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Level 3


Hello all. I am new here. I am in a little bit of a dilemma. I will be starting my own CPA practice by next year. I have my cpa licence and I will be doing individual and corporate taxes this year at a local firm. We will use proseries. However, outside of taxes, what softwares do self-employed CPAs use on a daily basis? Is Quickbooks online accountant the "main" software used by cpas? I mean I studied so much accounting and there so many things, amortization, depreciation, intangibles, asset impairment, A/R, A/P, equity.. etc.. Where do I keep track of all this for clients? What about tax deductions throughout the year? Please help. Thank you. 

8 Comments 8
Level 15


In terms of using Quickbooks, there are two ways your clients may go

they may use QBO, in which case you just sign into their account, or you create a QBOA account and host their accounts


they may use QB desktop


So it really depends on your clients, or which of two you want to specialize in.


QB does accounting but you have to use the interface, you almost never use a journal entry in QB.


If you are going to support clients with QB, then first you need to become proficient in using and being able to explain how it works.

Community Champion


What you use for clients depends on what they use now. Or you move them to. If they use QBO or QBSE you would use QBOA (free) and your firm as the main invited accountant can have extra staff internally attached to and assigned to work on  specific clients but not others.


If the clients use desktop Pro/Premier your firm should be using Desktop Accountant since no other program can open accountant copies and return change files to client. Since you can only work on limited year versions in desktop accountant it is wise to purchase the annual Pro Advisor membership for $349 which gives you a new version each year.


If clients use Enterprise you need to buy Enterprise Accountant (also available through the desktop Pro Advisor program)


Internally for your own books you can use whatever suits you. QBOA gives you a free company for that purpose, desktop programs can add indefinite companies at no extra charge


Most clients will not have Fixed Asset Manager so you may need a separate program for depreciation (I have no recommendations)


For tax prep there are many to choose from. Intuit offers a couple possibilities that will work hand in hand with your client files. There will be a link in your QBOA dashboard (Intuit ProConnect Tax Online), Lacerte is the "gold standard"

Community Champion


"you almost never use a journal entry in QB."

Year end (and year beginning) adjusting entries to class re-assignment, adjusting owner equity, changing prepayments to income on 12/31 and back to prepayments on 1/1 for cash basis, splitting off land from buildings in fixed asset setup


And as wrong as it may be, one I use constantly (and have yet to have the CPA firm for a major NHL team tell me different) is using JE to enter HUD-1 transactions from property purchase or sale so that the one JE line by line mirrors the statement (yes I know all about inability of following said transactions by name)

Level 3


John, thanks so much for your reply. You definitely gave me a vey good insight on the "dilemma" I was having. Luckily, while I was waiting for answer, I found out that proseries integrates a Fixed-Asset management software. This is important to me, since the niche in my market will be construction companies (small LLCs to mid size construction who have depreciable assets).. I did see that quikbooks online is no good for job costing, and desktop is much better at that. I will have to look more into that. 


I do have a question regarding your statement "Year end (and year beginning) adjusting entries to class re-assignment, adjusting owner equity, changing prepayments to income on 12/31 and back to prepayments on 1/1 for cash basis, splitting off land from buildings in fixed asset setup" 


Sorry, but did you say those things are possible in QBO? Thanks again John! 

Level 3


It also seems like the best thing to do now is to learn both sides, desktop and online :) I'm hoping to get a lot of experiencer using Proseries this tax season. 


For now, to get my "feet wet" Once I get certified in proadvisor, I will start offering payroll and bookkeeping services using QBO. Hopefully that helps me out. 

QuickBooks Team


Allow me to join the thread, @mvp2885.


Once you have an accountant access to QuickBooks Online, yes, it's possible to reclassify transactions. You'll just need to use the reclassify tool in QuickBooks Online Accountant (QBOA). This enables accountants to find transactions that have been assigned to incorrect accounts or classes and reclassify them in batches.


To check the possible options on what you can do/access in QBOA:


  1. Log in to your QBOA account.
  2. Select a client under Go to client's QuickBooks.
  3. Click on the small envelope beside the client's account.

For additional reference, you may check this article: How to use the reclassify transactions tool in QuickBooks Online Accountant.


Stay in touch if you have any other questions, we're always here to help. Have a wonderful day ahead!



Level 9


Actually, the QuickBooks Online Plus version now includes the "Projects" module which works great for job costing.

Aleh - CloudBusiness
Level 3


Hello mvp2885,


  QuickBooks can be the main software for the activities you are performing, however there are applications that can be very helpful in terms of communicating with QuickBooks, especially if there is a need in parsing large amount of data and getting that data pulled into QuickBooks companies. 


  Invoices, Bills, Bills Payments, Customers, Vendors, Products etc. all this can give you a hard time when you need to appear any of them in your books. Or lets imagine a self-employed accountant doing a migration from QBO company to another QBO company, or from/to QBD company. Then it wouldn't be really realistic to get all this data entered manually. Thus, there are apps that can help doing this for you.


  Of course, accountant skills and knowledge of QuickBooks will be necessary for working with such apps as main thing will be to correctly map data you have in your .excel or .csv spreadsheets to the fields QuickBooks has. However, good news is that some of the apps have really great support services that will be happy to give you some advising or solving the issues that might come up during using the app.


 One of such apps that I liked most wast Business Importer. They have versions both for Online and Desktop books. They have clean comprehensive guides and friendly quialified support - so you'll never walk alone while using their apps. 

  I believe there is no life on Mars without apps like that nowadays as business tempo is high enough and you'll never know where you will need your data to belong to what company.

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