QuickBooks Online Has New Features for Accountants
Even if you're aware of some of the newest features QuickBooks Online has to offer, it can be tough to keep track of everything during the busy season. But, Intuit has heard accounting professionals' feedback and is working to make QBO more user friendly. Laine Proctor, the QuickBooks Doctor, compiles all the information you need to know about the latest and upcoming changes to QuickBooks online to make accountants' lives and their clients' work easier.
Here is a quick and hopefully super helpful guide on what is new in QuickBooks Online.
The world of QuickBooks Online can be an ever-evolving, sometimes exciting, sometimes frustrating environment for accountants, depending on your specific needs. One moment, it seems that everything you have just come to master keeps changing, while the next, you are asking yourself, “How can they not have fixed this yet?!” Wherever you happen to be at the moment, one great thing about QuickBooks is that they are open and responsive to feedback and proactive in trying to get the word out about changes and upgrades. Pro Advisors can sign up for QuickBooks quarterly “In the Know webinars” via the benefits tab:
For now, read on for some of the exciting things on the horizon at the moment.
Here are some changes to look for that are already happening or are just around the corner; these are specifically for users of QuickBooks Online Accountant. Many firms use this version of the software, which allows you to access many client files via a single login.
Change to Wholesale Billing Invoicing: QuickBooks Online Accountant offers the option of Wholesale Billing to its users. This extends a discount of up to 50 percent off the current rate to the accountant user for the life of the subscription. You can then pass that discount on to your client, bill them for the difference, and add an income source to your revenue, or somewhere in between. It can also be a great additional buyers’ incentive for Advisory Service firms that bundle services in package deals to provide the software as part of their service.
All that being said, those who have taken advantage of Wholesale Billing in the past know the invoices were difficult to read and not as transparent as one might like with regard to per-client charges. This made it somewhat difficult to track whether you were billing appropriately for each client. This lack of clarity also discouraged many would-be users.
Fortunately, QuickBooks has heard the complaints and revamped their Wholesale Billing Invoice to be much more transparent and easier to read. So for those of you who may have been hesitant to try Wholesale Billing in the past, this is a great time to reconsider. When you are adding a new client in, select “Subscription” and then “Wholesale discount (we bill your firm).”
New QuickBooks Advanced Training
QuickBooks rolled out QuickBooks Online Advanced last year as a new product line aimed at growing businesses and larger enterprises. QBO Advanced offers many unique features, such as:
- Up to 25 users with customized access by role
- Batch invoices, expenses, checks and bills
- Automated workflows
- Google Sheets integration
- Smart reporting powered by Fathom
They now have a host of new and advanced training available on the accountant training module to encourage us to get up to speed on this product and start introducing it to potential clients. These training sessions also offer CPE credits.
New “Your Books” Setup
QuickBooks Online Accountant Users have also had the ability to use QuickBooks for their own firm in “Your Books” free of charge. The version of QuickBooks available to accountant users was QuickBooks Online Plus, but they recently announced that starting in early March 2021, existing users will start being upgraded to QuickBooks Online Advanced. This is huge news for accountant users, as it will give us access to the most feature-rich version of QuickBooks. There is nothing required of users, and the features will be rolled out in a phased manner. First-round features will be Custom Fields, Custom Chart Builder and Custom Roles Expansion (yay!), so keep an eye out for those changes. If you have questions, you can read QuickBooks FAQs here.
New Search Function
Some accountant users may have already noticed the new search function in the search bar. The previous search function was quite limited, and it was necessary to go to advanced search to search multiple criteria. The new search bar uses advanced technology to allow you to type in multiple criteria, and a list will automatically drop down with any matches found in the system. This is pretty helpful and pretty darn cool.
For those of you using QBO to run payroll for clients, there have been some stellar changes lately:
- Employee Self-Setup (finally!). Following in the brilliant steps of some other competitors, including the supremely user-friendly Gusto, QuickBooks Payroll has introduced Employee Self-Setup. This eliminates the need for your firm to gather and enter all the personal and tax information of each employee. Game changer.
- Automated OT Recommendations. QuickBooks will now warn you that you should be paying an overtime rate if you enter hours in a way that warrants OT in your state.
- Multiple Work Locations. It used to be that to add or change an employee work location, you had to call Customer Support and have them complete the change for you. They have now enabled users to change locations themselves.
- 1099 E-Filing: This will be free for payroll Core, Premium and Elite subscribers going forward.
General QBO Changes
Tags is a very new feature some of you may have noticed when you accidentally typed in the tag field rather than the memo field while coding. Now there’s another way to track expenses aside from locations or classes. You can create up to 300 tags and create tag groups. A great example of an application would be a business that uses locations for various warehouses and classes for types of product lines but also wants to track sales made and expenses incurred by various sales managers. You can run a Profit and Loss by tags. For instance, I have a client who uses them to track development costs on different projects before they go into production. It is a great feature available in all versions of QBO, so keep it in mind for clients with advanced tracking needs.
Only clients can see this tool. Cash flow projects weekly sales and expenses to predict cash flow for QuickBooks Cash users. If you are an accountant who wants to see this, tell QuickBooks via the blue “Feedback?” link below the gear icon on your client dashboard. (I just did!)
QuickBooks had introduced a two-tab format to the dashboards. The Business Overview tab contains various graphs and charts showing various views and cross sections of recent activity that the client can customize according to what periods and items they wish to see. The Get Things Done tab contains various links directly to useful and repetitive tasks, such as writing checks, paying bills, etc. It is a cleaner and more user-friendly dashboard.
Google Sheets Compatibility
As we have all probably experienced, QuickBooks found that many businesses are now using Google Sheets as their spreadsheet program of choice. QuickBooks was formerly only compatible with Excel. You can now import all list data – Customers, Vendors, Chart of Accounts, Products and Services – from Google Sheets. This is good news for many users. This is a partnership that QuickBooks plans to build out more and more, so it’s great news for the Google-using masses.
ShopKeep Point of Sale Integration
This utilizes QuickBooks merchant services and ShopKeep point of sale integrated with QuickBooks Online to create a seamless system for managing contactless payment, employees and inventory, all with 24/7 ShopKeep support via text phone or chat.
QuickBooks Online Advanced Changes
Enhanced Hubspot Integration
Hubspot is a CRM. This integration will eliminate the need to manually transfer data from sales to accounting. This has been available since November.
This uses artificial intelligence (AI) to spot and identify invoice irregularities for customers. So, for example, if you accidentally add a 0 to make their order for 150 items rather than 15, QuickBooks Advanced will warn you that this is atypical for the customer and prompt you to double check your sales form.
Custom Sales Role by Location
This feature delegates sales form duties to sales reps by location to help eliminate errors.
You can now add custom fields to the batch invoicing field, saving time on data entry and adding versatility to the invoicing function.
Last year, QuickBooks announced that it had purchased Trade Gecko. QuickBooks Commerce is the result of the union. It is an omni channel management tool that allows sellers on multiple sites to manage inventory in one spot. QuickBooks is currently working through opening this service up to more clients. To date, it has been targeted to very specific users and does require an intake interview and specialist consultation to determine eligibility. If you have e-commerce clients, keep your eyes peeled for further expansions on this tool.
And that, comrades, concludes our coverage of latest and greatest enhancements in QuickBooks Online!
Laine Proctor lives and works in sunny Los Angeles, California. Her firm The QuickBooks Doctor provides businesses with virtual CFO services, full service bookkeeping, software troubleshooting and training. She is also a certified trainer of Neuro Linguistics programming and Timeline Therapy. She is a published author and success trainer and,...