QuickBooks Online (QBO) was first implemented more than 10 years ago and it has gone through a lot of changes in that time. Each update for new features increased the software’s complexity and maintainability and thus increased the turn around time for bug fixes and additional new features. Small changes in one part of the product started to destabilize other parts. Since the future of accounting software is in the cloud, Intuit needed to address the issues with QBO if it wanted to stay competitive against products designed for the cloud without the baggage of being adapted from a piece of desktop software. As a result Intuit, has given QBO a major overhaul complete with a new user interface.
QBO is sporting a brand new look and feel. The new design and color scheme is being adopted not just for QBO but also for all connected Intuit provided apps and services, including payroll and payments. With a similar design across the QBO ecosystem, Intuit expects their users to have a more fluid experience when interacting with their different products. For example, integrated payroll should not look like it was written by another company.
The navigation system has changed significantly. There is no longer a horizontal navigation system at the top. It was causing issues as users could not reach certain menu items without trying the second time. Hovering was flaky. It was especially hard on computers with touchpads instead of mice. Since vertical mouse tracking is naturally easier to do, the new primary navigation is now vertically on the left. The secondary navigation is on the top under various menus. Unnecessary hover states have been removed so the menu doesn’t disappear just because the mouse cursor accidentally went off it. Customer, Vendor, Employee and transactions oriented workflows can be accessed via the left hand navigation.
Creating of new transactions can now all be accessed from a single place – by clicking the + on top. Having this one-stop button to create all transactions will prevent users from wasting time to hunt around for a particular transaction to create – something that the old QBO menu system was notorious for as transaction creation was distributed under different menu items. Eg, to create a bill for a vendor you had to go under the Vendors menu but to write a check to pay off that vendor bill you had to go under the banking menu. You can now create any transaction you want from any page on the product.
Performance improvements have been entered into the new QBO. The new layout and images in the product should now scale better than before on high resolution displays. The icons should look very crisp. The new QBO is now a single page application. This means that a user should get a better experience when navigating around the app. This performance improvement should make users happy who complained that QBO needed to be as fast as the desktop version. Intuit claims it is closer to that now if not all the way there. Lastly, because of the performance improvements mentioned above as well as removal of popups, the new QBO is now accessible via mobile Safari on iOS, Chrome on Android and IE on the Surface. Just go tohttps://qbo.intuit.com in your tablet’s browser as your would in your desktop browser.
To take the new QBO for a test drive click here: https://qbo.intuit.com/redir/
These changes are a long time coming and will definitely make QBO more competitive against Xero and other cloud packages. This should also make the transition to the cloud easier for those small businesses who want to stay with Quickbooks because they are comfortable with the desktop version and don’t want to change bookkeeping ecosystems.