You woke up today ready to jump to the cloud with your accounting and bookkeeping…now what? What does that look like for you? How do you go about actually moving your bookkeeping to a cloud system? Which system do you use? Which version? How much does it cost?
The first decision is which accounting software to use. We support both QuickBooks Online and Xero, however since QuickBooks Online is the current market leader in Canada today we will focus specifically on its online offerings.
Before selecting a version it is important to note that you cannot currently downgrade your QuickBooks Online plan. While this is something that has been announced as coming to Canada within the next couple of years, it is not available today and a date of release in unknown.
With that in mind, we will start our discussion at the highest plan and work our way down.
QuickBooks Plus is the full service plan. It has all of the offerings of the other plans in addition to the following:
If you have the need to track your products on hand, costs of goods sold and receive notifications when inventory is low this is the plan for you.
It is also made for those businesses that have a need to track multi-currency.
Finally for those who are interested in creating and managing budgets within their software QuickBooks Plus is needed. The budget feature will allow users to create a budget from scratch or use a previous year’s data. In additional you can track the budget progress by the dollar amount or by percentage and run budgeting reports.
If you are not in need of the additional features offered with QuickBooks Plus, then you can move down a plan. Next let’s look at whether you need QuickBooks Essential.
QuickBooks Essentials is the plan that most businesses find themselves needing. The draw to this plan is when your business is looking to manage bills, track time and has multiple users.
The manage bills features allows for your business to track bill status, record payments and create recurring payments. You can pay multiple vendors and bills at the same time and if still using cheques you can create these and print.
For those businesses that are looking to provide access to multiple users, you do not need to include your bookkeeper and accountant into this number. QuickBooks Online allows business on all plans 2 accountant/bookkeeper users. For your other users, you are able to control the user-access levels and share reports. Each user is provided their own login.
Tracking time is also a feature of QuickBooks Essentials. This feature allows you to record employee times and billable hours. Billable hours can be tracked by client or employee and can be automatically added to the client invoices. A feature that our clients love is that they can create a user for their employees that allows their employee special access to enter hours. You are also able to enter the hours for your employees yourself. For businesses using applications such as T-Sheets, the applications can be integrated to pull directly into QuickBooks Online.
If you have found that QuickBooks Essentials is also more powerful than your current needs then QuickBooks EasyStart may be right for you at this time.
Features available for QuickBooks EasyStart are the ability to track income and expenses, invoice and accept payments, run reports, send estimates, track sales and calculate sales tax.
While QuickBooks EasyStart is a limited option, it still provides the ability to have a balance sheet and income statement for your business.
A newer option that is available for self-employed individuals who have the need to prepare invoices, track expenses and mileage is QuickBooks Self-Employed. QuickBooks Self-Employed is available for individuals whom are on their own and have an unincorporated business. For these individuals they have a need to track their income and expenses for tax purposes only and do not require a balance sheet.
The following can be used to assist you with your path to the cloud.