QuickBooks Simple Start Review

QuickBooks Online Simple Start is Perfect Starter Accounting Software

QuickBooks Online Simple Start
••• Intuit Inc.

QuickBooks Online Simple Start provides essential small business accounting tools while leaving out more advanced features that are usually unnecessarily. This online accounting software is easy to learn and easy to use and is an ideal long-term solution for individual contractors and freelancers, businesses that are just getting started and many other small businesses. Android, iPhone and iPad apps add convenience for small business owners who are frequently away from the office.

Updated 09/10/2013, price may change.

Uncomplicated from the Start

Each time you open QuickBooks Online Simple Start, the Home Page guides you through creating transactions. Menu tabs and links make it easy to find the type of transaction you need to enter.

  • Invoices: Create and customize invoices.
  • Sales and Expenses: See money coming in and being paid out, track expenses and sales.
  • Reports: Twenty small business reports can be customized, such as balance sheet, sales and profit and loss.
  • Customers: Store contacts and customer information in the searchable Customer Center, where you can also find each customer's outstanding balance and transactions.
  • Reduce Data Entry: Automatically download transactions from business bank or credit card accounts.

Flexible Accounting Features

If you're currently using a spreadsheet or manual ledger to do your accounting, you will find that QuickBooks Online Simple Start is less time consuming to use.

Entering data is easily done from a home screen that guides the user to the tools they need to use. Accounting reports are generated with just few mouse clicks, and small business tax information is automatically organized for future reporting.

Features include:

  • Prepare estimates.
  • Create invoices, then send via email or print for mailing.
  • Pay bills electronically or print checks.
  • Sales, expense and tax reporting.
  • Options at additional cost:
    • Payroll subscription.
    • Accept credit cards with QuickBooks Merchant Services.
    • Hundreds of apps and add-ons are available for inventory, CRM, project management, time tracking and more.

QuickBooks Online Simple Start vs. Quicken Home and Business

Quicken Home & Business is fully-featured personal finance software with very basic small business accounting features. It may sound ideal for a small business, but the business features in this Quicken version are not flexible enough for more than a small side business. QuickBooks Online Simple Start is the better way to go since it's designed for accounting and it's affordable. If your business grows, it's easy to upgrade to QuickBooks Online Essentials ($26.95), so more than one person can use the software and bills are easier to manage and pay. If you have an inventory, you need to consider QuickBooks Online Essentials Plus ($39.95)

Bottom Line Review

While QuickBooks Online Simple Start requires no specific accounting knowledge, talk to an accountant about setting up your company information and reviewing records on a regular basis. Small business accounting software saves time and can reduce the need for an accountant, but nothing replaces an accountant for serious entrepreneurs.

I'm giving QuickBooks Online Simple Start 4.5 stars only for very small businesses. It is not adequate for most other businesses. You will find a good set of features for most new and many existing small businesses in this online accounting software without being overwhelmed by unneeded modules. QuickBooks Apps provide additional features if needed at a reasonable cost.

The ability to expand to more powerful accounting software if your business grows is helpful since there will be no problem with importing all customer, invoicing and other account data and the 30-day free trial is long enough to help with deciding if this is the best accounting solution for your business.

If you currently use another QuickBooks version and think Simple Start would be a better choice, you'll have to think again.

Data from higher versions of QuickBooks is not backward compatible and will not transfer to QuickBooks Simple Start.