QuickBooks Online 2018: What You Need to Know

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By Matt Goldman on April 4, 2018

For 30 years, Intuit’s QuickBooks has been a leader in accounting software, especially for small- to mid-sized firms. It’s also popular with individuals seeking to get a grip on their finances. One reason QB has prevailed so long stems from how Intuit innovates their core programs by continually adding new features along the way.

Intuit offers both a desktop version of QuickBooks and an online, browser-based mode. To stay ahead of the curve, Intuit’s online version rolls out new features on a regular basis, and that’s held true for 2018. Here are a few of the latest updates for QuickBooks Online 2018 and how to use them.

New Reports

QuickBooks Online 2018 comes with more reports than ever before. Certain reports, such as Trial Balance and General Ledger, were previously only packaged in QuickBooks higher-tier pricing plans. But with the release of the 2018 version, every tier—Simple Start, Essentials, and Plus—now offer all three reports, a huge upgrade for Simple Start users.

Another new report is the 1099 Transaction Detail Report, which assists business owners in coordinating taxes with freelancers and contractors. It highlights applicable tax data needed for filing a 1099, thereby reducing the hunt for disparate strands of info. In addition, the program automatically assesses whether the requirements for a 1099 have been satisfied, if information is missing, and/or if any data is inaccurate.

QuickBooks Invoicing for Gmail

Another new feature of QuickBooks Online 2018 is the QuickBooks Invoicing for Gmailcapability. Rather than toggling back and forth, you can forward invoices directly from within Gmail. But can an email program actually craft a reliable, sophisticated invoice? With Invoicing for Gmail, you have the power to send the same customized invoices that you can send from QBO through email, complete with customization. It also allows you to offer convenient online payment to clients, whether by credit card or bank transfer.

Not only can you pull up all your customers on Gmail, but the invoices that you create in Gmail save automatically into QBO, turning Gmail and QBO into best friends. From Gmail, you can also retrieve your products, services, and past invoices to include in your invoices.

If you need to know when you sent an invoice, Invoicing for Gmail has that covered. Knowing when it was viewed by the client? Check. When it’s paid? Yep. In the end, this new feature saves you time and makes the process of invoicing clients easier than before.

QuickBooks Capital

Another handy addition to QuickBooks Online for the 2018 version is QuickBooks Capital. This is a loan service that determines if users qualify for a loan based on the information already entered into users’ QBO accounts. Not content to leave it at that, however, QuickBooks Capital takes it one step further by populating the entry fields in the application form. Basically, it does everything but forge your signature.

What People Are Saying

Some of the critiques coming in about the program deal with its ease of use. More than a few reviewers have noted that existing users shouldn’t have a problem getting the hang of the software or its recent updates. New users, on the other hand, might find the program cumbersomeand require more time to learn than they otherwise would like.

Some have also noted the lack of certain popular functionality, such as project managementand the inability to track inventory. Depending on how you intend to use QBO 2018 and other tools you might already be leveraging, these deficiencies might not matter to you. For instance, if you don’t house or ship inventory, or your inventory is very limited, you likely can make do without it.

Overall, QBO 2018 has garnered stellar reviewafter stellar review. Praises being sung include the value it delivers for the various price plans, the way it can streamline workflows, and its option for Progress Invoicing (this article provides instructions for setting it up). If its cloud- and browser-based portability appeals to you, and if your work doesn’t require accounting tools on the scale of a large firm, it’s probably worth a look.

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