QuickBooks Readies Online Version

quickbooksonline Personal and business accounting software in Australia has traditionally been a two-horse race: Quicken versus MYOB. Quicken's latest competitive trick? Moving into the online world with an entirely browser-based version of its software.

QuickBooks Online actually doesn't look much like a web application, since it mimics very closely the traditional desktop package. (Indeed, if you already have QuickBooks installed on the desktop, buying the online version will allow you to work in either online or offline mode, though that might be risky with multiple users.)

At $250 for the first year and $22 a month after that, it's hardly a cheap option. On the other hand, the package includes continuous updates (useful with tax law constantly changing), the option for your accountant to also access your data if you authorise them, and eliminates the need to constantly back up your finance data.

Currently, the online software only officially works with Internet Explorer on Windows, though Firefox apparently goes OK as well. Support for Safari and Chrome (and official support for Firefox) will follow later in 2009.

The service officially launches in August, but if you're curious you can sign up via the link below for notification when it goes live.

Quickbooks Online


    Only half the story.....

    Excuse me for wading in here, but it's about time the record was set straight about online and offline accounting systems.

    I worked in large corporates and medium sized businesses and then started out on my own. My business is now 43 people and three locations. So the online thing suits us well.

    The one thing I learned before I started out was that it's essential to put all of your business information in one system so as you can not only see the financial numbers but the detailed stories behind them.

    In business you don't just manage the numbers you manage the activities that affect the numbers. Study any accounting system closely and you wont find adequate functionality to manage say customer (CRM) records or Sales Forecasting. If it was there CRM systems wouldn't be so popular. For example Salesforce.com is only 10 years old and has over 1.5m users.

    Now SAP, PeopleSoft (a.k.a Oracle), JD Edwards are all ERP software systems - they often cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and are therefore only affordable by large businesses. These systems tie all of the departments such as Sales and Accounts together and allow managers to see the sales activities alongside the numbers.These systems are essential to manage the business effectively.

    So why is it that a small business wouldn't want to do this? The only possible reason I could cite it could be that they just don't think there is any thing affordable out there that can do it.

    I discovered (to my benefit)that this is changing and there are online ERP systems out there that are not just designed for small businesses but are very affordable.

    I'm talking about systems such as NetSuite and Salesorder.com. These vendors and their customers have all woken up to the fact that you need one system that runs your entire business not one system that runs part of it.

    Salesorder.com is about the same price as Quickbooks Online (I think) and I know they give away a fully functional single user system to help startups and to give folks a chance to try out the system for as long as it takes to get comfortable. NetSuite is about 60 to 80% more expensive than Salesorder.com but has richer functionality.

    The bottom line is that you should take a look at these systems before committing yourself to a pure online accounting solution, because there is going to definitely come a time when you are going to want to see more than just the numbers.

    Hope this helps


    Hector is exactly right. Marketing, sales, customer service and accounting all need to share information to get a complete picture. As an example; using the financial data can help marketing build customer profiles not only of the greatest number, but also the most profitable which is far more efficient. Another example would tell the sales or customer service staff to get in touch with a client as their business is dropping off. What are the leading indicators, etc.

    The primary issue has been price and complexity in building such as system.

    Would love to hear from anyone who has given Quickbooks online a try. I'm an MYOB user but could be convinced to switch if the conversion was straightforward - and if I didnt lose 4 years of accounts data in the process!

    I've been reluctant to use international versions of online accounts because I want easy BAS reporting.

    My biggest issue tho is the lock-in factor - what happens if the vendor goes belly-up with all my data?

      Hi Fran,

      I would like to show you how easy and painless it is to migrate your information across to QB's.

      Also would like to cover the facts on QuickBooks online with you. We have had this system up and running succesfully since November. It is an Australian based product and does offer a range of standard reports to help you analyse your business.

      Please fill free to contact me directly on my direct number 02 9577 5410.

    We have used Sage and then QB, great for accounting but forget tying the whole business together! We also looked at MYOB but in the end trailed salesorder.com which seems to be the new kid on the block. Must say v easy to use + so far haven't paid a penny - the is a free version with memory limit but dont know if this will last. Probably best was support, these guys are keen to make their mark so you get attention

    Hi all,
    I would like to respond to Fran's query regarding QuickBooks online and her concerns about the conversion process.
    We recently converted to QuickBooks online from MYOB and I must say that it was easier than I thought it would be. I simply sent my MYOB data file to Quicken and they converted everything over for me to QuickBooks Online. They didn't just convert my list information, such as Customers and suppliers but all my transactional history as well. I will be honest with you, that it did cost me an hourly fee to bring the transactions over but it was well worth while in the end as with some quick training I was able to get going in QuickBooks again in no time at all.
    If you don't need the transactions and just want bring ove your opening balances and lists then that will be done for free. You simply run your other system side by side for history until it is no longer needed.
    The data integrity worried me as well but the beuty of this system is that even though all your data is saved on the Quickn servers you can also save your data to your local machine whenever you want. No need to worry about the company going belly up and losing data.

    Another great thing about QuickBooks online is that it actually seems to run more quickly then my old desktop version, even with a poor internet speed. Half the time I access my file from my phone connection and it works just fine.

    I hope that helps a little.


      Thanks Greg & Richard for your responses on this. Sounds like it will be an easy transfer. I'll get in touch with Quicken to get it happening. There's not too many reasons for me to access prior information once tax has been completed so perhaps I'll just bring historic balances over.

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