QuickBooks Online - worth the price? Need accounting advice!

6 Replies

I need accounting advice. I apologize in advance for the wordy post, but would appreciate if anyone has good ideas.

I recently started using Rentec Direct (property management software). It tracks income and expenses, but not assets, so it wouldn't completely eliminate my use of QuickBooks. To populate Rentec I was looking to add a remote user (a VA) to my QuickBooks. With the desktop version not supporting remote users, I looked into QuickBooks Online (QBO). I discovered that QBO has to be the full (Plus) version to support classes. Not only that, since I run multiple property owners, I would need multiple licenses. It works out to $120/mo or $240/mo after the discounts run out. That price sort of struck me as madness. Does anyone know of any better options - any better way of doing this? Alternately, how ugly would things become if I only tracked income and expenses (Rentec), and stopped tracking assets. I know that has implications - e.g. not knowing mortgage balances, not tracking depreciation, etc. Just looking for ideas. P.S. I could give the VA remote access to my machine, but that sort of scares me.

I'm frustrated too, and I don't even track assets in it as I only have 3 properties. All I want is something to effectively replace Quicken, which is on it's deathbed. Even the $240/yr basic seems absurd.

Honestly xcel has everything you need if you use it properly.

The hardest part will be setting up all the references and equations for your specifications.

If that might seem a little too much of a challenge for you I would put an ad into your local college newspaper offering $1000 for an xcel spreadsheet that you can build upon and let a college intern/professor/student build you one for weekend beer money.

@Michael Randle that is an interesting thought. Excel does amazing things. The only problem is when you want something different you need to be close with whoever set it up. Accounting software is built around organizing the data in different ways when you call upon it.

@Johann Jells if your stuff isn't too complicated you might even try Mint.com. Soooo much better than Quicken. As my accountant said, if it were only a few properties, not tracking assets wouldn't be a big deal.

@Michael Randle it would take a ridiculous amount of programming excel to replace the workflow of Quicken, and then I'd still be downloading transactions from the banks manually.

@Jay Belcher   I do not believe Mint allows me to import older transactions. I cannot give up all that info, since it's where I go to remember who I paid what when and why. Things like "when did I last replace the fridge in 4B?"

It is recommended to have separate QBO subscription by entity since you are only allowed to enter one company name. However, if you like QBO but really wanted to save money, there is a workaround, that is Location. Location is a feature in QBO similar to class, with one limitation, it is available at header level only, which means you are allowed to assign one location only in each transaction. You can set up each entity as a location and each property as classes, the downside will be more work (since you will need to fill out additional field for every transaction) and if you don't have a good system in place, it could end up in a mess. You can run a report by Location, or use it as report filter. 

Another alternative, if you want to keep QB desktop but do not want to provide remote access is to use a file sharing/hosting service like Qbox which is QB file compatible.