Several years ago, I was happily working in QuickBooks Desktop. I had a comfortable bookkeeping service with a handful of clients who kept me busy 50 hours a week. My daughter had a baby and was on maternity leave from her job at the bank. When she had to go back to work, she was miserable. She missed the new baby terribly. The idea popped into my head that I could grow my business and hire my daughter. She could work from home and be with my grandson. I could expand my business. It was a win-win.
I had already begun to realize that the world was shifting to the cloud. A little voice had been telling I needed to learn QuickBooks Online. But switching platforms takes time and effort. I’d been using Desktop for more than 15 years, so I was comfortable with it and knew it well. Couldn’t I just stick with Desktop?
When my daughter came on board, I made sure she got certified in QuickBooks Online. After all, she might be my successor in this business someday. I already had Desktop covered, and we found that as new customers came in, most were already on the QuickBooks Online program.
When my daughter started completing her work faster than me, I was puzzled. How can this be? Shouldn’t I finish the work quicker since I’ve been doing it for so long? That’s when the lightbulb went off. I’d read that using QuickBooks Online can save you eight hours each week. And that’s just what I was seeing watching my daughter work. So I started using QBO, too.
Once I switched to the cloud-based platform, I realized how much I could scale my business. Now I have apps for many of the tasks I used to do manually. And, I’ve discovered it’s fun to learn a new technology. Instead of simply staying in my comfort zone with a familiar program, I’m expanding my knowledge base. It’s exciting and very rewarding.
Here are seven reasons why I’m thrilled I made the move from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online. If you switch, too, I think you’ll be really glad you did.
1. Automation. The bank feed and the bank rules are probably my number one favorite feature of QuickBooks Online. You connect your bank account and import the transactions. You can sort them quickly with just a few clicks. I wrote a blog post about this topic regarding navigating through a large list of transactions. You can download and sort through 1000 transactions (literally!) in a relatively short period of time.
2. Time-saving. As I mentioned above, QBO is estimated to save you about eight hours a week. What will you do with that eight hours? Get more customers and grow!
3. Apps. Did you know there’s an app to track your employees’ time? It’s called T-Sheets. Did you know there is an app for accounts-payable processing? It’s Bill.com. Within QuickBooks Online Accountant, the Work tab lets you organize your tasks and your team directly within the program. There’s a whole world of apps designed to make it easier for you to run your business, and some of them work with only with QuickBooks Online.
4. Flexibility. I can work where I want and when I want. With Desktop, I had to use a screen-sharing program and schedule my work when my client wasn’t using his/her computer. That meant very early mornings, evenings or weekends. The cloud-based system allows me to login whenever I want, from any device.
5. Technology. We are living an amazing time when artificial intelligence (AI) is just getting better and better. Why not stay current? As a professional bookkeeper, I partner with many CPA firms. Some CPAs don’t want to learn QuickBooks Online and even encourage the customer to switch back to Desktop! I’ve run into that over the years and many of them say, “If you are going to use QuickBooks Online, just send me a PDF of the financials.” Did you know you can connect Intuit Pro Connect tax software to the data file in QuickBooks Online? Proper setup will give you smooth automation.
6. Communication. Imagine being able to communicate with customers directly within QuickBooks. They log in to their company file, and, in bright red letters, you’ll see your document request or other request. You’ll find this feature in the Work tab.
7. You want to be cool! I’m kidding -- sort of. If you snooze, you lose. The millennial generation wants to be able to pick up their phone and get information about their company with a couple of swipes. The generation following millennials will probably want even more information, even faster. Why miss out on working with this phenomenal customer base?
Lynda Artesani owns Artesani Bookkeeping in Estero, Florida. She is our first QB Community Expert Columnist and excited to be part of the team to share her knowledge and love of everything QuickBooks and to help others start or grow their businesses. She is also a member of the Intuit Advisory Council. Message her @lynda!