A Comparison of QuickBooks Online Basic to QuickBooks Online Plus

In September 2010, Intuit revamped/repackage its small business online accounting software into four online accounting choices: (1) Simple Start, (2) Online Essentials, (3) Online Plus and (4) Online Plus with Payroll.

If you are new to QuickBooks Online or need a QuickBooks Online refresher these are the key reasons to use the QuickBooks Online platform:

  • Manage your business from a PC or Mac with web access.
  • Instantly share financial data with your employees, accountant and other shareholders,partners or co-owners. You no longer a need to have a network
  • Your company data is protected with daily automated backups.
  • There’s no software to install and no network to maintain.
  • Automatic upgrades are included in the price of subscription – never upgrade again. Includes customer support – no additional support plan needed.

Before making your decision to use QuickBooks Online, you should decide between QuickBooks Online, Online Essentials or QuickBooks Online Plus. This article will discuss the differences between these QuickBooks Online options. In the end, you are responsible for ensuring that you select the correct version which should work with the business that you operate. There was a free version called Simple Start, it was repackaged with a few more options and unfortunately, it’s no longer free and not worth much as compared to the other two options. Sometimes, Intuit has it available on some remote websites, but for the most part it’s no longer free. The Online Plus with Payroll version was not considered for this analysis because of it’s basically the same as Online with Plus with the added payroll functionality. QuickBooks Online Essentials will be collectively referred to as “ONLINE ESSENTIALS ” and QuickBooks Online Plus as ” ONLINE PLUS “. Each major difference and brief comment is discussed below:

Online Simple Start – Limited to one user plus your accountant, free email support creates and manages your invoices with limitations and has over 20 business reports. This is not recommended for small businesses with accounts payable, inventory and the online banking needs. This is very elementary and has limited usefulness to a small business.


Unless otherwise mentioned these features relate to both ONLINE ESSENTIALS AND ONLINE PLUS. For the most part, ONLINE PLUS has the features that you may need, regrettably only a few of these features are available in ONLINE ESSENTIALS.

Importing – You can import your QuickBooks Basic, Pro, or Premier Edition desktop files (version 2000 and higher file(s). The import does not work with a Mac.

Estimates – Estimates can be created from ONLINE PLUS and then seamlessly imported to an invoice for billing. By using estimates misunderstandings can be avoided.

Online Banking – If you don’t use QuickBooks to enter all of your payments (I recommend using online banking) then by using this feature, your payments and receipts do not have to be entered into your cash register when you use online banking. Instead of entering then, you only have to review them. When you download from your bank, (from participating financial service providers) QuickBooks is able to compare the bank’s transactions to your transactions in QuickBooks and identifies differences. The program assists you in managing your cash flow, because you know which checks have cleared the bank, which helps you understand how much money you have in real time and makes monthly reconciliations easier and less time consuming.

Accounts Payable–Manage bills to pay later. This function is available in ONLINE PLUS. It is a very important functionality, if you want to keep and maintain your accounts payable. I believe keeping the amounts you owe vendors in QuickBooks if very important. This function allows you to always know how much you owe vendors and print reports such as the Unpaid Vendors Report. You can enter bills and make payments separately, as a two-step process. This lets you keep your money in your business as long as possible, and it lets you track and manage your outstanding bills and either pay bills when they are due or ahead of the scheduled due dates to take advantage of early payment discounts often given to businesses as an incentive to pay early. In summary, I can’t over emphasize the importance of this feature.

Exporting – You can export transactions and balances to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet only in ONLINE 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. Unfortunately, this useful feature is not available in ESSENTIALS.Do not overlook the importance of this feature.

Class tracking – Within ONLINE 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 – You can use ONLINE PLUS to categorize data from different locations, offices, regions, or outlets of your company. You can assign each transaction to each business. By assigning a business to each transaction as you enter it, you can later see businesses on reports. Assigning businesses also lets you efficiently manage groups of transactions. A great use of this would be for different rental properties.

Time tracking – This feature is only in ONLINE PLUS and allows your employee, consultants and other workers, to enter their time into a time sheet for fee for service businesses. One interesting feature, is that add unlimited time sheet users, i.e. if you have offshore on local free lancers, independent contractors, and others all can use this feature and report their time to you in real time.

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

Reporting and Financial Statements – ONLINE ESSENTIALS provides 40 standard reports whereas ONLINE PLUS provides over 65 standard reports. A comprehensive analysis in a chart format of the reporting differences can be found at Intuit’s knowledge base for comparison of the QuickBooks Online Products or send me an email and I will forward you the applicable URL.

Budgeting – You can use a budget to estimate future income and expenses. Moreover, ONLINE 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 ONLINE PLUS and it does not provide a budgeted balance sheet or statement of cash flows. Also, there is no ability to budget or project based on allocations. You have to enter numerical amounts within the spreadsheet type interface. However, you can insert different amounts for each month as well as replicate monthly amounts in their spreadsheet like interface for any given number of months.

1099 Reporting – The Internal Revenue Service requires that a taxpayer issue a 1099-MISC form to for nonemployee compensation providing the payments are to any noncorporate entity were equal to $600 or more for services rendered. This feature is only available for ONLINE PLUS. This too, is an important feature needed by most small businesses and will become even more important in the future, as more and more payments need to reported to the IRS. You must mail these forms to vendors by January 31 for payments made in the previous tax year. Don’t forget that you must also mail these forms to the IRS by February 28 along with a Form 1096

Purchase Orders – With ONLINE PLUS, you can create and send purchase orders. This new feature offers an automatic tracking system for your business purchases. Customize your PO’s with your business logo or your own numbering system

Inventory Tracking– This feature is only available with ONLINE PLUS. It provides the basic inventory functionality as to the amount of your items in inventory, sales and how much you have on hand.

Users -ONLINE ESSENTIALS provides access for three users plus your accountant (4 in total ). However, ONLINE PLUS provides access for five users plus your accountant(6 users). Online Plus can be expanded to 25 users for an additional cost, which is reasonable. The small increase in the number of allowable users is a minor improvement since last year

Web 2.0 and other new changes – Comparison to business trends and a new interface, new dashboard, I prefer the old drop down point and click menus. You can import your customer contact data from Microsoft Excel, Outlook and/or Gmail right into QuickBooks Online, hassle-free for all versions. The ability to read information and create invoices, see customer data and more, your iPhone, Blackberry, or Android device.

Price – Online Simple Start is $12.95 a month, ONLINE ESSENTIALS costs $24.95 a month as compared to ONLINE PLUS which according to the Intuit website is $39.95 per month. Online Plus with Payroll is $63.16 a month. However, if you purchase ONLINE PLUS by using a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor you will receive a 20% discount, which is currently in effect at this time. Discounts and prices may change in the future. There are no annual contracts.

QuickBooks Online Recommendation – For the most part, ONLINE ESSENTIALS may work for smaller companies, whereas ONLINE PLUS should work for small to midsized companies. I recommend ONLINE PLUS, since there is more value to be received for what you pay. Before you make your decision, you are able to test drive the software for 30 days for all four platforms and, then decide which is best suited for your business. And don’t forget to ask you’re Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor or CPA or accountant for help in making this important decision and to train you, otherwise you will have problems and waste time by incorrectly using this powerful small business accounting software.

Fishing the Smallmouth Bass Streams of Missouri

The smallmouth bass fishing available in Missouri is well known, but sometimes is overshadowed by some of the other fishing opportunities throughout the state. Many fly fishermen target trout in the various streams, trout parks, and lakes that hold trout or are stalked. Many bass fishermen target the largemouth version of the species. This article will give a rundown on a quite a few of the better streams.

Big Piney River

The Big Piney River is an excellent smallmouth stream. One of the first Ozark rivers to receive special smallmouth bass regulations, this stream has long been viewed as a special asset for smallmouth fisherman. The Big Piney is clear, spring-fed stream with excellent fishing for heritage strain smallmouth bass. It would be hard to find a river with better scenery or smallmouth bass fishing.

Current River

The Current River is also an excellent smallmouth stream. Rising from springs deep in the Ozarks, the Current is one of the prettiest in the state. Several reaches of the river offer myriad possibilities for the smallmouth angler. With about 120 miles of fishable water on the river, there are many excellent areas on the river.

Eleven Point River

The Eleven Point is one of the most scenic streams in the Ozarks, and the smallmouth bass fishing is excellent as well. The Eleven Point holds a smallmouth population from it’s headwater deep in the Ozark Mountains all the way into Arkansas. In all, there is about fifty miles of smallmouth water on the Eleven Point, ranging from small, wadeable stream, to large river.

Gasconade River

The Gasconade River is the longest river that flows entirely through Missouri, and every mile of it holds smallmouth bass. The Gasconade is one of the rivers that seems too good to be true, a 250 mile river with good numbers of smallmouth bass throughout. Many people say that it is the best smallmouth bass river in the nation, and there is merit to that claim. There are few other streams in the country with so much smallmouth water, so many fish, and as many trophy sized smallmouth.

Huzzah Creek

Huzzah Creek is an often overlooked smallmouth stream. Located in the middle of great smallmouth bass country, it is easy to see how fisherman can look past this little gem. Still, this creek has been producing high quality smallmouth bass angling for years, and those who are familiar with it can vouch for it’s productivity.

Compared to the other waters on this list, the Huzzah is a small stream. It doesn’t widen into deep, slow pools like many of our Ozark streams do. Still, the habitat is certainly there. There are some deep, if short pools, that are studded with boulders, weeds, and woody cover. There are also many fast runs where smallmouth bass like to hold, especially when they are feeding actively on crayfish and insects.

Jacks Fork River

The Jacks Fork River is one of the best in the Ozarks. Flowing through beautiful Ozark canyons and hills, this stream has much to offer both in the way of smallmouth and scenery. This popular float fishing stream flows through beautiful, remote territory, and is truly a sight to see.

As Ozark streams go, the Jacks Fork is more isolated than most. Simply put, it is located in the middle of nowhere. Starting high in the Ozark hills, and floating through the beautiful Ozark plateau all the way to it’s mouth at the Current River. It is a high gradient river, and is heavily spring-fed. Both of these attributes predispose the Jacks Fork to excellence as a smallmouth stream. The river has an abundance of riffles and deep pools, and has an excellent food supply. It has been largely untouched by man, especially now, due to the fact that it is protected by the Ozark National Scenic Riverways Park. Add on the river’s easy access, and you have a nearly perfect stream.

Meramec River

The Meramec River is a fine smallmouth stream. Flowing through the beautiful foothills of the Ozarks, this stream has much to offer to the serious and casual smallmouth fisherman. This is one of the most popular, if not the most popular smallmouth stream in Missouri, and there is also quite a bit of recreational floating traffic. Still, the Meramec has an excellent fishery and the fishing is good enough that these difficulties can seem unimportant.

Niangua River

The Niangua River is one of the best smallmouth streams in the state. While the Niangua is primarily known for it’s excellent trout fishery below Bennett Spring, the smallmouth fishery is excellent as well. The river has miles of classic smallmouth habitat with many gentle riffles, and deep, oxygenated pools. It is a prototypical Ozark stream with above average smallmouth fishing.

Other Smallmouth Streams in Missouri

Other great smallmouth streams in Missouri include the Big River, Black River, Bourbeuse River, Elk River, James River, Moreau River, North Fork of the White River, St. Francis River, and the Salt River.

Take the Perplexity Out of Online Adjunct Faculty Employment

It is time for academics to take the perplexity out of online adjunct faculty employment because it is clear that the budgetary funds necessary to pay full time teaching salaries is being reduced as the economy continues to stumble without pause. Eventually, practically every first year and second year college and university course will be offered in the form of an online class within an online college degree program, and the teacher wishing to continue earning a living will want to learn how to take advantage of the tremendous changes taking place on the traditional post-secondary campus.

However, before there can be any expectation of success for a prospective online adjunct instructor there needs to be an examination of the accepted academic career model taught in graduate school and how it is currently being transformed into an entirely new approach to teaching at the post-secondary level of public education. The fact of the matter is that the administrators responsible for managing the budget of a college or university must confront the economic reality that continuing to pay tenure-track and tenured academics their current salaries and benefits is not supportable given the decline in available monies from the usual sources. Instead, the traditional academic faculty positions will be replaced with online adjunct positions filled by technically adept and entrepreneurially inclined educators willing to accept the changes in the economic landscape and adjust their expectations of academic employment.

The changes to academic employment forced by the technical ability of delivering post-secondary instruction to millions of college and university students are confusing to many established teachers and new graduates with freshly minted doctorates and master degrees, but this confusion can be cleared up easily and quickly by learning how to think about post-secondary instruction from the perspective of the nimble freelance academic with a firm grasp of how to generate multiple online adjunct income streams instead of the state academic employee expecting to stay at one state college, university, community college or technical school for decades and retire with a lifelong pension.

Every day the traditional adjunct instructor drives to a traditional college or university campus and teaches in a physical college classroom for pennies. Then, if the traditional adjunct is lucky enough to live in a heavily-populated urban area that can actually support multiple traditional post-secondary academic institutions, he or she drives an aging vehicle to yet another campus and teaches college students in yet another physical college classroom for yet more pennies. This is an extremely demoralizing set of circumstances to say the least, and there isn’t any relief in sight since college and university administrators are quite pleased with being able to hire individuals with graduate degrees, a Ph.D. or master’s degree, for practically nothing. Sooner or later, college adjuncts working in a physical college environment will have to realize that the only way for them to actually earn a living from the intellectual effort required to teach university and college students is to acquire an online teaching schedule full of online college courses. It is time for traditional college and university adjuncts to stop the academic grind with online adjunct positions.

For-profit colleges that offer new and returning college students a chance to enroll in online college degree programs resulting in a library science degree, an online project management degree or an online special education degree have successfully demonstrated that distance education technology not only works well but is quite popular with individuals confident about their personal computer skills, which is the vast majority of people today returning to college.

An online adjunct instructor with superior technical skills can apply for adjunct online teaching opportunities constantly because the entire faculty application process for online degree programs is online. Once the online faculty position application documents have been gathered and put into digital form a college teacher can apply to ten or twenty accredited online college degree programs every day. Of course, this activity takes time and effort, but it is well worth the investment since sooner or later the invitations to teach online will start arriving and the online teaching schedule will start filling up.

Eventually, it will be possible for an aggressive online college instructor to acquire enough adjunct online teaching opportunities to teach online full time. At that point it will be possible for the online teacher to gain complete control of the online teaching schedule in the sense that it will be possible to ditch the online college courses that do not pay all that well for ones that pay more money in the form of multiple online adjunct income streams.

As more traditional college, four-year universities and community colleges put online degree programs into place in an attempt to accommodate the educational needs of the large numbers of new and returning college students attempting to earn a college degree or university degree in order to improve their chances at a better career upon graduation, the more qualified online adjunct instructors will be needed to teach the online college courses within the online university degree programs. For these reason it is important to stop the academic grind with online adjunct positions.

Every educator with a graduate degree, a doctorate or master degree, can teach online for a variety of online college degree programs with just a little effort. All that is really needed is some practice navigating the websites of colleges and four-year universities that offer their enrolled students a chance to earn an academic degree by attending and completing online college courses. The most important step to becoming an online adjunct instructor is to learn how to use a personal computer to locate and navigate online bachelor degree programs and online master degree programs offered by post-secondary academic institutions.

The aggressive online college teacher can easily coordinate an online teaching schedule with enough online courses in it to generate a real living from a laptop. After all, it is possible to teach for four or five online degree programs at one time since all of the academic work is located on the Internet. It will not be easy to acquire multiple online college courses to teach online, but with the right amount of focus it is possible to build multiple online adjunct income streams that continue all year long.

Granted, the benefits of online teaching are hard to believe since the usual conditions for adjunct college instructors are so difficult that it is practically impossible to earn a living during the twelve months of the calendar year. On the other hand online college degree programs often continue during the summer months. This means it is possible for an online adjunct to continue earning several checks for online bachelor degree programs without waiting for college and university classes to resume at the beginning of the traditional academic year.

The recent graduate with an academic credential in hand that permits teaching at the post-secondary level of the academy is probably in possession of large amounts of debt obligation, and this graduate would do himself or herself a huge favor by teaching for three or four online bachelor degree programs or online master degree programs while seeking full time academic employment at a traditional college or university. The sad reality is that the need for ready income cannot wait for a search committee at a community college to make up its mind about twenty or thirty candidates. That ready income can be earned by an intellectual with a doctorate or master degree and at least a little ability with a personal computer. The first task that needs to be mastered by the prospective online adjunct college professor is the actual search for online adjunct positions available at the thousands of community colleges, four-year universities and for-profit colleges.

It will take some time for any new online adjunct instructor to learn how to quickly locate and enter the faculty application section of a school’s website, but after making at least one hundred applications the skills needed to engage twenty or more colleges and universities each day. This may seem like a lot of effort, but it is important to keep in mind that the current teacher layoffs are pushing ever more academically qualified academics into unemployment and underemployment, plus the sharp need for additional income also acts as a motivation for educators seeking to teach online for a living. Undoubtedly, the college educator today must assess the competition being created by slashed faculty budgets at all levels of the education professional.

Still, an energetic instructor wanting to teach online can still build a teaching portfolio populated with multiple instances of online adjunct faculty employment that can be coordinated from practically any geographic location on the globe. For this reason alone, almost unlimited mobility, the academic frustrated with the fractured salary and hiring environment on the traditional college and university campus should make every effort to transition out of the physical classroom and into an online teaching schedule populate with a variety of online bachelor degree programs.

Streaming Technology Explained in Layman’s Terms

Various on-demand movie and television services popping up the last few years have introduced some new terminology to many of us who are not technologically savvy, and who are just beginning to explore the vast, uncharted territories known as the worldwide web. One term that is practically a household term is streaming. The concept of streaming isn’t new. Radio and television are streamed. Streaming is, in a nutshell, a delivery method for media. We can stream anything that can be digitalized, including music, movies, sports, and television shows.

One statistic that may surprise many people is that 30% of all internet traffic today is from Netflix streams alone. And over-the-top (OTT) media consumption from distributors like Netflix, Hulu Plus and SuperPass is projected to increase by 60% within the next two years.

To clarify, there are two types of video streaming – live and on-demand. Live streaming is viewed on the internet simultaneously as a camera captures and digitally encodes the event. Progressive streaming is the type of streaming that OTT streaming providers utilize. On-demand videos are compressed files that are delivered by a streaming server. When an end-user wishes to stream a movie, for example, they will select the film and click on a play button. The OTT vendor will then deliver the requested film through specialized software called a streaming server. The streaming server will assess what is happening on the end user’s media player and make adjustments called buffering to ensure a good viewing experience. The streamed content is not saved on the end user’s hard drive. Once the content is streamed, it cannot be accessed again unless the file is requested again from the streaming service provider.

Besides streaming, there is another delivery method for these compressed files, which is called downloading. When you purchase a movie, song or TV show, you download the file from a web server (instead of a streaming server), and you save the file somewhere where you can access it whenever you wish – usually on your hard drive. Generally, at least a portion of the download must be complete before you can begin viewing the content without interruptions.

Downloads can either be rentals or purchases. If it is a rental, then the OTT provider generally gives a specified period of time from the time of rental in which to view the content before the file deletes itself. It’s important to note that downloaded files can contain viruses and malware, so make sure that you trust any source from which you download a file.

Media players can take on many forms when you stream or view your downloaded purchase. If you watch the content on your computer, you will probably utilize the media player that came with your operating system, or you may download a free or premium media player that the streaming service provider recommends. If you wish to watch on your television, you will need to utilize a gaming console, Blu-ray player, internet-enabled television set, or a streaming media player that is connected to your television and your home wireless network. It’s important to make sure that your intended media player is supported by your OTT provider.

Streaming is without a doubt here to stay as part of our entertainment options. Watch as the technology continues to improve and more options are available to consumers.