This article is intended to help inform you – the accounting expert – on a number of exciting changes happening within QuickBooks® Online (QBO), which will dramatically improve the first time user experience for a new small business signing up for QBO.
We are re-imaging first time use, given our aspirations around changing our pace of growth against Xero. We know from years of QuickBooks learning that once a customer gets their data into the product and sees the benefits they hire us for consistently over a key financial period, such as a quarter, they are very unlikely to switch. First time use is critical, and represents the focus of our innovation efforts across devices.
The first set of product improvements will launch October 4 (mini release) and October 12 (full release). Our goal is to communicate the relevant changes to you one week in advance, on 9/28, with a blog article. Separately, we will also be calling this out in our 10/20 DR newsletter, as well as through our TWN members, and we will be linking to the blog article from in-product.
As accountants, you are the power users of QBO, and we want to be sure that you are the first to know about any changes that may affect your current workflows within the product, as well as answer any questions that your clients may ask.
This article will focus on three areas: 1) QBO navigation changes, 2) new QBO P&L dashboard visualization look, and 3) new QBO guided categorization flow for small businesses. This will be the first in a series of exciting product enhancement rollouts throughout FY17.
Here are the three areas of focus:
1. QBO Navigation Changes
Accountants who enter the books of new-to-QBO clients may see the following changes to the left hand menu options, designed to make navigation through QuickBooks Online simpler and faster. (Keynote: When signing up your new clients, they will not see the new experience.)
We have removed the menu item labeled “Transactions” in the left navigation panel today, and have given a more straightforward and logical “home” to each of the four items that were previously nested under Transactions (Banking, Sales, Expenses and Chart of Accounts):
- We have moved the “Customers” and “Sales Transactions” views to sit together under a single money-in center, and have followed a similar approach for the “Vendors” and “Expense Transactions” views under the money-out center.
- Depending on the answers your client provides in their QBO setup flow, the money-in center will be labeled as either “Invoicing” or “Sales.” The money-out center will be labeled “Expenses” for all users.
- We have created a new menu item titled “Banking,” which holds the bank feeds and a page to manage bank rules. We have also created a new menu item titled “Accounting,” in the left navigation, which houses “Chart of Accounts” and “Reconcile.” Registers can also be accessed from the “Accounting” menu item.
With all of the menu and navigation changes detailed above, it’s important to first note that none of the destination pages themselves have been changed or removed. What is different is how you navigate to them.
Below are screenshots highlighting these changes:
Note: Default sub-nav here is Customers List.
Note: Default sub-nav here is Sales Transactions (shown).
2. New P&L Report
We have replaced the current Profit & Loss (P&L) visual on the QBO homepage with a new, more robust version that shows the P&L as a snapshot in time. Our goal is to leverage the downloaded bank transactions to give your client a better sense for money-in and money-out from their bank, while also prompting your client to categorize additional transactions and to add Accounts Receivable/Accountants Payable data to build a more accurate view of the P&L.
Below is how these changes will be seen inside your clients’ QBO:
3. New Guided Categorization Flow
Your clients who sign up for QBO will also experience a new guided categorization flow the first time they categorize their bank transactions. This guided experience will help focus your clients on one transaction at a time, highlight how to approve transactions in batch, and teach them a bit more about harnessing the auto-categorization power of QBO. It’s important to note that this guided flow will not set bank rules.