Running a business is hard enough without the stress of having to deal with complicated accounting systems. QuickBooks is one of the most established and user-friendly accounting software packages out there, along with apps such as FreshBooks and Xero.
QuickBooks for Mac is aimed at freelancers, small businesses, finance officers, accountants, and bookkeepers who want to save time by simplifying small business accounting. QuickBooks for Mac is a product that seems to divide Mac users, who either love or hate it. However, it’s one of the more user-friendly finance software packages out there. QuickBooks is developed by Intuit, which also makes Mint, GoPayment, TurboTax, and Quicken, and has a long track record in financial software.
It’s important be aware that QuickBooks for Mac is based on QuickBooks Online – it isn’t an entirely different application, although it does offer some subtle advantages. In fact, when you log into QuickBooks, you use the same details as the web version and then the desktop version syncs with the web version. The desktop app offers some advantages over using the web version, such as a handy QuickView feature in the Menu Bar and a more responsive and snappy user experience than you get online.
Every transaction delivered straight to your desktop
One of the most useful features of the Mac app is the addition of QuickView to the Menu Bar. QuickView provides a feed of the latest activity on your accounts. So if an invoice has just been paid or a debit taken from your account, you’ll see it instantly in QuickView.
QuickView also offers a convenient way to track what’s going on with your business if you don’t want the main QuickBooks windows open. Even when the QuickBooks interface is closed, QuickView keeps working quietly in the background monitoring everything that goes on with your finances.
Another advantage over the web version is that QuickBooks allows you to be more productive by having several different windows open at the same time. So, for example, if you want to have more than one invoice open or work on an estimate at the same time, the Mac version makes it easy, with an unlimited amount of windows possible. It’s also possible to use keyboard shortcuts to launch windows and functions in the Mac version which you can’t do on the web app.
QuickBooks for Mac includes everything that you get in the web version. This includes the ability to create custom invoices with your company logo, font, layout, and custom fields. You can upload receipts and invoices from your Mac to store in QuickBooks and sync the Mac version with your bank.
Making the switch
Although the Mac App is free to download, QuickBooks itself requires a subscription. You can try it free for 30 days but then after that, the desktop app is useless unless you subscribe to one of the plans. QuickBooks Simple Start is $12.99 per month, QuickBooks Essentials is $26.99 per month and QuickBooks Plus is $39.99 per month.
If you’re a QuickBooks user on iPhone and iPad then it makes more sense to use the Mac app which is fully integrated with the iOS version. And if you’re switching from Windows to Mac, QuickBooks also has a migration assistant that will import all of your QuickBooks Windows accounts into the Mac version.
When it works properly, QuickBooks for Mac definitely feels smoother and faster than the web version but the problems start when it freezes or appears unresponsive. Sometimes this can be because of problems establishing a connection with banks online but often it’s just general instability that users report. What makes things worse is that many customers complain about less-than great experiences with Intuit customer support.
However, many users have found that QuickBooks offers huge savings in terms of time and stress when running a business. If you’re a regular user of the online version of QuickBooks then switching is a no-brainer. If you’ve never tried QuickBooks before, you might be surprised at how user friendly accounting software can be.