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Quickbooks Pro Introduction
QuickBooks Pro is the desktop version of QuickBooks accounting products. It is one of the company’s oldest and most trusted products and has been helping new and established businesses for years. It offers more features than their online options, but lacks the cloud-based synching that some businesses may need. That being said, if you are looking for robust accounting features and a one-time versus monthly fee, QuickBooks Pro may be the financial solution for your company.
Note: This review is based on QuickBooks Pro 2015 and 2016 versions. Previous versions not addressed.
A robust accounting solution for businesses of all sizes.
- No monthly service fees to use (unless you upgrade to payroll and credit cards)
- Robust accounting features
- Industry-specific templates
- Document storage
- Integrated shipping
- Not cloud-based
- Can only have 5 employees access and three at the same time
- No mobile access
- High one-time fee
- Payroll not included
- Credit card processing at an additional rate
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Scoring and Rating
Accounting and Business Tasks: (Rating: 10/10)
QuickBooks Pro has just about every accounting feature and business management feature you would need to run your business finances. It offers you a full-picture of your company’s financial health with accountant collaboration tools, income-producing analysis, expense tracking, expense categorization, invoicing and more. You can still sync transactions from your bank to this version too.
You can print checks, track vendors and even manage invoices in a breeze. They don’t offer tax preparation services through the program, but you can track inventory and even setup reminders for reordering or automatically replenish your inventory supplies.
Invoicing: (Rating: 9/10)
Invoices with QuickBooks Pro (especially the 2015 and 2016 versions) is definitely more robust. You can view overdue invoices for faster customer reminders, send invoices and customize them to match your company’s branding – and even add logos. Through the calendar view, you can see what invoices are due and when.
You can also create estimates and then turn them into invoices. Both can be sent from your business email account when you link it up to your QuickBooks Pro software. Recurring invoices can also be setup and QuickBooks Pro supports multiple tax rates as well as currencies.
To collect credit payments from the system, you will need to upgrade. You can input checks and cash payments and credit cards would fall under their per swipe or per keyed entry. You can collect via PayPal and then import those transactions into QuickBooks for faster tracking.
Management: (Rating: 9/10)
QuickBooks Pro definitely helps you manage your business. You can add as many vendors as you would like to the system, track their contact information, preferred payments, etc. You can also print checks and send payments to those vendors via QuickBooks Pro. Purchase orders and inventory are also tracked in QB Pro and you can set reorder points and create purchase orders for those inventory restocks.
QuickBooks Pro doesn’t offer time tracking, but you can integrate it with payroll for employee timesheets and tracking. It can also integrate with your POS and you can download transactions from your POS for faster tracking.
Ease of Use: (Rating: 9/10)
QuickBooks Pro is more complicated to use and often requires some experience or at least past experience with accounting software. While they have made it easier over the past few years, it still doesn’t have the same tutorials or walk-through features as online accounting programs. That being said, QuickBooks offers numerous tutorials and the program itself comes with a robust user guide so that you can figure out just how to use your new program.
Setting up QuickBooks Pro may take you a little extra time, but once you have everything setup, accounting becomes a lot easier. They do what they can to limit how much time you spend each day tracking finances and a few automating features too.
Access: (Rating: 9/10)
QuickBooks Pro is only designed for Mac and PC use. You will need the software and proper license installed on your computer to access the data. You can sync up to three computers, but you will need three licenses in order to do so. Up to five employees can access and you can setup access for accountants. If you don’t want your accountant to have direct access, you can export the data or save an accountant’s file then place in a shared folder so that they can access the books at tax time.
To accept payments, you will need the mobile device app, but you cannot access your desktop software or company data via your mobile device – since this is a computer-based software and not cloud-based. If you opt for the annual subscription instead of the one-time download, then you can back up your data online, but you will pay a high fee per year for the software (ranging anywhere from $199 to $299).
To backup data, you will need to do so on your own – since QuickBooks doesn’t offer any cloud-based services for their Pro software users.
Taxes: (Rating: 9/10)
Taxes are a little different with QuickBooks Pro. You can track sales tax and print sales tax reports for easier payments, but you cannot prepare or file your taxes through the software. Everything is categorized, including your profit and loss statements, so that you can file with ease. Also, you can create a shared file for your accountant so that they have access to everything they need to file business taxes for you.
To file payroll taxes, you will need to add on Enhanced Payroll which costs an additional fee per month as well as a fee per employee per month.
Pricing: (Rating: 10/10)
You have the option of paying the annual subscription fee with QuickBooks Pro or the one-time fee. There is no free trial for the Pro version.
The one-time fee is $219.95 on sale, but regular priced at $299.95. If you opt for the pro plus and online annual subscription, you can upgrade and enjoy data backups, but you will pay $199.95 per year on special and $299.95 per year for regular price. Compared to other downloaded software programs, their fee is comparable. Also, when you compare the features you get with QuickBooks Pro to their QuickBooks Plus (which has similar features), you are actually paying less per year for the desktop software – but you won’t have the cloud-based access.
Payroll is in addition to the one-time and annual fees. If you want payroll services added to your QuickBooks Pro, you will pay $27.30 per month plus $2.00 per month per employee. To process credit cards you will need to apply for QuickBooks Payments, which has a swipe fee starting at 1.6% plus $0.25 per transaction and $0.50 per ACH transaction.
Customer Service: (Rating: 10/10)
Intuit is known for providing excellent customer service. You can reach them via phone, email and chat. Email is available 24/7 and Intuit representatives are fairly quick about responding – often in as little as 24 hours. They also have plenty of tutorials, online guides and there are tons of YouTube videos out there showing you how to setup and optimize your QuickBooks Pro software.
The company Intuit, as a whole, carries an A+ rating with the BBB.
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Quickbooks Pro Specifications
Regular Pricing(after intro): $299.95 per year or $219.95 one-time
Introductory Pricing: $199.95 per year for annual
Free Trial: None
Score Based out of Total of 10
# of Users Per Account
# of Clients/Customers
# of Invoices
Basic Accounting Features
Can Import Bank Transactions
Estimates or Quotes
Converts Estimates to Invoices
Managing Bills and Paying Bills
Credit Card/Paypal Processing: Added Fee
eCommerce or POS Compatable
# of Built in Reports: 30
Prints Payroll Checks or Process Electronically
Can e-file or Manually File Payroll Taxes
Help and Support
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What Type of Business Could Use This Software?
QuickBooks Pro is very versatile, but it is still better suited for small businesses and established larger companies. Because they don’t have cloud-based with the desktop software, it is only ideal for companies that are not on the go or need mobile access to their software. It does, however, work for retailers that need to integrate with a POS as well as track inventory and it can accommodate large companies with an equally large payroll base.
Freelancers, single entrepreneurs and independent contractors may find the features too rich for their needs.
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Quickbooks Pro Pricing
No free trial for QuickBooks Pro.
QuickBooks Pro Desktop: Includes all of the features of QuickBooks Pro, including invoicing, inventory tracking, estimates, management and more. Starts at $219.95 for a one-time payment and download. Price is per license.
Quickbooks Pro Plus 2016: Includes the same features of desktop, but also offers online support, data backups for storage and automatic upgrades to the latest version. Paid annually. Starts at $199.95 per year.
Quickbooks Pro with Enhanced Payroll: Gives you the ability to print paychecks, create and print 1099s and W2s, and pay and/or file payroll taxes. Starts at $27.30 per month initially and then $39.00 per month plus $2.00 per month per employee.
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What We Like About Quickbooks Pro
Ultimate Business Accounting Tool: Unlike cloud-based programs, QuickBooks Pro includes everything in their desktop version at no extra cost. The only thing you would pay extra for is payroll – and that’s if you need their professional payroll services. Having everything in a single software program is always convenient and then you don’t have to worry about managing add-ons or additional costs. We especially like their multiple inventory tracking options, app integrations and credit card processing capabilities.
Annual Subscription: While the upfront price may be steep, when you add it all up, you pay less to purchase QuickBooks Pro outright than pay a monthly fee. You can do the one-time fee and download or the annual subscription, which is very affordable. We like that with this annual subscription you also get support, automatic updates to new software and data backups.
Ship Packages via Program: One unique feature in QuickBooks Pro that we really enjoy is the ability to ship packages in the United States as well as internationally. This shipping is integrated into QuickBooks Pro and you can ship through UPS, FedEx and the United States Postal Service. We have yet to see another accounting program that offers this and if your business is retail or sells online, this is extremely important to have.
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What We Don't Like About Quickbooks Pro
Too Pushy for Online: QuickBooks Pro, when researching, pushes you to use their online version. They almost do everything they can to push you away from the software, but this is because of the cost. It is clear QuickBooks would make more money off the online version than the downloaded software. While this is a marketing issue, we still find it to be a negative, because QuickBooks limits how much info you can find about their Pro version so that you are almost forced to just buy the online version.
Payroll and Credit Cards Not Included: The Pro version is lacking payroll and credit card processing, but you can add them for an additional fee. It would be nice if the Pro version had this included, especially since they include other features online versions do not have already.
Not Freelancer or Independent Contractor-Friendly: QuickBooks Pro is more ideal for larger companies or those even with an in-house bookkeeper. While it does offer inventory, estimates, invoices, etc. it doesn’t really focus on the things a freelancer or sole proprietor may need – such as estimated taxes or even better time tracking to bill clients hourly.
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QuickBooks Pro has been around for years and is one of the most trusted, well-used accounting programs for businesses of all sizes.
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