There is no work around unless you want a whole bunch of individual expense and income accounts
Or move to the plus version
a non partisan comparison of QBO vs QB desktop
Welcome to the community. As Rustler mentioned, classes are only available in QuickBooks Online Plus (and unfortunately the Projects Center, which might have been a solution, is also only available for Plus).
While it's not necessarily a "workaround," you can create multiple sub-accounts (and sub-accounts of sub-accounts) to break down expenses and invoices into particular categories/tracks. It's a bit of a lift up front, but you can get detailed reporting this way.
How many accounts are you currently working with?
I have about 9 COGS accounts, and about 16 current classes, although I'd love to bring over my historical classes as well - about 30 more. It sounds like there isn't really a good solution and looking at @Rustler's breakdown of QBO vs QBDT I'm thinking about making the painful migration back to QBDT. I had originally upgraded to be able to give a new employee access (QBDT is on my own computer right now - not a network), and add payroll. At least I can add payroll in QBDT. As I use QBO more it seems like they limit so much you can do, including editing of back-dated items which is driving me crazy. Thoughts?
@anniecheng, Rustler has made tremendous insight and knows a ton about QuickBooks - I trust his advice.
QuickBooks Online has it's limitations as well as it's advantages. As you've already noted out, cloud-based software lets multiple people work with the same data from multiple locations at the same time. That's huge for certain businesses. Upgrading QBDT to get similar functionality would be quite a bit more expensive (@gotomyerp specializes in cloud-based options for Desktop, if you want to go that route. Plus, their founder is a terrific, knowledgeable fellow).
And as you pointed out, QuickBooks Desktop has a steeper learning curve for new users. QuickBooks Online is geared towards users who don't need all the features of Desktop. That being said, I am personally a huge fan of QBDT because it has so much functionality. Rustler already provided an article for reference.
My personal take is - frame your accounting as a long game. While it may be easier for your team to learn QBO this month, a year from now, would you prefer they know how to use QBO (and experience the mentioned limitations) or the workflow you're already familiar with in QuickBooks Desktop?
@anniecheng I know this doesn't agree with the others on this topic, but at this point, the best and easiest thing to do is to upgrade to Plus. If you try to remove back to Desktop after already moving to Online, there is a chance of errors and messed up data.
I use QBO for 3 businesses everyday and love it. And yes, our businesses are very detailed and have a lot of extra requirements and QBO completely meets everything fine.
All your choice though.
I should rephrase my previous recommendation - still frame your accounting as a long game. A year from now, would you prefer they know how to use QBO Plus with Class features or the workflow you're already familiar with in QuickBooks Desktop?
Thank you all for your input and help. I've moved forward with Plus for now, and will evaluate migrating back to desktop and networking it for other employees to use.
QBO Plus is still VERY limiting if you use their Full Service Payroll. They can't seem to get their payroll to integrate with their own software - the only way to use classes for your emplyees is to contact help - and even then, they have no idea how to fix issues.
my suggestion is to go back to QBDT - it's not that hard to use and you are actully in control of your own information - you don't have to depend on the low quality that this product offers.