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QuickBooks Online for iPad a limited app with potential

Jeffery Battersby | March 21, 2013
Last February, Intuit released an addition to its QuickBooks Online offering, an iOS app called QuickBooks Online for iPad that allow access to your QuickBooks data without requiring you to be pinned to your desk. While it's clearly a first generation app--which means it doesn't have all the features I'd like to see in an app of this sort--QuickBooks Online for iPad has the potential to ease your estimating and invoicing while you're on the road.

Invoices look gorgeous when you view them on the iPad, but that beauty doesn't transfer to the invoices your customers receive. What they get instead are forms based on the default templates you've selected in the QuickBooks Online app. As is the case with the desktop version of QuickBooks and applications such as Acclivity's AccountEdge products, these templates are sterile, uninteresting, and minimally customizable. They'll work, but it's small details like these that keep me using Billings for all my invoicing and time billing needs.

Which raises another important point. QuickBooks Online for iPad has no time billing features, which is a pretty obvious hole in an app designed to be brought on-site to a customer location. It's also important to note that while the app has some basic reporting functionality--you can view open and closed invoices, profit & loss graphs, and a bar chart of invoices by month--these are a very limited subset of what's possible at QuickBooks Online. Furthermore, while I know we live in an increasingly paperless world, there is no way to print anything from the app.

Bottom line

QuickBooks Online for iPad is an excellent start for what has the potential to be an amazing add-on to QuickBooks Online. Its invoicing tools, access to customer data, and basic reporting tools make it an enticing app, but missing time billing and access to more detailed reporting features make it an app that is not yet good enough to stand on its own.


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