Best Small Business Accounting Software: A High-Flying Photographer Recommends QuickBooks Online

by Dawn Fotopulos on May 18, 2011

Finding the best small business accounting software is no easy task.  Every business is different, so you have to find the software that’s best for you and your business.

So you don’t have to waste time polling all your friends and acquaintances, we’ve assembled several great reviews by small business owners, just like you.  Today’s review comes from a father and son team who produce spectacular aerial photographs.  Steven Holtzman gives us a good picture of the advantages and disadvantages of QuickBooks Online vs. “Offline,” and picks the best small business accounting software:

“My dad and I run an aerial photography business and we made the shift from QuickBooks for Mac (which we had been using for about 5 years) to QuickBooks Online this year.

We have QuickBooks Payroll as well, which influenced our shift, since the Payroll and QuickBooks for Mac (assuming we updated the software every year) ended up being much more than QuickBooks Online and Payroll.

So far, we’re very happy with QuickBooks Online. We’re able to give our accountant direct access, so we no longer need to copy our QuickBooks file to a flash drive and deliver it to him. He can also log-in and make any adjustments to categories or check-up on our books whenever he needs.

Also, QuickBooks Online directly downloads transactions from our financial institutions (something that our QuickBooks for Mac didn’t do as easily).

Intuit (the makers of QuickBooks) provides unlimited technical support for the Online version, which we’ve needed to use a few times when we were first setting it up, and they’re very helpful and fixed our issues very quickly.

There are only two issues we have with QuickBooks Online:

1. It doesn’t have all the same reports as QuickBooks for Mac.  It is a new service, so it is kind of expected.  Also, we’re told that they will be adding new reports soon.

2. If the Internet goes out or Intuit needs to do maintenance (other than regularly scheduled maintenance), we are locked out of our books. This isn’t a huge issue for us, but for larger companies I can see how this might be a problem.

On the other hand, QuickBooks Online offers things that QuickBooks for Mac did not.

We can email invoices/estimates/statements/etc. simply by using the website (and even schedule these or send them in bulk). We also no longer have to worry about backing up multiple copies of our QuickBooks data, as cloud storage provides one copy and we can keep a copy locally if we’re worried about it.

We also have access to all our financial data on our mobile devices, so we can check outstanding balances or create estimates from the field.  We’re very happy with QuickBooks Online so far, and we can only see it getting better from here.”

Thanks for your recommendation, Steven!  If you’d like to contact Steven directly, please see below:

Steven Holtzman
West Coast Aerial Photography, Inc.

We thank Steven Holtzman for his balanced and well thought-out response.  These are great tips for picking out the best small business accounting software for you!  Stay tuned for even more reviews from the pros.

Don’t miss great advice from small business owners like you on the best small business accounting software for your business!


Christopher B. Spellman for contributed to this report.

And if you get stuck, don’t be afraid to hit the Panic Button.  It’s the only help desk for small businesses online.  No nonsense.  No kidding.

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