Running a small to mid-sized business takes more than a small or mid-sized effort. Between identifying and connecting with customers, trying to keep overhead costs down, and wearing as many hats as is humanly possible, small-business owners have more than their share of hurdles to overcome.
But bookkeeping doesn’t have to be one of them.
QuickBooks, a leading name in accounting software, has long been an essential tool for managing income, tracking expenses, and ensuring the financial health of small and mid-sized companies. But business owners are busy, and sometimes they need more than just the right resources. That’s why Intuit QuickBooks is now offering a new featured add-on service, called QuickBooks Live. Here, we take a closer look at QuickBooks Live for small businesses — what it is, what it can do, and how your business can get the most out of it.
You have enough on your plate without having to handle the books. QuickBooks Live recognizes this fact, providing a service in which QuickBooks clients can connect with certified bookkeepers, for intelligent, real-time support and day-to-day accounting tasks. These QuickBooks ProAdvisors average more than 10 years of small-business finances experience.
QB Live provides what they call “Full-Service Bookkeeping.” Full-Service Bookkeeping starts with a setup phase. Once you sign up for the service, QuickBooks pairs your firm with a qualified bookkeeper capable of handling your industry-specific questions and concerns. Your bookkeeper then guides you through the basics of using QuickBooks Live, helps you connect with your bank, and goes through your past books line by line to help ensure that everything is up to date.
After updating your finances, the bookkeeper categorizes your firm’s transactions and reconciles your accounts. You can schedule one-on-one video calls, and a team of experts is available to answer any of your general bookkeeping questions. You can track your bookkeeper’s progress in real time as they continue working to help you get the most out of your finances.
The bookkeeper closes out every month by creating a trial balance and reviewing the books for accuracy, sending you detailed financial reports to help ensure that you always have a clear idea of what’s going in in your finances. The bookkeeper is available to walk you through your reports via video conferencing or telephone. QuickBooks guarantees the accuracy of its bookkeepers, and will review and repair any errors, free of additional charge.
In short, QuickBooks Live is designed to take care of the day-to-day accounting tasks, so that you can focus your energies on running your business. QuickBooks offers free consultations with their bookkeeping experts, so businesses can get a better feel for the services and advantages they provide before committing to work together.
Although QuickBooks Live is a fantastic source of expert information and ongoing bookkeeping assistance, some services are not included. For example, while QuickBooks Live is capable of organizing your books for tax season, it does not offer tax advice and legally cannot file your taxes for you.
Likewise, QuickBooks Live does not offer the services of sending invoices, managing inventory, paying bills, or managing accounts receivable or accounts payable. Instead, QuickBooks Live is designed to take care of daily finances, freeing up your time so that you can focus on the parts of your business that you enjoy.
QuickBooks Live Full-Service Bookkeeping is available as an additional free service to QuickBooks Online subscribers. For those who aren’t QuickBooks Online subscribers, QuickBooks Live charges $500 for the initial setup and clean up during the first month as the bookkeeper reviews and updates your books. QuickBooks Live then offers three different monthly-pricing tiers based on your company’s average expenses from three consecutive months. The current pricing tiers are as follows:
QuickBooks reserves the right to reassess your business’ average monthly expenses at any time.
QuickBooks Live provides essential live-support features, but operates best when paired with QuickBooks Online and other QuickBooks tools. In fact, if you have Quickbooks Online, you can add Quickbooks Live as a feature upgrade. If you’re looking for a complete accounting package, then QuickBooks Live might not be enough. On the other hand, if you’re simply interested in working with an experienced bookkeeper but don’t have the resources to hire bookkeeping staff full time, then QuickBooks Live can be a reliable solution.
Potentially the most valuable resource from QuickBooks Live is direct, live access to experienced bookkeepers. And while users are limited to a single scheduled appointment at a time, there’s no set limit to the amount of time you get with your bookkeeper per month. You can reach out at any time within your bookkeeper’s available hours to set up live chat with a member of your bookkeeping team.
To get the most out of QuickBooks Live for your business, work closely with your bookkeeper. Schedule regular meetings and review your company’s finances. Apply their experience, and don’t be afraid to ask questions to better understand your situation and your prospects. Be aware of what tasks your bookkeeper will be handling, and which will be your responsibility.
Above all, build a relationship of trust; an experienced bookkeeper can be your greatest ally in your business. Keep them in the loop, let them know what’s going on and what your goals are for the future. Communicate your needs and your challenges. And as your small or mid-sized business grows and changes, your QuickBooks Live ProAdvisor will be there to help you every step of the way.
If you're interested in using QuickBooks Live but don't have a QuickBooks Online account, take advantage of Fishbowl's 50% off for 1-year discount on a new QuickBooks Online subscription.