Does any of this sound familiar? You are a small business owner. You are currently using spreadsheets to track your income and expenses. Or, maybe you are simply scrolling through bank statements at year-end and trying to pull out any income and expenses that might be related to your business. You feel overwhelmed by all things finance, and you maybe even put off the organization of your finances to focus on, well anything else. Setting up a new record keeping system and/or learning a new software seems daunting. We've all been there, but it's time to take control. No more procrastination, just time to make a choice and act on it.
This post is designed to tell you about some of the benefits of signing up for QuickBooks Online. I write this post from first-hand experience. Yes, I am a Pro-Advisor for Intuit QuickBooks, but this post comes from direct interactions with the software. I use it to manage my own business, and the truth is, I love it. Clients tell me the same thing! I hope to provide some clarity regarding the potential switch!
Access it from anywhere
Yep, that's right. You could be on a beach in Hawaii working on your QuickBooks (although I hope if you are on a beach you are not working on QB). This software sets you up for financial freedom. You can manage your QuickBooks account from your laptop at any time from any place. There is also a great QuickBooks app that can make your life easier on-the-go. In addition, there are several other apps that interface with QuickBooks that can help you with expense tracking, creating a mileage log (how many of you are currently tracking your business mileage accurately?), and can take pictures of receipts and store them for you. QuickBooks Online is the wave of the future. Further, if you have an admin or other employee that you would like to have access to your account, no problem at all. They can access from anywhere too!
Easy access for your accountant
Sharing info with your tax accountant or financial advisor used to be clunky. You might be sending a file back and forth or your accountant had to come to you at your place of work. Now, by simply entering your accountant's email in the right place, you give them access to your QuickBooks - again from any place or at any time. If you eventually want to hire a bookeeper, they can work remotely as well. No more scheduling issues or coordinating who will work in the file when. Ahhhh, simplicity.
QuickBooks Online stores your data using the type of encryption that most banks use. Many people worry about storing data on the Cloud, but you can rest easy. Before you may have stored data on your laptop hardrive which can either be hacked or physically stolen. The cloud can offer a security that you may not have had before. You can also exchange financial documents with your bookkeeper or tax accountant through QuickBooks Online. No need to send these files through email anymore (which as you know can be quite risky these days).
Invoicing like a dream
This section is for any of you that invoice your clients or customers. Speaking for myself, this process for me used to be very time consuming. I would manually create an invoice, had no good numbering system, had to enter each piece of information each time I created an invoice, and had no good way of tracking customer data or outstanding invoices.
With QBO, you can auto-fill all of your customer's data just by chosing their name from a menu. You can also auto-populate your products and services so you don't have to enter the description of the product/service, rate, and even tax info each time. You can even set the account that will record the income for each product/service automatically, and you can automate invoices if you have a need for regularly occuring invoices. I can now create an invoice for a client in about 2 minutes and send it directly to their email. I can also see how many invoices are outstanding at any given time (so I know to send a friendly reminder if it has been a while). So easy it almost seems too good to be true.
A LOT less data entry (this is a big one)
Do you like free time? Well QBO is about to give you more of it. Features like QBO's bank feed, automation of invoicing/bill pay, and QuickBooks payments can all be huge time savers. Let's take the bank feed for example. QBO allows you to link any of your banks, credit cards, even Paypal accounts. All the data feeds seamlessly into QBO and all you have to do is review, code, and approve each transaction. No more manual entry of each check or expense that you receive or incur. QBO also allows you to create rules so that it will remember repeat transactions. I am telling you, this is a HUGE time saver.
More insight into your business
As soon as you hit the homepage of QBO, you are being told about outstanding invoices, the types of expenses you have incurred recently, what your profit is looking like for the month, and data is displayed regarding the reconciliation of your bank accounts. Further, there are a series of helpful reports that are very easy to run if you are looking to understand your business profit from month-to-month or want to investigate a missing payment, for example. Having more clarity as to the working of your business allows you to make informed decisions regarding future growth.
Support - you are not alone in this
QuickBooks online even offers a support hotline. Have a question on how to add another column on your invoice? Call them. Want to know how to run a customized report? Call them. Want to know why you are seeing a certain error message? You guessed it, call them! If you are feel hesitant about learning a new software, don't worry because they will support you through the transition. I myself have them on speed dial.
I hope this post takes away some of your hesitation. If you want a guide through the financial frontier, I offer QuickBooks training sessions (which can easily be done remotely). Shoot me a note if you are interested. Further if you have QBO set up and want someone to manage it for you, I also offer bookkeeping services. As I always say, don't hesitate, automate!