Over 4.5 million customers use QuickBooks.
Sign up for a free trial!
2015-09-24 00:00:00Product UpdatesEnglishQuickbooks Online is Available in three different versions, so the question is - What version of QuickBooks Online is best for you or your...https://quickbooks.intuit.com/au/resources/au_qrc/uploads/2017/01/GettyImages-466319810.jpghttps://quickbooks.intuit.com/au/resources/product-updates/which-version-of-quickbooks-online-is-right-for-your-clients/Which Version Of QuickBooks Is Right For You? | QuickBooks Australia

Which version of QuickBooks Online is right for your clients?

4 min read

QuickBooks Online is available in three progressive versions, each level at a different cost, but more importantly, with more features than the previous level. Knowing which version suits your small business client all depends on what they need and the core features that will help them run their business. The three versions are Simple Start, Essentials and Plus.


Considerations to take on board when choosing the correct version for your client are:

  • Do they need to track accounts payables (Bills)?
  • Will they need to send out the same recurring invoice?
  • Will they need inventory?
  • How many employees in the business need to be managed through payroll?
  • Is budgeting important for the business?
  • Do they need foreign currency transactions?
  • Will they need to track different departments or jobs?
  • ABA files, multiple payments
  • Will time tracking will be useful for them?
  • What about project tracking?
  • Will they need to complete quotes on the run?

Compare QuickBooks Online versions

It’s important to understand which version of QuickBooks Online is right for you and your client. While each version offers a number of core benefits, the list of core features increases as you upgrade your plan. Here’s a quick breakdown to understand the main differences.


Features that are consistent across ALL three versions are:

  • Availability on all devices PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone
  • Free iPhone, iPad or Android app
  • Snap and store receipts
  • Tracking GST and BAS completion
  • Unlimited downloaded transactions from bank and credit card accounts
  • Quotes and invoices unlimited and emailed directly
  • Reporting is available across all three versions but as you go up in levels, various reports are added
  • Integration with over 500 apps
  • Included payroll limited to the version with full payroll features including ABA file for payroll
  • Attachments
  • 2 accountant users available in each file
  • Award winning support: online, phone and email
  • Secure cloud storage

Simple Start

Simple Start is the most basic level of QuickBooks Online, and works well for businesses that are in the start-up to growth phase with only 1 user. It’s great for businesses with basic bookkeeping needs. You can:

  • Create unlimited number of customers and suppliers
  • Create and manage quotes and invoices
  • Payroll up to 4 employees included
  • Connect unlimited bank accounts and credit cards for quick use with the online banking feeds
  • Enjoy access to 20+ reports

I recommend Simple Start to start-up businesses, that may need to send out invoices, pay their expenses and manage their BAS. It is also a great option for sole traders, especially tradies on the go who need to quote from their iPads. Popular industries that use Simple Start include hairdressers, new-start tradies and natural therapies that consult on different services.

NOTE: Simple Start will not track your Accounts Payable (Bills) nor does it have the ABA payment function.


Essentials is great for businesses that have grown to a stage where they have heavy accounts payable and need more users in the file such as accounts and sales people. This version includes all the features of Simple Start and is available for 3 users in the file at the same time.

  • Free data conversion from old software
  • Set up invoices on a recurring schedule and email out automatically
  • Recurring transactions to alleviate manual handling
  • Includes Accounts Payable (Bills) and tracking with its own Accounts Payable report
  • ABA files and multiple payments
  • Multiple currencies
  • Creating remittance advices and expense receipts
  • Access to 40+ reports
  • Payroll up to 7 employees included

Essentials is a great option for cafes that need to track and manage bills and setup ABA files, in order to save them time when paying suppliers in bulk. Property entities also use recurring invoices for their monthly rent coming in. The multiple currency feature can also be turned on for clients that need to invoice out in other currencies.

NOTE: Essentials will not track inventory nor help you run your budgets.


The Plus version of QuickBooks is the most comprehensive and offers the most features.

  • It is available for 5 users
  • It offers purchase order tracking
  • Inventory tracking (consider if the business has different departments that need to be tracked separately through Locations or Classes)
  • Budgets
  • Time tracking for employees or contractors
  • It can track billable hours by customers
  • Payroll up to 10 employees included
  • Access to 65+ reports

Large construction industry clients will need the Plus version, so they can use the tracking feature of Classes and Locations. You can also set up budgeting under the customer to monitor quotes on larger jobs. Clients sending out purchase orders will also need to use the Plus version. We often recommend the Plus version to franchisors so they can utilise the inventory feature.

Which version of QuickBooks Online is right for your clients?

Exclusive QuickBooks pricing offers for wholesale advisors

Advisors using QuickBooks Online Accountant can choose to own and manage their client subscription under exclusive wholesale pricing discounts, by subscribing to client files within the product. When taking up 5 or more files, an advisor can redeem online bundle discounts, priced up to 50% less than the client’s regular retail price, by speaking to their account manager or visiting Intuit Global.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to download any software?

QuickBooks is cloud-based and accessed through all your devices with an internet connection globally.

Can I upgrade or change plans?

Yes, you can change plans and upgrade, but you cannot downgrade your plan.

Can I bring my data across from my old software?

Yes, definitely you can convert your data into your new QuickBooks Essentials and Plus version from Xero, MYOB and Reckon. NOTE: you cannot run a conversion into the Simple Start version.

What if I need more employees in my plan?

Easy, just add the employee to the file and you will be charged only $4 per employee per month

Are there special offers for advisors?

Yes, if you’re not an advisor contact 1800 618 521 to discuss how you can become a QuickBooks Advisor today.

Rate This Article

This article currently has 3 ratings with an average of 3.7 stars

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

Help Your Business Thrive

Sign up for our newsletter

Thanks for signing up!

Check your inbox for a confirmation email.*

*Check your spam folder if you don’t see a confirmation email.

Related Articles

The ultimate end of financial year payroll checklist

The end of financial year process is much more efficient with the…

Read more

What is upselling and how can you use it?

Upselling is a sales technique where customers are encouraged to purchase upgrades…

Read more

How to connect to CommBank direct bank feeds in QuickBooks Self-Employed

If you have a CommBank account* connected to QuickBooks Self-Employed, you’ll need…

Read more