I started doing the accounting for an assisted living facility owned by my parents back in 1988. Times have certainly changed.
Over the years, I’ve only used two accounting programs: Peachtree and Quickbooks. I started using Peachtree in the day of floppy disks. It was difficult to use, time-consuming, and prone to error or lost data. And all of that trouble was after I hired a consultant to help me do the books. It shouldn’t have been that difficult.
The problem wasn’t necessarily the software. It was probably me.
At that time, I was a college grad with an accounting degree working toward a CPA license. I was working in the world of government accounting with enormous, complicated, and expensive accounting systems. As I set up the accounting system for our assisted living business, I allowed it to become too complicated. To make matters worse, it didn’t provide quick access to the type of information we needed to manage the business.
I had become a fan of Quicken to manage my personal finances. I had even considered trying to manage the business finances with those early versions of Quicken. But when Quickbooks was launched, I jumped on it.
Quickbooks simplified the process of keeping the books. It lowered the chances that I would create more problems than solutions. It saved me time, and it provided quick answers to questions we needed to manage the business.
Today, I’m still a fan of Quickbooks and use Quickbooks Online Edition to manage Senior Care Realty and several other businesses that I co-own. There are three main reasons why I like the online version of Quickbooks:
1. It’s in the Cloud. There are many reasons why I like having cloud-based software these days but the most important may be that I like to work from wherever I am. I’m not tied to a desktop computer or server in my office.
2. It’s always backed up. I realize that Intuit and other cloud-based software companies may have a problem or their service may go off-line. But I trust them a lot more than I trust myself. (However, I do make periodic copies of critical information so that I could, if absolutely necessary, move to a different system.)
3. Collaboration is a breeze. In this day of remote workers and distributed workforces, or just for any of us with multiple locations, it’s convenient to enable users to log in and share both data and workload. Plus, my accounting firm can check in as needed or get started on our tax return without me printing a single report.
I receive questions from clients about how to do their books and my immediate answer is to engage a competent financial advisor and use Quickbooks Online. In a future post, I’ll dive deeper into how to use QBO for helping manage your assisted living facility.
If you have any questions that you would like me to answer on that topic, please leave them in the comments.