QuickBooks Online Simple Start Review 2023 | ChooseWhat.com

Simple Start Comparison and Review

Simple Start Review

This version is great for:

  • People who primarily want to organize and track bank and credit card transactions for their business
  • People who do not want to use this software to enter bills and schedule payments


Online Simple Start is the most basic bookkeeping software Intuit offers and will work for extremely simple businesses that don't require the ability to enter and track bills form vendors. Simple Start now (finally) includes the ability to download transactions from your bank and credit card accounts, which dramatically reduces the time it takes to keep your books up to date. However, you are not able to enter bill from vendors for future payment. if you have a simple business and don't mind only entering expenses when they are paid and not having the ability to enter bills for future payment, Simple Start is a good starting point, and you can easily upgrade to another QuickBooks Online version with more features like Online Essentials or Online Plus at a later time.


Ease of Use

QuickBooks Online Simple Start received 4 stars for Ease of Use.

Setting up Your Books: QuickBooks Online Simple Start is somewhat easy to set up because it includes an initial setup guide, interface guidance tools, such as text that links to FAQs, and unlimited U. S. -based customer support. In order to access Simple Start, you do not have to download or install any software like you have to with the Desktop Versions because you can access your account from any computer with an Internet connection. However, you cant import your financial and accounting data with this version. You can also import customer information and other contact data from Excel, Outlook, and Gmail.

Day-to-Day Operations: QuickBooks Online Simple Start is not as easy to use along with most daily business activities because it does not have many features that are helpful in organizing and maintaining your books. However, Simple Start includes online access to the entire software from anywhere with an Internet connection. QuickBooks Online Simple Start now allows you to import your bank and credit card transactions into QuickBooks, which is incredibly important because it dramatically reduces the time required to record and categorize these expenses and deposits. Simple Start’s interface is intuitive, easy to navigate, and includes a section with quick links to important parts of the software, such as invoices, expenses, customer lists, banking, and reports. It also has a recent transaction window that details your latest transactions.

As with all of the Online software, there is no local copy of your books available. This can be important because if, for some reason, you lose your Internet connection or the QuickBooks website goes down (which happens on occasion), you could be left without access to all of your financial information. There is Helper Text within the interface that links to an FAQ section that explains the different options within the interface. Online backup is included with Simple Start, as all of your bookkeeping data is backed up daily. Mobile access is included and available for the iPhone, Android, and Blackberry. With the mobile app, you can manage your payable, receivables, bank balances, and customer contact information. As with all of the Online versions, Simple Start comes with free product upgrades so you will always have the latest available QuickBooks software.

Managerial Features: Customer Invoices, Estimates, & Budgets

Online Simple Start has very basic Managerial Features and lacks many important bookkeeping tools. Although, this software can create invoices for whatever business you operate, including traditional retailers that need to include sales tax, contractors providing a service that invoice customers based on time, expenses, and anything in between. You can also easily create invoices with this version by entering your customer’s name, the products or services you’re invoicing, sales tax, and a personalized message all on one page. This version does not allow you to automate or schedule your invoices. However, it does allow you to track the quantity or price of each product sold. All QuickBooks Online software now includes an Income List that shows invoices and sales receipts. This feature will allow you to filter all of these transactions by status (open, closed, overdue, etc.), date, and customer.

You cannot create estimates with QuickBooks Online Simple Start, however, you can accept credit and debit cards if you apply for a Merchant Account through Intuit Payment Solutions for 2.4%+$0.25 per "swipe." Payroll management is also available for an additional $31.20 per month.


Online Simple Start offers more than 20 financial, sales, and tax reports, which include accounts receivable aging, profit versus loss, and reconciliation reports. With any of the QuickBooks software you can create custom reports by adding to or editing the report templates. An inventory report is not available with this version of QuickBooks.

Tracking Payments to Vendors & Inventory

Online Simple Start allows you to set up a vendor list where you can easily enter in bills as you receive them and create vendors as-you-go. This version does not include inventory tracking or allow you to create purchase orders. It also does not let you prepare or print 1099s within the software.

Online Banking

Online Simple Start reconciles your bank account by going through every transaction in your account and making sure the information matches in the software. It also gives you the ability to write and print checks from within QuickBooks. It is as easy as filling out an onscreen withdrawal form and printing. QuickBooks offers in-depth deposit records that provide details such as who made a deposit, which account a deposit went to, and the payment method used. The software allows you to view histories of credit card, check, and cash expenses across all your accounts, as well as view each of these expenses by transaction.

Pricing and Support

QuickBooks Online Simple Start is the least expensive QuickBooks Online package. This package typically costs $30.00 per month, but is currently available for $15.00 per month for the first three months. Online Simple Start only comes with one user, and you must upgrade to Online Essentials or Online Plus in order to add more user accounts.

Unlimited email and phone support is included for free with Online Simple Start and is available between 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST. Not that it may take up to 24 hours for their support to get back to you. Chat support is not  offered. However, their searchable FAQ section is helpful as it provides a list of relevant topics. Intuit also provides many user forum categories, such as QuickBooks Tasks, Intuit Products, Intuit Resources, Intuit Payroll, and more, which we found very helpful.



$30 $9/month

Number of User Accounts


Free Trial

30 Days, but

General Features

Ease of Use

Unlimited Customer Support


Online Access

Permission Controls

Edit Your Books Offline

Prints Checks

Uploads Bank Files

Helps Create Tax Forms

Managerial Features


Very Basic

Creates Invoices

Automated Invoicing

Tracks Inventory

Creates Estimates

Manages Bills

Bills Your Customers

Creates Purchase Orders

Helps Create Budgets

Forecasts Sales and Expenses


Number of Reports


"Company Snapshot"

"Company Scorecard"

Industry-Specific Reports

Simple Start Screenshots
(Click Thumbnails for Larger Images)

Online Simple Start: Home

Online Simple Start: Invoice

Online Simple Start: Reports

Online Simple Start: Vendors

Online Simple Start: Banking