owe throughout the year, and make sure you are earning enough income, Quickbooks Online is a fantastic solution no matter your small business or freelancing profession.