Making the Switch From QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online - No Picnic


Making the Switch From QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online - No Picnic

Recently a lot of small business owners were confronted with the issue of being "forced" to switch from QuickBooks Desktop (QBD), which we've used for years, to QuickBooks Online.   With other countries dropping support for QuickBooks Desktop it is inevitable that here in the US the same will happen soon enough, so choosing what to replace QBD is now the issue.

Your first choice, and the one most of us will choose, is QuickBooks Online (QBO).

I've been using QBO for about a week now, and I can't say it's been painless.  I will discuss each issue I am having in other articles, but for now I would like to let others know the main issues that I have been having not only with the product but also the support (or lack thereof).  

The Product

While the product itself, on the surface, seems to work you will no doubt run into a few quirks and issues.  First and foremost is how discounts are done.  No longer do you have a simple discount item to apply to an item (or subtotal group), but now you specify a discount using a negative decimal.  Example:

Product Description Qty Rate Amount
ItemA Item A 1 50 50
ItemB Item B 50 50
  Subtotal     100
  Discount 100 -0.10 -10

This is neither intuitive or very descriptive (except for the total amount which does show the discount). 

First (and this is something you find out after searching the depths of the QuickBooks Online Community) is that you have to enter the amount you are discounting in the Qty column of the discount.  With QBD you simple entered a percentage and it would deduct the discount from either the previous line or subtotal group.

Second, the discount is entered as a negative decimal (in this case, -0.10 is 10%).  To me it looks like the programmers were just looking for a quick and dirty solution.  And this decision messes up things even further that I will discuss in an upcoming article.

How hard was it for the programmers to just keep percentage discounts?  Who knows... apparently it was an issue. 

One thing I am not looking forward to is my first round of payroll.  I'm hoping that part of the application was done by the old QBD group as there are a lot of I's to dot and T's to cross, especially when it comes to taxes, retirement accounts, etc.  


I have had the opportunity now to try and use their live support three times.  Each time was a hair pulling SLOW process where the representative either didn't understand the issue, or needed to transfer me to a different "group" to help with the issue.  And twice I was simply left in the dark and eventually just left when I was getting no more response from the rep.

The chat sessions normally start off with them offering a greeting and asking how your day is going.  To me, this is nice, but a waste of time.  The responses you get from them are slow to begin with so wasting time with asking how your day is going is a waste of a good 5-10 minutes (because they respond so slow, possibly because they are chatting with multiple customers).  

In the end, what should be a quick Q&A turns into a wasted hour, especially if they quit responding or can't answer the question because, well, most really aren't familiar with accounting.

One nice feature, though, is the ability to share your screen with the rep.  But on a text chat it can make things difficult as you can't really explain the issue.  I think it would be better to be on the phone in this case.  That I haven't tried, and to be honest, I'm a little worried about trying it.

Now, QuickBooks does and an "Online Community" as well.  There are a lot of questions already answered, and if you search just the right terms you may find an answer to your question.  But just like the chats, the responses seem to start with obligatary smalltalk (a waste of time).  Then the answer usually seems like something copied and pasted from a FAQ, and normally doesn't really address the issue (think AI reading keywords in the question and popping up what they think may answer).  So, the OP must re-ask the question and hopefully get an answer.

I have tried to use the Community as well, with Zero luck.  Any time I try to post I am redirected back to the main Community page.  A bug in their software for sure.  I've tried it with an incognito window, different browsers, clearing the cache (all of which they tell you to do when using their product to try and see if it solves problems!) and nothing.  I would love it if this worked as it's not as big of a waste of time as sitting on the phone or a chat.  You make a post and go on with your day.

If I were to speculate, with the end of support for QBD 2020 and Intuit "forcing" people to QBO, it could simply be they are overwhelmed with support questions.  I do see new questions being posted, but for some reason I can't post.  


QBO is not ready for prime time.  Not even close.  It's like it was written by "coders" who may know web programming (well, except for their "Dark Mode" which is spotty at best... turn it on and go into Custom Reports and you'll be greeted with an almost all white display that is not readable at all) and used the basics of QBD as a base, but I just don't think it was tested by people like myself who depend on it for day to day activities, payroll and accounting.

Last edited 03/16/2023 at 08:28:20


Copyright 1983-2024 BVSTools
GreenBoard(v3) Powered by the eRPG SDK, MAILTOOL Plus!, GreenTools for Google Apps, jQuery, jQuery UI, BlockUI, CKEditor and running on the IBM i (AKA AS/400, iSeries, System i).