When you’re running a business, every minute of your day counts. That’s why having software that makes the accounting part of the job easier and faster is crucial.
If you run a small- to medium-sized business, look no further than the QuickBooks Online app.
Out of a dozen-plus apps that CNBC Select reviewed for our list of the best expense tracker apps, QuickBooks Online stood out for being the best app for small business owners.
The app’s four different plans help business owners manage all their financial transactions, from tracking the company’s sales and expenses to creating invoices and preparing taxes. As a user, you can view your company’s finances at a glance with the app’s real-time dashboard, and you can link the company’s different bank accounts, credit cards and third-party apps like PayPal and Square so that nothing goes unaccounted.
Below, CNBC Select reviews the QuickBooks Online app to give you all the details on its features, including the tools, perks, safety, pricing, availability and ratings so you can decide if it is the right app for your small business needs. (See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best expense tracker apps.)
Information about QuickBooks Online has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by QuickBooks Online prior to publication.
30-day free trial then plan options include: Simple Start for $12.50 per month, Essentials for $20 per month, Plus for $35 per month and Advanced for $75 per month
Tracks your business expenses as they happen, as well as your income. Users can use app to do invoicing, accept payments, manage their cash flow, maximize tax deductions, track travel miles, run reports, send estimates, manage bills and 1099 contractors, plus pay employees
Categorizes your expenses
Links to accounts
Yes, bank and credit cards, plus third-party apps like PayPal and Square
Accessible from any web browser and also offered in both the App Store (for iOS) and on Google Play (for Android)
Verisign scanning, password-protected login, firewall protected servers and the same encryption technology (128 bit SSL) used by the world’s top banks. QuickBooks also offers multiple permission levels that you can set for additional users’ access
The QuickBooks Online app offers many tools to help small business owners manage their company’s financials all in one place.
By syncing bank accounts, credit cards and third-party apps like PayPal and Square, all the company’s transactions appear in the app. The app’s dashboard is updated in real time, so users can track their sales and business expenses as they happen. The app even categorizes your expenses for you.
Business owners can also use the app to do all their company’s invoicing, accept payments, manage their cash flow, maximize tax deductions, track travel miles, run reports, send estimates, manage bills and 1099 contractors, plus pay employees.
The features offered depend on the type of plan you purchase, which we break down below.
QuickBooks Online is best known for all of the accounting features that make bookkeeping easy.
You have to pay for the best perks (see the pricing below), but they can be worth it if it means you can save money on hiring a full-time bookkeeper.
For an additional $50, all QuickBooks users can take advantage of a fast and customized setup of their QuickBooks account with a certified bookkeeper during a one-time live virtual session.
Starting at $22.50 per month, users can also add full-service payroll plans onto their account.
QuickBooks Online’s security features include Verisign scanning, password-protected login, firewall protected servers and the same encryption technology (128 bit SSL) used by the world’s top banks. QuickBooks also offers multiple permission levels that you can set for additional users’ access.
QuickBooks is an Intuit brand, the company behind Mint and TurboTax®, which millions of people use to store sensitive financial data.
QuickBooks Online offers a 30-day free trial. After that, the price ranges from $12.50 per month to $75 per month, depending on the plan you choose.
Here are the four plan options.
- Simple Start for $12.50 per month: The most basic plan allows you to track income, sales and expenses, organizes receipts, creates invoices, helps you prepare your taxes, categorizes your business and personal trips, offers a QuickBooks Cash account, runs reports like P&Ls and balance sheets for one user.
- Essentials for $20 per month: The “Essentials” plan includes everything above, plus helps you pay your bills, track employees’ time and billable hours for up to three users.
- Plus for $35 per month: The “Plus” plan includes everything above, plus lets you oversee projects, track inventory for up to five users.
- Advanced for $75 per month: The “Advanced” plan includes everything above, plus provides business analytics and insights, speeds up transactions for up to 25 users. Users with this plan also get access to the VIP service QuickBooks Priority Circle, which includes a dedicated account team and free online QuickBooks training.
For freelancers, QuickBooks offers a “Self-Employed” plan at a low $7.50 per month.
The QuickBooks Online app is available in the App Store (for iOS) and is compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. It is also available on Google Play (for Android) and is accessible from any web browser.
Rating in App Store at time of writing: 4.7 out of 5 (over 125,000 ratings)
Rating on Google Play at time of writing: 4.1 out of 5 (over 38,000 ratings)
The QuickBooks Online app is a top-notch choice for any small business owner looking for bookkeeping help.
The app syncs to all your company’s accounts, offers a real-time dashboard of where your business stands financially and helps you do accounting tasks like invoicing and paying bills.
If you’re not a business owner but could use some help tracking your personal expenses, sign up for apps like Mint (it’s free), Goodbudget (great for beginners) and, for those serious about budgeting, You Need A Budget (YNAB).
Learn more: 5 tips on what to look for when choosing a budgeting app
To determine which expense tracker apps offer the best user experience, CNBC Select analyzed over a dozen apps offered by the top companies in this market and looked at their pricing, features, user reviews and ratings.
We narrowed down our ranking by only considering apps that primarily focus on expenses, come with low (or no) cost to sign up, are easy to use and can be accessed on multiple devices so are accessible and compatible for most.
The five apps we selected for this ranking are either free, offer a free version or have a free trial for users to test out before signing up.
All of the apps in our round-up have a sizable number of user reviews and high ratings. The apps on this list have tens of thousands of reviews in the App Store (for iOS) and on Google Play (for Android) combined, as well as a rating over 4 stars (out of 5) on either platform.
Other factors we looked at included apps’ security features, user customization and educational tools offered.
Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.