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QuickBooks Desktop OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

What is QuickBooks Desktop?

QuickBooks Desktop is a one-time purchase accounting software to be installed on your office desktop computer.

QuickBooks Desktop Customers

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QuickBooks Desktop Video

Archived QuickBooks Desktop Reviews (more than two years old)

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Paula Byrd
IRS Registered e-File Provider / Tax Preparer & Consultant at Paula Byrd Tax Services
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
Feature rich, integrates well with third-party apps, and customizable for businesses of any size and type

Pros and Cons

  • "There are valuable security features including software access security (login password), data backup (getting all transactions and data from the previous bookkeeper), and an audit trail that is available when changes are questioned."
  • "We would like to have data conversion and upload applications included, without having to pay separately for them."

What is our primary use case?

I use this solution to provide Bookkeeping, Accounting, Payroll Processing / Reporting, and Federal / State / Local Tax Services either in person or virtually for sole proprietors, self-employed individuals, partnerships, corporations, LLCs, and other and small businesses.

How has it helped my organization?

Intuit is constantly improving the implementation and integration of third-party apps and data that saves the client and accountant time, reduces data input errors, and provides secure options to generate and provide quality financial reports in a timely manner.

What is most valuable?

There are many valuable features in this solution, including Bank account feeds and report exporting. There are valuable security features including software access security (login password), data backup (getting all transactions and data from the previous bookkeeper), and an audit trail that is available when changes are questioned.

This solution provides for integration with third-party apps like accepting credit card payments, payroll processing, and employee activity tracking.

What needs improvement?

I would like to have data conversion and upload applications included, without having to pay separately for them. For example, if I export bank account data to a CSV file, I then have to subscribe or pay for a service that will allow me to import that data as checks or deposits. QuickBooks allows for the direct import of List information only, and not journal entries, or financial account transactions (i.e. Individual cash, check, or credit card transactions).

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I am very impressed with the stability of this solution. Software Updates are provided often, and reflect the ever-changing rules and regulations, as imposed by law, almost immediately.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a scalable solution that easily fits any size of business in any industry.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support for this solution is very easy to contact. They have chat, email, phone, and remote services available.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I also use QuickBooks Online, as well as prior versions.

How was the initial setup?

This initial setup can be complex, depending on details for invoicing, inventory, budgeting, or job costing that the client requires. It must be completely set up before use to ensure all of the data posts correctly and pulls into customized reports correctly. It is much harder to correct the transactions after the fact. 

What about the implementation team?

I provide implementation Services to my clients.

What was our ROI?

The software has allowed my income to exceed my initial investment tenfold.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have evaluated other options, but QuickBooks is more appealing to my clients from their out-of-pocket-cost point of view.

What other advice do I have?

This solution allows us to outline exactly what data, financial statements, inventory, job costing/budgeting, AP/AR, wage and hour, tax planning/forecasting, or information needed to allow owners and management to make educated business decisions regarding efficient and effective management of business operations, cash management, marketing/sales force management, asset purchases, etc.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: I am a member of the QuickBooks Accountant Community
Moses Wambugu
GUIDER at ONLINE TRAINING AND EARNINGS
Real User
Valuable features include ease of use, compatibility with Windows, and the easily customizable platform

Pros and Cons

  • "Valuable features include ease of use, compatibility with Windows, and the easily customizable platform."
  • "The customer response team is slow and sometimes causes the user to have a loss."

What is our primary use case?

Used for accounting, record keeping, managing e-learning finances, financial data processing, and the dispensation of records to authorized personnel.

How has it helped my organization?

Paperless record keeping has made accounting between various store branches easy, and has made it easy to track cash flow and all transactions, which allows for quick determination of profit or loss.

What is most valuable?

Ease of use

Compatibility with Windows and offline functionality makes it an all time working software.

Easily customizable platform

What needs improvement?

The customer response team is slow and sometimes causes the user to have a loss. Improving this would attract new users and help existing users utilize the software for optimum profitability.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No

How are customer service and technical support?

Slow when it comes to solving problems.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

None.

How was the initial setup?

The team did it in a simple way.

What about the implementation team?

In-house team

What was our ROI?

N/A

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The software is not cheap, but is fairly affordable and worth the cost. Its actually the top choice for any accounting tasks, and is easy to set up and start using on the go.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Xero, AccountEdge

What other advice do I have?

It's a good way to go for accounting.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
R. Michael O'Hanlan
QuickBooks ProAdvisor at a consultancy
Real User
Enables me to do deep dives into accounting research

Pros and Cons

  • "Gives me the ability to do deep dives into accounting research."
  • "They have, "Let's walk you through it," introductions, to show you how to use it."
  • "they even thought about different industries, so that if you're in a service industry, if you're in a retail industry, or you're in construction, they have set up some of the initial out-of-the-box setups, so that you have something that looks kind of like your industry. So for me, I'm an accountant consulting. I do not need an Account called "Dental Equipment." It's flexible to fit your industry."
  • "In their journal entries, you cannot use Accounts Payable or Accounts Receivable more than once. For example, I owe company "A" $100, so company "A" is Accounts Payable, and I just want to list it one by one by one. If I want to add more companies, say, company "B" with $200, I can't list Accounts Payable in that entry. I would have to just say, company "A", $100, company "B", $200, Accounts Payable, $300." That's a shortcoming of it."

How has it helped my organization?

With QuickBooks Desktop, you can open multiple companies. The program is on your computer, it's not cloud-based. I first used it when I ran a not-for-profit for nine years. I was also able to use it for my personal finances, and now that I am in business for myself, I use it with customers that do not want to do their own accounting, so they send me the data, and I set up their company, and I turn raw data into financial statements in less than two weeks.

What is most valuable?

  • The ability to do deep dives into accounting research
  • The simplicity of each of its modules with Customers, Vendors, and Employees
  • As a certified ProAdvisor, their customer service is the best I have ever experienced for anything.

What needs improvement?

In their journal entries, you cannot use Accounts Payable or Accounts Receivable more than once. For example, I owe company "A" $100, so company "A" is Accounts Payable, and I just want to list it one by one by one. If I want to add more companies, say, company "B" with $200, I can't list Accounts Payable in that entry. I would have to just say, company "A", $100, company "B", $200, Accounts Payable, $300." That's a shortcoming of it.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No stability issues. Twenty-one years of using it says it's a stable product. The other thing is, built into the program, it reminds you to backup your data. After you go in either three or five times, there's a reminder when you leave, "Don't you think you should backup your data?"

They also have a feature where, if you have a glitch, there are some options under the Company menu to try to rectify the problem yourself. And if that doesn't work, you call the most amazing, positive, helpful customer service in the world. I like them.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There are some limits to what a company can do, number of transactions. But it's in the millions, and I have never dealt with any client that reached more than that. And, if you do, there is a follow-on product called QuickBooks Enterprise, which is designed to handle the really, really big companies with lots of employees, and lots and lots of transactions, and lots of users, etc. 

QuickBooks Desktop is the perfect software program for a startup company to begin keeping track of its accounts, to work with banks, to present financials to its CPAs so that they can get their taxes done. I'm not a CPA. I don't do taxes. I prepare their financial statements so they can get their taxes done.

How are customer service and technical support?

I rate them 11 out of 10. One of the reasons I stay involved in this product as a ProAdvisor is because I can rely on the customer service. You will always need to phone customer service about some issue. It's like knowing everything about Excel. Nobody, nowadays, knows everything about Excel because it has too many features. Well, there's always going to be something in accounting. I deal with service industries. You have a company that sells clothes: "Oh, that's retail." I might need help in figuring out this or that; or "How do you do this?" and, because I'm a ProAdvisor, I get a special number to call. But people can purchase QuickBooks Desktop, it's called Plus, and they get customer service with that, too.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I used Excel. Excel says it's a spreadsheet program but you can use it as a database program, too (which is what QuickBooks is, it's just a bunch of databases that are tied together). One time I was doing something, and I didn't check all of my formulas correctly, and I miscalculated, and I gave a wrong number to a client, and it was embarrassing. Thank God it wasn't costly, and that was when it said to me I need something better. Then I founded a not-for-profit company, and because I was getting grants I needed to keep track of them so I could report to the people giving me grants. Excel was not acceptable for that, so I got QuickBooks.

How was the initial setup?

I set it up myself. I'm trained as an accountant, my education is in accounting. The umbrella company to QuickBooks is called Intuit, and it's a very apt name because QuickBooks, especially if you have an accounting background, is very intuitive. And even if you don't have an accounting background, it makes it easy for non-accountants to put in their data.

Case in point: When you're working with customers who owe you money and vendors to whom you owe money, the screens are similar, it's just they do the "dark and mysterious" double entries behind the screen. So all you're seeing is "I'm entering a bill to pay," or "I'm entering an invoice to send to somebody," and then when you start exploring the company, and the more you know about accounting, you see the genius of how it's set up.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

When I first started, the only other options were the very expensive programs. QuickBooks Desktop you can find anywhere between $200 and $300 on Amazon or Costco. 

As a ProAdvisor I can offer discounts, but Amazon always sells it cheaper than I can, which is a good thing because I get no kickback from you buying the product. Therefore our relationship has more integrity because I'm not trying to sway you to buy my product because I will get $23, or something like that.

What other advice do I have?

Intuit really wants its customer to be happy with the product and to be able to use it. And, as an extension, when I teach people to use Desktop, I'm a reference too that they can call, and I use telephone conferencing so that I can look at their screen, and see what's going on and say, "Oh, you've got to move this from there to there, and it just doesn't make sense, so let's figure out a way to move this up."

QuickBooks, you can get it either on disk, or you can get it to download over the Web. They have a whole lot of security passwords, licensing agreements, so that your data and your program is safe. 

And then they have, "Let's walk you through it," introductions, to show you how to use it. And they even thought about different industries, so that if you're in a service industry, if you're in a retail industry, or you're in construction, they have set up some of the initial out-of-the-box setups, so that you have something that looks kind of like your industry. So for me, I'm an accountant consulting. I do not need an Account called "Dental Equipment." It's flexible to fit your industry.

QuickBooks Online is a second product that they offer. It is cloud-based, and if you are going to equate softwares to cars, Desktop is the Lexis, Online is the Volkswagen.

Initially, with Online, you might think, "Oh, this is so much easier to use, and I can use it on my phone." But unless you are dealing with customers, and having to create an invoice when you're over at your customer, there's no need to get the Online service. Most people think, "Oh, well, I want to be able to check my books all the time," and you get QuickBooks Online, and how many times do you check your books? You don't.

QuickBooks is intuitive and easy with the more background in accounting that you have. 

If you're new to the business, if you're new to forming your company, consult a bookkeeper or a CPA for advice on your initial setup. Yes, there is a lot that you can do on your own, but accounting can be confusing, and if you set it up wrong, you run the risk of creating a very profitable situation for me to come in and clean it up. One of my specialties is called "disaster accounting." I have a client who got embezzled. I have a client who had somebody put the information in completely wrong - and this was a former CFO and CPA - and I had to totally rebuild the books from two and a half years back. So when you first start, consult with a bookkeeper - a bookkeeper is cheaper than a CPA - and get some beginning guidance in how to set it up.

I rate it a nine out of 10, because there are always things in this program that you can improve. The problem with listing Accounts Payable twice in a journal entry, that's one of them. But these issues are not enough to make me not like the product. QuickBooks also has a tab that you can click on and make suggestions to improve it. I give it a nine because it's the best program I know that's out there, but it's not perfect - and I adore it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user786780
Purchasing Analyst
Vendor
Initial setup is very straightforward, however it crashes from time to time

What is our primary use case?

It keep the books. Maybe the most valuable software that we have. 

How has it helped my organization?

It keeps bills paid and invoices made. Without QB, we would be a much smaller business. Our ability would be limited to time and resources used in accounting. 

What is most valuable?

It does everything your business needs it to do.

The online version is convenient. You can work with it anywhere, even on your phone.

What needs improvement?

Ease of usage, more options, and customizable areas, especially for Online QB, which needs more. Eventually, I see everything online, but it is almost as if they are only allowing us to use a limited version to keep the demand for the desktop versions.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes, it crashes from time to time. 

The online version has a lot of bugs, but it is never bad enough to hamper production.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Not sure about this one.

How are customer service and technical support?

Very good support, though they are hard to understand sometimes. They all work in India/Pakistan and it is in the middle of the night over there. That being said, they are excellent well-informed employees, but sometimes their thick accents slow things down. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used another software, an industry specific accounting software. It was very good at what it was for, but most people did not understand how to use it. Therefore, we moved to a quicker, more popular and usable solution, which ended up being QuickBooks.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is very straightforward. If you do not know anything about computers, you may need help. They can always help you if you call them and ask.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Just buy it online and download it there. If you are a smaller business and one person does everything, maybe try the subscription-based online version.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I asked around, but did not try any others, except TeamDesign, the industry specific accounting software that we were using previously.

What other advice do I have?

Call them and ask for suggestions. They can make sure you get the right version for your business. It will save you time and potentially money.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.