QuickBooks Online Review 2023: Price, Features, Pros & Cons
QuickBooks Online has been an industry standard for a reason: it's easy to use, automates many functions, and comes with a generous set of accounting features.
So, if you've been trying to figure out the best accounting software you can use for your small business, this QuickBooks Online review is for you.
We'll see what the software does, discuss its different monthly plans, and briefly explain the main features. Then we'll look at real customer reviews and give our final verdict.
QuickBooks online review 2023: Is QuickBooks any good?
This QuickBooks review did a detailed analysis of the software, and we highly recommend it to anyone who runs a small or medium-sized business. Overall, it's an excellent system for bookkeeping, creating estimates that can be converted to invoices, automating invoice reminders to save time, and checking business health.
Although it might take some initial getting used to the interface, QuickBooks is intuitive and simple to use. So yes, if you’ve been wondering: what is the best small business accounting software overall, QuickBooks is definitely on our list of recommended platforms.
On the plus side, QuickBooks's online forum and phone support are also excellent. And you can easily connect the software with other products from the QuickBooks universe like QuickBooks Payroll, QuickBooks Time, and QuickBooks Payments for an additional fee.
For example, if you’ve been looking at Quickbooks Checking account reviews (such as ours), you may have deduced that you might want Quickbooks Online to take advantage of its business bank account functionality. Alternately, you might be enthused about QuickBooks CRM integration for streamlining your business app ecosystem.
QuickBooks online software pricing plans
First of all, what are Intuit QuickBooks price points like? Let’s first review QuickBooks online costs:
QuickBooks online options
Monthly cost of QuickBooks online
Yearly cost of QuickBooks online
$15 /month for the first three months, then $30
$27.50 /month for the first three months, then $55
$42.50 /month for the first three months, then $85
$100/month for the first three months, then $200
Self-employed for freelancers
$7.50/month for the first three months, then $15
How much does QuickBooks online cost for nonprofits?
The QuickBooks Online price for nonprofits is discounted. You can access the discount for nonprofits through TechSoup, a nonprofit tech marketplace.
Nonprofits can get QuickBooks Online Plus for $75 for a one-year subscription, while the QuickBooks Advanced plan costs $160 for a one-year subscription. Pretty good savings, so no surprise QuickBooks Online for nonprofits reviews well on ye olde internet.
Are there any QuickBooks coupon codes or promo discount vouchers?
We did the research, and it seems there are no QuickBooks coupon codes or discount vouchers at this time. If you’re seeking a lower QuickBooks Online price, the vendor periodically offers promotional discounts for each one of its monthly plans, so make sure to check its pricing page.
QuickBooks online overview: what is QuickBooks online & what does QuickBooks online do?
What does QuickBooks do, and how does QuickBooks work? here’s a quick answer:
QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based accounting software made by a company called Intuit that is specifically designed for small and medium-sized businesses.
If you’re wondering about Quickbooks online vs desktop version features, this product is simply a SaaS, online version of the QuickBooks desktop product. The only difference is that you can use QuickBooks Online anywhere and access it from any device like Mac, iPhone, or Android.
Except for this, it contains all of the features found in the local, on-premises version. Even if you're an existing user of the desktop version, the QuickBooks customer support team can help you move your accounting to the cloud.
The monthly fees for this software start at $30. Intuit charges $200 with the Advanced version, which has the richest features.
And what does QuickBooks do? In a nutshell, it lets you create estimates and convert them to invoices, send payable invoices to clients, bill payments, track income and expenses, check the health of your business with various reports and insights, capture receipts from your phone, and so much more.
It also provides efficient bank reconciliation. The company has continuously added new features to make accounting easier for you.
The software is a good pick for both small businesses and accountants working for multiple clients. If you're a small business, you can give your accountant access to QuickBooks Online so that they can retrieve the information and reports they need to prepare your taxes.
Another perk of the system is that it can be tailored to any industry, from simple freelance businesses to retail companies.
QuickBooks online free version vs paid: what’s the difference?
Unfortunately, QuickBooks Online doesn't have a free plan. But the good news is there's a free 30-day trial for each one of the paid plans. The free trial is always a good opportunity to take the software for a spin and see if it's a good fit for your business.
At the moment of writing this review, QuickBooks also offers a promotional 50% discount on all plans for the first three months. However, keep in mind that if you sign up for the free trial, you won't be eligible for the three-month discount.
In terms of monthly plans, there are three or four, depending on where you live in the world. The four monthly plans are Simple Start, Essentials, Plus, and Advanced. There's an additional plan called Self-Employed that is geared towards freelancers and sole proprietors who need basic income and expense tracking, simple invoicing, and some help estimating quarterly income taxes.
Integrated payroll can be added to any monthly plan for an additional fee.
QuickBooks features list
So, what can you do with QuickBooks online? The main QuickBooks online features are:
Income and payments
Cash flow planner
Creating invoices is as easy as one-two-three. You simply choose a template that fits your business and customize it with your logo. When filling out an invoice, you can create a new client or add an existing one.
Similarly, you can add a new product or service or select the one you've already created from your inventory list. Invoices can also have messages, statements, and attachments.
When emailing an invoice to a client, you can add a button to that invoice that will let them pay online via credit and debit cards, eCheck, and ACH payments. Additionally, you can automate recurring invoices, track invoice status, and send payment reminders.
2. Income and payments
Your bank and credit card transactions automatically sync to QuickBooks so you can track your income. For example, when a client pays you through QuickBooks Payments, that transaction will be recorded in the system. Clients can pay you via credit card, eChecks, and ACH transfers. Income transactions can be categorized and assigned to a project or customer.
Similar to how the system syncs your income transactions, it also syncs your expenses. You can review and confirm all expense transactions. QuickBooks will learn your categories over time and will start to suggest a category for each one of your expense transactions; you can accept or change the category QuickBooks suggests.
You can even split an expense into multiple categories. The system lets you assign an expense to a particular project or customer. Expenses can be made billable if you want to include the expense in a future invoice.
There's another neat feature that lets you use your phone to snap and save photos of receipts and add them as expenses.
4. Sales tax
QuickBooks makes handling sales tax quick and simple. The system lets you set up your specific sales tax information and then use it in your invoices. When you create an invoice, the system will automatically apply the proper tax rates based on the location of your sale and the type of product or service you were selling.
5. Bill management
QuickBooks lets you add and pay bills without even leaving the system. You can see all of your bills in the Vendors list. You can pay your bills online from QuickBooks or mail in a paper check yourself. You can pay from your bank for free or from your credit card or debit card for a small fee. You can also decide if your vendor will receive payment by ACH transfer or check.
QuickBooks Online lets you create estimates, email them to clients, and convert them into invoices after you complete the work. You can customize estimates to fit your brand and business needs.
7. Cash flow planner
The cash flow planner uses your data and connected accounts to help you plan your future cash flow. You can get a historical view of the total cash that has flowed in and out of your accounts.
The system can make cash flow projections 30 and 90 days in the future to help you plan ahead and stay ahead. You can even change your projection by adding a future event, like buying a car.
QuickBooks has many pre-created reports you can customize. For example, the Profit and Loss report shows you sales and expenses by month. Depending on your plan, you also get Sales reports to view your sales by day, week, month, or year. You can get similar reports related to Expenses.
9. Project profitability
The project profitability lets you see how much money your projects make. To ensure QuickBooks tracks your project profitability, you should assign income and expense transactions to projects, and the system will calculate everything for you.
You can even keep track of labor costs and how your labor costs impact the profitability of each project; you’ll be able to quickly see which projects are earning you money and which ones are costing you money.
10. Inventory management
If you’re selling physical products, you’d be happy to hear QuickBooks has a neat inventory management feature. You can use it to track inventory, cost of goods, and receive notifications when your inventory is low.
Even better, you can create purchase orders, manage vendors, import your products and services from Excel and Google Sheets, and sync your inventory with third-party platforms like Amazon and Shopify.
11. Time tracking
Users of the Essentials, Plus, and Advanced plans have access to basic time tracking for one-time activities. You can add hours yourself or give employees protected access to add them on their own time. You can attach billable hours to client invoices to get paid for your work.
12. Mobile apps
QuickBooks Online has a mobile app for iOS and Android users. You can use the app on the go to enter transactions, record your expenses, send invoices, and more. Your data will be synced to the cloud and across all your devices.
13. Mileage tracking
The mileage tracking functionality is a good-to-have feature if you use your car for work. The feature is built within the software to let you track business-related miles by using your smartphone. You can categorize business and personal trips and even add trips manually.
If you have independent contractors working for you, then you’ll be glad to hear QuickBooks lets you send them a 1099 at the end of the year so they can report their income to the IRS. You can easily set up 1099 tracking the first time you pay your contractor.
You just need to create a vendor profile for them as a contractor and check the box that says Track payments for 1099 and enter their tax ID. You can see who you've paid, what you've paid, and when you did it.
You can prepare and file 1099s right from QuickBooks.
You can connect third-party apps to QuickBooks to make your business more efficient. In fact, QuickBooks integrates with over 650 popular business apps, in addition to QuickBooks add-ons.
Some of the most popular integrations include Stripe, Square, Paypal, Amazon Business Purchases, Method: CRM, and Gusto. The Advanced plan unlocks access to premium integrations with apps like LeanLaw, HubSpot, Docusign, Bill.com, Salesforce, and Centage.
QuickBooks payment fees
If you use QuickBooks Payments, keep in mind there's always a processing fee. QuickBooks processing fees vary, depending on how you process the payment (for example, a QuickBooks invoice is less than a keyed credit card transaction).
Here's an overview of QuickBooks payment processing fees for the Quickbooks Online plans so you can make the best decision for your business:
QuickBooks Online plans
ACH bank transfer
1% to $10 maximum
Credit card - swiped
2.4% + 25 ¢
Credit card - online invoice
2.9% + 25 ¢
Credit card - keyed
3.4% + 25 ¢
QuickBooks simple start review
The QuickBooks Simple Start plan is the most affordable monthly and the most basic of the four. It works well for micro businesses that sell services or digital products. This plan lets you track your income and expenses, capture receipts, create custom invoices and quotes, connect your bank account, create estimates, get paid online, and more.
The downside is that you only get one user. If you need more users, you'll have to upgrade to the next paid plan, which is the Essentials. At the time of writing this review, this plan costs $15/month for the first three months, then $30/month.
QuickBooks essentials review
The Essentials plan gives you access to all the features from the Simple Start plan, plus bill management and employee time you add to invoices.
A notable upgrade in this plan is that it gets you three users. At the time of writing this QuickBooks online Essentials review, this plan costs $27.50/month for the first three months, then $55/month.
QuickBooks plus review
You'll need the QuickBooks Plus plan if you're selling physical products. This version comes with features such as inventory management and tracking profit by project.
You can add as many as five users. At the time of writing this review, this plan costs $42.50/month for the first three months, then $85/month.
QuickBooks advanced review
The QuickBooks Advanced plan is geared towards medium-sized businesses that need a midrange accounting solution. You're allowed to have more than five users, and you can customize access by role.
You also get batch invoicing, automated workflows, and more advanced analytics. At the time of writing this review, this plan costs $100/month for the first three months, then $200/month.
Pros and cons of QuickBooks online
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of QuickBooks:
Advantages of QuickBooks online
One of the biggest QuickBooks Online benefits is the way it slots into other apps in the QuickBooks universe.
QuickBooks Online is only one of many QuickBooks products in this product lineup. Other products include QuickBooks Online Accountant, QuickBooks Desktop account, QuickBooks Online Payroll, QuickBooks Payments, and more. All work seamlessly with each other.
For instance, you can connect QuickBooks Online with QuickBooks Payments and QuickBooks Checking account and you’ll be able to see your entire financial picture, pay employees, accept payments, and get access to capital—all from the same platform.
Also, there’s a good variety of plans to choose from. Depending on where you live in the world, QuickBooks has three or four subscription levels. You can simply choose the one that contains the feature you’ll be needing to manage your business and be done with it. And you can always upgrade if your business grows.
The app offers an easy way to track money coming in and out. QuickBooks lets you sync all your financial accounts into one place. You'll see how much money is leaving your account in the form of expenses and how much money is coming in as income.
You'll get real-time visualization of all of your finances in one singular place, which can save you a great deal of time when preparing financial reporting.
QuickBooks Online lets you track the health of your business. As QuickBooks tracks where your money is going and from where it is coming in, you can make more informed decisions on how to adjust expenses and/or sales to create more profit.
The main QuickBooks dashboard gives you a running total of revenue and expenses for the past thirty days. It's brief, well-illustrated, and has great ease of use. The Profit and Loss Report shows how you are evolving as a company.
Then there’s the solid invoicing feature. QuickBooks Online has neat invoicing capabilities. Creating invoices is a breeze, and you can even set recurring invoices for long-term clients. You can create estimates as easily as invoices and then convert them into invoices.
Another perk is the ability to send payable invoices to clients they can pay in a few clicks. Everything will be synced inside the system.
You can get a 50% discount for the first three months. Intuit often has promotional discounts for its products.
Currently, there’s a 50% discount on all QuickBooks Online plans for the first three months; the cheapest monthly plan will cost you only $15 per month, while the highest monthly plan that gives you access to the entire suite of features is $100 per month.
It’s easy to provide an accountant access to all your financial records. You can invite your accountant to QuickBooks Online via email using the My Accountant tab or the Manage Users page. Once they accept the invitation, they will have access to all of the features of your account at no additional cost to you.
Lastly, using the app opens up the possibility of hiring QuickBooks Certified Professionals. QuickBooks Online has a great network of professionals if you need help with the accounting aspect of your business. You can get assistance with bookkeeping, taxes, and payroll, and financial advice.
Disadvantages of QuickBooks online
None of the limitations of QuickBooks are particularly significant, but there are a few.
You only get one user with the Simple Start plan. The downside of the most affordable plan is this. If you need to give access to other people in your company, you’ll have to subscribe to a higher plan.
There’s a learning curve. One of the most commonly mentioned limitations of QuickBooks is that it's not the easiest software to use if you don't have some understanding of basic accounting concepts.
Learning how the system works might take some time, but the extensive knowledge base can help you understand the product's full functionality.
Monthly fees are high. As QuickBooks is constantly adding new features, the monthly prices have been going up year by year. For instance, the cheapest paid plan costs $30 per month, and it lacks features like inventory management, time tracking, and bill pay.
For time tracking and bill payments, you'll have to upgrade to the Essentials plan that stands at $55 per month, and for inventory management, you need to cash out $85 per month.
The rising cost of the monthly plans can dissuade many small companies and nonprofits, even with nonprofit pricing. The price is even higher if you add on time tracking or payroll.
QuickBooks online complaints & praise (from real QuickBooks customer reviews)
The most common praise about the software becomes immediately apparent when you start reading reviews of QuickBooks Online. Customers love how QuickBooks Online keeps their books of accounts for income and expenses.
It's a straightforward and smooth app to use to keep your books updated daily, and you can see all kinds of reports. Other QuickBooks reviews mention how the app is an integral part of their business—they run all invoices, recurring revenue, and e-commerce transactions through the system.
The system keeps them on track for all billing and makes month-end reconciliation easy for the bookkeeper.
Some negative QuickBooks Online reviews mention how there are too many options for basic bookkeeping.
It's easy to get lost in which section controls which functions and features. Other users find the system a bit slow, especially when they’re processing a large number of invoices. Several customers complain the customer service is disorganized.
Review of QuickBooks support
Is QuickBooks support bad? We wouldn’t say so. If you want to get a quick answer to your question, you can always get in touch with the QuickBooks Online chatbot that's available 24/7.
The chatbot will direct you to a relevant help article so that you can find the answer yourself. If you need to chat with a human rep, you can type, "Chat to a human," and the chatbot will connect you to the support team.
Yes, you may be put on hold for a few minutes until the system finds an available agent. However, once you are on the phone with them, they are in general pretty helpful and knowledgeable.
In addition, there's a vast knowledge base that contains help articles, on-demand video tutorials, blogs, setup guides, troubleshooting tips, and a community forum.
Is QuickBooks online worth it? Final points
Let’s stop beating around the bush and answer the most important question:
Is QuickBooks worth it?
We say, "definitely yes," if you're a small business owner that does most or all of your accounting yourself or a freelancer or sole proprietor who needs basic accounting software.
This is the right system for you if you need a user-friendly and intuitive solution to navigate, easy to link up with your accountant, and gives you peace of mind that your books are accurate and up to date.
QuickBooks is a top-notch choice for service companies, contractors, and freelancers who need to send invoices to clients, record basic expenses, and run several reports to check their profitability and financial standing.
The recent addition of e-commerce features makes the software a good fit for e-commerce retailers.
On the plus side, there are four subscription levels, meaning you can always start small and then gradually upgrade to a higher plan.
However, we don't recommend this product for businesses that have heavy inventory tracking and management as they might find the software somewhat limiting for their advanced needs. It's also not suitable for budget-minded businesses as QuickBooks pricing plans are not the most affordable.
The best advice would be to take the software for a spin by taking advantage of the free trial or the discounted monthly plans to see if it's the right fit for your business.
If you see that it’s not exactly what you need, know there are many great QuickBooks alternatives out there. For extremely small businesses with tight budgets, FreshBooks is an excellent option as it has a lower cost and doesn't overwhelm you with unnecessary features.
Is Intuit QuickBooks safe?
QuickBooks Online applies several industry-standard measures to help keep your data safe. Said measures include multi-factor authentication, 128-bit SSL encryption, routine testing, and physical safeguards at the Tier 4 data center. In other words, the app is a pretty solid bet in the security department.
How much is QuickBooks online for small business use?
The best monthly QuickBooks Online plan for small businesses is the Plus plan that stands at $85 per month. This plan supports up to five users, and comes with good-to-have features such as inventory management, project profitability, tracking billable hours, and batch invoices and expenses.
Is QuickBooks easy to use?
QuickBooks is easy to use if you have some understanding of basic accounting concepts. That said, it’s true that getting used to the software might take some time. But there’s a vast knowledge base that can help you understand the full functionality of the product.