QuickBooks pricing plans begin from just $15 per month for the Self Employed tier with a deal and run all the way to $200 per month for 25 users on the QuickBooks Advanced plan.
However, QuickBooks isn't the only option on the market; for example, Zoho Books offers a 14-day free trial for its accounting software, and is great for scaling businesses. It's important to weigh up your options and choose what's right for your business.
Read on for a breakdown of all of QuickBooks Online's offerings and costs, and info on which package might be best for your business. From pros and cons to hidden fees and add-on functions, we'll touch on everything you'll find in this top-rated accounting software.
QuickBooks Pricing vs. Competitors
QuickBooks isn't perfect for every business. FreshBooks is another great value alternative, and Zoho Books is a top choice for small and growing businesses. If you're trying to decide between two of these specifically, check out our direction comparison guides, like Zoho Books vs. QuickBooks.
Before we dive into the details of each Quickbooks plan and its value, here's a look at the latest accounting software deals and discounts from the biggest and best alternative providers on the market.
GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping
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It's free, no trial needed
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Great features; a simple, slick interface; and a competitively low price
Strong automation features
A broad range of accounting features, professional look and feel, helpful and free trial period
Tracks money owed at a low cost
Strong CRM features
60% off for six months on all plans
No active deals
Save 50% for three months
No active deals
Save 70% for six months
No active deals
No active deals
No active deals
No active deals
Who Is QuickBooks Best For?
QuickBooks Online has a large potential customer base. Our researchers ranked it the highest overall with a research score of 4.7 points out of 5, meaning that it's the top pick for the average business, small or large.
If you need a rock-solid, feature-packed accounting solution at a fair price, QuickBooks is the best. But other accounting tools come with slightly different strengths, so read our list of the best small business accounting software to see if another option is best for your unique needs.
QuickBooks Online has five main plans, plus a host of add-ons for an extra monthly charge.
There are no contracts, and all plans are available through a 30-day free trial, which is useful for letting potential customers try it out first. QuickBooks is also currently running a special deal: opt out of starting with the free trial, and you can get your first three months half price.
Here are the prices and features for each plan.
Does it include bookkeeping functions?
Does it include a range of accounts payable functions?
Does it include a range of accounts receivable functions?
Does it offers tools to track different projects?
Does it offer financial reporting tools?
Budget & forecasting
Does it offer budgeting and forecasting tools?
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First, there's the Self-Employed plan. This is available for just $15 per month and supports a single user.
This plan is designed for freelancers who file a Schedule C IRS form to report their income as sole proprietor.
Features include the ability to track income and expenses, photograph and organize receipts, estimate quarterly taxes, send invoices, accept payments, create basic reports, and track miles on the mobile app.
Features that are not included in the self-employed plan, but are available with the Simple Start plan, include sales and sales tax tracking, 1099 contractor management, and the ability to create and send estimates.
See how QuickBooks compares to a key rival in our QuickBooks vs FreshBooks head to head guide
Simple Start plan
The QuickBooks Simple Start plan costs $30 per month and supports one user. As part of a special deal, the first three months will only cost you $15 per month, provided you skip the free trial.
This plan is best for small businesses, whether an LLC run by just one individual or a simple partnership. It'll help someone keep their accounting data in one place, although it doesn't offer many bells and whistles that could be useful for a larger operation.
It includes all the features from the Self-employed Plan but adds a range of helpful features from basic bookkeeping to budgeting.
For example, you can start recording fixed assets. You can also create a supplier database and generate purchase orders to help manage your accounts payable.
Similarly, you can create a client database and track overdue client payments to keep on top of who owes you what.
Finally, you can start creating budgets and cash flow projections based on your client and supplier information.
You can create an unlimited number of invoices and estimates, as well as tracking your expenses, managing business contacts — you can also manage up to 1,099 contractors. You can bring live bank feeds into your account and access a range of third-party integrations.
Reporting tools are available on the Simple Start plan but they are a bit limited. Vehicle tracking is included, too, should you need to invoice for fuel and driving time for any job.
The Essentials plan costs $55 per month, supports three users, and brings a range of accounts payable functions to small businesses compared to the Simple Start plan. If you take part in the deal and skip the free plan, the first three months will only cost you $27.50 per month.
The Essentials plan is a great fit for growing small businesses that have an increased number of suppliers, employees, and clients.
You'll be able to track bills, set up recurring billing, track expenses, record payments in multiple currencies, and scan bills to keep abreast of all the money your company is owed.
Time tracking is another new feature this plan offers. With it, users can track their billable hours, categorizing them under the correct client and employee, while automatically adding them to invoices. These hours can be added by the manager manually, though the employee in question can also be given permission to add their hours themselves.
The QuickBooks Plus plan costs $85 per month, supports five users, and includes several advanced features compared to the Essentials plan. If the three-month deal is applied, this price is dropped to $42.50 per month.
The Plus plan is best for mid-sized businesses that need to manage the complexities of billable hours across a raft of clients, as well as any businesses with an inventory of products or a growing number of ongoing projects that would be tough to manage otherwise.
The ability to track project profitability is another big benefit to this plan: A project management feature gives users a single location to view all projects, letting them see any given project's labor costs, payroll, and expenses, in order to efficiently track project profitability and generate reports.
Under the Plus plan, products and the cost of goods can also be managed, with automatic notifications signaling when certain inventory is low and needs to be reordered. Product data can be imported from Excel or synced with Amazon, Shopify, Etsy, and other platforms.
The QuickBooks Advanced plan offers the most features for the highest cost: It's $200 per month, supporting 25 users. The half-off deal drops this to $100 per month for the first three months.
QuickBooks Advanced is best for enterprise businesses with support for extra users and the new features which help businesses operate more efficiently at scale.
For example, it brings a dedicated account manager, priority customer support, customer user permissions, and online training courses.
It also supports batch importing, to help a single user create, edit, and send multiple invoices, checks, expenses, or bills. You can also automate key accounting tasks such as setting reminders for invoices, payments, or deposits. You can automatically notify customers when their payments have been received and you can route invoices through pre-set approval flows.
You can track KPIs with in-depth analysis tools, consolidate data from multiple companies into singular reports, and compare different companies, clients, or franchises. You also get access to exclusive premium apps such as LeanLaw, HubSpot, DocuSign, Bill.com, Salesforce, and more.
QuickBooks Additional Fees and Features
That's not all, folks: QuickBooks offers a host of useful add-ons for an extra monthly charge. First, there's payroll processing, a function that's hugely useful for a business with more than a few employees, but one that's rarely included in an accounting software service's main offering.
QuickBooks Payroll comes with three plans — Core, Premium, and Elite — with each offering more features than the previous one. Here are their features and standalone prices:
- Core – $45 per month, plus $5 per employee, per month. This plan does the basics: It automatically runs payroll, files payroll taxes, and offers employee services like health benefits and workers' comp.
- Premium – $75 per month, plus $5 per employee, per month. This plan adds role-based access, same-day direct deposit, and automatic time tracking for more granular, yet still automated control over paychecks.
- Elite – $125 per month, plus $10 per employee, per month. This plan includes tax penalty protection, and a professional to offer hands-on help with setting up and troubleshooting.
The plans can be upgraded at any time, so if you're in doubt, start with Core and see if it works for your payroll needs.
Core can also be packaged with either the Simple Start accounting plan for $75 plus $5 per employee, per month, or the Essentials plans for $100 plus $5 per employee, per month.
QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping
Paying for software doesn't fully keep your accounting on track: You'll still need to know how to use QuickBooks properly in order to get the most out of it. The QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping service solves this issue by connecting businesses with a live, certified expert to keep their books in order. The expert will categorize transactions, reconcile accounts, create reports including an income statement and balance sheet, and close the books every month.
The custom price varies depending on the size of your business but should be somewhere between $200 and $600 per month.
QuickBooks Setup Fee
Worried about setting up your QuickBooks account? For just $50, QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping will set you up with an expert for one session.
Setting up the software involves plenty of one-time tasks that you'll want to get right the first time, like connecting your bank account and setting up a series of automated processes and templates. Through Live Bookkeeping, you'll get a single one-on-one session that can clear up any questions and start your accounting software subscription off on the right foot.
Also available from the service is a lending program called QuickBooks Capital. Those with QuickBooks Online accounts are potentially eligible, though they'll still need to qualify on the strength of their accounting history.
Tax Forms & Support
QuickBooks sells tax forms directly to its users for an extra cost that will vary depending on which state your business is located within. They also sell some as kits, which come with the correct envelopes too. Here's which forms you'll likely need:
- W-2 kits
- 1099 kits
QuickBooks has also stopped allowing users to file their sales taxes online through the service. You'll now need to file these business taxes manually, and update your QuickBooks account with the information afterward.
Some Payroll plans include printed forms at no additional cost. The Premium and Elite plans also support automatic filings for state new hire paperwork.
QuickBooks also sells physical checks. You can buy:
- Standard checks – Starting at $60.98 for 50
- Wallet Checks – Starting at $47.07 for 50
- Manual Checks – Starting at $70.79 for 300
- Secure Plus Personal Checks – Starting at $42.79 for 120
- Voucher Checks – Starting at $71.68 for 50
- Office and Away Checks – Starting at $113.74 for 250
Are they worth getting? Well, they're far pricier than many other vendors selling similar checks, so likely not.
However, the “Secure” brand of checks offer in-depth fraud protection measures that may justify the price, provided you anticipate security risks at your business.
QuickBooks Online vs QuickBooks Desktop
At the most basic level, QuickBooks Online is the cloud-based version of QuickBooks. All your data is stored in QuickBooks' cloud and you'll be able to access it anywhere on any device. QuickBooks Desktop, on the other hand, is locally installed with a license pricing model.
However, there are a serious of other changes which are worth considering. For instance, with QuickBooks Online, your security is handled by QuickBooks. However, as QuickBooks Desktop is locally installed, you'll be responsible for your own data security.
QuickBooks Online has a monthly pricing structure — you pick the right plan and then pay every month for the service. QuickBooks Desktop, however, has a three-year license, or you can pay for yearly updates.
QuickBooks Online allows up to 25 users on its most expensive plans. However, the QuickBooks Desktop Pro requires you to pay $299 for every additional user, up to a maximum of three. Desktop Premier and Enterprise, meanwhile, allow up to five and 30 users, respectively.
QuickBooks Online also offers more automation features, which might be a better fit for small businesses — the more tasks you can delegate to the software, the more efficient your business will be. QuickBooks Desktop also has a more dated and harder-to-navigate UI than QuickBooks Online.
Integrations & Payment Gateways
Any sized business has paperwork, even just a single freelancer. But with the right accounting software, sending out invoices and filing tax information can be a simple and streamlined process. QuickBooks makes this process even easier thanks to a huge range of integrations and plug-ins you can use, with familiar names such as PayPal, Shopify and MailChimp all present and accounted for.
QuickBooks Online Integrations
QuickBooks' range of over 650 integrations will help you connect your account to useful third-party apps and services. Perhaps you've already used some, like Google's G Suite or Microsoft's 365, or perhaps you just need to be able to accomplish something that QuickBooks doesn't support. Whatever the case, the right integration will make your business operations even more streamlined.
Here's a quick, non-exhaustive list of the most popular QuickBooks Online integrations, how they work, and how much they cost:
- PayPal — free — import PayPal sales, fees, taxes, tips, discounts into QuickBooks as well as generating sales receipts
- Square — free — import transactions into QuickBooks, review transactions, support multiple locations
- Shopify — from $0 — automatically bring your sales data into QuickBooks
- TSheets (now QuickBooks Time) — from $8 per user per month plus $20 per month base fee — access accurate employee time tracking for easy payroll
- Fathom — from $44 per month — adds extra analysis tools and metrics to see how your business is performing
- Gusto — from $40 per month plus $6 per month, per employee — payroll automation tool with automatic federal, state, and local tax filings
- MailChimp — $7.99 — automatically updates new and changed customer records from your QuickBooks records
- Housecall Pro — from $49 per month — allows you to easily keep track of jobs and customers with scheduling, dispatch, CRM, and automatic estimates and invoices.
QuickBooks Online Payment Gateways
QuickBooks also offers connections to a variety of online payment processing services. PayPal and Square are included, as our integrations section above touches on, while Stripe and Authorize.Net are two more potential payment services.
In total, QuickBooks Online support around 25 payment processors. If you'd prefer to keep it in-house, there's QuickBooks Payments, which supports a variety of payment mediums, each with a different transaction fee:
- 1% charge for ACH transfers, up to a maximum of $10
- 2.4% + $0.25 for swiped cards
- 2.9% + $0.25 for invoices
- 3.4% + $0.25 for keyed-in cards
Supported credit cards include Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, and Apple Pay.
Which QuickBooks Online Version Is Right For Me?
Your business size and structure will determine which QuickBooks Online plan is best. If you're a single freelancer, you won't need to manage any other employees, and you won't need to track many sales (if any) – so the Self-Employed Plan is best for you. We've ranked the best self-employed accounting solutions, and QuickBooks is at the top.
If you're a small business looking for accounting software, you might want the Simple Start Plan, which allows you to create and manage invoices, estimates, bills, and sales taxes.
Once your business is large enough to require more automation and more employees, the Plus Plan likely makes sense, as it allows for recurring payments in addition to time tracking. It also includes inventory tracking, making it a must for an operation that sells more than a few products. Due in part to these reasons, QuickBooks is our pick for the best hospitality accounting software.
Finally, there's the QuickBooks Advanced plan. This option is best for large businesses that could benefit from the extra support features, like a dedicated manager or virtual training classes.
Our team ranked all the best accounting solutions using a points-system for each category. Once they were done, they compiled all category scores for each brand into a single 5-point score. This allows us to rank each software in comparison to the rest while tracking each and every feature. Once the dust had cleared, the winner was QuickBooks with a top score of 4.7 points overall.
Verdict – Is QuickBooks Online good value?
Yes, QuickBooks offers good value for its price across all plans. Granted, the right plan for you will vary depending on your needs, and there are alternative accounting software options on the market that may also be a good fit. Still, QuickBooks offers an unbeatable range of features, packaged in a solid interface with good support.
If you're ready to try it out, all QuickBooks plans are available for a 30-day trial or 50% the first three months. If you want to check out the competition first, try our experts' online comparison page:
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