A web-based accounting software system designed by Intuit for startups and small organizations.

About QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online is the most flexible accounting software solutions to link multiple users and locations to their business finances-anytime, anywhere. It has the accounting functionality of QuickBooks desktop software, but instead of installing it on a hard drive, you and your clients access it from any PC with a high-speed Internet connection.

You’ll also appreciate the time you can save–and the control you’ll gain–by having each of your clients’ complete financial information in one easy-to-reach place right on the Web.

Video Overview

Your clients will value how easy it is to manage their business finances–and the low investment of time and money required to do so!

QuickBooks Online Edition is ideal for your clients who:

  • Want to work on their finances from multiple locations
  • Have multiple users who need to access the books
  • Need access to their books while traveling
  • Have a high-speed Internet connection
  • Are service-based or don’t track inventory in their books
  • Want their accountant, bookkeeper, or employees to have remote access
  • Invoice the same clients regularly (weekly, monthly, etc.)

Read the QuickBooks Enterprise vs Online Comparison Guide to see which will work better for your situation.

What Version of QuickBooks Online Is Right For You?

QuickBooks Online comes in four different packages that vary in functionality offerings depending on your business needs. All versions will be able to track income and expenses, capture and organize receipts, maximize tax deductions, and invoice and accept payments.

What version your business needs depends on the number of required users, the size of your business (the number of invoices and payments you handle each month), and the type of reports you require.

QuickBooks Online Simple Start

As the name implies, QuickBooks Online Simple Start is great for businesses who are just getting started. With the exception of the Self-Employed version (for Freelancers), QuickBooks Online Simple Start is the most basic online version of QuickBooks available. The software will be able to handle the basic accounting capabilities users have come to expect within the brand.

With QuickBooks Online Simple Start, you’ll be able to see your income, track your expenses, and know where your business stands, all in one place. The software is intended as a basic replacement for businesses using spreadsheets and looking to bring automation into their day to day operations.

Included with Simple Start include the ability to track miles, manage cash flow, run general reports, send estimates, track sales and sales tax, and manage 1099 contractors. Similar to it’s desktop counterpart (QuickBooks Pro), Simple Start only allows access for 1 user. If your business desires bill pay capabilitiy, time tracking, or access for more users, you’ll want to look at the Essentials version.

QuickBooks Online Essentials

QuickBooks Online Essentials gives you the ability to track bill status, record payments, and create recurring payments, all from the app. You can also pay multiple vendors and bills at the same time as well as create checks from anywhere to be printed when you’re ready.

QuickBooks Online Essentials helps manage the growing small business through automated billing features. It includes all of the features of Simple Start along with the ability to manage and pay bills, track time, and allow access for up to 3 users.

Businesses looking for inventory tracking capabilities and project profitability reports will want to consider the Plus version.

QuickBooks Online Plus

QuickBooks Online Plus includes all of the features included with Essentials along with the ability to manage inventory and track project profitability. This makes the version a great fit for project-based businesses such as contractors, or for businesses dealing with difficulties managing their stock.

QuickBooks Online Plus helps you manage labor costs, payroll, and expenses with job costing–allowing you to see project profitability with clear dashboards and reports. The inventory capabilities will let you monitor product levels, cost of goods, and recieve notifications when inventory is low so you can order more.

QuickBooks Online Plus can handle up to 5 users. Businesses looking for advanced business analytics and insights, access for up to 25 users, batched invoices and expenses, and more will want to consider an upgrade to QuickBooks Online Advanced.

QuickBooks Online Advanced

The most powerful of the QuickBooks Online versions, QuickBooks Online Advanced has the most customization and power of any available plan. The accounting software will still let you manage bills, track income and expenses, invoice customers, manage contracts, pay workers, and track project time and costs. Yet it is a bigger and better QuickBooks for growing businesses that provides more tools, more users, and more supports than lower levels of QuickBooks Online.

This powerful version of QuickBooks Online is meant to rival QuickBooks Enterprise–the most advanced on-premise version QuickBooks has available. This is possible through powerful features not found in other versions of the online product, including smart reporting for charting and graphs that help make business decisions, accelerated invoice automation, and access for up to 25 users with user permission settings.

QuickBooks Online Advanced User List
QuickBooks Online Advanced lets you have up to 25 users.

QuickBooks Online Feature Breakdown

These features can be found in a variety of packages offered by QuickBooks Online:

Accounts Payable

QuickBooks Online Basic offers you everything you will need to track your expenses and print professional checks. With QuickBooks Online Basic, you will simply need to assign the appropriate customer to each expense allowing you to invoice for all billable expenses. The system will automatically fill in all vendor information on each check you write, saving you countless hours. All information about checks written is then automatically stored for tracking, cleint billing and reporting purposes.

Capabilities Include:

  • Write and print checks
  • Enter and pay bills
  • Set the due date on invoices and bills
  • Track credit card use
  • Track cash purchases
  • Keep a list of vendors and their contact information

Accounts Receivable

QuickBooks Online gives you everything you need to invoice for your goods or services. The system will allow you to create customer accounts to store information for each customer, allowing invoices to be quickly made. The system will then allow you to customize your invoices with your own logo. After you are satisfied with the appearance of the invoice and print it, QuickBooks Online Basic will then track the invoice until it is resolved. QuickBooks Online Basic can ensure that all of your receivables are actually received and your business is capturing every dollar it has earned. You can even set up automatic invoicing for continuous customers, saving even more time for your staff. Recurring invoices can be setup to bill daily, weekly, monthly or yearly, or by any other date range you choose. If it is your desire, the system is capable of automatically emailing these invoices.

QuickBooks Online also gives you the ability to classify income and expense accounts into various ýclasses.ý This is perfect for any business that would like to categorize Income and expenses by department, type of business or any other way. This in turn, allows you to create Profit & Loss Statements by class.

Capabilities Include:

  • Create, print, and email invoices that are right for your business
  • Customize the style of your invoices, to include your company logo.
  • Create automatic or recurring invoicing schedules.
  • Create charges, billable expenses, and time activities that flow on to invoices
  • Compute discounts on invoices
  • Setup recurring invoices for continuous customers
  • Set the due date on invoices and bills
  • Keep a list of customers, contact information, and detailed notes
  • Track expenses by customer
  • Access customer information quickly and easily
  • Create a recurring template for invoices

Employee Time Tracking by Customer

The Employee Time Tracking by Customer feature of QuickBooks Online enables you to allow an unlimited number of employees to have time-entry access, meaning they are able to enter their time independently in the system. This allows you to easily track time so that you can accurately bill for that time worked and pay your employees.

Your employees or contractors will simply fill out their time sheets via any Internet connected PC. You can choose to assign each particular time activity to a project or customer and choose whether to bill your customers for that time. Based on whether or not hours are billable, and the rate that you assign, time information will automatically appear on customer invoices, automating the cumbersome process of finding the right data to bill for and billing for it.

General Ledger

QuickBooks Online has a general ledger that will give you the ability to track your transactions, report on results and produce budgets. Information on both income and expenses is collaboratively recorded. This information can then be used for a variety of functions.

With QuickBooks Online you are able to better understand your business through the use of budgets. These budgets can be used to estimate future expenses and revenues. Furthermore, using ýwhat if?ý scenarios you are able to find where your business is most vulnerable and what areas require the most improvement. Budgets are created in just a few minutes using transactional data. You can create budgets for any way you choose (e.g. location, class, customer, etc.). To further help save time you can base your budget on any past fiscal year or any past budget. All you are required to do is enter a few annual or quarterly amounts and let QuickBooks Online calculate the monthly averages in-between them.

Reporting with QuickBooks Online is the simplest way to achieve true insight into your business’ finances. Online reports can be customized to fit your unique business needs in a matter of minutes. Every entry on every report can be drilled down to the transactional level, meaning you can analyze the numbers that make up every number on a report. Reports can be created on both a cash or an accrual basis. Some of the reports available in this system include:

  • A/P Aging
  • A/R Aging
  • Account Listing
  • Balance Sheet
  • Bill Payment List
  • Check Detail
  • Collections Report
  • Customer Balance
  • Customer Contact List
  • Customer Phone List
  • Deposit Detail
  • Employee Contact List
  • Employee Phone List
  • Expenses by Vendor
  • General Ledger
  • Income by Customer
  • Invoice List
  • Journal
  • Profit & Loss
  • Recent/Edited Transactions
  • Reconcile Reports
  • Sales by Customer
  • Sales by Product/Service
  • Statement of Cash Flows
  • Terms Listing
  • Transaction Detail by Account
  • Transaction List by Customer
  • Transaction List by Date
  • Transaction List by Vendor
  • Transaction List with Splits
  • Trial Balance
  • Unbilled Charges
  • Unpaid Bills
  • Vendor Balance
  • Vendor Contact List
  • Vendor Phone List

QuickBooks Mobile

Create invoices and access customer data on the go

  • Add and view customer information
  • Manage outstanding balances
  • Create & email invoices, estimates, and receipts

Available for iPhone and Android.

QuickBooks Payroll

QuickBooks Payroll is a standalone or add-on solution that covers additional payroll processes. It works best paired with QuickBooks accounting. The system allows you to easily print paychecks or use the free direct deposit portal, and automatically calculates employee earnings, payroll taxes, and deductions. QuickBooks Payroll ensures your taxes are always paid on time and are accurate thanks to automatically updated federal and state tax tables. Instead of spending hours manually doing tax calculations, this payroll software instantly calculates taxes for you.

Some additional features of this software include:

  • Unlimited Automatic Payroll
  • Employee Portal
  • Payroll Reports
  • Garnishments and Deductions
  • Next Day Direct Deposit
  • 1099 E-File
  • 401K Plans
  • Health Benefits
  • Time Tracking
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • HR Support
  • IOS and Android Mobile App

Payroll is offered in three product plans: Core, Premium, and Elite. The base software price starts at $45 per month with $5 per month per employee, and goes up to $125 per month with a $10 per month per employee fee. QuickBooks Payroll offers implementation support and gives you a step-by-step guide on how to process payroll.

If you have the desktop version of QuickBooks, you can expand your payroll processes with QuickBooks Payroll Enhanced.


QuicBooks Online pricing starts at $30 per month. There are additional fees for extra users and add-ons. Limited time discounts are often available and there is a free trial.

Product Overview

Market Focus

Ratio of reviewers by organization size.

Industry Focus

Ratio of reviewers by sector.

Other Industries:
  • Retail (7%)
  • Health Care (5%)
  • Professional Services (4%)
  • Real Estate (4%)

User Reviews of QuickBooks Online

Submitted on January 13th, 2022 by Casey Sorensen from All Equip Rental

QBO is only convenient for invoicing customers and viewing most of your transactions. (They don’t always come through the way they are supposed to) The software is not perfect and hard to learn even with professional assistance. Customer service is basically non-existent. So if you have a question or concern, you receive no help from Intuit. The software favors the customers over the merchant. I have had a couple instances with customer chargebacks and disputes. Intuit does not even alert the merchant of a declined ACH bank transfer unless the funds entered your account and were pulled back out. If the transaction was declined initially, you wouldn’t know, unless you are savvy enough to check your Merchant Page. Which is a totally separate web page from your company login. Very dissatisfied with QBO and Intuit Customer Service reps that barely understand the program themselves. I would recommend another software for smaller businesses.

The Good…

Being able to link your bank accounts is handy. However, Intuit does not have every bank or credit card type available to link. You will have to manually download or add transactions if you have a less than mainstream bank or credit card type.

The Bad…

The customer service is a joke. The software is problematic with refunds, manually added transactions, and glitches. If a customer files a chargeback, it is automatically pulled and held at Inuit for months and months with little communication options for the merchant.

Submitted on January 10th, 2020 by Susan M

Don’t waste your time. Customer service doesn’t understand English concepts. Took 30 minutes just to get rep to understand problem. Rep then wastes another 20 minutes at same point i had been stuck at without knowing what to do. Finally asked for a supervisor and was parked on hold for 15-20 minutes before I hung up and canceled the charge.

The Good…

A great way to waste time by talking to customer service

The Bad…

Customer service not understanding English concepts. It should never take 30 minutes for any rep to understand why someone is calling them.

Submitted on July 9th, 2019 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

It is absolutely brilliant as an accounting software

Submitted on April 26th, 2019 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

The support is terrible and it doesnt meet my job costing needs.

Submitted on December 10th, 2018 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

We hate Quickbooks Online. I don’t know if we aren’t on the right version but none of the information is where we need it to be

Submitted on November 27th, 2018 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

cost prohibitive for the functionality I get with it.

Submitted on November 9th, 2018 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

The solution is too expensive. We pay $600 annually for it and can’t figure out why it could possibly cost this much

Submitted on November 8th, 2018 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

It was great for core accounting, but limited when we needed it to do more complex tasks

Submitted on July 20th, 2018 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

Their customer service is awful, when I spend an hour on the phone on hold with them it’s a waste of my day, the price continues to go up and is too much.

Submitted on July 13th, 2018 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

Quickbooks online doesn’t fit our needs on the invoicing because you can’t customize invoices. We bill on milestone, % based invoicing, and QB’s only does product invoicing.

Submitted on June 20th, 2018 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

Has ease of access, user friendly system, straightforward reports but missing intercompany communication, consolidated options, and is restricting with certain reports

Submitted on June 4th, 2018 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

Date and check numbers all run together. I can’t open the next month without opening the next month, but then I can’t go back to the previous month. I’ve never been able to get the system to print a check

Submitted on June 1st, 2018 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

There’s too many factors involved to do e-commerce. There’s too many duplications of invoices within the system which causes a major accounting issue.

Submitted on June 1st, 2018 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

I dislike the reporting for Quickbooks Online since it seems to give false data. Even if we run two reports on the same thing, we get completely different figures.

Submitted on May 30th, 2018 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

The only reason I went with Quickbooks online is because they don’t offer a desktop version for MAC in Canada. They gave me 60% off of their montly price for the first year so I was paying $12 per month. Now they want me to pay $27 per month plus tax so $31 per month for another year. They said I would need to keep the solution for a full year at that price before they could consider a discount again and I feel like they are holding me hostage.

Submitted on May 30th, 2018 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

We just did our first year end with them and the system doesn’t allow you to make any changes or modifactions to the payroll module or T4 and doesn’t allow us to pay the housing allowment, we ended up having to do everything manually

Submitted on May 30th, 2018 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

The online edition is frustrating to work with. When our business was on the desktop version, it was easy to use. However, since I could not upgrade my desktop 2015 version to be compatible with MAC, I had to use QB Online which puts erroneous numbers into the program.

Submitted on May 9th, 2018 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

They forced me to go online in order to keep up with exchange rates, I prefer to have it behind my fire wall at home and can’t do that. I’m royally pissed with them.

Submitted on March 29th, 2018 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

Everything has to be done manually for reporting and it doesn’t provide good enough tracking on how to gather data for reports.

Submitted on March 27th, 2018 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

Quickbooks online has little to no controls or reporting and I find myself having to dump data into Excel

Submitted on March 26th, 2018 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

The problem is it doesn’t split between residential and commercial and it would cost me an insane amount of money to upgrade

Submitted on March 14th, 2018 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

There is no way to successfully track inventory and it is an old system not suited for our needs

Submitted on March 6th, 2018 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

the QB online requires a bit of a learning curve

Submitted on March 2nd, 2018 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

I love Quickbooks Online because it allows me to use it remotely. It’s a simple accounting program that integrates with a lot of other programs.

Submitted on March 1st, 2018 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

Great solution.

Submitted on February 28th, 2018 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

Quickbooks online has always had limitations that the desktop had answers for specific industries, being able to access it from anywhere has been the driver to use the online version

Submitted on September 7th, 2017 by Margaret

It was really good. The whole accounting system, I liked it. We just couldn’t afford it as a small organization with virtually no extra spending cash. I’d highly recommend it to other companies.

The Good…

I liked how it compiled the information and retrieved it when searched for.

The Bad…


Submitted on September 7th, 2017 by an anonymous QuickBooks Online user.

Used QuickBooks since 2000, I am familiar with the program. It was a big selling point. I have a MAC computer so using QB Online is useful. Not much else available on a Mac computer. I wanted to stay with my HP or PC-based Quickbooks, but I needed to share it with my accountant and my COO so I had no choice but to use the QuickBooks Online. One of my big problems that I’ve had is I use Windstream. It will go down a lot and be slow so I can’t access QB.

The Good…

It’s better than hand balancing a check-book, that is for sure.

The Bad…

Hard to pinpoint as I do not use a lot of the features. I mostly use it for accounting just to keep track of everything.

Submitted on May 8th, 2015 by Rick Stevens

It’s so much better to have everything available to me and the employees online. Additionally, my with mobile phone I can add the Quickbooks app and review invoices, etc.. The integration to payroll systems such as ZenPayroll allow me to run payroll right off my phone.. Finally, there’s the project management apps that are available such as BigTime. All of these applications integration with Quickbooks and it makes things easier to manage.

Submitted on December 16th, 2013 by Diane from Amend Consulting LLC

It looks like it will fit our needs considering the relatively small size of our company

that it is web based