by Tony Novak, CPA, MBA, MT March 8, 2015
Earlier this year Forbes published an article about the imminent mass migration of small business accounting from desktop to online software as a service. Since then, Intuit introduced its vastly improved line of online accounting products that ensure that QuickBooks will remain the overwhelmingly dominant market share leader in small business accounting despite dozens of high quality competitors.
The Forbes article did not dwell on the underlying market value for small businesses that will drive this transformation in the market. The fact is that online accounting software is simply a better product and a better value. This short article lists some of the most obvious values that will propel small businesses to make the switch.
1. Expand the range of accounting help. There is no need to limit your help to local providers. Online accountants now offer a wider range of expertise. Small business owners are beginning to recognize that they can get faster, cheaper and more experienced accounting help of they look beyond their own physical community.
2. Cut bookkeeping costs. Online bookkeeping services save money by avoiding the cost associated with travel and providing a bookkeeper with physical work space. This transformation is assisted by the range of new products that ease the conversion to paperless recordkeeping and document storage.
3. Integrate data. Enter or import data once then use it in multiple applications. There is no need, for example, to keep a contact list of clients on your phone and maintain a separate client list in your accounting system.
4. Cut accounting software costs. The new QuickBooks pricing program allows clients who work with a ProAdvisor to save 50% for the life of your account. At rates of only $20 per month or less, QuickBooks pricing now undercuts most competitors.
5. Have more payroll options. Some businesses want to do it all themselves, others collaborate with an accountant, and some prefer to have it all done by payroll professionals. All of these options are now available through the software.
6. Increase security. Intuit's standard built-in security measures combined with automatic log of activity provides and audit trail that gives us a remarkably greater level of security than anything we have seen in the industry so far.
7. Reliable backups. Constant, automatic, redundant without a thought required by the user.
8. Print 1099s without additional tax software. In my experience, this has been the #1 most requested tax reporting feature.
9. Use Add-ons without actually having to install them. Intuit maintains a complete library of tested and approved add-on services.
10. End the debate over "desktop" or "online" accounting platforms. Now it's just "QuickBooks". These technical advances mean that small business owners can focus on maximizing the benefits of their financial management efforts rather than devoting time, resources and energy to making their system work.
Opinions expressed are the solely those of the author and do not represent the position of any other person, company or entity mentioned in the article. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed. Any accounting, business or tax advice contained in this communication, including attachments and enclosures, is not intended as a thorough, in-depth analysis of specific issues or a substitute for a formal opinion, nor is it sufficient to avoid tax-related penalties. Tony Novak operates as an independent adviser under the trademarks "Freedom Benefits", "OnlineAdviser" and "OnlineNavigator" but is not a representative, agent, broker, producer or navigator for any securities broker dealer firm, federal or state health insurance marketplace or qualified health plan carrier. He has no financial position in any stocks mentioned. Novak does work as an accountant, agent, adviser, writer, consultant, marketer, reviewer, endorser, producer, lead generator or referrer to other companies including the companies listed in the articles on this web site.