If you’re considering using QuickBooks for your startup’s accounting software, you may be wondering: Which version of QuickBooks is the right fit for my business’s needs and budget?

There are two main QuickBooks products that allow you to access this accounting software through different formats: QuickBooks Desktop and Quickbooks Online (QBO). The QuickBooks Desktop version is hosted locally and is installed on a computer, whereas the QuickBooks Online version is hosted in the cloud and is accessible from any computer, tablet, or smartphone with an internet connection.

We recommend that startups use QuickBooks Online.

  • QBO is known for its ease of use for founders and non-accounting professionals.
  • It provides more add-on and third-party integration options—payroll, bill pay, expense tracking, bank accounts, credit card accounts, etc.—than QuickBooks Desktop.
  • It’s better suited for a remote working environment or collaboration with an outsourced bookkeeping solution.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the features offered by four different QuickBooks Online plans and show which is the best version of QuickBooks for startups.

Are you a new business owner looking for expert guidance on setting up your accounting software? Click here to book a demo with Zeni.

QuickBooks For Startups: 4 QBO Plan Options

There are six QuickBooks Online plans in total, but two of these versions—Self-Employed and Self-Employed Pro—are only suitable for freelancers and sole traders. If you’re planning to scale your business, you should choose one of these four QuickBooks Online plans:

  • Simple Start
  • Essentials
  • Plus
  • Advanced*

Below is a head-to-head comparison of the features and pricing of the best QuickBooks Online plans for startups.

 

Simple Start

Essentials

Plus

Advanced

Price

$25/mo

$40/mo

$70/mo

$150/mo

Maximum number of users

1

3

5

25

Features

Track income & expenses

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

Invoice & accept payments

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

Maximize tax deductions

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

Run general reports

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

Capture & organize receipts

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

Track miles

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

Manage cash flow

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

Track sales & sales tax

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

Send estimates

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

Manage 1099 contractors

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

Dashboard access

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

Manage & pay bills

 

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

Track time

 

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

Track inventory

   

✅ 

✅ 

Class & location tracking

   

✅ 

✅ 

Track project profitability

   

✅ 

✅ 

Business analytics & insights

     

✅ 

Batch invoices & expenses

     

✅ 

Customize access by role

     

✅ 

Dedicated account team

     

✅ 

On-demand online training

     

✅ 

Automate workflow

     

✅ 

Restore company data

     

✅ 

*For most startups, the QuickBooks Online Advanced plan is not worth the high monthly fee. This plan includes access for up to 25 users, but startups usually have a lean accounting team with only three to five people who need to use accounting software.

Which is the best version of Quickbooks for startups?

Based on our experience, the QuickBooks Online Plus plan is the best choice for the startup community for three key reasons.

1. The Plus plan offers room for your startup to grow.

Rather than starting with a basic version of accounting software and upgrading when you need additional features, we recommend selecting a version into which your startup can grow. While the QuickBooks Simple Start and Essentials plans offer a limited feature set that suits early-stage startups, the Plus plan includes more advanced features and additional users as standard, so your software is already set up to support your startup as it scales.

2. The Plus plan allows for class and location tracking.

Class and location tracking allows you to organize accounts related to different products, departments, or physical locations of your business, and track their respective performance. Having this level of understanding of each segment of your business is crucial for startups looking to grow fast and achieve profitability, and using class and location tracking via the QuickBooks Plus plan saves the time and headache of creating these reports outside of your accounting software.

3. The Plus plan is the best value for your startup.

The QuickBooks Plus plan provides access for five users and will cover the needs of most startups, while costing less than half the price of the Advanced plan. When your business grows to the point that you have more complex accounting needs than the Plus plan can handle, it’s likely time to move to a more robust ERP system, such as NetSuite or Sage.

How Zeni Helps You Gain Maximum Benefit From Your QuickBooks Online Plan

Zeni is a full-service finance firm that takes care of all your startup’s bookkeeping, accounting, tax, and CFO needs. To help you benefit from the many advantages of accounting software, Zeni’s team of finance experts manages your QuickBooks Online plan to ensure it fully supports your startup business operations, from categorizing transactions with departments and classes to setting up the sync between QuickBooks and your other accounting tools. Plus, as an Elite Partner with Intuit’s QuickBooks, Zeni customers get 50% off their QuickBooks Online subscription.

To see how Zeni helps you use QuickBooks Online like a pro, click here to book a demo.

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