We looked at QuickBooks 2009 for Mac last week, and also slated to be updated for 2009 is QuickBooks Online. Intuit was showing off the latest version at their booth at Macworld Expo running in the Safari web browser (which was not previously possible). QuickBooks Online is […]

We looked at QuickBooks 2009 for Mac last week, and also slated to be updated for 2009 is QuickBooks Online. Intuit was showing off the latest version at their booth at Macworld Expo running in the Safari web browser (which was not previously possible). QuickBooks Online is an interesting alternative for Mac users because it is the only multi-user version of QuickBooks that will run directly on the Mac, even if it is in a web browser.


If you have 2-3 users and do not need to track inventory, then QuickBooks Online might be a great solution for your business. You get multi-user access at a lower cost than implementing a multi-user Windows installation. You can also provide online access to your accountant, but cannot export an accountant’s copy for editing in the desktop software like you can in QuickBooks for Windows.

iphone_quickbooksonline_homepageThere is an iPhone optimized web page available as well that gives you read-only access to a number of key pieces of information like “Who Owes Me,” “Who I Owe,” and Bank Account balances. You can also create new invoices on the upcoming iPhone web app.

Intuit is looking into expanding the feature set of the iPhone web portal to include editing existing invoices, but the feature set for the next release has not been locked down yet. I, for one, would love to see the timeclock available on the iPhone so you could clock in or out on a job site. I would also like to see the ability to add a new line item to an existing invoice so if you run a business where services are delivered on-site, it would be simpler to upsell or cross-sell at the customer site and update the invoice right then and there.

Pricing for QuickBooks Online starts at $9.95 per month, but the Online Plus version with most of the goodies starts at $34.95 per month for up to 3 users (access for your accountant is included for free, as are timeclock-only users). Release of QuickBooks Online with Mac compatibility is slated for release in the next few months.

Which One is Right for Me?

This is a tough question for Mac users. If you are running a small business with a single user accessing QuickBooks, then the desktop version is probably the right choice. The 2009 update does not offer huge improvements in functionality, but the interface is much improved and streamlined, and you get Leopard compatibility. All the reports that you likely need are included, and the new Cover Flow report browser makes it easy to find what you are looking for.

If you need multiple users to access your QuickBooks file, then I would seriously consider the Online service as soon as the Mac-compatible update is released to the public. You cannot manage inventory, but QuickBooks Online is the only way to get multi-user support natively. The iPhone web app has limited functionality today, but is a nice addition that will only get better with time.

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  1. Alex Rodriguez Monday, January 26, 2009

    Any word on a timeframe?


  2. The best we could get out of them was, “soon”

  3. Guide to QuickBooks on the Mac – TheAppleBlog Tuesday, January 27, 2009

    [...] everyone, but it does have some advantages for those that can live with its constraints. Get our overview of QuickBooks Online to decide if it might be right for [...]

  4. Holy mother of God. Tell me this is not a joke. I (soon will) never have to boot up VMware again? Or boot into my PC partition (bootcamp, or whatever the hell it’s called)? I can cancel my order for a PC now? It’s about friggin’ time.

    Thank you Quickbooks.

    Wait. AND they’re launching an iPhone version?!!!?

    Ooops. I just went and pooped my pants.

    Offsite meetings with my accountant will never be the same.

  5. I use Quickbooks for Mac 2009 but don’t like it. The Windows version has more features. Will the online version for Mac have the same features of the Windows version?

    Also, what is the point of paying for multiple users? Cannot people just share a username and password? Would I be able to access all the info from both my home and office computer? I think that would be a good advantage.

  6. When will this be ready? After moving to Mac, we’re dying with no access to our books on the road.

  7. My bookkeeper is a PC user and I am PC POS user and a Mac laptop user (love my new Macbook Pro) – my bookkeeper just signed us up for Quickbooks online – primarily to interface with my bank – but at this time, I cannot access QB Online from my Mac laptop – but with the upcoming QB Online mac version – will I be able to access the same online account from my mac as my bookkeeper does from her PC?

  8. It is now available, but you need to have one of the rep online sign you up and convert your desktop quickbooks file into a new company. The process takes about 30 minutes. There are 2 plans, “Plus” and “Basic.”

  9. Alex Rodriguez Tuesday, April 28, 2009

    Yes! Its been working good so far. Minor things but happy to see it finally available!

  10. So, are these threads suggesting that QuickBooks Online for the Mac (ie. Firefox on Mac, or Safari?) is available? Or, must you still run IE on Windows?

    If so, do you just contact Intuit support to have them set us up?

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