QuickBooks Online and the Cloud - dummies

By Elaine Marmel

Regardless of whether you use QBO or QBOA in a browser or in an app, both the software and the data are housed on servers controlled by Intuit and accessible via the Internet. The cloud refers to software and data housed securely in data centers and accessed securely using the Internet.

Working in the cloud can increase your efficiency by offering you the opportunity to work anywhere, communicate easily with others, and collaborate in real time.

Before you make the move to the cloud, you should consider the needs of your business in the following areas:

  • Invoicing, point of sale, electronic payment, and customer relationship management

  • Financial and tax reporting

  • Budgeting

  • Time-tracking and payroll

  • Inventory, job costing, and job scheduling

  • Managing company expenses and vendor bills

Beyond the advantages described in the preceding section, the particular needs of a business might dictate whether you can use QBO. For example, QBO wont work for you if your business has industry-specific needs or is mid-sized and needs to use ODBC-compliant applications. In addition, QBO won’t work for you if you need to

  • Track your balance sheet by class

  • Process more than 350,000 transactions annually

  • Prepare international transactions

  • Track labor costs

  • Manage a robust inventory

  • Prepare and track progress invoices

Robust inventory needs means that you make and sell goods instead of selling finished goods. If you sell finished goods, QBO will work for you.

In any of these cases, you would probably be better off with one of Intuit’s desktop products.

When QBO and QBOA were first released, the U.S. version didn’t support multiple currencies. That feature has been added to both products.