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Quickbooks Connect 2016 — Online is the Future

Doug Jones, a Managing Director at Fahrenheit and QuickBooks Pro Advisor, recently attended the 3rd annual QuickBooks Connect convention in San Jose, California. The following is a synopsis of Doug’s experience at the convention that may be of interest to users of QuickBooks.

QuickBooks Connect is an event sponsored by Intuit, the developer of QuickBooks. It is a combination of educational sessions, inspiring and informative speakers, including Olympians Michael Phelps and Simone Biles, actress America Ferrera and author Malcom Gladwell, and a healthy dose of QuickBooks marketing.

This was my second year at the conference, and the theme both years is clear: QuickBooks Online will be replacing the trusty QuickBooks Desktop version for most users. Intuit knows that the Online version had a rocky start, and that many Desktop users HATED the initial Online offering, and they have been working hard to improve the product and change opinions.

The reasons for their focus on “the cloud” are no different than for other software developers:

  • Access available to users wherever they are, on a variety of different devices
  • All users always on the most current version, eliminating the need to support various legacy versions still installed on hard drives around the world
  • Eliminate complexity related to how the software runs on different local environments

QuickBooks Online is improving, but it is not yet ready for certain types of users. Companies involved in manufacturing and complicated job cost environments can plan to stick with their Desktop version for the foreseeable future. All other QuickBooks users should plan to look at the Online version sooner rather than later.

To help users turn QuickBooks Online into more than just an accounting system, Intuit is actively courting the development of apps to integrate with Online. See for a description of and links to the hundreds of apps that already exist. Some of the more popular apps currently are:

  • T Sheets, Time Tracker, and Clock Shark for time tracking
  • Method: CRM and Insightly for customer relationship management
  • Expensify for expense reporting
  • Fathom and Qvinci for financial reporting and consolidation
  • Transaction Pro Importer and SaaAnt Excel Transactions for importing transactions from Excel

There are many more…some for specific industries and some more generic, but all touting integration with QuickBooks Online and elimination of duplicate data entry.

This trend is not going to go away, so I recommend that all die hard Desktop users start to educate themselves about QuickBooks Online. Intuit is not just marketing Online to accountants and bookkeepers. They have also initiated a marketing program directed at business owners, letting them know that they can have anywhere/anytime access to their business data by switching to QuickBooks Online. The future is now!

Fahrenheit offers systems consulting to existing users of QuickBooks and can assist with your change over to Online, as well as assist with assessing and implementing your company’s “life after QuickBooks.”

Managing Director Doug Jones is part of our fractional CFO & controller practice, providing senior financial management services to small and mid-size organizations. Doug has over 25 years of experience as a CFO with various middle market companies, in addition to experience with several Fortune 500 firms. He holds the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and Certified in Financial Management (CFM) designations.