Best Small Business Accounting Software: QuickBooks Traditional is Cost-Effective and Streamlined

by Dawn Fotopulos on July 22, 2011

The best small business accounting software out there depends on your business, so it’s best to get expert advice. Suzette Flemming is highly qualified to provide it. She’s the President of Flemming Business Services and built her business into a full-service financial agency.

We asked Suzette to compare the benefits of using QuickBooks Online to the more traditional desktop version. Suzette has used both. For small business clients, she prefers QuickBooks on the desktop. That surprised us.

Here’s what Suzette had to say:

The desktop version is a much better investment for small businesses. This version has more capabilities and allows for more streamlined accounting than the online version. The desktop version is much easier to navigate and gives the user the option to have multiple windows open at one time (e.g., reports, ledgers, and data entry screens).

This allows for quicker data entry as well as the ability to “drill down” into the details in a more efficient manner. The desktop version is also less expensive – there are no monthly fees or annual fees (unless the company needs payroll tax tables).

A company does not have to upgrade QuickBooks desktop each year, I only recommend an upgrade when a version is “sun-setted.” For example, the QB v2008 desktop was fazed out earlier this month so I recommend anyone working with that version upgrade to the 2011 version.

I find the online QuickBooks version to be very limiting. Customers, vendors and employee names cannot be made inactive. This means the list of names can become long and cumbersome. It can also be difficult to navigate between reports and ledgers.

Oftentimes a report must be re-generated after “drilling down” into the details. The Online version is more time consuming to use and can be frustrating when trying to find specific transactions and details.

The most common reason people use the Online version is to be able to allow several people access to the file, but the desktop version also has this capability when remote desktop is enabled or LogMeIn is used.

Thanks, Suzette, for this great advice! To contact Suzette directly, see below:

Suzette Flemming President,
Flemming Business Services
(406) 788-5227

Check out our recent series on small business bookkeeping tips for more great training!

Also, discover our other articles on accounting software.

Emily Miller for contributed to this article.

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