Which QuickBooks Is Right For Me?
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 $1.0 million, I recommend QB Enterprise.)
I prefer QB Premier because . . .
1. 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.
2. Further, you own the software, and it is housed on your computer without any additional cost.
3. 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.)
4. 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 is 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 accounting questions you would like considered for the column to HGatter@AccountingSupportLLC.com with the subject line of "Ask the Accountant".
Harriet Gatter, owner of Accounting Support LLC, was an ad specialty distributor for 23 years and an adjunct professor of accounting at Neumann University. She sold her ad specialty business in 2012, became certified as a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and now works exclusively with ad specialty distributors nationwide on their QuickBooks, order management and accounting needs.