Which Version of QuickBooks Should Your Clients Use?

As a bookkeeper or an accountant, every client you take on is unique. To appropriately serve their needs, sometimes it’s a matter of matching them with the right QuickBooks® platform.

We reached out to valued Intuit® partner and president of CompuBooks Business Services, Esther Friedberg Karp, to fill us in on how she matches her clients to our three main QuickBooks products: QuickBooks Online (QBO), QuickBooks Desktop Premier and QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise. (If you’d like to know more about QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise, register now for our upcoming webinar on Feb. 7, 2017, at 1 p.m. EST.)

“Every single product has its own sweet spot,” says Friedberg Karp. “QuickBooks Online is generally the best choice for clients. It is useful and fast on its feet; however, there are times when you need one of the desktop products, whether it’s QuickBooks Premier or QuickBooks Enterprise.”

When Should You Recommend QBO?

If your client is a service-based company or sells limited products with a simple inventory, such as a wholesaler, then QBO is the perfect fit. Even if their inventory needs are more complex, QBO may be the best choice for the client, if an app such as Dear or SOS Inventory is integrated into the solution.

“The poster child QBO user is a fast-moving mobile type of user that doesn’t have a lot of overhead needs,” says Friedberg Karp.

QBO is also great for anyone who wants to input their time and services into their books right away, which is easily done using a mobile device. QBO allows users to issue invoices and accept payments on the spot.

Keep in mind that QBO allows an unlimited number of users, if paid for through Wholesale Billing. If the Small Business keeps its own QBO subscription, they are limited to five users and two accountant users.

When Should You Recommend QuickBooks Desktop Premier?

If your client is in need of a feature, such as job costing, which currently is not offered in QBO, then QuickBooks Desktop Premier may be the way to go.

QuickBooks Premier offers a little “oomph” in certain areas, such as handling incoming sale orders, back orders and a bill of materials. If your client has foreign customers, this version offers per unit price levels that allow them to build foreign price lists that don’t fluctuate with the exchange rate of the Canadian dollar.

“Premier also has different industry editions or flavours aimed at helping your clients use QuickBooks easily,” she says. “They all have pretty similar features under the hood, but certain reports or functionalities are highlighted for the non-accountant end user.”

Some of the industry editions offered include contractor, professional services, retail, and manufacturing and wholesale.

When Should You Recommend QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise?

QuickBooks Enterprise is typically for clients who have outgrown the Premier version. Additionally, it’s the only QuickBooks desktop product that allows for five to 30 concurrent users. They are also the ones who aren’t usually a good fit for QBO, since they require features that accommodate a bill of materials, multiple units of measure, advanced inventory needs, various price levels or combined reporting between multiple companies, says Friedberg Karp.

This version is the only desktop product with the advanced inventory add-on that allows accountants and bookkeepers to accommodate the first in, first out (FIFO) inventory valuation method, rather than the weighted average cost used in other QuickBooks products. This method is helpful when working with multiple locations of warehousing, various serial or lot numbers for inventory items, lot numbers, and barcode scanning, she adds.

She has a wholesaler who uses the Enterprise version because they sell different goods to retailers at varying prices. With Enterprise, Friedberg Karp was also able to create detailed price rules to help her client determine the price at which they would sell each item to a customer based on the item and its preferred vendor.

One additional perk is that it offers very detailed security and permission options for each user, an amenity that isn’t available on the other QuickBooks products.

Flexibility Enables Growing Businesses

No matter which version of QuickBooks you choose for your clients, they aren’t locked in forever. A number of Friedberg Karp’s clients started on QuickBooks Desktop Pro or the Premier edition, but their business needs became more elaborate as they grew. At that point, they switched over to the Enterprise edition.

If you’re new to QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise, tune in to our upcoming webinar on Feb.7, 2017, at 1 p.m. EST, where Friedberg Karp will share more about the program’s unique features.

How do you help your clients know which version of QuickBooks to use?