**This post is brought to you by CJ Affiliate’s VIP Content Service. While this was a sponsored opportunity from Intuit QuickBooks Online, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.
I’ve been a pretty devoted fan of a certain cloud-based accounting software for years, until they jacked up their prices at the start of 2017. Given that I run a varied online business, with multiple streams of income, the price hike sent me looking for a new tool, one that was both cheaper and came with a few more “bells and whistles.”
Enter QuickBooks Online, which, I was pleasantly surprised to learn is a lot different these days than the QuickBooks I used to use when I was an administrative assistant in New York City.
Below are my favorite features of the new-and-improved QuickBooks Online (which is all quick, zippy, online and cloud based), what I like about the tool, and how I’m using it to stay even more on top of my growing online business.
First, Here’s How to Sign Up
Like most online accounting software, Intuit QuickBooks Online offers a free 30 day trial (no credit card required). Go here to sign up.
Once you’ve entered in your email, password, and name of your business, you are brought to this screen which asks you what you’ll be using the software for.
For me, my biggest areas are sending invoices, tracking expenses, and paying contractors. There’s also the capability to track retail sales (if needed) and billable hours, so it’s customizable depending upon what you do in your own small business.
What I Like Most About QuickBooks Online
#1 – This is the homepage “dashboard”.
…..which comes with very easy to read and understand graphs so you can get an at-a-glance picture of your business. My favorite part of this feature is the snapshot P+L (profit and loss statement). Previously, I was tracking this information in a Google sheet and then reconciling it at the end of the month. This is not only tedious and time-consuming, but also not as fun as having a dashboard do it for you – automatically.
Maybe it’s my marketing background, but I do love some dashboards.
#2 – All of the apps and integrations
So, my hesitation with trying out QuickBooks Online was the fact that I thought it was really only for people like my photographer friend Shelby, who runs a more “traditional” small business where she invoices clients, they pay her, and she provides a service.
I was pleasantly surprised to find there is an integration for Paypal (which I use for freelancing and paying contractors) and Stripe (which I use for sales of my products and courses), so I can keep all of my information in one place.
#3 – Easy Invoicing
Since invoicing is the bulk of what I do in my business, I like that the invoices are easy to create, a little bit more colorful than what you get in other online tools, and they make it easier on the business owners with lower credit card processing fees. (You can even get paid via bank account for free!)
How I’m Using QuickBooks Online to Stay More Organized in my Own Small Business
So, running an online business where you make money in lots of different areas (writing, affiliate income, consulting, coaching services, actual products) means you often get paid in a dizzying variety of ways. Even though this is exciting, it can be very difficult to track all of that income and analyze it so you know where and how to grow.
Here are the “quick wins” I’ve experienced via organizing my small business finances with QuickBooks Online:
- I’m able to see income earned via the blog and online writing assignments in one place. (Guys! This is HUGE!)
- I’m able to track expenses paid via business credit card and Paypal in one place. (Previously I was saving receipts in a separate fold in my Gmail account and again, doing the reconciliation at the end of the month.)
- I can quickly turn over information to my accountant at tax time.
- I’m able to see crucial financial information for my business at-a-glance, so I know how to better save for quarterly taxes and when/where I can afford to spend on my business. (Which really would have come in handy when I was doing my big rebrand at the end of 2016!)
In closing, I want to be fully transparent….
…..as you saw above at the top of the post, Intuit offered me a sponsorship to try out their program, and yes these are affiliate links. I make a small commission if you decide to try out their software, but honestly, I don’t think I’ve been so blown away by a product since I started blogging- it’s not only better than what I was using before – but cheaper. Plans start at just $15/month.
It's truly an awesome and comprehensive tool that ANY size business owner –from solopreneur to mid-size shop with staff on payroll – can use to streamline their business.
If you know you already want in – I highly suggest you take advantage of the Fourth of July sale to grab your biggest discount (up to 70% off!)