Cabo Yacht Charters uses QuickBooks Online to sail the high seas with flexibility and ease
Running a business

Cabo Yacht Charters uses QuickBooks Online to sail the high seas with flexibility and ease

Prior to retiring, Dr. John Henner spent 20 years running his own emergency medicine company. In 2012, he was voted one of Las Vegas’s top physicians. And yet, a year and a half after saying goodbye, even restless boredom couldn’t tempt him to go back. 

“Every time I saw somebody, it was typically the worst day of their life,” he reflects from his home in Nevada. He wanted balance. He needed a chapter of his life to be centered on joy, as opposed to pain. Above all, he needed to stay busy. 

So he chartered a boat. And just like that, the trajectory of his life began to shift. 

How it began: Cabo Yacht Charters makes waves

In 2019, Henner and his wife purchased a home on the same Cabo San Lucas beach where they honeymooned in 1999. “We were spending a fair amount of time down there, and I told her I was thinking of getting a yacht,” Henner says. Calling upon previous discussions of boats and planes, Henner’s wife convinced him to consider renting one instead—“chartering,” as it’s known in transportation.

That decision led Henner to Dan Mason, yacht owner and the man who would eventually become Henner’s business partner. Like Henner, Mason had ties to Las Vegas, and the two shared a similar vision of providing Cabo’s sea-faring tourists with the kind of luxury experience Vegas tourists expect. 

In April 2021, Henner and Mason launched Cabo Yacht Charters, and they haven’t stopped growing since. Today, their five-yacht fleet provides jetsetting tourists with an unparalleled adventure at sea. And helping them crest new waves is an accounting software that’s been with them both, long before Cabo Yacht Charters began: QuickBooks Online. 

Cabo Yacht Charters

Sea-worthy tools: Cabo Yacht Charters meets QuickBooks Online

Getting a new business off the ground is no small feat. For Henner, figuring out the best tools to make Cabo Yacht Charters sea-worthy was essential. 

Along with his other CEO duties for Cabo Yacht Charters, Henner also manages the company’s finances. Co-owner Dan Mason needs to have eyes on the most up-to-date snapshot of the business’ cash flow and financial health as well. However, their stays in Cabo don’t always overlap, meaning they need an accounting software that allows for seamless communication, independent of physical location. 

“Initially, I had QuickBooks Desktop for Mac,” Henner says, but he soon discovered that the program wasn't the best fit for his business’ needs. As Cabo Yacht Charters grew, the business required a cloud-based tool that could scale with it. 

Henner knew enough about QuickBooks to return to the trusted brand, citing his comfort with usability as a key decision driver. He decided to transition to QuickBooks Online Advanced because the business was growing rapidly. “With myself, my personal bookkeeper, business partner, ground manager (doing all the purchasing for yacht provisions), and two scheduling specialists, I decided to go the Advanced route,” he says of the program’s maximum number of users. 

Henner was equally happy to discover the cloud-based software’s many benefits and capabilities. He soon realized that the decision was the best he could have made for the business. 

“With the online platform, I have the ability to work on our books from anywhere [with Internet access],” he says. That’s a big deal to someone who often takes care of business from a country away.

Cabo Yacht Charters

It’s not just Henner who benefits. His wife—a retired pharmacist who also manages the company’s direct bookings—can also log on at any time. So, too, can other important members of the Cabo Yacht Charters team. Whether they need to generate invoices or complete data entry for purchasing, Henner’s team can use QuickBooks Online Advanced at the same time and make updates that won’t override each other . 

“The desktop version of QuickBooks is fine if you’re the only one you need to please,” Henner says, laughing 

He’s even found a way to integrate his QuickBooks Online account with the third-party marketing software the business uses. Now, customer orders don’t just show up in his books—they upload straight to his schedule as well.

Another benefit to using QuickBooks Online? “For about six months, I used the online bookkeeper through QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping, who really helped educate me and position me for success,” says Henner. He and his bookkeeper talked weekly over video chat via the QuickBooks Online application. “They were very helpful with getting me up and running,” Henner says. 

Once he had the basics down, Henner says he was able to use a variety of online resources to master the more complicated parts of his books. Even now, many of his questions are answered via the QuickBooks Help Center and through QuickBooks Online how-to videos on YouTube. 

While he wouldn’t describe himself as “tech-savvy,” Henner reports being in QuickBooks Online Advanced every day, and it’s one of his most-loved business tools. “I recommend QuickBooks Online all the time,” he says.

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A rising tide lifts all boats: Cabo Yacht Charters gives back

Well before their first voyage or dollar earned, Henner and Mason were committed to supporting the Cabo San Lucas community. Mason had a personal connection to Mexico’s children, having adopted his two daughters from a nearby orphanage. He and Henner agreed that improving the lives of Cabo’s children was an important part of their business goals. 

“Now, every time we do a boat charter, we contribute 50 meals to an organization called Feeding Los Cabos Kids,” says Henner. “On average, we feed about 3,000 kids a month through this organization and the contributions we're able to make to them.”

But Cabo Yacht Charters’ community impact doesn’t end there. “We've helped our employees’ children get into schools, and we assist with tutoring them,” Henner says. “Cabo's definitely a tourist city where English is the primary tourism language, so we're helping them with language classes and teaching them English.” 

Henner and Mason look forward to growing their business over the next decade, with plans to expand both up and down the Mexican coast, in the East Cape and Puerto Vallarta. When asked if he thinks QuickBooks Online will be part of that journey, Henner says he knows it will. 

With all that QuickBooks Online has to offer—the option for him to work on his business from anywhere with an Internet connection, the ability to send online invoices and easily accept payments, and to share insights instantly with other employees and stakeholders—it’s tough to imagine using anything else.

Cabo Yacht Charters

QuickBooks Payments: QuickBooks Payments account subject to eligibility criteria, credit and application approval. Subscription to QuickBooks Online is required. Money movement services are provided by Intuit Payments Inc., licensed as a Money Transmitter by the New York State Department of Financial Services.

Anytime, anywhere access: QuickBooks Online requires a computer with a supported browser (see System Requirements for a list of supported browsers) and an Internet connection (high-speed recommended). Mobile experience requires QuickBooks Online mobile app (access included with QuickBooks Online subscription), iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets (devices sold separately), and data plan (subject to cellular/Internet provider network availability and occasional downtime). Not all features available on mobile app and mobile browser. Product registration required. 

QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping: Subscription to QuickBooks Online required. QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping sold separately.

Pay-enabled invoices: Requires a separate QuickBooks Payments account which is subject to eligibility criteria, credit and application approval. E-invoicing QuickBooks Payments is an optional fee-based service. Additional fees may apply. Additional terms and conditions apply.

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