QuickBooks is best known for its industry-leading small-business bookkeeping software, but QuickBooks also offers many other solutions that integrate with its bookkeeping software. The synergy of the QuickBooks suite of products can save you time and eliminate mistakes caused by entering data manually from nonintegrated systems.
QuickBooks Suite of Products
- QuickBooks Online: QuickBooks Online is the fast-growing cloud-based version of QuickBooks—the software that has dominated the small business accounting industry for decades. QuickBooks Online makes it easier than ever to keep your own books and share them with your accountant instantly.
- QuickBooks Payroll: QuickBooks Payroll is a payroll service that integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks Online. Employee hours entered into QuickBooks are used to both bill clients and pay employees, which helps ensure you don’t miss billable time.
- QuickBooks Live: QuickBooks Live is a virtual bookkeeping service that will help you set up your Quickbooks Online account so that it is accurate and easy to use. It can also provide monthly assistance to reduce your workload.
In addition to being our selection for the best overall small business accounting software, QuickBooks Online serves as the dashboard for all your QuickBooks products. QuickBooks Live and QuickBooks Payroll are both activated and managed from within QuickBooks Online. Even without integrations, QuickBooks Online has abundant features that are both easy to use and extremely comprehensive.
Overview of QuickBooks Online Features
Manage Checking and Credit Card Accounts
You can connect your checking and credit card accounts to QuickBooks Online by providing your login credentials. QuickBooks transfers transactions automatically as they occur and provides a suggested classification. QuickBooks avoids duplicate entries by searching for existing transactions and suggesting you “match” them. Reconciliations are usually pretty simple with QuickBooks marking transferred transactions as cleared automatically.
Manage Invoicing and Accounts Receivable
You can easily add product and service items to your invoices to produce detailed bills in very little time. Employee time billed to a client will appear anytime an invoice to that client is being created, and you can choose to add it with the click of a button. QuickBooks Payroll is a great integration because it guarantees that the hours you use to pay your employees are the same hours available to bill your clients. You can review any unpaid invoices by viewing either the Open Invoices report or the Accounts Receivable (A/R) Aging Report.
Invoices can be emailed along with a Pay Now button where your clients can pay through QuickBooks Payments. QuickBooks Payments is a merchant services account that can be activated from within QuickBooks Online. It is extremely easy to set up and transactions flow to your books automatically.
Manage Expenses and Accounts Payable
Bills should be entered into QuickBooks Online as they are received. You can review your upcoming due dates by looking at your Unpaid Bills report, or if you fall behind you can view your Accounts Payable (A/P) Aging Detail.
A unique feature in QuickBooks Online is QuickBooks Online Bill Pay, where you can initiate an online payment from within the QuickBooks program. Payments can be deposited in the vendor’s bank account electronically or a check can be mailed by QuickBooks.
QuickBooks Online Plus and Advanced can be used to track and manage inventory. The cost of the inventory sold and the inventory on hand will be calculated using the last in, first out (LIFO) cost method. Any time inventory is purchased or sold, QuickBooks will provide a popup with information on the quantity on hand.
In the above invoice example, QuickBooks reports that for the inventory item being sold, there are 59 units on hand and another 50 on a purchase order from the vendor.
For online retailers, Quickbooks integrates with a huge number of online platforms to synchronize your inventory automatically between their sales platform and your QuickBooks accounting records. A few of the integrations include Shopify, eBay, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and Magento.
Construction companies find the project accounting with QuickBooks Online Plus and Advanced to be very useful. Projects can be created and assigned to clients. You can then assign income and expenses to these projects easily as they are incurred. During or after the project, you can print and study reports to determine the profitability and search for possible improvements. Construction companies might consider QuickBooks Desktop vs Online for the construction-specific edition of QuickBooks available for desktop.
QuickBooks Payroll is an affordable full-service payroll solution for small businesses with employees. It calculates and files your taxes, pays penalties if its reps make any mistakes with the IRS—and if you’re using a premium plan, it covers mistakes you make. You can also run an unlimited number of pay runs without paying extra and pay employees quickly—all plans come with next-day direct deposit, and premium plans offer same-day deposit.
Why QuickBooks Users Should Subscribe to QuickBooks Payroll
While there are other payroll services that integrate with QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Payroll is best because the connection between the two systems is seamless.
You don’t have to spend time uploading or mapping your chart of accounts to each payroll transaction as you do with outside providers; QuickBooks Payroll lives within the QuickBooks system, and any time you run payroll, the transactions transfer to the journal under each applicable expense and liability account automatically. In addition, you can toggle between the payroll and accounting systems with the click of a button.
QuickBooks Payroll Features
QuickBooks Payroll offers all of the basic features any full-service payroll solution should have—it pays taxes and employees—but because it caters to small businesses, it comes with extras, such as if you need to run an off-cycle payroll for a bonus payout or to make up for an unintentional short payment, you can do so as many times as needed without paying extra money.
In short, QuickBooks Payroll handles the following:
- Processes an unlimited number of pay runs at no extra cost
- Pays employees via direct deposit or you can print a paper check
- Files taxes with the IRS
- Files state and federal unemployment insurance using partner provider
- Prepares and makes available employee W-2 Forms and contractors 1099s
- Partners with benefit providers so you have health insurance options available in all 50 states
- Workers’ compensation options and administration
- Provides portal for employees to review payroll information and make changes or requests
- Access to human resources (HR) experts for help with compliance issues
Read our review of QuickBooks Payroll.
QuickBooks Live is an online bookkeeping service that assigns a certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor to work with you to keep your books. Your ProAdvisor will help you bring your past books up-to-date and then help you keep them straight in the future. QuickBooks Live will reduce your bookkeeping workload by classifying your transactions as they flow from your bank accounts and reconciling your bank account monthly. You’ll still be in charge of sending invoices to customers and paying vendors.
Why QuickBooks Users Should Subscribe to QuickBooks Live
QuickBooks Live is a fraction of the cost of a local bookkeeper and is, in many ways, more convenient. You can activate QuickBooks Live directly from your QuickBooks Online menu. You’ll be able to see your advisor during your meetings and, more importantly, they’ll be able to see and make adjustments to your accounting records as you talk.
While there are other online bookkeeping services that will support QuickBooks users, QuickBooks Live is the only one run directly by QuickBooks. They make sure all advisors are certified and will understand your business. Click on the “Live Bookkeeping” in your QuickBooks Online left-menu bar to activate QuickBooks Live.
QuickBooks Live Features
You’ll be assigned a dedicated ProAdvisor that will be your point of contact. They’ll learn your business and earn your trust as you get to know each other.
A time-consuming aspect of bookkeeping is classifying all the transactions that flow through from your connected bank accounts. Your QuickBooks Live ProAdvisor and their team will handle this for you. You’ll be able to review their classifications and make any necessary changes.
The cornerstone of good bookkeeping is regularly reconciling all of your bank accounts. Reconciliation ensures that all transactions clearing the bank have been recorded in your books at the correct amount and that no transactions have been accidentally recorded twice. QuickBooks Live will handle this important task for you.
While bookkeeping is necessary to file accurate tax returns, it isn’t the primary purpose of bookkeeping. Bookkeeping is about providing you information that you can use to manage and grow your business. To this end, your ProAdvisor and their team will provide monthly reports that show your income and expenses as well as your assets and liabilities. Monthly reports are crucial so that you have the information you need when you need it, not months later when you file a tax return.
You can learn more in our review of QuickBooks Live.
Other QuickBooks Products to Consider
In addition to the hundreds of third-party integrations available for QuickBooks Online, there are a few more owned by QuickBooks that are worth considering. All of these additional QuickBooks products can easily be activated from within your QuickBooks Online program.
QuickBooks Payments is a merchant services account that can be activated from within QuickBooks Online. It allows you to easily add a “Pay Now” button to your invoices. While other online payment services will integrate with QuickBooks, none are easier to set up. Click “accept online payments” in your QuickBooks account and follow the prompts. Once approved, all the transactions, including merchant fees will be recorded in your books automatically.
Read our review QuickBooks Payments for more information and pricing details.
QuickBooks Time (Formerly TSheets)
Except for the Simple Start plan, all QuickBooks Online accounts come with a very good time-tracking feature that allows employees to enter their own time and charge the time to customers or projects. However, to take time tracking to a whole new level, you can purchase and integrate QuickBooks Time with your QuickBooks Online account. QuickBooks Time includes:
- GPS tracking to see where employees are
- Geofencing to be notified when employees leave a jobsite
- Job and shift scheduling
- Time off management
- Kiosk with facial recognition to eliminate “buddy punching”
After signing up and installing QuickBooks Time, install the QuickBooks Online Integration within QuickBooks Time to connect your accounts.
Our review of QuickBooks Time provides more details regarding features and pricing.
You can apply for a business loan up to $100,000 directly from within your QuickBooks Online account with QuickBooks Capital! The application is incredibly easy because QuickBooks uses the financial information tracked in your QuickBooks account. You’ll need to make sure your QuickBooks is up-to-date to apply.
Most people equate QuickBooks with bookkeeping software, which makes sense since QuickBooks dominates the market for small business accounting software. However, QuickBooks is so much more. Beyond mere bookkeeping, your QuickBooks Online dashboard is the portal to an array of integrated QuickBooks products that will keep your business moving.