Don't Know Which QuickBooks To Pick?
Question: I want to switch to QuickBooks, but I don’t know which one to pick. I spoke to Intuit, and they say I should purchase QuickBooks Online, and it will do everything I need. Is that true?
Answer: Our business is complex and unique and requires a software that can handle our complicated orders. While there is not a perfect system for our industry, QB Premier works best for the majority of ad specialty distributors. (For very large distributors, those with gross revenue well over $1 million, I recommend QB Enterprise.)
I prefer QB Premier because:
- It is cost effective. Once purchased, it is updated and supported by Intuit for three years. For instance, QB Premier 2019 is updated by Intuit through May 2022. For one small investment, you get an order management and accounting system good for three years.
- Further, you own the software, and it is housed on your computer without any additional cost.
- Ad specialty orders are best managed using sales orders, purchase orders and invoicing. Premier has these features, which is not so for all QB products. The sales order is the pivotal function. From the sales order, you can create the supplier purchase order and invoice without reentering any data, which saves time, effort and reduces the chance of error. QuickBooks Online is being pushed heavily by Intuit. It is a monthly subscription service that quickly becomes more expensive than purchasing QB Premier, owning it and housing it on your computer. Also, QuickBooks Online (QBO) is not robust enough for our industry. It is primarily intended for service industries. (It is being improved all the time and someday will be a viable solution. But, for now, it lacks too much of what we need.)
- Lastly, know that QB makes it easy to switch from Premier to QBO, but not so to switch from QBO to Premier.
I think it wise to begin with Premier which is better suited for our business, and less expensive, too. And should you buy Premier, know that it comes with a menu of different editions, and the one best suited for us is the Manufacturing and Wholesale edition. Choose this edition at time of download.
Please email your questions to Harriet at Ask The Accountant.
QuickBooks Premier and Enterprise can be modified to better serve ad specialty distributors. Harriet Gatter is a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, a former accounting professor and a former ad specialty distributor. She advises ad specialty distributors to use QuickBooks Premier and Enterprise, often in conjunction with other industry-specific software, to manage the complexities of the ad specialty business, with the results being time saved, errors eliminated and an overall accurate accounting of your business. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.