Seth David Speaks at Santa Barbara Bookkeepers Association luncheon and does an overview of the Benefits of QuickBooks Online.
I am well aware of the limitations that some people seem to love to hate about QuickBooks Online – no inventory (or not sophisticated), no real job costing other than the basic assignment of an expense to a customer. No progress billing – I am sure you can name a few I’ve left out here. Ever the positive thinker what I would like to focus on are the “Benefits Of Using QuickBooks Online.” I recently gave a presentation to the Santa Barbara Bookkeepers Association on cloud accounting solutions. I spent most of my time there talking about QuickBooks Online and here’s why.
Access the QuickBooks Online Demo Company here
I had a conversation recently with someone who wanted to know why I was going to do videos and write a course on QuickBooks Online with “all of its limitations.” I had a few answers for here but one of them stands out above the others. It’s the same reason I chose QuickBooks desktop as my software of choice years ago when I started consulting. I looked at Peachtree (now owned by Sage) and a few others and the bottom line was that it really didn’t matter what I liked. It mattered what the market liked.
It was a simple choice in the end. If I am going to look to make a living providing a service based on choosing a particular type of software then I should choose the software sought after by the greatest number of people.
For this reason you should definitely be familiar with QuickBooks Online. Like it or not it is presently the most sought after cloud accounting app in the sky!
What else does QuickBooks Online have going for it?
It’s a mature product. QuickBooks Online was first introduced in 2001. At that time it was so far ahead of it’s time that nobody “got it.” I remember getting on the phone with them back in 2007 and being told that the product would never mature much from being just a very simple accounting tool for service based businesses only. They were wrong.
Being a mature product has its advantages. They have the experience and the know how to understand the market and what users need most. They can’t be all things to all users and they know this. In a Keynote I heard last November (2013) from Intuit CEO, Brad Smith he told us that they re-designed the interface because they knew they needed to bring QuickBooks Online out on a whole new footing. It was built on old technology and they needed to bring it up to date with the times. They also finally completely opened up the API for developers to have access to everything the engineers themselves had access to. So we should be seeing more and more apps coming out in the next few years.
Lots of resources
This may be the most important thing. When choosing a product you have to look at who’s behind that product. Will they still be here in 5 years or 10? Can they support it and handle the user base without sacrificing quality anywhere?
Intuit is a fortune 500 company with 1 Billion in annual sales and a ton of cash on their balance sheet (I own stock in their company for these reasons). They aren’t going anywhere and they can afford to and they are spending a fortune to make this the best product they can offer.
It’s unclear to me whether they will offer things like more advanced inventory. The trend with the cloud seems to be to develop a really solid core app and then let the developers pave the way with their add-ons. As it stands right now you can put QuickBooks Online to work for a manufacturing concern by using SOS Inventory as an add on. I can’t speak to how good or bad it is. I haven’t tried it. Their website doesn’t inspire me much, but that’s just my opinion and it doesn’t mean they aren’t simply focused on spending all of their money on making a great product. I have no idea.
If SOS inventory doesn’t turn out to be great, and no one else comes up with anything mind blowing then I am sure Intuit can and will (if they aren’t already) invest into developing that area much better.
The key in this game is to make sure that core app is well developed and there is no question that Intuit has the resources to make anything happen that they want.
I don’t think there is any question that we need to be thinking in terms of getting our clients into a cloud accounting solution. It just makes sense and it is definitely the future of accounting. Eventually you won’t have a choice. I think hosted desktop solutions are a great 2nd best alternative when the cloud accounting solutions out there just don’t accomplish what you need, but I think that eventually they will and that will eventually (maybe 10 years) spell the end of the cloud hosting solutions for QuickBooks. If you focus on the negative you will likely find many reasons not to be innovative in how you provide your services to your clients by changing nothing. If you focus on the positive you (like me) will look for ways to challenge yourself to find newer, better solutions and find ways to make them work until they mature to the point where you won’t need to find ways to make them work. Of course then you will have new challenges that you will be asking these products to conquer.
Focusing on the benefits is always a great place to start. It’s easy for us to talk ourselves out of change. Most of us fear change and we tend to wait until we’re forced to. By then we’re playing catch up. I like being an early adopter and staying ahead of the curve.
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