QuickBooks Online: First Impressions

Last week I told you I was about to make the jump to QuickBooks Online. I also said this wouldn't become a site just about QuickBooks. Both of these things are true.

I had a chance to get my client file setup, and put it through a few good tests last week so I wanted to give you my first impressions. Maybe a month or so from now I'll give you another update, once I have really put it through its paces.

The Basics

I won't go into details about the client, but I think it's important to give you an idea of the type of work I'll be doing in QBO. It's a small business with less than 5 employees that will require payroll. It has multiple bank accounts which get quite a lot of daily use. We need to track GST (sales tax), payroll tax, staff health insurance, loans, and shareholder activity. We need to track receivables and payables, and there's a good chance we'll want to eventually setup class tracking and job costing.

I will be reconciling the accounts daily, doing payroll weekly, and providing a basic set of reports weekly with a more detailed set monthly. Payroll remittances are monthly, GST returns quarterly, and then of course prepping for year end. This is all pretty standard stuff, but I think by the end of the year I will have used a large percentage of QBO's feature set.

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Switching to QuickBooks Online

I'm finally making the move to QuickBooks Online!

At least I'm going to give it a real effort. One of my clients was interested in moving things online. We've been using QuickBooks desktop since Day 1, so switching to QBO made the most sense. I didn't realize it at the time, but this is really my only regular QB desktop client. I have some that I do year end work with, but in terms of daily bookkeeping...this is the last of its kind. (please read that last part in your best Sean Connery voice)

I know what you're saying. Yes, I'm really late to the party here. It's kinda like having someone come up to you and tell you how they just discovered Mumford & Sons. I was just sent a press release from Intuit that shows that QBO has just surpassed 1 million users. Being the 1,000,001th of anything doesn't get you cutting edge status so I'm aware that my indie cred is taking a real beating here today.

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A Preview of What's to Come

I want to start by welcoming everyone to 2015. No matter how good or how bad 2014 was, my wish is that we can make this year even better.

One thing I believe is important in business is to regularly improve your skills. This year, I'd like to make this site a great resource for anyone wanting to get better at their company's bookkeeping. Much of the information I have provided here has been big picture topics, but I'm going to be spending more time working on practical lessons on bookkeeping, bookkeeping software, and the other essential tools you use everyday to run your small business.

One big change I'm hoping to implement is the use of different forms of media. This site has been 99% text so far, but I plan to create a lot of screencasts to better illustrate the lessons. Santa got me a shiny new microphone for Christmas so I will be inflicting you with my voice on a regular basis. You've been warned.

I haven't figured out all the details yet. The screencasts will be available somewhere on the site and on YouTube. I'm just not sure if they will appear in the main blog feed or as a separate part of the site. I'm leaning towards a separate page and then a weekly post summarizing any new material.

QuickBooks Online

Another thing I'm going to do this year is take you through my journey with QuickBooks Online. I have put off using it because I didn't have any clients in the market for new software and I just didn't have time to learn it without a good reason. I'm going to make the site my reason so I'll be taking you through the entire process...from opening a new account to day to day bookkeeping. With Intuit making a strong push to QBO, I know my days of using their desktop software are numbered. I don't know how the experiment will end, so we can go through this together.

Support ThatBookkeeper

Finally, I'm going to start offering ways for you to support the site. If you can believe it, I've been working on this site for 5 years now. Other than a handful of unsuccessful ads here and there, the site hasn't generated any money.

I know my posting schedule has been erratic, so I always felt bad about making any money from the site. Of course, if I put on my logical hat for a moment, if the site made a little bit of money each month, I could spend more time here...thus fixing the erratic schedule.

If you get some value from my site and you want to help me pay for the copious amounts of caffeine required to fuel my business, I would greatly appreciate it. This is entirely optional. The blog will always be free, and I'm 95% sure I won't come door to door with my hat out. If you're interested in learning more, here's the link.

Support ThatBookkeeper

Well, that's it for now. I'm really excited about 2015. I have big plans for my business, and I want to hear about your big plans too. What's the one big thing you plan to do this year to take your small business to the next level?