QuickBooks Live wants to do your bookkeeping for you. But should you let them?
We often write about how accounting software can help you streamline your business accounting operations. But what if there were software that could not only make your accounting easier but could actually just do it for you?
That’s the idea behind QuickBooks’ new feature, QuickBooks Live bookkeeping. But can it really do all that it claims? More importantly, how much does it cost, and is it a wise investment for your business? Read on to have all those questions answered.
What is QuickBooks Live?
QuickBooks Live is an extension of QuickBooks Online accounting software that pairs your business with a remote team of professional human bookkeepers. QuickBooks says that everyone on their Live bookkeeping teams are Certified ProAdvisors (some of them CPAs) with experience working with small businesses.
After an initial video chat introduction and walk-through with a member of the QuickBooks bookkeeping team, the team will “maintain, update, fix, reconcile, and categorize transactions in your books” throughout the month. At the end of the month, the team will close your books and send you relevant reports to help you assess the financial health of your business.
QuickBooks also recommends that you check in with your team at least once a month just to see how everything is looking (you can schedule a video chat or leave a message within QuickBooks Online).
QuickBooks Live bookkeeping in action (Source)
So that’s what QuickBooks Live does, but what doesn’t it do?
QuickBooks Live handles only bookkeeping. It won’t run payroll, it won’t help you if you have a problem with QuickBooks software (QuickBooks has separate support for that), and it won’t do your taxes for you. (It will make sure that your books are in tip-top shape and ready to go for tax filing, though.)
For those reasons, QuickBooks Live is not a replacement for your accountant. So don’t give your CPA the boot just yet. (Though if you need help improving your accounting department, we have you covered here.)
Concerned about privacy? QuickBooks says it has access only to your QuickBooks files and can’t see anything else on your computer or network.
How much does QuickBooks Live cost?
QuickBooks Live has three different pricing tiers based on the size of your business:
- Low-volume bookkeeping, for businesses with up to $25,000 in monthly expenses, is $270/month.
- Medium-volume bookkeeping, for businesses with up to $150,000 in monthly expenses, is $470/month.
- High-volume bookkeeping, for businesses with more than $150,000 in monthly expenses, is $670/month.
All three plans include QuickBooks Online Plus accounting software (normally $70/month), and QuickBooks offers a $35 discount on each plan for the first three months.
You can’t use QuickBooks Live as a standalone bookkeeping service. You need to be a QuickBooks Online user to use QuickBooks Live.
Is QuickBooks Live a smart choice for your business?
There are two types of businesses that can rule out QuickBooks Live right off the bat:
- Business that aren’t using QuickBooks Online or aren’t considering using QuickBooks Online: If you have a different type of accounting software and you’re happy with it, you can rule out QuickBooks Live because you can’t use it without QuickBooks Online Plus.
- Businesses that are happy with their in-house bookkeeper or outside accountant: If your bookkeeping is already going smoothly and adds value to your business, whether via your accounting team or an outside accounting service, there’s no reason to spend an extra several hundred dollars per month to start from scratch.
However, if you are a QuickBooks user (and there’s a good chance you are, considering that more than 5 million businesses use it) or if you’re just starting out and considering it, QuickBooks Live could make a lot of sense for you. If you fall into that camp and you:
- Have had trouble handling bookkeeping (your books aren’t balanced and/or you don’t have the reports you need at tax time) or you don’t have a system in place yet, and
- You can budget $270-670 per month (depending on the size of your business) to keep your money straight. (Going into the red just to have someone tell you you’re in the red doesn’t make any sense.)
… then QuickBooks Live might be a smart choice for your business.
Still not sure? Don’t worry. QuickBooks offers a free 30-minute consultation to help you decide whether it makes sense for you or not.
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