QuickBooks Review Accounting Software UK

Quickbooks review dashboard

Our QuickBooks review is based on real-life use for both a Limited company with VAT and a self-employed small business.

As a qualified bookkeeper, I have used and recommended QuickBooks Online to clients. It is an excellent small business accounting software product.

In this article, we will look at the following:

  • Why choose QuickBooks Online
  • Pricing
  • Advantages
  • Set-up
  • Dashboard
  • Features
  • Reports
  • Customer Support
  • QuickBooks Desktop version

What is QuickBooks Online?

QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based accounting software allowing access from anywhere with the internet, aimed at small businesses. It is excellent for Freelancers, Self-employed, Limited Companies and VAT.

There are four plans available, self-employed, simple start, essentials and plus. It means that you should find a plan suitable for the size of the business.

Intuit was founded in 1983 and is one of the market leaders in accounting software. The software is updated regularly and keeps up with all the requirements from HMRC. It is why it is a market leader in the industry.

Advantages of QuickBooks Online

There are lots of advantages to why small businesses would choose QuickBooks online; these include:

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Cloud-based access from anywhere with an internet access
  • Connect several bank accounts
  • Track mileage
  • Expense Tracking
  • Payroll
  • Stock control or Inventory Management
  • Design and email invoices
  • Good customer support
  • CIS – Construction Industry Scheme
  • Estimates
  • Add receipts photos direct to the software
  • Data is protected and private.
  • Making Tax Digital

We will look at all these in detail further on.

What are the Disadvantages of QuickBooks Online?

Here are a few disadvantages of QuickBooks Online:

  • As it is cloud-based, a good internet connection is essential.
  • There are not as many reports as the QuickBooks Desktop version.
  • A Steep learning curve with lots of features.
  • The number of users is limited.
  • Adding features or upgrading plans might get expensive.
  • Limited to 5 users and 2 accounting firms in the UK.

QuickBooks Online Pricing

QuickBooks Online accounting software has several levels of software, including plans for self-employed and companies. Depending on the features required depends on the price, their levels are simple start, essentials and plus. All levels are online accounting packages.

The simple start package is excellent for small self-employed businesses. The essentials package suits most medium-sized businesses and limited companies. All prices quoted are per month.

Quickbooks accounting software pricing

The QuickBooks Online pricing structure is the same as most other significant packages; the main difference includes some of the extras that others charge for.

As with all software, it is worth evaluating it to see if it is suitable for the business needs. The best way to complete this is to take out a 30-day free trial.

Keep an eye out for any discounts; QuickBooks online often offer up to 75% discount for the first few months.

QuickBooks and Making Tax Digital

HMRC are in the process of improving reporting by using making tax digital.

If the business is registered for VAT, Quickbooks is already MTD compliant, allowing the submission of VAT returns directly through the software.

There are plans for other taxes and digital submission, including self-employed and landlords earning over £10,000 in 2024 and corporation tax (date not set). You can be rest assured that QuickBooks will be ready for any dates set and work with HMRC.

Compare Accounting Software

If you are not sure of the best accounting software for your small business, look at our accounting software comparison chart. It shows the most popular software and compares both pricing and features.

Ease of use

QuickBooks Online is designed with the user in mind. They have an easy-to-use dashboard allowing you to see the position of the business at a glance.

QuickBooks is easy to Set-up is simple, and it will guide you through the process from start to finish. They have made it easy to add any new transaction by using the ‘+’ sign on any page.

QuickBooks Online Features

In this review section, we will look at some of the main features of QuickBooks Online. It is essential that when evaluating any software, you start by looking at the features that the business might require.

QuickBooks Review – Easy Set-Up

QuickBooks has an easy set-up interview; even if you do not know much about accounts, it is easy to follow the interview answer some simple questions, including business details, business type, do you track stock?

From this interview, all the charts of accounts are set up and ready for use. You do not need to worry if you make a mistake, as you can go back and change it again later.

How to Move to QuickBooks?

If you are using another software package and wish to change to QuickBooks, there are options to assist in the process. The first is to use Move my Books; they can import all transactions. The second is to export data and import it to the new software. It is also possible to post-opening balances and add any transactions outstanding manually.

Dashboard

Quickbooks review dashboard

One of the great features of QuickBooks Online is its ease of use dashboard. It is easy to navigate, has everything you need and shows a snapshot of the business.

The dashboard shows the bank accounts and any transactions that need reviewing, profit and loss, unpaid invoices and sales.

It makes it easier to keep track of all the income and expenses.

QuickBooks Online Mobile Apps

QuickBooks Online Mobile App

QuickBooks mobile app is available for both Andriod and ios.

The app includes all the features for the online version enabling the completion of accounting tasks on the go. Some of the best features are:

  • Issuing sales invoices as soon as a job is complete and the client can pay immediately with the acceptance of credit card payments.
  • Adding expenses
  • Seeing a complete overview of the businesses finances

Bank Account

One of the best features of any accounting software is connecting your bank account and downloading transactions. Downloading bank transactions use open banking, most banks are included in QuickBooks, but it is worth checking first if yours is.

The main advantage of connecting the bank account is the time saved in creating each transaction. Once the bank feed is connected, all the data is imported. The transaction is accepted with a simple click if an invoice or expense is in the accounts.

With some accounting software, this is an additional cost, but QuickBooks Online includes it in the pricing of all plans.

You can set up more than one bank account and also credit card accounts.

There are easy entries for writing cheques and receiving funds; these can also be done within the customer and supplier sections. Simple bank reconciliations at the month-end, and you know all your transactions are posted.

QuickBooks Review – Sales Invoices

Within QuickBooks sales invoices of products and services, I found it easy; several different invoice templates are already in the package. It has the flexibility that you can amend them to suit your business. It can take a bit of time to get the template as you want it, but it is worth the effort once it is done.

If the business sends out estimates to customers, these can convert to send out an invoice quickly. There are options to set up recurring invoices, making it easier for regular receipts from the same customer.

You can create a sales invoice in the mobile app and email it directly to the customer, saving postage time. Although QuickBooks Online doesn’t have an approval system for invoices, there are additional apps available.

As with most accounting software, credit card payments are accepted online via PayPal, Zettle and setting up a direct debit with go cardless.

It is easy to add new customers, new products and change descriptions within the customer invoicing. To find out if the QuickBooks invoice feature is suitable for your small business, take a look at their 30-day free trial.

Tracking Customers

An essential part of any business is tracking customers and getting paid on time.

QuickBooks Online makes it easy to see who owes you money and how long it has been outstanding with their dashboard and reports.

It is possible to automatically create and send out statements and reminder letters within the software, saving time on credit control.

Expense Tracking

QuickBooks add new expense

Expense tracking can save time and reduce the tax bill.

With the features in QuickBooks Online, it makes expense tracking easy. There is no more keeping a pile of receipts and having to go through them at a later date. By claiming all the expenses, it will reduce the tax bill.

You can snap receipts and bills to email directly to QuickBooks or use the mobile app. If you want, even more, use Dext App to extract all the information and submit it for approval.

Reports Review

One of the things I like is the amount and types of available reports and how easy they are to produce. A date range can be specified, and reports can either be shown on display, downloaded or printed.

QuickBooks accounting software reports

QuickBooks includes all the main accounting reports required by management for sales invoice, purchases, inventory tracking, bank transactions, income and expenses and balance sheets.

QuickBooks Review – Stock or Inventory Management

If you track stock or complete inventory management within your business, you will need the Plus edition. Inventory tracking is fast and easy, and there are lots of different reports available. You can build in stock levels so that you do not run out of stock.

Inventory tracking allows the creation of purchase orders within the system and will enable you to see which products are selling well.

Cash Flow

QuickBooks Cash Flow Forecast

For any small business, it is essential to keep on top of the Cash Flow. Knowing how much money a business has, what it owes and how much it owes is essential.

The software offers a 24-month cash flow projection included in the price. You can connect your bank accountants to see how much is in each account, making it simple to see everything in one place.

Run Payroll System

QuickBooks Review New Payroll

If you are a director of the business or employ staff, you will need to run a payroll system.

QuickBooks Online payroll integrates everything into the software. It is easy to set up, run the payroll and submit returns to HMRC.

It is an additional cost of £4 per month plus £1 per paid employee for their standard plan. If you require advanced features like timesheets, different payment frequencies and an employee portal, the advanced plan is £8 per month plus £1 per paid employee.

Any payroll service has an additional fee, so keeping your payroll in one place makes sense.

Time Tracking Review

Time tracking can be an invaluable feature if you invoice time to customers. Even if you are a small self-employed business missing time invoiceable to a customer will cost money in lost revenue.

QuickBooks time tracking feature makes it easy and is available in the mobile app and online version.

Time tracking is also used for the payroll service and scheduling work.

Time tracking charges £6 per month per user plus a £16 per month base fee. Although it is expensive, the time saved in administration means it could pay for itself.

Project

If you need to track an individual project, it is included in the Online Plus plan.

Keeping track of time and expenses in projects enables you to have a complete breakdown of each job and helps to see if you are making or losing money.

CIS

QuickBooks CIS Review

if your business is part of the construction industry scheme, the chances are that you are registered for CIS. Quickbooks Online has all the features needed to run CIS and file returns directly to HMRC.

VAT

QuickBooks online is entirely Making Tax Digital compliant and allows you to set up purchases and sales tax rates. Therefore if tax rates change, it is easy to keep on top of it.

VAT is easy to track, and the reports required from HMRC can be printed and sent directly to them. You can keep track of your VAT, knowing how much you owe and the due date.

It is making tax digital compliant and supports all VAT schemes, including standard, flat rate, cash accounting, annual accounting, and reverse charge.

Users Access

If you have more than one user, you may want to restrict users access. It is helpful if you want an employee to create sales invoices but not see all the businesses data.

Invite new users through the menu; the user will then accept the invitation. The number of users will depend on the plan signed up to. The maximum number is 5 but is suitable for most small businesses.

Working with an Accountant or Bookkeeper

With all plans, you can invite a bookkeeper or an accountant to your business on QuickBooks Online. It makes it much easier if you have a problem or at year-end. It allows the accountant to log in to the software, view all the transactions and make any year-end adjustments as needed.

Most bookkeepers now work remotely, never seeing clients. I have supported clients over the telephone when they are unsure how to post or adjust a transaction.

QuickBooks Review – Customer Support

There is a good customer support team in place and included in the pricing. Several options for support include a help search box on each page, getting started videos, live chat, training, webinars, QuickBooks online forums, and help articles.

Intuit has a list of Local advisors who can set up QuickBooks online and show you how it works.

In the future, the government is looking to introduce making tax digital for self-assessment. QuickBooks UK will undoubtedly be on top of this well before the date. They work in line with any HMRC changes.

QuickBooks Online Add ons

if you are looking for something more from QuickBooks Online, there are premium add ons available.

A few of the most popular add on apps are:

  • Dext – Reads receipts and extracts the data
  • Bill.com – Set up workflows for approvals
  • QuickBooks Payroll – Run your payroll system within QuickBooks
  • Qvinci – Improve the reporting in QuickBooks
  • Time Tracking – A add on within Quickbooks

QuickBooks Desktop

Intuit used to sell a QuickBooks desktop version of the software, which used to be very popular amongst business owners. Once the online version discontinued support for the addons on 31st May 2021.

Although if you still use the desktop version, all support has stopped. There are upgrade options available to QuickBooks Online.

If you want to use the Quickbooks desktop version, copies are available on eBay.

QuickBooks Online Summary

To conclude our QuickBooks Review, with my experience with both the product and as an advisor, yes, I would use QuickBooks online again. The main reason for the recommendation is the features available, pricing and ease of use.

When looking at any software for small business, take out the 30-day free trial to see if the software features match the company’s needs.

Using an accounting software package can save both time and money. Keeping on top of the businesses finances is essential, especially for a successful or growing business.

If you are still unsure if it is for you, there are many user reviews online, most of which like the software.

Other Accounting Software Reviews

If you are still not sure if online Quickbooks is right, we have written lots of accounting software reviews, including:

  • FreeAgent – Free for business current account holders, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank NI.
  • FreshBooks – Great accounting software for small companies.
  • Pandle – Offers a free version.
  • Xero – One of the most popular accounting software packages, with excellent support.
  • Zoho Books – Free for turnover up to £35,000. Cheaper per month than other alternatives.