Accounting Software

I use exclusively QuickBooks for my accounting needs and the needs of my clients. Until something better comes around, I will continue to use them. This post is NOT a plug for QuickBooks but a look at the different software options they provide. At the time of this post, they have 4 different types of QuickBooks Online accounts and a multitude of QuickBooks Desktop options. Within each option comes with customizations that will help you grow your business or help with those tasks you dislike. To better understand which product will suit your needs, you have to ask yourself the most important question: Am I incorporated or a sole proprietor?

A sole proprietor does not necessarily mean self employed and self employed does not necessarily mean you are a sole proprietor. The two terms may be similar in meaning but they do mean two very different things. As a sole proprietor, your taxes are different and your treatment of certain accounting principles are different as well. Come tax time, your business income and expenses are summarized on your personal tax return and filed with a T2125. A sole proprietor is someone who is doing business as an individual rather than a corporation. Your business is you and you are your business.

As an incorporated business, your business is a separate legal entity and treated as such. Taxes are different and accounting principles and rules are slightly different. Some industries have regulations on whether or not you can incorporate and some industries have very specific rules on accounting that you have to follow. In Canada, there isn’t much difference between incorporated, limited, or corporation designated companies. An incorporated business is separate from you and you are separate from the incorporated business.

Once you have answered the questions (what am I?), we can proceed to discussing software choices. Keeping in mind that this post is strictly about QuickBooks. I know there are other software choices out there (Sage and Xero) and I have no experience with them yet.

Sole Proprietor

As a sole proprietor, you have a wide range of options for software. My recommendation for all my clients is to go to the cloud. Cloud accounting is quickly growing and expanding with the variety of options available. It allows you to issue invoices, record expenses, and view your company’s health wherever you are. You have a few software choices:

This option is only available to Sole Proprietors (even though QBO doesn’t indicate that). Do NOT use this if you are incorporated as it does not track the required information¬† incorporated companies need properly.¬†

Includes:

Track income & expenses

Track sales & sales tax

Capture & organize receipts

Track mileage automatically

Run reports

Invoice & accept payments

Sort business & personal transactions

This option can be used by Sole Proprietors and incorporated companies however, most small businesses may require the next step up.

Includes:

Track income & expenses

Track sales & sales tax

Capture & organize receipts

Track mileage automatically

Run reports

Invoice & accept payments

Progress invoicing

Maximize tax deductions

Send estimates

Incorporated

As an incorporated company, you have the same options as a sole proprietor (except for the Self-Employed).

This option can be used by Sole Proprietors and incorporated companies however, most small businesses may require the next step up.

Includes:

Track income & expenses

Track sales & sales tax

Capture & organize receipts

Track mileage automatically

Run reports

Invoice & accept payments

Progress invoicing

Maximize tax deductions

Send estimates

This is probably the most common package QuickBooks Online sells. It fits the needs of the majority of all small businesses.

Includes:

Track income & expenses

Track sales & sales tax

Capture & organize receipts

Track mileage automatically

Run reports

Invoice & accept payments

Progress invoicing

Maximize tax deductions

Send estimates

Multiple users

Manage bills & payments

Multi-currency support

Track time

The Plus option is the Cadillac of the offerings. It has everything QuickBooks Online offers (except for the add-ons which are an additional cost on any plan).

Includes:

Track income & expenses

Track sales & sales tax

Capture & organize receipts

Track mileage automatically

Run reports

Invoice & accept payments

Progress invoicing

Maximize tax deductions

Send estimates

Multiple users

Manage bills & payments

Multi-currency support

Track time

Track project profitability

Track inventory

If you have an external accountant or bookkeeper, you have to go with the Essentials or the Plus because those are the only two plans that offer multiple users. New users of QuickBooks Online will notice that they have a discount for the first 3 months (usually 50% off) then the price goes back to normal after that. If you go through Accountable Value Financial Services, you will receive the QBO subscription for 50% off for the life of the plan.

If you have any questions or comments or would like more information on what QBO plan might work for you, please reach out!

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