Careers Business Ownership QuickBooks Simple Start Review Share PINTEREST Email Print Intuit Inc. Business Ownership Operations & Success Accounting Sustainable Businesses Supply Chain Management Operations & Technology Marketing Market Research Business Law & Taxes Business Insurance Business Finance Industries Becoming an Owner By Shelley Elmblad Shelley Elmblad Shelley Elmblad is an expert in financial planning, personal finance software, and taxes, with experience researching and teaching savings strategies for over 20 years. She earned her bachelor's in business administration from the University of Wisconsin and has successfully completed additional coursework and certificates in public administration, computer networking, small business accounting, and small business management. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 08/14/18 QuickBooks Simple Start is an ideal accounting solution for most new and many existing small businesses. From individual contractors and freelancers to businesses that are just getting started, this basic online accounting software is easy to learn and to use. And apps made for iPhone, iPad, and Android provide added convenience when you’re away from the office. With Simple Start, you’ll find a good set of features in this online accounting software without being overwhelmed by unneeded modules. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial, which should be long enough to help you decide if this is the best accounting solution for your business. Better yet, if your business grows, you’ll have the ability to expand to a more powerful version without losing any of your account data. On the flip side, however, downgrading is not currently possible. Data from higher versions is not yet backward compatible and will not transfer to Simple Start. Simple From the Start Each time you open QuickBooks Simple Start, the Home Page guides you through creating transactions. Menu tabs and links make it easy to find the type of transaction you need to enter: Invoices: Create and customize invoices.Sales and Expenses: See money coming in and being paid out, track expenses and sales.Reports: Twenty small business reports can be customized, such as balance sheets, sales, and profit and loss.Customers: Store contacts and customer information in the searchable Customer Center, where you can also find each customer's outstanding balance and transactions.Reduce Data Entry: Automatically download transactions from business bank or credit card accounts. Flexible Accounting Features If you're currently using a spreadsheet or manual ledger to do your accounting, you should find QuickBooks Simple Start much faster. Entering data is easy and accounting reports are generated with very few mouse clicks. Small business tax information is also automatically organized for future reporting. Accounting features include: Estimate preparation toolsInvoice creation tools, which can be sent via email or print for mailingElectronic bill payment/check printing toolSales, expenses, and tax reporting toolsOptions at additional cost:Payroll subscriptionQuickBooks Merchant Services, which allows for credit card paymentsHundreds of apps and add-ons available for inventory, CRM, project management, time tracking, and more QuickBooks Simple Start vs. Quicken Home and Business Quicken Home & Business is fully-featured personal finance software with very basic small business accounting features. It may sound ideal for a small business, but the business features in Quicken Home & Business are not flexible enough for more than a small side business. QuickBooks Simple Start is the better way to go since it's designed for accounting. As your business needs grow, you can upgrade to QuickBooks Essentials for $40 per month, which allows more than one person to use the software, making bills easier to manage and pay. If you have a larger inventory, you should seriously consider QuickBooks Essentials Plus for $70 monthly. Bottom-Line While small business accounting software options like QuickBooks Simple Start can save time and can reduce how much you'll need an accountant, nothing replaces working with a licensed professional. QuickBooks Simple Start earns 4.5 stars, but it’s best for very small businesses. It is not adequate for businesses managing substantial inventory or that require a considerable amount of fiduciary oversight.