Quickbooks

QuickBooks is a piece of cloud accounting software full of useful features and reasonably easy to use, with a few hidden annoyances. There's a free 30 day trial and thereafter the license costs £19/month + VAT for up to 5 users and allows for transactions in multiple currencies. Setting up a 30 day trial account is fairly easy. The first screen, Home, is made busy by having recent activities down the right hand side but overall it’s easy to understand and navigate. The short introduction video on the Home page is very useful.

QuickBooks is designed for use in the UK and can handle VAT calculations. Once your VAT details have been entered, creating the invoices that QuickBooks uses as its raw data is very straightforward. New customers/suppliers and products/services can be added whilst creating invoices, meaning that repeat orders and purchases are even easier to process. It’s also simple to create credit notes although the credit note we raised was automatically allocated to an invoice. This was, in fact, what we’d intended but we remained unsure that we’d always want this to be automated, at least not without a way of confirming the action.

Repeating invoices, both sales and purchases, can be created from scratch or from an existing invoice. Estimates can be created in QuickBooks but purchase orders are only available in the Plus edition.

QuickBooks supports bank feeds but we were unable to upload a csv bank statement since QuickBooks only supports .ofx, .qfx or .qbo formats. This seems to be a feature of more than one cloud accounting application but is especially annoying in the case of Quickbooks which is designed for the UK since, in our experience, banks in the UK mostly offer downloaded statements in .csv or .qif format. We were, however, able to find a free converter online and were able to convert our csv file to ofx and upload it without any further problem.

Unfortunately, though, that wasn’t the end of the story. Uploaded statement lines can be categorised or coded and matched to a transaction already created. QuickBooks remembers previous categorisation to speed up the process. So far so good but, whereas other software will provide automated reconciliation, with QuickBooks, invoices have to be manually marked as paid before a bank statement line can be matched to the transaction, again, by hand. Bulk payments, therefore, require a lot of clicking.

Digital copies of documents can be uploaded against sales and purchase invoices. Journals and repeating journals are straightforward to create but we couldn’t find how to review them to make amendments or to delete. The help centre is extremely unhelpful, and searches questions that have previously been asked. Compared to other products on the market it’s really not easy to find the information required. The Profit and Loss report is very basic, but you can access all the figures directly for more in-depth information.

Overall we found QuickBooks intuitive to use without having to refer to the help, which was a good thing as we didn’t find the help area very useful at all. It has some great features and is enjoyable to use except for a few oversights which can be very annoying. Compared to many of its competitors, the handling of bank statements in QuickBooks is lengthy, especially as invoices have to be manually marked as paid before they can be matched to a bank statement lines, but if you don’t need this feature, it’s definitely worth a look.

Subscription – £19 + VAT per month for up to 5 users and multi currency.

www.quickbooks.intuit.com/online

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