Which QuickBooks Online Version Is Right for Me?
Ask the Accountant…
Question: I am looking at QuickBooks Online, but I don’t know which version to get. Can you help?
Answer: QB Online (QBO) has four products: Simple Start, Essentials, QBO Plus, and Advanced. The products are listed in order of the number of features, with Simple Start having the least features and Advanced having the most features. Of course, the pricing increases with each step up.
The goal is to have the QBO version that does what you need without paying for a product that does more than you need. In our industry, the least expensive product that suits our needs is QBO Plus. It has Supplier Purchase Orders and two sided items—both critical in our industry. Neither of these functions are in Simple Start or Essentials.
While you might not be familiar with two-sided items, they permit one item (such as CS, BIC Clic Stics) to be set up with mapping into an Income and an Expense Account. When CS appears on a Customer Invoice, it maps into the designated Income Account. When CS is included on a Supplier Purchase Order, it maps into the designated Expense Account. QBO Advanced has these and a variety of other features—most of which we do not need. Advanced is typically overkill for distributors.
For ad specialty distributors using QBO, I would select QBO Plus to handle our orders and accounting.
Harriet Gatter is a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, a former accounting professor and a former ad specialty distributor of 23 years. She advises ad specialty distributors about using QuickBooks Premier & Enterprise, and SAGE Online to save time, eliminate errors, and correctly account for your business. Her specialty is converting distributors from ProfitMaker, SmartBooks, OrderMaster, AIA, and other accounting systems.
Please email accounting questions you would like considered for the column to HGatter@AccountingSupportLLC.com with the subject line of "Ask the Accountant".