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Helping Canadian businesses beat the odds!
Helping Canadian businesses beat the odds!
Hi there and welcome to another edition of ask spurl CPA. Today we’re talking about quickbooks online versus quickbooks desktop and I’m here with Cole. Hey, Edmonton Accountant thanks for being here again. Cool. So cool. We’re going into the new year. What are your, what are your goals for 2019?
It actually started on like this pep pep program.
Okay, good. Good. That go on.
Gotten my Edmonton Accountant, just finishing up my last horse here for the, for intermediate financial, for the prep. So. Alright. Huh.
And any other goals in a year? You’re hoping the Calgary flames when I didn’t go to right now. So we’re, we’re still working on that for 2019. That’s my goal. Get coal off of that. Um, so the quote we have here today is Warren Buffet all time. Great investor accounting is the language of business. Edmonton Accountant, you know, it ties into quickbooks online versus quickbooks desktop. And the statistic again, you know, second most common reason for any business going out of business is running out of cash. And if you don’t know your numbers, that’s a fairly easy way to run out of cash. Um, so the business owners that the, the problem, the other story that comes to us is this is of come to us and they’re trying to decide should they use quickbooks desktop or quickbooks online and they’re getting this analysis by paralysis on these two items and Neil, we’re going to try to really simplify that here today.
So cold with these business owners and they’re trying to make that decision. What are the questions that they should be asking? Should all businesses be using an accounting software? Best first question because there are business owners out there spending an exorbitant amount of time right now either maintaining their accounting system or trying to decide on their accounting system and they don’t need accounting software. That’s right. I said it. The CPA said it. They don’t eat any accounting software and who I’m talking about most is the solo printers. So they’re still a one person business and you know when they’re not very adept at any accounting software. So if any, Edmonton Accountant any accounting software that the implement that all is going to require a significant amount of their time and that time could otherwise be used on developing their product or making those first initial sales. So I’m all businesses, especially the solo preneurs don’t necessarily need accounting software to start with. Certainly usually you cross that threshold to you do need it when there’s people working in the business other than the business owner or their family. So once we start running payroll, almost every business needs accounting software, but before that point you might not even need it. There might be high or things that might be nice to have, but there might be a higher priorities to tackle with the, you know, the 168 hours in the week that we’re limited to
Edmonton Accountant. is the software brand the most important factor in getting accurate numbers?
Yeah. Second biggest misnomer. It really doesn’t matter whether you’re using quickbooks or zero or sage. Edmonton Accountant, you know, the software brand is not going to guarantee that you’re going to have accurate numbers, you know, wants to. And the sophistication of the person who’s overseeing the entry and the numbers into that software and you know, the business owners, you know, ability to checkup on a follow up on that and uh, you know, coordinate with their advisors to make sure that information is correct. And the software, so the brand alone, it’s, you know, it’s not like one business owner would have horrendous numbers and sage and excellent numbers in quickbooks. Now, if you have a significant problem in your accounting software, it’s probably due to a, either the advisors involved or the business owners, uh, inputs and ability to coordinate with those advisors. So it’s not the brand is not the most significant portion of it.
Okay. If the brand is not important, then why do you recommend quickbooks? They are the 800 pound gorilla in the space. So the biggest, uh, accounting software provider in the world. So you’re more likely to be able to find, um, advisors and staff, you more importantly, staff who can coordinate with that software. So if you have a, you know, a piece of software that no one has ever, you know, uh, you know, one percent of the market are using or five percent of the market are using, you’re a small business owner, never going to find people with experience in the software. So it’s why I think most people are actually best serve the pricing on accounting software, entry level accounting software anyways, is pretty minimal in the scheme of things. Use the one that you’re going to have the most resources to draw most people to draw them because again, Edmonton Accountant, it’s the people involved in that software.
We’re gonna make the biggest difference. So let’s make their job as easy as possible. A quickbooks online has been around since 2011. Was it always good? It was terrible. So we quickbooks online, first chemo, it was deal, all lack of functionality was extremely limited. Entering the data, uh, was really bad, you know, and we’re talking 2001. Um, that was, you know, before, before my accounting career anyways. Edmonton Accountant, but even, you know, when I got into a accounting, I looked at quickbooks online and number of times and it was pretty bad. It took a long time to enter stuff. There was the number of functions that could be done in quickbooks desktop was significantly more than the amount of functions that could be done in quickbooks online. But then quickbooks online started to catch up, you know, like slowly gain more and more functions to the point where, you know, we normally switched like in the, from here, um, you know, probably about three, four years ago that quickbooks online started to become, in our view, a very viable alternative to quickbooks desktop.
Um, where the functionality, you know, is not necessarily everything is good, but you know, there’s some things are as good and some things are even better in the quickbooks online version that we really started to switch a bunch of clients over towards quickbooks online. So if, if you’ve looked at quickbooks online before and you, you thought it didn’t meet your needs, well guess what? It’s getting better every day and you probably need to look at it again because it tends to be a passing. The functionality of desktop now is the quickbooks desktop version or the online version better for data entry. So when it comes to data entry, straight data entry, you’re just working on your number pad, hitting enter, Edmonton Accountant hitting tab. The desktop program still is faster just because you have a web entry interface. There is that slight delay on a web entry interface.
Edmonton Accountant, you know, that’s becoming less and less as internet speeds increase, uh, as the software itself is becoming more smooth. But if you’re just going to evaluate it on a data entry, uh, ability, you know, can I, how fast can I enter 100 transactions manually? That’s the key. How fast and I enter 100 transactions manually. You’re going to enter them quicker in quickbooks desktop because they’re just going to be a little bit of that delay that doesn’t exist in the quickbooks desktop because it’s right on your computer. It’s not going through the Internet to, to a central server. Why is data entry becoming less important? That’s the key. So although the data entry is a little bit quicker and I say a little bit quicker on desktop data, entry itself is becoming less important because the programs these days are now coordinating with your bank. So rather than.
So the question is, although it might be easier to input 100 transactions into quickbooks desktop, the question is why are you entering 100 transactions manually into your program? Because these transactions can generally be pulled from the bank. They can be uploaded through CSV, so basically excel files into the program so it’s pulling straight from your bank or another app that can be entered directly. So it’s eliminating the need for any manual entry where the, the transactions themselves are actually being pulled into the software rather than being manually inputted into the software. There’s more features and secondary applications that can coordinate with the accounting software to avoid any manual entry altogether. Are there significant improvements being made in both platforms? Edmonton Accountant, the, the developments on the desktop are becoming minimal and you can see it even when you, if you Google quickbooks right now and you try to, you know, purchase a piece of desktop software, you’re going to get redirected to that flow to the online version.
They’re moving away from desktop. You can tell very obviously on the way they even presented on their website. Edmonton Accountant, so the research and development money, the improvements, you know, those are being made on the online version. Um, you know, it’s not that they’re not making any developments on the desktop version, but you can tell their r and d, You know, all of their corporate events are geared towards the online version. So, you know, another thing is you’re implementing a desktop version or you still have a desktop version. You’re almost counting down the days. I feel like sometimes to that desktop version is obsolete. So it’s not a matter of if you’re going to have to go to online, it’s at some point your, your hand will be forced and it will be when you have to go to quickbooks online. What is it like to share or access quickbooks desktop files in multiple locations?
Um, it again is, it is bad, it is not. We used to do it because, you know, the firm’s been around longer than quickbooks online has been a, a viable product. Um, so it, it, it generally results, Edmonton Accountant, revolves around installing the quickbooks program on a central server somewhere and then maintaining that central server so people in multiple locations can access that same data file. That’s the gold standard way of doing it. The other way of doing it as having the quick books desktop program on one at one location and then creating backup files and restoring the files and then working on it somewhere else and then creating another backup file, moving it back to the old location, restoring it again in the old location. Obviously that’s a little problematic. It can be done, but there’s a lot of chance for error data, corruption, moving it back and forth on.
Not to mention that you can’t have two people working simultaneously in it unless you have that central server which is costly in error prone and you know there can be hiccups in maintaining that central server. There’s a number of providers out there both recommended by quickbooks and people are doing it that, you know, quickbooks really hasn’t vouched for and three quite honest. It’s been my experience in doing that really doesn’t matter if quickbooks votes for them or not, they’re all going to have a little bit of hiccups and the web based program is just so much more reliable because you know, a quick intuit, the makers equip has their hand on the pulse of that one because there’s so many users rather than, you know, if they have one affiliate managing desktop programs, now they have hundreds of affiliates and for them to verify what’s happening inside the companies have third parties, it’s inherently difficult for them.
So how does ease of sharing allow business owners to access more sophistication? Yeah, so it goes back to what’s going to define how well is accounting program is working. If it’s not any one program, it’s the people involved in it. So I’m both the business, usually the business owner’s ability to interact with people of sophistication and most small businesses aren’t going to be able to afford a accountants or even high level bookkeepers on their internal staff. They might think they can afford it, but really the people that can be afforded in most businesses are, are, are pretty low. Edmonton Accountant, so the, the sophistication that you need is generally in a, in a third party bookkeeping firm or a third party accounting firm at year end. And you know, either you’re going to pay an exorbitant amount of money for people to go out onsite to your file or you’re going to shut down to your file and ship them over and backup copy and then try to deal with, do I enter stuff now or wait till that file comes back?
Or you can use quickbooks online where everybody can have access in multiple locations and enter data into real time, uh, and analyze the data into real time, you know, the sharing. Even if you get into, yeah, there’s a couple of data entry things that take a little bit longer, that ability to share files will always have more costs associated with it. Then any small amount of data entry, data entry can be done by the cheapest people in the organization. Edmonton Accountant the high level accounting is being done by people with, uh, you know, making more as the business owner, coordinating with sophisticated offsite staff that that’s costly. So, you know, reduce the costs associated with that. Um, and if that means a little bit more money on data entry, you know, so be it. It’s usually the cheaper option. Why are web based programs generally more cost and time effective?
So any program that’s based on a windows system, you know, you’re going to have to a lot of times revolve around a network, especially if you, even if you’re at one location, but there’s multiple instances of the program open at a single time. So it’s open at the front desk and it’s open to the back office that quickbook program needs to be housed on a network, uh, but a web based program doesn’t require a network and the individual terminals that are used in any business of the workstations that a business generally aren’t that expensive, but the network and maintaining that network and the server are generally extremely expensive. So people are looking at the costs of the program, but that’s usually a bigger discussion on what’s the cost to maintain that network, which is very significant. Edmonton Accountant then every time you want to update the program, you have to go into that network and generally have a professional it person go in and update the program.
Whereas a web program just gets updated all of the time. You’re using the most up to date version. The updates are running, a are being run for you without any, uh, significant. It charges a. and you can avoid a lot of small businesses, you know, the necessity for them to have a network. Usually they’re just using the wrong software. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but usually they’re using the wrong software. Edmonton Accountant even if they are, do you have a network? Do you want to add that as one more thing that you’re expensive it person has to do, or would you rather it just be done in bulk by a reputable provider on a web based program? You always know that it’s going to work and you always know that a year it’s going to be the most up to date version. So I think that’s all the time we have here today. Edmonton Accountant, again, always feel free to leave any comments. We’ll try to address any comments you have in future videos and, uh, you know, hit that subscribe button to keep getting videos to help you in your business. Thanks very much. Thanks guys.