Last week we had a look at Xero, and now onto the biggest accounting software provider…

All things Quickbooks

Quickbooks states “Do the work you love, and we’ll handle the rest” – and mostly we agree. 

Quickbooks has focused on trying to reduce user’s admin, as well as easy to read and accessible information. Quickbooks started off as bookkeeping or accounting software, but now also focuses on the business user experience. 

It’s all about getting things done on the go. Quickbooks however still offers desktop based versions, which means that product development is split between online and desktop offerings.

Some stats (which we will use to compare all packages)

ITEMAMOUNT
Number of subscribers worldwide
(this is not users, but actual businesses making use of the software)
Over 5.6 million
Number of apps that connect to Quickbooks18 add on solutions that we could find (this would be payroll, manufacturing, point of sale etc)

Quickbooks is by far the most widely used accounting software by small and medium businesses in the world. It has used feedback from users to improve the software and attract more users. 

The majority of its users are from the United States, and therefore some of the functionality is aimed towards users in that specific country. It has however brought specifics into each country that it enters and tailored some functions to the needs of the specific users.

As mentioned, the number of users, or volumes of transactions aren’t necessarily what I base my decisions on in most cases. 

I continue to look for what the software providers offer as basic features for a start, and then what the top end packages offer. Pricing obviously also comes into play.

Quickbooks packages (note that pricing excludes current offers and discounts)

SIMPLEESSENTIALSPLUS
Price (ZAR/m)R199R305R411
InvoicingUnlimited invoices Unlimited invoices Unlimited invoices 
QuotesNoYesYes
BillsNoYesYes
Purchase ordersNoNoYes
Bank reconciliationsYesYesYes
CurrencyZARMultipleMultiple
Users1 (+ accountant)3 (+ accountant)25 (+ accountant)
ReportsYesYesYes
Basic inventory managementNoNoYes
Tracking of income and expensesYesYesYes
Tracking by areaYesYesYes
AppYesYesYes

It is an advantage for Quickbooks that it’s packages are offered in ZAR as Xero is currently only offered in USD. This brings about stability for the user and costs can be identified and budgeted for accurately.

Other things that Quickbooks offers (in the South African market)

None.

Let’s dig a little deeper…

Quickbooks covers most of the basics on a high level, but how about on a deeper level? Let’s dig in to the details and find out. 

Notes on what you get, and what you don’t get

ITEMWHAT’S THE STORY
Dashboard (summary of everything)Yes – Bank balances, sales invoice summary, supplier bills summary
Bank FeedsYes
ReportsYes
Fixed Asset RegisterNo
Invoice reminders to customersYes
File storage (not relevant to a specific transaction)Yes
Direct link to other Quickbooks usersNo
Tracking optionsYes
ShortcutsYes
Basic InventoryYes (buy and sell)
Attach documents to transactionsYes
Ability to edit postingsYes (audit trail kept)
Statements with ageingYes and terms can be added
Customisable reportYes
Customisable templatesYes (Quote, Invoice, Sales Receipt)
NotificationsYes
HelpYes
BudgetsYes
Time trackingYes
Product release training/webinarsYes
Advisor certificationYes

Does Quickbooks shape up?

Just like Xero, Quickbooks has all the basics and more. Quickbooks also continues to improve and update it’s offerings and it’s little tweak are all meant to improve the user experience and overall feel of the software. Quickbooks releases product updates quarterly, however these appear to only be released to accountants and bookkeepers, not general users. 

Customer statement and ageing

Quickbooks statements split out debtors ageing per month or days, and you can assign terms to customers, which is really awesome. 

Time recording

Quickbooks allows users to record time spent on items or customers, which is great, but only if it is going to be used somewhere or for something. As Quickbooks doesn’t have a payroll functionality, this information will have to be entered into the payroll system. It also relies on manual inputs, which can lead to errors or manipulation. Quickbooks does connect to online payroll software providers, and most companies use onsite biometrics (which integrates with payroll software) to record their employee hours. 

Report and templates

Quickbooks reports and templates are customisable and are seen to be better than Xero’s. Quickbooks is missing a vital feature in our eyes, that Xero has – a fixed asset register. 

Training and certification

Quickbooks training platform is first class and covers every angle of the software. Quickbooks Certified Advisors need to pass a test every year to prove that they keep up to date with the software and are giving their clients the best available support.

OUR RATING:  

(5 stars being excellent, 1 star not so much)

Conclusion

If you enjoy being part of a large “family” and having options that are specific to South Africa available to you (statement ageing, payment terms) you won’t go wrong with Quickbooks!

Next step

If you’d like to learn more about Quickbooks, or find out what our advice would be regarding using the software.