I was considering doing a post on whether or not you should switch to Quickbooks online this week, but I got an email that changed my direction. I recently wrote about how entrepreneurs need to learn accounting, and as if they read my mind, Intuit sends an email for a new version of Quickbooks. It’s called Quickbooks Self-Employment and to be completely honest, I wasn’t sure what it did. Given Quickbook’s position in the bookkeeping software market, it seemed like a good idea to know what they were up to, so I decided to give it a spin. Based on the invitation email, I wasn’t clear if Quickbooks Self-Employment was an add-on or supplement to Quickbooks online or something completely new to the market. I went into the trial expecting to see an attempt to increase automation of transactions, for those of business people not so keen on bookkeeping. After signing up for the free trial and receiving the confirmation email, I realized the purpose of this new release is to maximize deductions for people who don’t know the first thing about maximizing deductions. What I didn’t see is how this relates to the flagship Quickbooks product.
At first glance, I found setting up to be a little obnoxious. When you go to sign up, there are a series of questions you can’t bypass, such as “How much does your business make?” “Do you work from home?” and “How big is your home office?” All of these questions are to help the user figure out what’s deductible (good thing), as promised, but there’s no option to skip ahead (bad thing). Perhaps because I’m an accountant I find the “help” to be overkill. Since I’m not the target user for this product, so I can give it a pass on that front.
What’s the End Result?
So Why Would Anyone Use Quickbooks Self-Employment?
This left me wondering what exactly am I supposed to do here? I saw there is a button to export Schedule C info but can’t that come from regular Quickbooks? I know there’s a lot of smart people over at Intuit, so I started thinking maybe this is a gateway product to get people into the Intuit family. Think about what you get with this product for a second. It’s basically a list of your business expenses and doesn’t even include the income info when you go to export the schedule C info. Quickbooks offers this tool at a price of $9.99/month. I could maybe see this adding value to the user if you’re a person who is 100% clueless about the finances of a business. Maybe. For my money I’d spend a little more and just use Quickbooks online or another bookkeeping software to track all of my expenses AND income, and get a professional tax preparer to help with the taxes.