Maximize Your Investment in QuickBooks

Moving your accounting and finance operations onto QuickBooks Online will deliver many benefits.

The software has robust automation features allowing finance teams to streamline their workflows and provide timely insights with access to real-time data.

QuickBooks Online is one of the most widely used cloud accounting software packages for SMBs. As well as fulfilling day-to-day financial management, it has a rich integrated add-on software marketplace that gives businesses a simple, low-cost experience akin to a complete ERP system. 

When making the switch and getting set up, organizations should review the full range of third-party software integrations to ensure they remove as many manual processes as possible. This will extend the life of QuickBooks Online to delay a move to a fuller and more expensive ERP solution such as SAP or Oracle.

A Leading SMB Solution

QuickBooks Online is the cloud version of QuickBooks, first developed and released by Intuit (a publicly listed company worth over $100bn) in 1983. QuickBooks Online launched over a decade ago and is used by over 4.5 million businesses globally.

It is relevant to companies operating in any sector but is particularly popular with the following:

  • Retail
  • eCommerce
  • Construction
  • Hospitality
  • Professional Services 
  • Manufacturing
  • Health
  • Distribution

QuickBooks Online services the full range of SMBs: sole traders, startups, non-profits, and limited companies.

It is commonly used as the first accounting management system for new companies based on its easy setup, affordable pricing, and intuitive nature. Fast-growing SMBs may need to eventually upgrade to fuller and bespoke ERP solutions such as SAP or Oracle. However, a handful of enterprise and Fortune 500 companies have been able to stick with the software, despite their size. 

Companies can extend their time on QuickBooks Online and incorporate richer features by connecting to directly integrated third-party tools on their app marketplace. 

Xero and Striven are comparable to QuickBooks Online based on their SMB focus and cloud nature. Xero focuses on the smaller end of SMBs, with Striven being more suitable for medium-sized entities based on its more comprehensive features.


QuickBooks Online is sold on a monthly subscription basis. Plans start from $30 per month (Simple Start) and increase based on features and the number of users.

All plans include income and expenses, invoices and payments, receipt capture, and cash flow. Plus is the most popular plan, at $85 per month, and allows access for five users and the ability to manage and keep track of inventory.

The Advanced Plan, at $200 per month, will be more suitable for larger SMBs due to allowing access for up to 25 users and several premium features, including business analytics, data restoration, and a dedicated account team. 

All plans include access to mobile apps, customer support, and QuickBooks Online’s mobile app (available for Android and iOS). 

QuickBooks is currently running a promotion for businesses to save 50% off all plans for the first three months. 

Payroll can also be added across all plans for an additional fee.

QuickBooks Online Main Features

QuickBooks Online provides everything SMBs need to run their day-to-day finance, from recording their bookkeeping to raising invoices and settling bills. 

  • Accounting: easily track income and expenses.
  • Advanced Accounting: power up automation and minimize manual data handling by accessing tools that streamline your businesses further and provide insights to drive it forward.
  • Virtual Bookkeepers: partner with a Live Bookkeeper to bring your books and financials up to date with guaranteed accuracy.
  • Payroll: free up your time by setting up payroll to run automatically. Experts are on hand to take care of payroll setup, and 24/7 expert callback support is provided.
  • Invoicing: create customized invoices with your logo and send them through QuickBooks Online. Automate recurring invoices, track their status, and send payment reminders.
  • Payments: accept online payments through a variety of different ways, including Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Apple Pay via pay-enabled invoices or by taking contactless payment on the go.
  • Time Tracking: employees can track their time quickly and on the go with one click. Use the QuickBooks mobile app to track, submit, and approve employee hours from anywhere. Scheduling is also available to build employee schedules by jobs or shifts.
  • Inventory Management: automatically bring in your orders and payouts from your connected sales channels to seamlessly manage inventory. Bank deposits are matched to payouts, and businesses can see trends at a glance to stay on top of their cash flow and get insights related to revenue, expenses, and profitability.
  • Manage Bills: organize, track, and pay your business’s bills online with confidence. Payments can be scheduled in advance and can be settled by bank transfer or debit card.

Extend The Life of QuickBooks Online with App Add-Ons

Further functionality can be added using over 750 directly integrated apps from third-party software companies and developers. 

This will further automate processes, as well as put in place scalable procedures for high-growth companies. 

Popular categories include:

  • Funding
  • Accounts Payable (AP)
  • Tax Preparation
  • Expense Management
  • CRM

Using directly integrated apps will allow businesses to benefit from end-to-end automation, eliminating the need to duplicate data across different systems and minimizing the risk of human-generated errors. 

Streamline Processes Further by Integrating QuickBooks Online with Directly Integrated AP Automation Tools

While QuickBooks Online can settle supplier invoices, businesses paying over fifty invoices per month will likely face bottlenecks due to the software not automating the entire lifecycle of payables. 

QuickBooks Online extracts data from supplier invoices, but finance teams are still required to manually chase approvals and upload or key in data to banking provider software. Businesses with a global reach will also need multiple systems to pay overseas suppliers.  

This can create issues related to companies scaling due to needing to hire additional finance headcount to fulfill requirements and potentially correct errors generated from manual entry. There is also the risk of the closure of monthly books being delayed due to needing to rely on human input to post and reconcile an increasing volume of transactions.

QuickBooks Online businesses should use directly integrated end-to-end AP automation solutions, such as Tipalti, to streamline their payables processes further and manage their entire AP life cycle from a single sign-in destination.

Once implemented, this will speed up the availability of real-time data, free up finance teams to work on higher-value tasks, such as strategy and data analysis, and enable them to make agile decisions in today’s unpredictable economy. 

Another benefit of incorporating AP automation tools is reducing friction and costs by allowing expanding internationally based businesses to access the fullest range of payment methods for overseas suppliers. Tipalti enables businesses to transact with many global payment types, including Global ACH, wire, transfers, eCheck, SEPA, EFT, and PayPal, with the ability to transact with 196 countries and local currencies from a centralized dashboard. 

Next Steps 

To assess further whether QuickBooks Online is the right solution for your organization, review the Learn & Support section on their website. Setting up QuickBooks Online is easy and intuitive, so you won’t need to hire expensive consultants to get it up and running. However, there is an option to reach out to a sales team if you have bespoke queries. A 30-day free trial is also available if you want to give the software a test drive before purchasing.

If you aren’t ready to make the switch over to QuickBooks Online, you may want to incorporate an AP automation tool now. Tipalti is agnostic to accounting and ERP vendors, so you can put in place robust and scalable AP processes now and get staff used to them, whichever core ERP tool you use now and decide to use in the future.

Take Control of Your Payables Today

Learn more about how you can automate accounts payable, irrespective of your ERP.

Related Content

About the Author

  • Linkedin