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I very seldom make open product recommendations but, in this case I’m going to make an exception. When we started the business over 16 years ago now, it was assumed that we would use QuickBooks as our financial platform. No problem there…

If It Ain’t Broke…

Over the years we had become very comfortable with the desktop version of QuickBooks. Our financial structure wasn’t complex but, it certainly required a level of sophistication that the desktop version of QuickBooks handled without issue. Furthermore, it allowed us to coordinate our monthly and annual closing activity with our accountants.

One of the things that frustrated me with the desktop version was the fact that I didn’t have access to my (updated) financial information when I was away from the office. Like most small business owners, I’m out of the office a lot. Since I didn’t have a VPN (virtual private network) I was constantly in my business partner’s office getting an update on a thumb-drive that I would then take back to my office, upload and backup. What a pain. I did this for years.

What Others Are Saying

I became interested in QuickBooks Online (QBO) a little over a year ago and started to do some research on its functionality versus the desktop version. I read posts on a number of different discussion groups to try to get a handle on what the ‘true cost’ of switching to QBO was going to be. The last thing I wanted to do was completely disrupt our financial system or reporting.

It seemed like the most common complaint that I was able to identify with QBO was that it was ‘different’ than the desktop version. Most of the seemingly ‘old-school’ accountants and bookkeepers, who were weighing in on the discussions, didn’t like the new look and feel of the web interface.

Furthermore, they weren’t too happy about having to learn their way around the new QBO product. Another complaint seemed to be that the shortcuts and functions that were so ingrained, from years of working in the desktop version, didn’t work in QBO. Now I’m the first to admit that change is trauma, good or bad. But in this case I say the change is a good one. Admittedly, I am not an accountant or a bookkeeper. However, I use QuickBooks Online multiple times per day.

New And Improved…really!

Without question, the interface and the product are (very) different from the QuickBooks desktop version. But if you think about it for a minute, you’ll realize that it has to be. QBO is a cloud based program that functions more like a Website or Web App, than a piece of software that you have to load on your computer’s hard drive. I get the fact that that is a major departure from what most QuickBook Desktop users are used to.

The most obvious benefit for me is that I now have access to my company’s financial data from any one of my connected devices (laptops, iPads, iPhone) 24/7/365. In addition, all of my accounts (banking, credit cards, payroll, credit card processing, ACH, etc.) are automatically synced with QBO. This eliminates a tremendous amount of the data-entry work that we had to do in the desktop version.

One other benefit that I haven’t mentioned yet is the cost. You can get into QuickBooks Online for $10 – $35 per month, depending on the plan you select! That’s downright cheap compared to what we paid for QuickBooks Desktop.

Perhaps all of the carping about QBO, coming from those individuals rooted in the desktop version, is related to the fact that they view it as an intrusion on the work that they are currently performing for their clients. For me, it’s all about working smarter, not harder. Spending less and getting more!

Seamless Transition with EFPR Solutions

Our transition to QBO was made even easier with the aid of EFPR Solutions. They are an Outsource and Staffing solutions provider, among other things. They are also experts in the implementation and management of QuickBooks Online.

As a small business owner with limited budget and time, it was critical that we got up and running without a hitch, which we did. I have never regretted the decision to go with QuickBooks Online and I’ve never looked back.

If you are a small business owner or manager, who needs to have uninterrupted access to your company’s financial information, I strongly recommend that you consider QuickBooks Online.

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