If you’ve ever screamed, “I hate QuickBooks,” you’re far from alone. Here’s a look at the top complaints about QuickBooks and why everyone still uses it anyway.
5 Reasons Why People Hate QuickBooks
First, the most common complaints about QuickBooks that send people looking for alternatives to QuickBooks.
1. It’s hard to navigate.
Need to enter a transaction? Just click this, drop down to that, pick the third option, then fill out the form. Whatever you do, don’t click the button on the homepage that looks like the easiest way to do it.
And even once you know the super-secret handshake, you still have to do all the clicks. There’s very few keyboard shortcuts — especially on the online version.
2. It’s too complicated.
To some degree, this goes hand-in-hand with being hard to navigate. But what’s really going on is that QuickBooks has too much stuff.
When you need a small handful of tools, QuickBooks gives you an entire Home Depot. And you can’t just leave the tools you need out, either. There’s no turning off unnecessary features, so you have to dig through the entire warehouse every time.
3. You feel nickel and dimed.
With multiple pricing tiers and various add-on services, it can feel like you’re getting nickel and dimed. In reality, you get a very robust set of features on each price plan, and the monthly fees are far less than what you’d pay a bookkeeper hourly to do it all by hand.
However, when it doesn’t feel like QuickBooks is working to improve known flaws, it’s no surprise that people don’t feel they’re getting their money’s worth.
4. There’s a high learning curve.
QuickBooks is not something that you can just use out of the box. No small business accounting software is.
The problem with QuickBooks is that there’s two learning curves. First, you need to really understand the underlying accounting — it does not hold your hand and teach you what you need to do. Second, even if you’re an accountant, you need to learn its quirks, where it hides things, and when it uses different terminology than you may be used to.
5. There’s little customer support.
QuickBooks customer support is virtually nonexistent unless you’re (a) trying to pay them for something or (b) on a paid support plan. Some of the information in their support forums is useful, while other times it feels like people are racing to post irrelevant answers just to win more points for posting.
Part of the reason is that while anyone can use QuickBooks, it’s really designed for accountants, and they’re actually good about providing training for accountants. Still, if you’re trying to go at it alone after buying a subscription, that may not provide much comfort.
Try Free: QuickBooks and other accounting apps. Try a few and see which one you like best.
3 Reasons Why Everyone Still Uses QuickBooks
Despite all of that, pretty much everyone still uses QuickBooks for these three reasons.
1. Everyone else does.
QuickBooks has had about 80% market share for about as long as computers have been mainstream. If you’re looking for accounting software and ask someone what they use, there’s a 4 in 5 chance they’ll say QuickBooks.
2. It has more features.
That market share isn’t just about following the crowd, though. QuickBooks has more features and integrations precisely because it’s so big.
When small business banks and services are looking to add tools for their customers, QuickBooks is going to be the first name that comes up. After that, the remaining 20% of the market is so splintered that it rarely makes sense to add them. Think Windows vs. Mac software except if Apple only had a 2% market share instead of 9%.
3. It uploads directly to your accountant.
But the main reason that everyone uses QuickBooks is that QuickBooks tries so hard to hook accountants. The software gives your accountant everything they need to do your taxes (after they check that you entered everything correctly), and they can log into your live books via QuickBooks Online Accountant.
QuickBooks is pretty openly trying to get your accountant to pull you towards their products. However, the truth is that their products do make life easier for both business owners and accountants and are still overall better than other available software.
Do you need help with QuickBooks?
If you still need QuickBooks, you have a few options. The QuickBooks forum can help you with basic questions and troubleshooting. There are also many QuickBooks training resources available online.
If you choose to use the online version of QuickBooks, your accountant will be able to look at the same thing as you even when you’re not sitting together.
If the problem isn’t actually the software but that bookkeeping isn’t your thing, you can now get Live Bookkeeping directly through QuickBooks.
Do you want to file a complaint about QuickBooks?
There are many posts in the QuickBooks forum where someone is asking to file a complaint saying they’ve tried to contact customer service multiple times and never got a satisfactory response. The forum support generally just posts basic troubleshooting steps or says to call again.
The Better Business Bureau also lists a number of complaints. Most are unanswered or unresolved.
23 thoughts on “5 Reasons People Hate QuickBooks & 3 Reasons They Still Use It”
Do not even get me started… QB is shite. I am an expert user, I have even taught my accountant a thing or two. Been using it over 20 years and it gets worse and worse. Customer service will waste your time and apologize for the garbage over and over. QB credit card processing has a policy that is discriminatory against cannabis patients with a medical prescription prescribed by their family doctor. Looking at Peachtree and Netsuite now.
I am really pissed off! Now desktop will not provide bank feeds unless you open a subscription account. Wouldn’t be so bad but the cost is way too much per year.
I’m done with Quickbooks.
I cannot believe how bad the help is. Whenever I call them, their “solution” works for a bit but eventually makes things worse. That is, if they can, after hours on the help line, actually “solve” anything.
I truly hate Quickbooks.
Support is horrible. Prepare to waste a LOT of time.
Their help menu is anemic! Obviously they have not had any of their customers help them design it!!
Thank you so much for this warning. Good job writing this.
Whatever you do…do NOT use “quiickbooks on-line”. They will hold your data hostage in order to extort MORE money from you. Plus, no matter how fast your computer and your internet connection are…it doesn’t MATTER. Because their SERVER is the problem. Sometimes it will work. Often it will be so slow that it might as well be NOT WORKING. As for the “desktop version”…it’s better but STILL BAD. The underlying DATABASE is a weird, custom-made database that was designed in the 90’s and STILL has many problems that have not been fixed. I have been following the problems with Quickbooks since 1999 and it is MUCH WORSE now than it was in 1999. What good are “more features” if the over all program is poorly designed? So what’s a guy to do? Here’s my answer. If you are a “medium sized” business with lots of employees then use “SAGE desktop”. If you are very small business where ONE PERSON does the accounting at any given time, then get an OLD copy of “Peachtree accounting” and use it on a windows XP computer that is NOT hooked to the internet. You will have TOTAL stability and you will never need to “upgrade” your software. (many problems with accounting, especially Quickbooks, happen when the program or the operating system is updated. Anytime your computer is hooked to the internet you are inviting trouble. You can use a USB flashdrive to transfer files, send reports and emails, etc (have an “online” computer sitting next to your offline accounting computer). This system has worked for me for more than 15 years and I’ve NEVER had a problem.
Thank you so much for this warning. Good job writing this.
Good ideas but I sell products and if you don’t upgrade QB won’t let you charge customer’s credit cards. I have used QB for decades and they have gotten more and more terrible over the years.
So many huge glitches and so many lies over the years.
I feel extorted and used with no recourse except to go out of business which I won’t do.
Horrible product but I use it because accountants do
UI from the 1980s
wHY AM i NOW HAVING TO PAY FOR PAYROLL SERVICES. i’VE BEEN USING qb FOR MANY YEARS AND NEVER HAD TO PAY FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE PROGRAM.
I so despise their software and lack of support… they are completely clueless morons and aren’t worth the time of day anymore.
Going to seriously look for alternatives now.
Customer support is non existent…so true…worthless!
This is what the executives made in 2019. Basically, everyone who paid for QB Desktop and QBO paid these guys and gals. The little that is left went to 30,000 or more of underpaid workers, not all of them honest, sadly to report.
NAME AND TITLE TOTAL COMPENSATION PAY RANK BY TITLE
In Software & Networking industry
Executive Chairman of the Board, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
President and Chief Executive Officer
Executive Vice President and Chief People & Places Officer
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Executive Vice President, and General Manager, Consumer Group
Executive Vice President and General Manager, Small Business & Self-Employed Group
Here Goodarzi confirmed the accuracy of our story reporting that Intuit deliberately hid its Free File product from search engines.
Intuit was doing two things on Google. First, it was buying ads to direct people who searched for the truly free version to products where they would eventually have to pay. Second, it suppressed the landing page of the truly free product so that it would never appear.
I think you’re referring to this https://twocents.lifehacker.com/here-is-turbotaxs-actual-link-to-file-for-free-1834380008 rather than QuickBooks? There is no free version of QuickBooks.
Thanks for this article. Intuit has taken corporate “corruption” to an unprecedented new level. They can because money is power (they’re a billion dollar company which means they buy PR people to say the right thing today, and another thing tomorrow to get more sales. Everyone in the US gives Intuit their financial data… for free. The weird thing is that people actually pay Intuit to give Intuit access to what Intuit wants to sell: their private financial information. It’s hard to believe people fall for this, but they do, and they do it in droves. It’s called marketing. Leave out what people don’t want to hear, likely the truth, as in “without accounting knowledge your books will be a mess”. Of course, no accounting knowledge is required to buy QuickBooks which is all their advertisement claims. You pay Intuit for software like QBO which allows Intuit access to all your private financial information. You probably wouldn’t even give your best friend access to this information. I have never heard of such a transaction in real life. You go to the grocery store and the grocery store pays you for buying groceries? Well, the best analogy would be that you give the grocery store access to your home, they raid it for their own purposes and sell it to the highest bidder. Of course, the customer “service” is located on the moon. Intuit cares about making money and paying it to the CEO. Who almost cried in his last address and said that “Intuit wants to help people”. Maybe he didn’t finish his sentence “Intuit wants to help people … to pay me, the CEO, the most I can get”. Billion dollar companies only favor a very few people even if thousands upon thousands work for them. All the money never benefits more than a handful of corporate executives. With a billion dollars or more in the bank, you can adjust google, you can suppress or even make negative comments disappear, you can buy 5 star review at $10 each or less, you can get any lawyer to take care of anything … anything money can buy and it’s a lot. Money is power and the more power a company has the more they control the market place. What is worth the most is your private data … because the billion dollar company can sell it and make a lot more than what you paid them for some some crappy software that spies on you 24/7. Amen.
I agree- This is the worst program ever!
Is there an alternative for a small business?
“It uploads directly to your accountant”. Not this CPA. I refuse to work with that mess. I instruct all my clients who are prisoners of Quick Books to print a trial balance and a GL detail for me to work with each month. Other than that, they are on their own.
WHY THE HECK DOES QB KEEP ADDING [censored] ICONS FOR THEIR OWN SERVICES TO MY WORKING QB DESKTOP. WHEN I CLICK ‘ADD A LOAN’ I DO NOT WANT TO GO TO THEIR WEB SITE, I AM THINKING I CAN ADD MY PPP FUNDS TO A SPECIFIC LOAN TRACKING ACCOUNT ON MY DESKTOP TO COMPLY W THE PPP REGULATIONS. QB ALREADY TOOK OVER MY DESKTOP BY ADDING THEIR OWN LOAN APP FUNDING ICONS, JUST LEAVE MY CORE PAID FOR AND OWNED DESKTOP QB ALONE – ITS FOR MY WORK, NOT YOUR MARKETING PURPOSES. AND ANOTHER REASON I OPTED OUT OF QB ONLINE, STOP MARKETING TO ME AND STOP TRYING TO CHANGE MY DEFAULT BROWSER TO INTERNET EXPLORER. BE AN ASSET TO SMALL BUSINESSES DURING A PANDEMIC. YOU WERE SOOO LATE TO BE ANY RELIABLE PPP RESOURCE, YOU ONLY WANTED THE LOAN APP PIECE AFTER THE FUNDS RAN OUT AND A GOOD SOFTWARE PARTNER WOULD HAVE ALREADY ADDED A PPP LOAN TRACKER HOW TO SHEET FOR PAID USERS = NOT FUNDING SO QB CAN GET THEIR 5 OR 10% FUNDING FEE FROM THE SBA. SERIOUSLY IF THERE WERE ANY OTHER VIABLE OPTIONS FOR REALLY SMALL BUSINESSES IE FEWER THAN 10 EMPLOYEES, REVENUE UNDER 1m THERE IS A NEED…NO BELLS OR WHISTLES, JUST BASIC BOOKKEEPING…GOOGLE SHOULD HELP US OUT HERE!
[Instructions for circumventing software licensing removed.] You can supplement your accounting with one of those free “online” invoice programs (limited free use per day). But NEVER pay for monthly “online” accounting.
Changing from a single purchase to monthly fees can feel like nickel and diming, but please don’t pirate software. There are many free options like Wave or using Google Sheets.
The website has no access to a customer service phone number, which I had to find online. Their customer service is based in Manila. The person I talked to was totally incompetent.