Understanding QuickBooks Accounting and the Cloud

Curious about what cloud computing brings to the world of accounting and financial management?

Stacy Kildal, owner of Kildal Services and an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, recently sat down with the Intuit Small Business Blog to answer a few questions about why moving accounting to the cloud is a good thing.

ISBB: What are the benefits of using cloud technology in financial management?

Kildal: Cloud technology helps small businesses work more efficiently. It gives them access to their data whenever they need it, [which is] specifically important for managing finances, as this allows them to access their latest accounting information in real time — a very valuable tool for those who need updated reports, latest invoices, and payroll data at the drop of a hat. With this information at their fingertips, small businesses can complete tasks more quickly and save time.

How will running accounting software in the cloud save money, increase productivity, and grow businesses?

Small businesses have a great opportunity to jump-start their [operations] by leveraging cloud technology for their accounting needs. These businesses can access their data from anywhere, which means they now have the ability to handle their finances outside of their bricks-and-mortar office. It allows them to complete financial tasks such as invoicing, payroll, and billing more quickly, so they can meet the needs of their customers from wherever they are — an office, a job site, on the road, or at home.

Finally, using cloud accounting tools like QuickBooks Online can even out the competitive playing field. For example, big-wig companies have the money to invest in sophisticated financial management software, but most SMBs don’t have this luxury. The low price tag [on] cloud tools is very appealing for entrepreneurs who are looking for a reliable accounting tool that doesn’t come with the costs associated with implementing and maintaining software.

How do tools featured in the latest version of QuickBooks Online, such as Downloaded Transactions and Money Bar, help you work smarter?

The latest updates to QuickBooks Online enable small businesses and accountants to work more quickly and make smarter decisions. Downloaded Transactions is a great example of this: This tool allows users to automatically import and smartly categorize new transactions from their bank or credit card accounts. It addresses a major pain point for users who used to have to tediously reconcile transactions in very small batches and continually log into their various bank accounts to match up the information. Now, users can categorize transactions and QBO will learn and apply the rule moving forward. It’s an amazing time-saver!

Another new tool is Money Bar, which helps businesses get paid faster, and who wouldn’t love that? It centralizes income forms, estimates, invoices, and sales receipts; summarizes totals for due or past-due transaction items; and allows the user to take immediate action and get paid!

How have you used third-party applications to customize your QuickBooks Online experience?

Every business has unique needs, and very rarely does a one-size-fits-all solution really do the trick. I’m excited about the new third-party applications that can be added onto QBO now, because it will really let users take the program and make it into a tailor-made solution that works for them. With all the apps right in the Intuit App Center, it’s really very easy for users to browse, try, and buy based on their specific needs.

How do you think the ability to record payments, access invoices, and pull customer balances with QuickBooks Mobile will help small businesses?

“On-the-go” is a way of life for me and so many others. We need constant access to our data from wherever we are, which is why QBO has such great appeal. But most people aren’t running around with their laptops all day, and the latest additions to QuickBooks Mobile really eliminate the need to. Now that users can complete vital accounting tasks from their mobile devices, laptops and computers can be removed from the accounting equation. Users can get to their data on their smartphones, something most people carry with them anyway.

QuickBooks Online is now available globally. How do you feel this will change the way small businesses overseas manage their accounting?

The new global platform for QBO is great. It actually allows businesses to run QuickBooks Online in their native language. They’re able to see taxes that reflect their home country, and they get all the tools that QBO already comes with such as inventory and sales management. It’s not just a product made by and for Americans and used overseas, but actually software that is customizable based on where the user is. This will be immensely helpful for those 500 million or more SMBs around the world, which will now be able to take advantage of a more personalized QuickBooks Online to achieve financial success.

About Monica Appelbe

Monica Appelbe is a member of Intuit’s Small Business communications team. A Pittsburgh native, her favorite hometown restaurants are family-owned small businesses.
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