So, last week I explained some of the benefits and positive aspects of online bookkeeping, and specifically QuickBooks Online (QBO). This week I will look at some of the disadvantages of QBO and online bookkeeping in general.
- Cost. I know I listed cost as a positive last week, and it can be. But if you need to add payroll or need the Plus subscription, then QBO may be cost prohibitive. Let’s just look at the Essentials package with Payroll. That is $27.00 per month for Essentials and an additional $31.20 for Payroll (plus $2.00 per month per employee). That totals $662 for one year of QBO (assuming one employee and the first month free). QuickBooks Pro with Enhanced Payroll (one employee, there is a $2.00 per month per additional employee) is currently $299.99 from Staples.
- Limited Functions. Although QBO has come a long way, there is still a ways to go. It doesn’t function the same ways as QuickBooks Desktop (QBD). It doesn’t integrate with QB POS currently. There are fewer reports to choose from and the customization options are restricted. QBO can not do complete job costing, but will track expenses by job. Freshbooks, although easy to use, also has some significant limitations. It is an invoicing & expense tracking software only. No reconciliation option, nor the ability to separate your expenses into checking vs credit card accounts, nor. To accomplish these functions you need to export your data into QuickBooks or another bookkeeping software.
- Dependent on the Internet. Anytime/anywhere access is only a benefit if you have reliable, strong internet. There are still many places where internet access is not reliable. This can restrict your ability to do your books on your schedule.
- One Company per Subscription. Unlike with QBD where you can track all your businesses with one software purchase, if you use QBO, you will need to pay for a separate subscription for each business.
- No More BackUps. This could be viewed as a pro (and I explored that view last week), and usually is. Until the business closes, for whatever reason…maybe the owner is retiring, or they’ve decided to open a new business. With QBD when a business closes or changes hands, and the books need to be closed, finalized and archived, a back-up is made and filed away. There are no back-ups with QBO. So, the file needs to be exported from QBO into QBD. Then the data will need to be verified that it matches the final financial reports. Then a back-up can be done and the books closed.
- As I said last week, nothing is perfect. And there are downsides to using QuickBooks Desktop as well. The key is making sure you explore all aspects of the software or online option you are considering so that you choose the one that best fits your needs and your business.
Do you use QuickBooks Online, Desktop, or another program for your bookkeeping? What do you like most about your choice?