QuickBooks Simple Start Review
Quickbooks Simple Start Introduction
QuickBooks Simple Start was specifically created for a new and establishing business. This program helps you do everything from establish an LLC to sole proprietorship to track your finances with ease. You can customize your QB Simple Start to include payroll and accept payments online as well – so that it can grow with your business. That being said, small businesses may find they quickly grow out of the features of Simple Start and eventually need to upgrade to other QB products for more robust features.
A cloud-based accounting program ideal for businesses just getting started.
- Integrates with QB POS products
- Unlimited estimates and invoices
- Mobile access
- Sync with bank transactions for faster input
- 20+ reports built-in
- Payroll and payment process (extra fee)
- No estimated quarterly tax payment calculations
- No Schedule C assistance
- Cannot manage or pay vendors
- No inventory
- One person access only (aside from two accountant profiles)
- No time tracking
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Scoring and Rating
Accounting and Business Tasks: (Rating: 8/10)
When it comes to accounting and business tasks, QuickBooks Simple Start is very basic. It is ideal for companies just getting started – so it will be all you need for the most part. You can track income and expenses with Simple Start and even sync your bank account so that importing transactions from business bank accounts and credit accounts is easier.
You can also import data from Excel for your QuickBooks Simple Start account, print checks and record transactions.
You cannot, however, track vendors, make payments to vendors, track purchase orders or file your taxes through the program. Inventory tracking is not available either with the Simple Start version.
The program itself does have more than 20+ built-in reports, including the basic profit and loss statements and more in-depth reporting as well. Overall, the features are ideal for companies just starting out.
You can also print checks with QB Simple Start.
Invoicing: (Rating: 9/10)
QuickBooks Simple Start does allow you to create estimates and convert those estimates into invoices. You can customize your invoices with your company information and even your own logo. Multiple tax rates can be added to Simple Start as well for easier billing – especially if you have clients in different counties or states. They do not have automatic billing or recurring invoices for clients you bill on a monthly or recurring basis.
If you want to collect payments, you can upgrade to their payment processing, but you will pay per transaction processed. To collect via PayPal, you will just input your PayPal address and collect from there – they don’t offer PayPal integration at this time.
Management: (Rating: 6/10)
QuickBooks Simple Start is designed more for managing businesses that are just starting out – rather than established or large businesses. You cannot manage or pay bills from vendors on Simple Start, nor is there any project management or inventory tracking at this time.
Employees cannot access Simple Start and there’s no time-tracking for employees or timesheet options. You can, however, integrate your QuickBooks Simple Start with a QuickBooks POS (but not other types of POS).
You can upgrade to manage employees and add payroll services, but this doesn’t come standard. The price for payroll services will vary and there is an added fee per employee per month on top of the base rate. Depending on which upgrade you choose, you can do everything from pay employees to file taxes to track inventory to prepare and print W2s and 1099s.
With the QB Simple Start edition you can add employees and their information, but that is as far as management goes.
Ease of Use: (Rating: 9/10)
The goal with QuickBooks Simple Start is to make running a business easier – and they do offer that. The program is simple to use, they have lots of tutorials and guides online and even a novice at accounting could figure it out. They have a lot of options for syncing accounts and importing data – so you won’t spend as much time setting up or managing your finances once QuickBooks is up and running.
The setup with QuickBooks Simple Start is nice. You input your company information, then answer a few questions about what you do, products and services, and even your industry and what matters most to your business. These answers help the software customize to your exact needs. From there it takes about five minutes for it to all configure and you’re ready to use it.
After you first sign in, you have activities that will need your attention to the right of the dashboard – these help you setup your account even further.
Access: (Rating: 9/10)
There is some better accessibility with Simple Start than lower versions, but not much. Only one person can access the program, but you can allow up to two different accountants access at tax time.
They are cloud-based, which means you can quickly access from any device and they offer mobile apps for more convenient input and even mobile invoicing. You will secure your account with a password, so even if your computer is lost or stolen, they would not have access to your business accounting files.
Taxes: (Rating: 8/10)
Taxes are limited with QuickBooks Simple Start, which is disappointing. You cannot create or track Schedule C expenses, which limits who can use this program. It also does not estimate quarterly estimated tax payments, which self-employed individuals and some businesses are required to do – so this could be considered an inconvenience.
Also, unless you upgrade to payroll, you will not be able to prepare or print employee 1099s or W2s or even do anything with payroll taxes.
You can allow up to two accountants access to your Simple Start account for faster tax processing though. With Simple Start, you cannot prepare or file your taxes via the program.
Pricing: (Rating: 8/10)
Simple Start lets you try the program free for 30 days. After that, you can try an introductory rate of $10.36 per month with regular price jumping to $12.95 per month. It also depends on what promotions are going at the time you sign up. Sometimes they offer up to 50 percent off the monthly if you opt to pay annually.
If you choose to add payroll, you can expect to pay anywhere from $32.97 per month to as much as $69.47 per month with a fee of $1.50 to $2.00 per employee per month on top of that.
To process payments through QB Simple Start, you will have two options: Reduced Rates and Standard Rates. Reduced rates come with a low monthly fee of $19.95 per month, while Standard does not. Then, you will pay 2.40% plus $0.25 per swipe, 3.40% plus $0.25 per keyed and $0.50 per ACH bank transfer with Standard, while you will pay 1.6% plus $0.25 per swipe, 3.2% plus $0.25 per keyed and $0.50 per ACH. The discounts for reduced rates will only be beneficial if you swipe a lot of cards. If you never swipe and only key, then you are better off just paying the fees associated with Standard Rates.
Customer Service: (Rating: 9/10)
Customer service can be reached via phone, email and chat – though email and chat are often the most convenient. They have plenty of tutorials and guides specifically created for the Simple Start program. Because it is so user-friendly, you may not ever need to contact them for help, but at least it is there. Hours are limited with phone and chat, while email is available 24/7.
Intuit, the maker of QuickBooks Simple Start, currently has an A+ rating with the BBB.
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Quickbooks Simple Start Specifications
Regular Pricing(after intro): $12.95/month
Introductory Pricing: $10.36/mon for 12 months
Free Trial: 30 Days
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
Credit Card/Paypal Processing: Added Fee
eCommerce or POS Compatable
# of Built in Reports: 20
Prints Payroll Checks or Process Electronically
Can e-file or Manually File Payroll Taxes
All (Cloud Based)
Mobile Expense Tracking
Receipt Capture via Mobile Phone
Help and Support
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What Type of Business Could Use This Software?
QuickBooks Simple Start is ideal for businesses just starting out that have yet to assess their full accounting needs. It doesn’t offer inventory tracking, so companies with retail outlets may find the software too limiting. It does, however, offer everything a small, yet growing business needs to stay on track financially and grow their business. With the add-ons, small businesses can still manage employees and even collect credit card payments via Simple Start.
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Quickbooks Simple Start Pricing
Free trial for 30 days.
Simple Start: Includes income and expense tracking, downloading transactions, backing up data online, security and encryption, mobile access, access for up to two accountants, importing data, POS with QuickBooks and estimates. Starts at $10.36 to $12.95 per month – depending on promotion.
Essentials Enhanced Payroll: Allows you to pay employees and file payroll taxes. Starts at $32.97 per month plus $1.50 per employee per month.
Plus Enhanced Payroll: Pays employees and files payroll taxes, tracks inventory, prepares and prints 1099s. Starts at $39.47 per month plus $1.50 per employee per month.
Essentials with Full Service Payroll: QuickBooks runs all payroll and files payroll taxes, guarantees error-free paychecks and payroll taxes. Starts at $62.97 per month plus $2.00 per employee per month.
Plus with Full Service Payroll: QuickBooks handles all payroll similar to Essentials, but also tracks inventory and prepares and prints 1099s. Starts at $69.47 per month plus $2.00 per employee per month.
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What We Like About Quickbooks Simple Start
Great for Startups: Most startups don’t know what they need in terms of accounting and they also don’t have the resources to pay a fortune upfront for something that may not work for them. With Simple Start, the prices are affordable and many new businesses will find that it helps them simplify finances and accounting – until they decide what other features they may need.
Accountant Access: QuickBooks Simple Start lets you give up to two different accountants access to your file. This is impressive considering sometimes you cannot give any access or you are limited to one accountant file.
Mobile Ready: If you work away from the office, you can still access your Simple Start account, update expenses, and even create invoices from the convenient mobile app.
Quick Imports: Most companies new to accounting software will have numerous spreadsheets and Excel data. Typically you have to input these in order to get your program up to speed, but with Simple Start you can import data from other QuickBooks programs (including the Pro desktop version) and Excel for faster setup.
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What We Don’t Like About Quickbooks Simple Start
Possibly Too Simple: We get it; Simple Start is meant to provide the basics. But, some business users may find it too basic – especially once they see what they would have to pay almost double to add. Simple Start doesn’t have invoices that can recur monthly, they do not allow you to manage vendors or bills and there’s no inventory tracking – which means retailers may find Simple Start useless. Also, Simple Start comes with 20 reports, but only one user access.
High Cost for Payroll: Payroll through QuickBooks can be extremely pricey. It starts at $31.20 per month and after the introductory rate goes up to $39 per month, but this is just for the service and one employee. If a company has more employees they will pay anywhere from $1 to $2 per employee depending on the plan. Some payroll plans will go as high as $79 per month and if a company has employees in other states, they can expect to pay $12 per month per state just to add the extra employee.
No Schedule C: Simple Start is meant for companies just starting out and often companies with just one employee must file their personal and business taxes together due to IRS rules. Therefore, Simple Start lacks in the tax support these types of businesses need. For example, a business cannot create a Schedule C, which they need when filing business and personal together. Also, there are no estimated tax payment options – something most businesses will want to calculate and pay.
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QuickBooks Simple Start offers cloud-based accounting for small businesses looking to simplify finances, invoice and stay professional.
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