QuickBooks Online Plus review

Cloud-based accounting with excellent invoicing and contact management

Overall Score 
Easy invoice customisation; Slick browser and mobile interfaces
Not all documentation is up-to-date
QuickBooks’ clean interface and wide range of features make it easy to work with, but its inconsistent documentation makes Xero Premium a slightly better choice for businesses that don’t have an in-house accountancy expert.
£29 per month

QuickBooks Online provides feature-packed online accounting for small-to-medium businesses, with support for multiple VAT classes and, at extra cost, payroll with pension auto-enrolment. It’s designed for businesses with an external accountant, and Intuit provides accountants with extra resources and support, including a free accountant's version of QuickBooks Online that gives them access to your books and the ability to close them at the end of the tax year.

Three different versions of QuickBooks Online are available. Simple Start, priced at £9 per month, only supports a single in-house user and a single currency. QuickBooks Essentials, costs £19 per month, allows three staff to log in and adds extra reports, repeating invoices, multi-currency support, and more detailed expense tracking. We’ve reviewed QuickBooks Plus, which costs £29 and includes features such as timesheets and the ability to classify transactions by business area.

QuickBooks’ tutorials guide you through configuring key features, such as connecting your bank. QuickBooks supports a wide range of personal and business bank accounts, avoiding third party syncing services such as Yodlee. If, like some credit unions, building societies, and overseas banks, your account isn’t supported, you can manually upload statements. To work in foreign currencies, you’ll have to first enable multi-currency mode in the currency centre, and select the relevant currently when creating the Chart of Accounts (COA) entry for your foreign-denominated account. You can also double-click in to any account in your COA, where you can change their balances - handy if your starting statement balance is incorrect due to a limited import history.

Documentation is annoyingly poor in places, with a fair bit of out-of-date information in some official support portals. The presence of ambiguous documentation is most likely to trip you when you’re first setting up the service. Intuit provides free support and advises consulting your accountant if you have questions about how your accounts ought to be set up. Fortunately, once configured, QuickBooks becomes very simple to work with.

Interface and invoicing

The invoice creation template is particularly easy to work with. You either select a client from your contacts list, or create a new one there and then. You can select from a number of preconfigured payment terms or create new terms, including set dates and discounts for early payment. This ability to add customers and terms on the fly is particularly welcome, and makes QuickBooks one of the best invoicing tools we’ve used.The Home screen gives you an at-a-glance view of the status of your finances, with graphs showing your income, expenses, and profit and loss. Clicking into any of these opens a more detailed report. At the top of the screen on most pages, you’ll find an icon bar that gives you access to the service’s core features, allowing you to search your transactions by date or reference, see a list of your recent transactions, access help, account settings and the all-important Create menu. This is where you go to create bills, invoices, expenses and estimates; move money between different accounts and departments, and set up billable timesheets that make it easy to manage customers who are charged at an hourly rate.

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