Whether you currently use QuickBooks for Mac or you’re looking for an accounting software for your Mac, you should be aware that QuickBooks for Mac is being discontinued. The most recent version of QuickBooks for Mac is 2016, which Intuit will support through May 31, 2019. QuickBooks Online comes in three versions; Simple Start, Essentials and Plus.
If you’re a Mac user and you need accounting software, QuickBooks Online is a great option. With QuickBooks Online you can access your data from any device with an internet connection. You can give other users access to your data so they can login from anywhere. If you’re not quite sure if QuickBooks Online will work for you, you can get up to 50% off; plans start at $10 per month.
QuickBooks Mac: New Users & Legacy Users
If you are a new QuickBooks user, head over to our Versions of QuickBooks Online for Mac section to find the best version for your business needs.
For users of Intuit’s legacy product for Mac, it’s important to know that the company is dedicating more resources to its cloud accounting software, QuickBooks Online. That means there are fewer resources available to continue to support desktop products like QuickBooks for Mac. Unlike QuickBooks Mac, QuickBooks Online is compatible with any PC or Mac computer as well as any mobile device with an Internet connection. We discuss what legacy users should consider in detail below.
What Happens If I Keep Using QuickBooks Desktop for Mac
As we discussed, Intuit will continue to support QuickBooks Mac 2016 through May 31, 2019. This means that if you use any of the following add-on services, they will not work after this date:
- Tech support: After May 31, 2019, you will no longer be able to contact Intuit with questions regarding QuickBooks desktop for Mac. However, when you switch over to QuickBooks Online, tech support via telephone or chat is free.
- Intuit payments: After May 31, 2019, you will no longer be able to process credit card payments received from customers through your QuickBooks Mac software. However, you can link your existing Intuit payments account to your QuickBooks Online account. Just contact tech support, and they will walk you through the steps.
- Payroll services: After May 31, 2019, you will no longer be able to process payroll through QuickBooks for Mac. When you make the switch over to QuickBooks Online, you will need to choose one of the Intuit Payroll Services.
Why You Should Convert to QuickBooks Online in Advance
If you are a current QuickBooks Mac user, you should consider converting to QuickBooks Online as soon as possible to avoid running into any issues with the add-on services discussed in the previous section. Sign up for one of the three QuickBooks Online versions and follow the step-by-step instructions in our article on How to Convert from QuickBooks Desktop to Online. While this article was originally intended for a QuickBooks Windows conversion, many of the steps are identical to what you need to do for a QuickBooks Mac conversion.
Check out this short video tutorial from Intuit that walks through the steps of exporting your data to QuickBooks Online. You will notice that the video uses a conversion for QuickBooks Windows but, as I mentioned, the steps are very close to what is required to export your QuickBooks Mac data.
Versions of QuickBooks Online for Mac
QuickBooks Online for Mac is a cloud-based accounting software that can be used on any desktop computer, laptop, tablet or cellphone. Unlike QuickBooks for Mac, there is no software to install. You simply need a device that can connect to the Internet and you can access your data easily by logging in with a secure ID and password.
There are three QuickBooks Online pricing plans; Simple Start, Essentials and Plus:
- Simple Start: Costs $20 per month, and it’s best for startup businesses — sign up to get up to a 50 percent discount
- Essentials: Costs $35 per month, and it’s best for small to medium-sized businesses that sell services only — sign up to get up to a 50 percent discount
- Plus: Costs $60 per month, and it’s best for any business that sells products or services — sign up to get up to a 50 percent discount
Below is a summarized feature comparison chart of QuickBooks Online pricing plans:
QuickBooks Online for Mac Plans at a Glance
|Manage Accounts Receivable|
|Download Bank and Credit Card Transactions|
|Manage Accounts Payable|
|Create Purchase Orders|
|Create & Manage Budgets|
QuickBooks Online Simple Start
QuickBooks Online Simple Start is the most budget-friendly out of the three plans. It costs $20 per month or $240 per year. Simple Start includes one user and two accountant users, the ability to manage unpaid customer invoices (accounts receivable), the ability to connect your bank and credit card accounts and unlimited live telephone and chat support.
Unfortunately, QuickBooks Simple Start does not have the ability to manage accounts payable like the QuickBooks Essentials and Plus plans do. You also cannot track inventory, create purchase orders or create budgets in Simple Start like you can do in the QuickBooks Plus plan.
QuickBooks Online Simple Start is ideal for a micro business that sells services only and pays all of its bills with a debit or credit card account. Sign up to receive up to a 50 percent discount on QuickBooks Simple Start, which is normally $20 per month.
QuickBooks Online Essentials
QuickBooks Online Essentials is the mid-tier plan and runs $35 per month, which is nearly double the cost of the Simple Start plan at $420 per year. For the additional $15 per month, you do get a few more features. Unlike the Simple Start plan, you can manage and pay your bills with the Essentials plan. In addition, you get two accountant users like the Simple Start plan offers, but you also get to invite up to three users vs. one user with the Simple Start plan. Unlimited chat and telephone support is also included in this plan.
Similar to QuickBooks Simple Start, QuickBooks Essentials does not track inventory, include purchase orders or have the ability to create budgets. However, all of these features are available in the Plus plan.
QuickBooks Online Essentials is ideal for a small to medium-sized business that sells services only, no products. Sign up to receive up to a 50 percent discount on QuickBooks Essentials, which is normally $35 per month.
QuickBooks Online Plus
QuickBooks Online Plus is the top-of-the-line QuickBooks Online product. It costs $60 per month, which comes out to $720 annually; which is more than three times the annual cost of Simple Start ($240) and $300 more than the annual cost of Essentials ($420). This plan includes five users plus two accountant users, which is four more users than Simple Start and two more than Essentials.
Unlike Simple Start, the Plus plan is able to manage accounts payable so that you can track bills that are coming due or past due. With Plus, you can also create purchase orders and send them to your suppliers. Once you receive the products, you can go into QuickBooks and create an inventory receipt and pay the bill by check or by debit or credit card. QuickBooks will update all inventory cost and quantities behind the scenes automatically.
QuickBooks Online Plus is ideal for any size of business that sells products or services. If you also need to do detailed budgeting on income and expenses you can do that easily as well with QuickBooks Online Plus. Sign up to receive up to a 50 percent discount on QuickBooks Plus, which is normally $60 per month.
Bonus: If you like to see what users are saying, read the QuickBooks for Mac reviews. For an even more in-depth comparison of each QuickBooks Online pricing plan, check out our article on QuickBooks Online Comparison.
How to Get Up to Speed Quickly on QuickBooks Online for Mac
If you are an existing QuickBooks Mac user, you are familiar with the basic terminology used in QuickBooks products. However, if you are a new user, then you will need to get up to speed quickly on how to use QuickBooks Online.
Lucky for you, Fit Small Business has a free QuickBooks Course that you can access for free to get up to speed on QuickBooks Online quickly. Our course includes step-by-step video tutorials on how to set up your business in QuickBooks and how to perform daily tasks like connect bank and credit card accounts and track income and expenses.
The Bottom Line
Don’t wait until the last minute to switch over to QuickBooks Online. Sign up for your free 30-day trial of QuickBooks Online. Follow the instructions we have provided to transfer your existing data into your new QuickBooks Online account, and check out our free QuickBooks Course to get familiar with how to use the program.
Switching accounting software programs is never easy. The good news is that you can stay within the QuickBooks product line by making the switch to QuickBooks Online. This online software program will allow you to access your data 24/7/365. You no longer have to email your QuickBooks file to your accountant — just give them access, and you get unlimited free technical support with QuickBooks Online.