QuickBooks Online – Is It Still Only For Small Businesses?

Something quietly changed in April 2018. The same knowledgebase document that I’ve sent clients many times before that described practical limitations to the QuickBooks Online program no longer listed a practical limitation to transactions.

7/19/18 Update: After some research, I did find out that QuickBooks/Intuit has been phasing out some data centers as part of its move to the Cloud, and moving to AWS (Amazon Web Services). I would speculate that this probably is related to the lifting of the transaction limits, due to AWS scalability. I will update if I find more information.

Earlier article below (7/18/18):

This was odd, since for years before my understanding had always been that there was a practical limitation, and now the same document said there was not. I called Support, and the representative that spoke with me agreed that there was a practical limitation, but then when they went to pull up a resource document (the same one I had been looking over), they said the same thing. The language is gone.

Does this mean there is no longer a practical limitation to transactions in Online?

Prior to writing this blog post the last modification to the knowledgebase document referred to was on April 29th. When I viewed the KB document today, it lists a modified time of 27 minutes ago, and it looks like the transaction question has been further explained.

“Are there limits on the number of transactions?
There are no transaction limits. There are millions of QuickBooks Online customers world-wide, many with large data sets. Some have well over 1 million transactions and many thousands of customers! Transaction complexity would play more of a role with regards to performance than an overall number. For instance, an invoice with a single item and no sales tax is not the same as one with multiple items and with sales tax applied. That said, there isn’t a hard limit on the number of transactions you can enter, nor is there a known ‘complex transaction’ limit.

While QuickBooks Online doesn’t have file size, list or transaction limits, there are a few practical limitations to be aware of.” – Link to Limitation Document (Goes to QuickBooks website)

My advice to companies looking to move to QuickBooks Online:

  1. Test the functionality. If you are a Desktop user, you will find that the operators and functions in Online are quite a bit different from Desktop. You will want to make sure that they meet your needs.
  2. Make sure that you review the minimum requirements for QuickBooks Online, and that you take these seriously (they aren’t a goal, they are a minimum).
  3. If you are currently working in QuickBooks Enterprise, know that you are taking a risk. Technically, yes, it should be possible, and it’s worth giving it a shot if you are ready to move, but don’t do so without 1 & 2, and know that it is common knowledge that very large data files are known to slow down (in my experience, and in the experience of both Support reps I spoke with, and per colleagues surveyed).

My thought is that as QuickBooks Online has continued to mature that they have, indeed, made changes to processing abilities and have worked to scale the program to handle larger files. Since this is a newer development I do expect growing pains, and I do think larger companies should take care in deciding to jump onto Online, and I continue to recommend Enterprise for companies that have more than 5 employees and need complex inventory, security permissions and reporting functionality, among other things.

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