QuickBooks Online Basic Compared to QuickBooks Online Plus

By Sandor Lenner,CPA

QuickBooks Online has three levels of online accounting solutions packages: Free, Basic, and Plus. After making your decision to use QuickBooks Online, the next step is to decide between QuickBooks Online Basic and QuickBooks Online Plus. This article will address the differences between the two alternatives. Any accounting solution should be tailored to the kind of business you operate. There is also a free version of QuickBooks, however because of its limited functionality it was not considered for this analysis. However, the free version does a provide a good introduction to QuickBooks with some limitations such as five customers. However, it's good if you want to write up a full years transactions with out customer and vendor history. You should give it a try by going to Intuit's website. For purposes of clarity I will abbreviate QuickBooks Online Basic as "BASIC" and QuickBooks Online Plus as "PLUS". Each significant difference between the two alternatives is discussed below.

The following capabilities work only with Plus:

Importing -By using Plus, you are able to import your Simple Start Edition,QuickBooks Online basic, QuickBooks Pro or Premier Edition file(s) to PLUS only. Unfortunately, this type of import capability does not work with a Mac.

Estimates - Estimates are important to avoid misunderstandings and can be created and then seamlessly imported to an invoice for billing. This feature is only available in PLUS.

Online Banking - With online banking, transactions downloaded into QuickBooks directly from your financial institution only in PLUS. You only have to review them instead of entering them from scratch. When you download an electronic statement, QuickBooks compares it to the transactions already in QuickBooks and identifies discrepancies. It helps you manage your cash flow, because you always know which checks have cleared your banking account, you also know how much money you have available.

Exporting - You can export transactions and balances to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet only in PLUS. This is a very important feature, since it adds greater reporting capabilities. It gives you flexibility is obtaining and analyzing different types of financial data .

Class tracking - Within Plus classes provide a system for categorizing transactions that goes beyond the normal ways of assigning transactions to expense or income accounts. With classes, you can categorize each detail line on a transaction. This lets you write one check to the office supply store for items bought for two different business units and still track the business unit for those purchases. For example, suppose you have a consulting business and an installation business. Class tracking is ideal for you if it is typical to have purchases and sales that include both types of work. By specifying the appropriate class on each detail line, you can run a Profit & Loss by Class report that will tell you if your consulting business is more or less profitable than the installation business.

Business tracking - With PLUS you can categorize data from different locations, offices, regions, or outlets of your company. You are able to assign each transaction to a business. By assigning a business to each transaction as you enter it, you can later see businesses on reports with great detail and clarity. Assigning businesses also lets you efficiently manage groups of transactions.

Time tracking - This feature is only in PLUS and allows you to enter your time into a timesheet for fee for service business i.e. consultants, freelancers, architects,sole proprietors, etc.

Invoicing - Adding fields to track more information on transaction forms is only in PLUS. You can create your own custom fields to include on sales forms.

Reporting and Financial Statements - With BASIC you receive 40 standard financial reports. However, with PLUS you get over 65 standard financial reports and customization and formatting options. If you are interested in a very detailed analysis in a chart format of the reporting differences, please got to Intuit's knowledge base for comparison of the QuickBooks Online Products.

Budgeting - You can use a budget to estimate future income and expenses. Moreover, PLUS budgets' uses a format similar to a spreadsheet, with a horizontal row for each of your income and expense accounts, and vertical columns for each month or quarter. This feature is only in PLUS

1099 Reporting - The IRS requires you to issue a 1099-MISC form to workers for nonemployee compensation if the payer is a trade or business and the payments are to a noncorporate entity were $600 or more for services rendered.This feature is only in PLUS

Number of Users - BASIC provides access for you and your accountant (2 users). Whereas PLUS provides access for 3 users PLUS your accountant(4 users). Plus can be expanded to 25 users for an additional cost.

QuickBooks Support - BASIC includes email support which is provided by Intuit whereas PLUS includes callback and chat support as well as email support also provided by Intuit. Obviously, PLUS support is better, but with BASIC you can resolve your questions by email.

Cost - BASIC costs $9.99 a month whereas PLUS according to the Intuit website is $34.95 per month. However, if you purchase PLUS by utilizing a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor you can buy the product for $21, which is net of a discount 40% discount, which is currently in effect at this time. Discounts and prices may change in the future.

Conclusion - For the most part, BASIC works well for smaller companies, whereas PLUS is for small to midsized companies. Before you make your decision, you are able to test drive the software for 30 days for both BASIC and PLUS and, then decide which is best suited for your business. They are other drawbacks, when comparing BASIC and PLUS to Desktop QuickBooks i.e. Pro, Premier, etc.The most significant drawback is that the Online versions doe not provide inventory functionality, unless you purchase an inventory add on. More importantly, its incumbent upon you to ask you CPA or accountant for help in making this important decision. - 29856

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Web Designers: How to Choose Which Projects to Accept

By Steven Snell

Web designers who work for themselves will constantly face difficult decisions as they have to determine if they should accept or pass on a client's project. Since there is no shortage of designers out there, many designers feel that they should accept every piece of work that comes their way, but that is not true.

One of the main reasons that you should not accept every project and every client is simply that some of them are not willing to pay what you need to get for your time. If you're spending all of your time on low paying jobs it will prevent you from taking other work. Of course, there are many other reasons as well, which we will get in to.

This article will serve as a reference for those situations where you are contemplating a potential project that has come your way. The factors that are discussed here should be able to help you during these evaluations in the future.

1. Income

The most obvious thing that you will want to evaluate is if the potential client can afford your services. Most clients don't have experience with web design, and that usually means they will have unrealistic expectations about how much it should cost.

If the client is working with a very limited budget that doesn't fit into your normal pricing scale, they should be willing to make some compromises that will reduce the amount of time required from you, or you should probably pass on the work. You may also consider having a package especially for clients who have less-than-ideal budgets. This would allow you to capture some business from clients that you would otherwise have to pass on.

2. Time Line

Almost every project will involve a deadline of some type. Larger projects may even have a number of deadlines or milestone dates that need to be met. In some cases the deadline may not be as firm, but the client will still have an expectation of when it will be complete.

Some clients will want you to finish their project by a specified time that is just not feasible. In most cases they just don't know enough about the process to understand how much is involved, so if you explain things to them they may be willing to push back the deadline. However, if they are not able to work with you on a realistic deadline, your best move is usually to pass on the job.

3. Fit Between the Project and Your Skills

Every designer is going to have his or her own unique strengths and weaknesses. Not every project will be a good fit for you. There will be some situations where you want to take a project for a learning experience, but in general it is best to take projects that are a good fit for your skills, and let the others pass.

4. Likes and Dislikes

Just like each design will have strengths and weaknesses, you will also have certain types of work that you enjoy doing more than others. If you want to enjoy your work more, make an effort to find work in the types of things that you like to do.

5. Current Workload

Just like pricing is important, you should also put a lot of emphasis on your current workload. If you are already as busy as you can handle, don't take new projects or at least schedule them to be stated at some point in the future.

One common practice is to speak with the client about their project, see what their time frame is, and agree on a tentative date for starting in the future when your workload will be manageable. - 29856

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Ralf Kunstmann's Artwork

By Kerisha Collins

As a freelancer our featured artist uses unique and advanced methods to create his designs. Ralf Kunstmann has developed his skills in Traditional, Photo and Nature Illustration, as you can see in his online portfolio.

This freelance designer was born in Nuremberg, Germany, where he has been practising his art since 1991. He is also a member of the German Designers called Alliance and a member of the Association of Art in Erlangen.

For most of his years as a freelancer, Ralf has managed to specialise in certain areas with his work. This includes airbrushing mix-techniques, photorealism and painting fine colour shades.

He also understands that these methods and ways of working do not end here. Someone, somewhere will produce a better way of developing these skills and you always have to keep up with them and abreast of industry trends

Ralf decided to get into Abstract and developed his use of a putty knife in 2003. These styles hold much popularity with the public as they have no problems understanding what is being represented with the design features.

Now, Ralf has managed to develop a diverse form of photorealism, when he combines photography and painting together. These techniques can be quite tricky to master, as both types of skill must blend with one another or it just won't look right. This needs direct attention to detail at all times when trying to create a design from these techniques.

He still enjoys getting in front of the computer screen, creating one of-a-kind designs for customers. Ralf doesn't believe he could go back to analogue illustrations as he decided to go digital from 1998. This choice has made him what he is today and helped him maintain those amazing skills that produce his designs.

Sony Pictures, Daewoo Deutschland, Siemens, Campina, Wirtschaftswoche, Erdinger, Ytong and many, many more have used his services. If you require any more information about Ralf Kunstmann, his work, his techniques or general information, visit the website, where his online portfolio can be viewed to find out more. - 29856

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Albin Christens Design Work

By Gavin Campbell

This master of Illustrations and Graphic Design knows what the audience want from the designs. Albin Christen has perfected his Conceptual and Lifestyle drawings to make his work so popular.

Albin has found a way to produce a design concept and work with it for over 13 years of his design career. The designs have grown over the years and it is clearly visible in his online portfolio.

The illustrations Albin creates are all similar with their own distinctive slant to identify each one as a separate design. Albin has been working on a poster for a children's Opera called "Le Chat Botte", which will be shown in his home town, Lausanne.

Albin loves the "work on demand" life-style that comes with producing work for his clients and customers. Albin also mentions that the development of the work has caught Albin off guard at times, as he never noticed the level he was at until stepping back from all that hard work.

Looking through Albin's work, you can see the wide range of media's, prints and colours that he has mastered over the years. You would expect someone with so many years of honing his skills to have this down but this is beyond a talent, this is a new wave of illustration style with the same techniques another designer can apply but Albin uses a different set of skills to create.

Clients from around the world have worked with Albin Christen, including Ritzenhoff, Adidas, Swatch,Montreux Jazz Festival, Loto-Quebec and many, many more.

Albin will not be planning for the future as he believes that he must live in the moment, to create designs never seen, heard or thought of before.

Albin can be found on the online portfolio website, along with his work and general information. If you would like to hire him, please see the bio section of his profile on the Pnworldwide site. - 29856

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