QuickBooks Pro is elegant and streamlined, but is let down by its poor banking support.
There’s a lot to like about QuickBooks Pro.
On the main screen is a simple flowchart that describes all the financial activities of a typical company, starting on the left with Estimates and moving all the way through to Record Deposits on the right. You could almost run your entire business from this screen, without ever looking at the Chart of Accounts.
At first contact with a customer, you create an estimate. When the job is done, open the invoices module, select the customer and automatically convert the estimate into an invoice. When the payment comes in, enter the amount and assign that amount to the correct customer, and QuickBooks will prompt you to match the payment to the outstanding invoice. In the background, meanwhile, QuickBooks is updating your Chart of Accounts without your ever having to look at them (not that we’d recommend being that hands off). All the tools you need to track your company’s finances accurately can be accessed from the clean, easy-to-navigate home screen – it’s an elegant setup and it works well.
You can also get to the Chart of Accounts and enter transactions manually if you want to: just click on the Chart of Accounts icon in the top right of the home screen, select the account you want to edit and make the desired changes.
Once you’ve entered your transactions, it’s time to reconcile your account with your bank statement. Manual reconciliation is easy, but QuickBooks can’t import bank statements saved in the standard OFX file format. If you want to use online banking, you have to apply to your bank to activate your account to work with QuickBooks online banking. According to the information supplied with QuickBooks Pro, only Barclays and HSBC currently offer this service.
QuickBooks Pro comes with over a hundred pre-created reports, ready for you to run. These range from straightforward, such as customer reports or profit and loss reports, to detailed transaction reports. QuickBooks also comes with a payroll feature, which – once fed the right information – keeps track of pay and NI, generates paperwork and automatically updates tax codes when necessary. However, to use this feature, you’ll need a subscription to the Intuit Payroll service, which costs £42 a month.
QuickBooks Pro 2008 is a decent accounts package, but it needs better integration with bank accounts to make it easier to use.