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Accounting & Bookkeeping Basics: Overview

basic quickbooks

For example, Self-Employed is best for freelancers or solopreneurs, while Simple Start is ideal for small businesses wanting to track assets and liabilities. Essentials is preferable if you need to track unpaid bills, while Plus is great if you require inventory and project management. It’s a great fit if you’ll be doing the bookkeeping yourself and don’t need inventory accounting.

  • No, it is relatively easy to use, though corrections can be more challenging.
  • This plan offers everything that Simple Start does like managing bills, tracking income and expenses, creating and sending invoices, etc.
  • QuickBooks Online Simple Start is one of the QuickBooks Online Versions that works well for single users like solopreneurs and small businesses just starting out.
  • The Essentials version also provides advanced reporting tools, payment acceptance capabilities, project tracking functionality, and more.
  • QuickBooks Online is our overall best small business accounting software.

She has also written extensively on parenting and current events for the website Scary Mommy. From University of Wisconsin–Madison, and she lives in the Chicago area with her family. To get the best internet tax freedom act possible experience please use the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Microsoft Edge to view this website. Full funding for this program is available through Job Training Albuquerque.

When customers no longer have an active, paid subscription, they will not be eligible to receive benefits. Support hours exclude occasional downtime due to system and server maintenance, company events, observed U.S. holidays and events beyond our control. Intuit reserves the right to change these hours without notice. Terms, conditions, pricing, service, support options, and support team members are subject to change without notice. QuickBooks Simple Start is the easiest and quickest way for single users (freelancers, gig workers, solo entrepreneurs) to manage all of their income and expenses in one simple tool. With QuickBooks Simple Start, you can invoice customers, connect bank and credit card accounts, track sales tax, and run basic financial statements.


QuickBooks Online Simple Start is an excellent product for small businesses and entrepreneurs who need an easy-to-use, secure accounting solution that can handle their finances. Intuit, the company that owns QuickBooks, sells lots of software and apps. It’s wise to look at a software company’s whole ecosystem of products before adopting a solution from it. It’s often beneficial to use multiple products from one company, because they all work together, so be strategic about the system you adopt. QuickBooks has a version just for those who are self-employed.

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The main dashboard will give an overview of your QuickBooks account, showing your profit and loss overview, invoices, expenses and sales. Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page.

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QuickBooks Plus, however, is for product-based businesses that need to track inventory. It provides all the features offered by QuickBooks Essentials with the added functionality of tracking project profitability, inventory, and providing access to up to five users. Terms, conditions, pricing, special features, and service and support options subject to change without notice. If you run an enterprise business, do not buy products intended for small businesses. Unless your business is in transition and still growing toward the enterprise level, most small business products will not suit your purposes. Intuit and other accounting software companies make plenty of products just for enterprise users that suit your needs better.

We haven’t covered the desktop software in this guide because QuickBooks Online is the obvious choice for businesses of all sizes. Mark Calatrava is an accounting expert for Fit Small Business. The best QuickBooks Online version depends on the size of your business and your particular needs. If you deal with inventory or large projects heavily, Plus is the best option. However, self-employed persons should consider Self-Employed—unless they have an employee, which will require an upgrade to Simple Start.

Tools to help your business thrive

Learn more about migrating, including our assisted migration process where we do the work for you, on our How to Switch page. In the cloud, you have access to your business data any where with an internet connection, on any device. All your data is in one place so you’ll always have access to the latest data even with multiple collaborators like your bookkeeper or your accountant. All of your bank and credit card transactions automatically sync to QuickBooks to help you seamlessly track income and expenses.

basic quickbooks

QuickBooks Online’s solid set of features (invoicing, inventory management, reporting, etc.) makes it a great solution for a variety of small businesses. It’s easy to loop in your accountant and, unlike some competitors, it can scale to meet a growing business’s changing needs. Whether you decide to manage your bookkeeping on your own or work with a professional, you’ll have no trouble accessing online resources for QuickBooks Online. The company offers video tutorials, webinars and training classes, as well as community forums, support topics and other resources on its website.

QuickBooks Online Simple Start (Yearly Subscription)

Having access to a team that can help you to optimize your QuickBooks Online setup and troubleshoot any errors or issues that arise is one of the best parts of using Quickbooks. Here’s a breakdown of the QuickBooks Self-Employed plans to help you decide. Christine is a non-practicing attorney, freelance writer, and author. She has written legal and marketing content and communications for a wide range of law firms for more than 15 years.

The number of users and features needed are the two factors considered for deciding between the QuickBooks Plans. Simple Start is for single users, Essentials for up to three users, and Plus for up to five users. The Essentials plan provides all the functionality of Simple Start along with managing bills and tracking time. The Plus plan offers everything that Simple Start and Essentials do with the added ability to track inventory and profitability by the project. The right QuickBooks Online plan depends on the size of your business and the features you need.

Payroll that’s easy to run, from day one

Large businesses that need access for up to 25 users will probably want to go with QuickBooks Advanced. You can pay online through bank transfer or check directly with just a few clicks and pay multiple bills at one go. You can also make payments to the supplier via credit cards in QBs.

basic quickbooks

If you need these features, QuickBooks Online Essentials may be the best choice for your business. To enable you to easily reconcile statements, you can also download transactions from your bank accounts and credit cards. Simple Start provides tools to manage invoices, track expenses and income, generate reports, and securely store critical financial data.

When creating POs in Plus, you can input specific items you want to purchase. When your POs are fulfilled, you can convert them to a bill easily. The biggest difference between Simple Start and Essentials is that Simple Start doesn’t allow you to pay and manage bills. This is a bit inconvenient since even solopreneurs or freelancers have bills that need to be paid. However, if you only need to record expenses as you pay them, then Simple Start might be enough.

Given QuickBooks Online’s number of users, accountants outside of the network should be familiar with the software. You aren’t required to fill out every field in an expense or income entry, but the more detailed your records are, the more useful certain reports can be. For example, with QuickBooks Online Plus and Advanced, you can track inventory and do job costing — that is, you can figure out how much you spent to complete a certain project. Includes audit trails and easy accountant access; has millions of users so your accountant will likely be familiar with it. A Live Bookkeeper cannot begin cleaning up your past books until they receive the required supporting documentation, which your bookkeeper will request from you after your first meeting. Once your bookkeeper receives all the necessary documentation, they’ll typically complete your cleanup within 30 days.

  • The main differences between the two QuickBooks plans are the ability to create billable expenses and assign them to customers, track inventory costs, and calculate P&L by project.
  • To manage payroll through QuickBooks Payroll, you’ll need to pay a fee for this add-on service, with plans ranging from $45 to $125 per month, plus an additional $5 to $10 per employee per month.
  • The QuickBooks Features range includes various specific solution products, such as QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Payroll, and QuickBooks Time.
  • Run and export summary reports, including profit and loss, with an easy-to-use dashboard.

Nearly 70% of business owners who have been there, done that, recommend writing a business plan before you start a business. Whether they work in-house or externally, accountants can use QuickBooks to automate and simplify tedious tasks and gain deep insights to drive growth for your business. If you run your own accounting practice, check out QuickBooks Online Accountant. Tag things as you work to track events, projects, locations, and anything that matters.

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