Excellent in some areas, terrible in others
I operate a small business, and after downloading several competing products (including MYOB, Saasu, and Xero) I found that I got further, faster, with QBO. The price is good, and after a bit of time setting things up the way I want, it is now lightning fast to create and send invoices and manage expenses (it monitors my business bank account, so it 'sees' every transaction and matches expenses against rules and income against open invoices). It handles my BAS well and monthly reconciliations only take a few seconds as everything just matches u...p. I couldn't possibly do all of my invoicing etc in Excel any more, WAY too time consuming and laborious. QBO is fast and efficient and my accounts are just always up to date with minimal admin input from me. QBO also lets you export your data in a format you can work with, not all of them do. But it isn't all fun and games. While I would describe it as fast and reliable, it feels like it is being developed by monkeys. Seriously, there are some really basic things it does so badly it's like nobody at Intuit actually USES it. They constantly fiddle with things that work fine - making them worse - and they fail to address glaring bugs. Customer support is via 'chat', which is fine when you just need help using the software, but it is useless for reporting bugs and anything tricky. You'll spend hours 'chatting' with somebody in broken English only to be told 'I guess it is designed that way' and worse, 'please send feedback to the developers'. Clearly this 'support' is outsourced to a third party that has no direct line to Intuit developers. Unfortunately, ALL of these online accounting services are similar. I guess it's a new area, the big players in the industry are trying to make themselves appear younger and more nimble than they really are, and the new players are all mouth and facebook with big flaws in their products. Fortunately most of them offer free trials so my advice is do what I did, sign up for all of them, and try to get your business data set up in all of them while you continue to do things the old way for a while. You'll soon figure out that while product A might be much better than product B at some things, it has a major deal-breaking flaw you cannot live with so it's out of the running anyway. Ultimately you'll narrow down the one that's the best fit for your business. One other thing to bear in mind with any of these packages - you really need to work with an accountant that is familiar with the software (and ideally, 'accredited' by the developer). You really don't want him telling you to run a ton of reports so that he can then charge you for hours of inputting the data into his own system. I was surprised to discover that a lot of accountants haven't got up to speed with any of these online systems yet, treat them with suspicion, and have no idea how to get data from them. The whole point of these systems is to streamline your accounting processes and keep everything 'live' and up to date at all times, if your accountant isn't totally on board and proficient with it then you are wasting your money. My advice is find the software that works for your business, then find an accountant that supports it.
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