Until now, QuickBooks customers have either used the platform themselves or worked with a third-party accounting firm to use it for them. But just this week, QuickBooks has launched its own small business bookkeeping services arm called QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping.

As proud partners of the tech platform, we are glad to see QuickBooks pushing the envelope and moving the industry forward. In fact, the move has encouraged us to evaluate our own offerings to ensure that we’re catering to all types and sizes of small businesses.

But now small business owners are faced with a tough decision: Should they buy bookkeeping services through QuickBooks or through an accounting firm? For business owners that are already on the QuickBooks platform, it may seem like a no-brainer to use the same provider for services. But while the platform may be exactly what your business needs, the services actually might not be the best fit. Here’s everything you should consider before making the choice.

What is QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping?

Small businesses that want to use the QuickBooks platform have four different subscription plans to choose from: Simple Start, Essentials, Plus, and Advanced. These plans have historically been self-serve (with access to technical support). While self-serve is still an option, as of this week, you can now purchase services that go along with each of those plans if you so choose.

Platform Comparison: QuickBooks vs. Xero

Before we learn more about the services, let’s examine the technology itself. More than 80% of small businesses fail due to poor cash flow management, so it’s important to have a bookkeeping system that you can trust. The two biggest players in the space are QuickBooks and Xero. Here’s a great comparison of the two: Xero vs. QuickBooks.

While there are some pricing and feature differences, they’re both great, and you can’t go wrong with either one. That being said, if your business has cryptocurrency assets, we definitely recommend QuickBooks.

Pro Tip: We are certified on both platforms, our teams attend both of their annual conferences (QuickBooks Connect and XeroCon), and when you sign on with Acuity, you get a free license to either platform. If you think you have an idea of what you need, contact us now to get started. Still not sure? Keep reading!

Pros and Cons of QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping?

Pro #1

If you’re already on the QuickBooks platform, it may be advantageous to use their services as well. With QuickBooks’ new plans, you can bundle your services and platform packages. You also will be working with a QuickBooks bookkeeper to manage your QuickBooks account, which can make things easier.

Pro #2

It’s a great option for basic QuickBooks services. If your business only needs bookkeeping services, this might be all you need!

quickbooks bookkeeping services

Con #1

QuickBooks services aren’t going to be tailored to your business. If you use QuickBooks services, they are definitely going to recommend or even limit you to using other QuickBooks products. A services firm, however, is going to be technology agnostic — we’re going to recommend the best OR most affordable option for your business regardless of the company it comes from.

When customers come to us, we first establish what the most important operational tool is for their company. THEN we help them pick their general ledger based on which ledger best integrates with that tool. In other words, we’re encouraging people to pick the technology that helps them operate their business most effectively. If you’re a yoga studio, maybe use Mindbody. If your business has cryptocurrency assets, Verady might be beneficial. In fact, we specialize in specific industries and can make expert recommendations when it comes to: cryptocurrency, health and fitness, nonprofits, professional services, real estate, and SaaS businesses.

One of the downsides of QuickBooks Live is that you won’t have specialists that are attuned to your most important technology resource. Even when you consider payroll service providers, we’re seeing a lot more people find Gusto easier to use and more inexpensive than Intuit.

Con #2

QuickBooks knows QuickBooks, but they aren’t necessarily experts on other platforms that you may need. In the modern age of accounting, bookkeepers act as tech support for all of the various providers that you use. A QuickBooks bookkeeper may be able to provide quick, timely, and accurate support for Inuit products, but what about for other products you may be using? There’s a reason QuickBooks has always worked with trusted firms like Acuity that can provide expert-level services, are certified on a multitude of platforms, and have established partnerships with all kinds of companies.

Con #3

QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping won’t be able to grow with your business. Keep reading to learn more!

Address Your Current Needs + Plan for the Future

QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping may satisfy your needs now, but as your buisness grows, your needs will grow too. Why not go with someone like Acuity that already offers these extra add-ons and can also seamlessly transition into more advanced services?

What happens if you need add-ons?

Consider additional needs like bill pay, expense reporting, and invoicing. If you only have QuickBooks services, you’ll likely need to work with a separate services provider for each of these tasks. However, through Acuity, you’re able to have one dedicated team member that is certified to handle all of these needs for you.

What happens if you need tax help?

Bookkeeping and taxes go hand-in-hand, so it makes sense to work with one company that can provide both. Because our online tax services are paired with our bookkeeping services, we’re able to leverage our knowledge of our customers’ personal tax and financial situations to provide more personalized services than they could get from using separate service providers.

We also mentioned above that the launch of QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping made us reevaluate our own offerings and really understand the needs of business owners. One thing that we learned is that not everyone uses their books to make business decisions…oftentimes, business owners just want up-to-date, clean financials to make filing taxes easier. This insight challenged us to create a new offering — a very basic form of bookkeeping that allows our customers to stay compliant during tax season but is still cheaper than any other bookkeeping service we’ve offered before. We will be sharing more information about our new service soon, but if you think it might be a good fit or if you want to learn more, contact us today to get a first look.

What happens if you have more advanced needs?

Our customers may start with bookkeeping but over time may develop the need for high-level accounting or CFO services. If this becomes a need for your business, QuickBooks Live is not going to be able to fulfill this.

Pro Tip: All of Acuity’s bookkeeping packages come with free CFO office hours. This allows our customers to periodically get advice from one of our seasoned CFOs and to test the waters to see if this type of service is something they need more regularly.

We encourage you to think about how your business uses bookkeeping, what other add-ons your business could benefit from, and whether or not you anticipate needing advanced services in the future. This will help you make your best decision when it comes to which services partner to move forward with.

Next Steps

When it comes to bookkeeping and finances in general, you need customized, goal-specific advice so you can grow. You also need partners that can travel with you along the way. At Acuity, we combine people, process, and technology for a winning solution. Our team is an extension of your team, not a voice on the other side of the phone. And most importantly, we are here to help your business succeed, and that includes helping you find the best option when it comes to bookkeeping platforms and services. Get in touch with us today — we’re happy to chat!