QuickBooks Online Plan Comparison:
Advanced Plan

Learn about the QuickBooks Online Advanced Plan

The QuickBooks Online advanced plan is much more robust, with advanced reporting and add-ons that are not available in any other plan. It allows you to batch invoices and expenses, customize user roles, further automate your workflows, and back-up and restore your company data.

Cost of QuickBooks Advanced Plan

The QuickBooks Online Plus Plan costs:

  • $200 per month in the US,
  • $160 per month in Canada.

The QuickBooks Online Advanced Plan is not available in the UK or Australia. It allows access for up to 25 users.

The QuickBooks monthly fee and the current QuickBooks Online offers along with a free 30-day trial are here:

QuickBooks Advanced Plan Features

With many QuickBooks Online businesses being required to upgrade to the new Advanced Plan due to changes in user limits I thought it was time I looked into what additional features there are in order to help my clients to make the best use of them, and help to justify the increase in monthly subscription price from $85 for a QuickBooks Online Plus Plan to $200 for a QuickBooks Online Advanced Plan.

This option has been available in the US for some time, and is now an option in Canada.

The additional features are:

  • Unlimited classes and locations
  • Customized user access
  • Ability to back up and restore your QuickBooks Online file
  • Additional custom reporting fields
  • Employee expense feature

You can also add up to 3 “Accountant” users without impacting your user limit, and there is Premium support available, that I do not have any feedback on yet.

Showing the US plan options

Customize User Access

The ability to customize what your QuickBooks Online users can access addresses a shortcoming in QuickBooks Online compared to QuickBooks Desktop. It is now possible to create a "role" that will give a user access to only the tools they need to do their job.

The add new user screen with the custom role selected.

In each of the categories Sales, Expenses, Banking, Inventory, and Workers you can select which forms the "role" can access, and then if they are able to only view, create, edit, or delete, or a combination thereof.

Granular options for user permissions in sales and expenses.Granular options for user permissions in banking, inventory, and workers.

This is a much more efficient way to provide access, and also more secure, as you can limit who can make changes and view areas that may not be needed for their position.

Back Up and Restore Data

Your QuickBooks Online file is constantly being backed up in the cloud, and is unlikely to be unavailable or damaged.

However, there are times when you may want to have a backup and the ability to "roll back" to a prior version of your QuickBooks Online file.

You can turn on this option from the gear icon on the top right.

Back Up Company link in the navigation highlighted under the Tools heading.

Your QuickBooks Online file should then be listed with the option to do a back up, or restore to a previous date.

Backup and restore screen.

Typically I would ensure a backup was available prior to linking a new application that may result in the import of a lot of transactions, for example, linking a Shopify store and importing sales. You may want to test the settings, or may have inadvertently set up the integration incorrectly. By having a back up of your file, you can roll back to the version prior to the connection.

QuickBooks Online purchased a company I had been using for client backups and folded it into their Advanced product. Meaning that it was no longer available in Canada, or to US businesses using other QuickBooks Online plans.

I have been using another service called Rewind, at a cost of $10 USD per month. This does a great job, and I will continue to use it for my Plus and Essentials clients who would like an independent backup.

For Advanced Plan users, this option is now available at no extra cost.

Note that if you would to "roll back" and restore to a previous date, you will lose everything that had been entered after that date. For that reason, I would suggest doing a backup prior to any big changes, and then testing before going ahead with normal bookkeeping or accounting.

Custom Reporting Fields

More powerful reporting fields is a powerful tool to enable you to access the information that is important for your business. You can filter and sort your reports based on the fields you specify, and better measure your KPIs and metrics to manage your business.

Under the QuickBooks Online Advanced Plan you can have up to 12 custom fields.

Custom fields are accessed from the gear icon under lists.

Custom fields link in the navigation under lists

What I particularly love about this expanded feature is the ability to have a dropdown list for each field, and you can specify the type of information to be included in each field.

Screenshot of adding a custom field and four data types

You can then select the forms you would like each custom field to appear on, and in addition if you would like it to appear on a published form - or be visible only to QuickBooks Online users in your business.

Screenshot of Select forms with boxes to check

Think about what additional information you would like to be able to track for your business, and then look at where it would be captured.

You may want to know who is creating the most estimates, so use a Salesperson field on estimates, and run a report filtering for that field.

Perhaps there is a specific sub category of expense you would like to see on your bills. The options are endless, and if you would like assistance setting up any of these features, reach out! I love creating new reports, and ensuring businesses have the information they need to be profitable and grow!

To explore this further, QuickBooks Online has created a short video: https://youtu.be/3hoQGnULZL8

Employee Expenses

I have left this one until last – does anyone enjoy expense reports?

This is my least favourite activity!

QuickBooks Online Advanced uses the expense capture feature that is in the other QuickBooks Online plans, and has enhanced it to be available to employees on their mobile devices.

A great feature is the ability to limit the categories your employees can select from, and to give them a "nickname" a label that would make sense to the employee, that may differ from the category or account name used in your chart of accounts.

This reduces the chances of the expense being allocated to an incorrect category, which would of course result in inaccurate books!

There is a useful video created by QuickBooks Online for this feature: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ty2QUdpPGXM

It does not include the reimbursement feature. There is an option to select "reimbursement" if the employee is the be reimbursed. I was not able to "test" how this flowed though, and will add a blog post, or perhaps a video when I have been able to explore this option more fully.

Finishing Up

QuickBooks Online Advanced has some wonderful tools to help take your business to the next level.

If you have been forced into it due to user limits, or chart of account category restrictions, be sure to fully explore which of these may help to make the extra cost worthwhile.

If you have been straining at the bit, and frustrated with some of the limitations of your QuickBooks Online Plus Plan, or disappointed at the loss of some features after transferring from QuickBooks Desktop, this may be the solution you have been looking fir.

As always, don't hesitate to reach out if you would like assistance determining which of these features could help your business, or how best to implement them.

Check out the best deal for the QuickBooks monthly fee here:

If you would like assistance to select or set up your QuickBooks Online file you can book a session here.

If you have QuickBooks, and have connected the bank, check out my bank feed training course before you get started.

About the Author

Kerry Smithies smiling at the camera with a blurred background.

Kerry Smithies is a top ranked QuickBooks Pro Advisor and CPA.

Be sure to subscribe to Kerry’s YouTube channel with lots of QuickBooks Online how to videos and tips for managing your business finances.

With extensive experience working with small businesses and entrepreneurs in Australia, Canada, and the US. Kerry now focuses her attention entirely on helping business owners manage their finances and grow their businesses by automating their accounting function utilizing QuickBooks Online and related cloud applications to streamline their bookkeeping functions giving them more time to focus on what they do well, run their own business, and enjoy hard earned down time!

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