Best Accounting Software for Accountants
So often accounting software advertises itself as “jargon-free” or simplified for “non-accountants.” But what about those who like accounting and want a software that stays true to the traditional accounting methods they learned and love?
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QuickBooks Pro: the Best Accounting Software For Accountants
QuickBooks Pro (see our review) was the first QuickBooks product designed by Intuit in 1992. It is used by over 1.5 million users worldwide. Unlike the other category winners in this blog series, QuickBooks is locally installed, meaning that the program is confined to the computer you download it on. Be sure to check the hardware requirements before committing to the “one-time” cost of $299.95.
There are a few additional costs to be aware of.
- Payroll – $39/mo
- Phone Support – $89/three months: Or you can purchase a single call for $59.95.
- Additional Users – $250/each: There is a maximum of three users total.
- Upgrades – $299: Annual upgrades are optional, but each version of QuickBooks Pro is only supported for three years. Some users have complained about forced upgrades, saying that they go against the one-time purchase concept advertised by QuickBooks Pro.
- Automatic Data Encryption Back-Ups – $9.99/mo
QuickBooks Pro does everything. I mean it. With most software companies, there are certain features lacking. But QuickBooks Pro does everything you could ever wish an accounting software could do, though that functionality comes at the price of a steep learning curve.
Fortunately, for accountants, the infamous QuickBooks learning curve isn’t much of a problem. We chose QuickBooks Pro as the Best Accounting Software for Accountants not only for its traditional accounting setup, but also for the sheer number of features and hundreds of reports on offer. The whole program is set up with accounting terminology and needs in mind.
Here are some of the comprehensive features I am talking about.
- True accounting
- Comprehensive feature set
- 400+ integrations
- One-time payment (supposedly)
- Tax Support
- Print checks
- Project management
- Time tracking
- Payroll (additional cost)
- Track deductions
- To-do lists
- Customizable letter templates
- Expansive import/export options
Here are the drawbacks (which I am sure you were expecting by now).
- Steep learning curve
- Poor customer service (really not good when there is such a steep learning curve)
- Locally installed (for some this isn’t an issue at all as they like the security of a non-cloud based software and don’t need mobility)
- Only 3 users max
- Additional costs add up fast
- Minor glitches
- Software often runs slow
- Could be Streamlined
- Forced Upgrades
If I were to list every feature of QuickBooks Pro, I’d be writing for days and you’d be reading for hours. So for a full list of features, go here. Meanwhile, here are a few basic features and some highlights.
- Dashboard – QuickBooks Pro doesn’t really have a dashboard, per se, but below is a picture of how the software is organized. (Before you freak out, don’t worry. It’s not as complicated as it seems.) Read our full review of QuickBooks Pro for the full story, but right now I’ll walk you through the organization in more detail.
- Invoicing – There are nine invoice templates with a few customization options. I was fairly disappointed in the aesthetics of these templates (they’re nothing like Zoho Books or even QuickBooks Online), but the invoicing features are good. You can set recurring invoices and add discounts, notes, and attachments to invoices.
- Estimates – There are four estimate choices. You can add a rep’s name to estimates, which is a nice touch.
- Contact Management – QuickBooks Pro has a detailed contact management tool which allows you to save basic contact information as well as create contact specific to-do lists.
- Bank Reconciliation – You can use live bank feeds or manually import transactions (some banks charge a live feeds fee with QuickBooks). There are automated bank rules for categorizing transactions, but no batch categorization.
- Reports – QuickBooks has over 200 reports, and unlike most accounting software companies, each one actually matters. You will not be left high and dry here.
- Projects – You can associate jobs with specific customers. The feature is fairly basic but gets the job done.
- Inventory – You can track inventory, set low stock warnings, and run a number of inventory reports.
If you don’t believe me that QuickBooks Pro has thought of everything, check out this list of even more features: time tracking, billing, budgeting, a to-do list, a calendar, letter templates, mileage deductions, and even a spell check tool (to name a few).
Is QuickBooks Pro Right for Me?
As suggested by the title of this article, QuickBooks Pro is an excellent choice if you are an accountant or have extensive knowledge of accounting. And even if you’re not a CPA, if you are seeking the best, most in-depth accounting software features around, QuickBooks Pro may still be the way to go (so long as you are also a person with extreme patience and research initiative; learning the software is quite a feat.) The work required to truly master QuickBooks Pro is more than worthwhile, as the number and quality of features available are absolutely impossible to top.
That said, QuickBooks Pro is probably not for you if you are not willing to take on a challenge. If ease of use and mobility are important to you, I’d refer you to any of the other articles in this blog series. Additionally, if you need more than three users or want good customer support, QuickBooks Pro is not the way to go. Those of you who value good invoicing and project management over the other features listed may want to look at Zoho Books instead.
Before Choosing Accounting Software:
Before deciding whether an accounting software is right for you, make sure you know what you need. Decide which features are integral to your business. Analyze where you are spending the most time and see if there are any automations or tools you could use to simplify your processes. Then think about whether there are any features it would just be nice to have. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to search for software that addresses both your needs and wants.
Treat shopping for accounting software like a college student treats a Christmas wishlist. First, ask for the practical things you need but don’t have the money to buy yourself. Then throw in an extra thing or two just for fun.
Before buying anything, it is also incredibly important to do your research. Research may sound boring or like a waste of time, but it will save you much time and heartache in the long run. Quickbooks Pro and other similar solutions offer free trials—use them. Check out what other customers are saying on sites like complaints.com, trustpilot.com, or getapp.com.
One last thing to keep in mind: many software choices have regular discounts or referral programs, which you should take advantage of before buying.
Need More Help Deciding?
If you aren’t sold on QuickBooks Pro, check out our other top accounting software choices in the comparison chart below. If you don’t know what to look for or how to pick a favorite, head on over to our How to Choose Accounting Software guide for a few tips and tricks or see additional posts in this blog series:
- Best Accounting Software for Small Businesses
- Best Accounting Software for Larger Businesses
- Best Accounting Software for Accountants
- Best Accounting Software for Invoicing.
Here Merchant Maverick, we wish you the best of luck in finding the best software for you, and we hope to help you on that journey in any and every way that we can. Click here for our extensive library of online accounting software reviews.
|Best SMB Accounting Software||Best Accounting Software for Larger Businesses||Best Free Accounting Software||Best Accounting Software for Invoicing||Best Accounting Software for Accountants|
|QuickBooks Online||Xero||Wave||Zoho Books||QuickBooks Pro|
|Read Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review|
|Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site|
|Price||$15 – $40/mo||$9 – $180/mo||$0||$2 – $29/mo||$299.95|
|Accounting Method||Both accrual and cash-basis||Both accrual and cash-basis||Accrual||Both accrual and cash-basis||Both accrual and cash-basis|
|Web-based or Installed||Web-based||Web-based||Web-based||Web-based||Locally installed|
|Highlights||Robust Feature Set|
Easy to use
Good customer service
Personal and business account management
Supports multiple companies
Good customer service
Easy to use
Great client portal
Robust feature set
Hundreds of reports