Quickbooks Online

Which Edition of QuickBooks Online Do I Need?

If you own one of the 30.2 million businesses in the United States, you have likely already heard of QuickBooks Online.

However, what you may not realize is that there are several versions of this software program to choose from. Picking the correct one can help your business grow.

Keep reading to learn more about the various editions of QuickBooks Online available so you choose the one that’s right for you and your business.

What Is QuickBooks Online?

QuickBooks Online is a software program that stores all of your data on the cloud so you can access your books from any computer or mobile device. This makes it great for anyone that isn’t tied to an office.

Some of the other benefits of using QuickBooks Online include:

  • Fast set-up (no installation required)
  • Easy to personalize
  • An option to import data
  • Automatic credit card and bank transaction downloads

Another reason business owners choose QuickBooks Online is that it has built-in reports so you can analyze your business.

There are four versions of QuickBooks Online you can choose from. Let’s take a closer look at exactly what each one of these offers.

Simple Start

This level only allows you to have one user, which makes it perfect for entrepreneurs and small businesses that can easily share the account. You can also get 20+ built-in business reports to start with.

The other features of QuickBooks Online Simple Start are:

  • Income and expense tracking
  • Invoice sending and tracking
  • Take pictures of receipts for tax purposes
  • Give data access to up to two accountants
  • Integration with other applications
  • Management of 1099 contractors
  • Mileage tracking

Simple Start offers an easy way to get your feet wet with QuickBooks Online to see if it’s going to work well for your business. From there, you can scale up if needed for additional users and features.


If you need up to three users to have access to your QuickBooks Online software and want 40+ built-in business reports, then you’ll want to go with the Essentials package.

In addition to all of the features included with the Simple Start plan, Essentials also comes with:

  • Automatic invoice scheduling for recurring payments
  • Vendor management and bill paying
  • Schedule payments
  • User access controls
  • Customer billable hours tracking
  • Multiple currencies

This level is a popular plan with small businesses that need a few more features than what the Simple Start plan offers. It’s also great for international companies because of its ability to handle different currencies.


QuickBooks Online Plus allows you to provide access to up to five users. You’ll also get 65+ built-in business reports, making it a little more robust than the other plans.

The additional features you get with Plus on top of everything that Simple Start and Essentials have are:

  • Purchase order creation
  • Inventory tracking
  • Provide access to employees and subcontractors for time tracking
  • Budget creation
  • Class tracking for categorizing income
  • Sales and profit tracking for multiple locations
  • Project profitability tracking

These additional features make Plus ideal for small businesses that have several employees or locations.

The budgeting and profit tracking features can also help you easily grow your business without needing additional software programs to analyze data. This alone can easily make the Plus plan worth it.


If you need to give access to up to 25 users and want 65+ built-in reports, then you’ll want to go with the QuickBooks Online Advanced plan. It has numerous tools that will help you and your entire team take your business to the next level.

The Advanced plan has all of the aforementioned features plus the following:

  • Deeper business insights
  • Dynamic report creation
  • Ability to work with hundreds of invoices at once
  • Complete control over user access
  • Dedicated Customer Success Manager
  • Online class credits for team training

The deeper business insights you get with the Advanced plan are in the form of a license to use Smart Reporting by Fathom. This tool allows you to import up to 3,000 of your accounts into it for a deep analysis of your business.

This plan is also great for companies that frequently present reports because of how quick and easy it is to produce these, saving you and your employees valuable time that they can instead put towards furthering business goals.

QuickBooks Payroll Add-on

For some businesses, QuickBooks Online may not be the complete package if they also want to do payroll with it. Fortunately, it’s easy to add QuickBooks Payroll onto any plan.

Many companies choose to do this because it allows them to keep all of their accounting in one program so there’s no need to look for additional software dedicated to payroll.

There are three levels of payroll you can choose from to find the one that’s right for you:

  • Core Payroll
  • Premium Payroll
  • Elite Payroll

Each level comes with additional features to help your business grow.

With Premium Payroll, you can set up automated payroll and integrate time-tracking tools to make things simple. Elite payroll offers certified HR support that protects your business.

Choosing the Best Edition for You

By now, you may be wondering, “Which QuickBooks do I need?” Since every business is different, what works best for you and your company may not be best for another.

Consider what features you need and want your accounting software to do. Then, use that as a guide to picking the right QuickBooks for your business.

Because of everything QuickBooks Online can do for you, we recommend starting with the features you need, rather than your budget. When a software program can help you streamline your business, you’ll be saving and making more money.

Need Help with QuickBooks?

Now you know more about some of the editions of QuickBooks that are available to you. As you can see, the right accounting software can help you take your business to the next level.

If you need more help choosing between the four versions of QuickBooks Online, contact us today. We would be more than happy to help you decide which edition is best for you and your business.

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