Apr 26, 2018
5 min

Dubsado + Quickbooks: What You Need To Know

This is a guest post by Tiffany Bastian.

If you scroll through the Dubsado Facebook community, you'll see a lot of people talking about how they utilize a program called QuickBooks alongside Dubsado. If you aren't familiar with it, QuickBooks is an accounting software developed by Intuit. QuickBooks is aimed primarily toward small and medium-sized businesses and offers robust bookkeeping functionality. While Dubsado offers bookkeeping features suitable for most business owners, some people prefer to have a deeper overview of their financials: enter Dubsado's integration with QuickBooks. If you have an account with both Dubsado and QuickBooks, you are able to integrate the two services, allowing invoices and actions done within Dubsado to reflect on the QuickBooks side.

I talk to clients and see questions in many online forums regarding QuickBooks Online (QBO) and QuickBooks Self Employed (QBSE). If you've explored QuickBooks, you know that there are various types of the program to chose from, so many want to know the differences and who should use what. QuickBooks Online alone has three versions, which can get confusing. I wanted to take some time to break down all of Intuit’s QuickBooks Online accounting offerings to help you figure out which one is right for you.

We will go over:

  • QuickBooks Self Employed

  • QuickBooks Online - Simple Start

  • QuickBooks Online - Essentials

  • QuickBooks Online - Plus


Intuit clearly explains at the beginning of their QBSE webinars that QBSE is not for small business owners, but rather for a person who is self-employed. To clarify, this basically means freelancers, subcontractors or those who offer a service to others in a very simple way.

QBSE is a very simple interface that only does a few things:

  • Track Income and Expenses

  • Track Mileage

  • Calculate Estimated Tax Payment

  • Very simple level profit and loss report

That’s it! It doesn’t:

  • Store customers or their info

  • Track sales tax

  • Track 1099 contractors

  • Have a balance sheet

  • Track Assets (Equipment etc... )

And the big one: QBSE DOES NOT integrate with anything!  

Not Dubsado, not Zapier, not Paypal, not Stripe . . . nothing.

QBSE boasts the ability to track personal and business transactions in one account and let’s you categorize them appropriately. But, that’s all there is. You can only see your income in two categories “Business” and “Personal.”

If your goals are bigger than that, if you plan on growing from just a few clients into a business, then you really should be starting off in a version of QBO. Another important note: If you start out in QBSE and decide later you do want to move beyond that simple self-employed person and grow into a business, there is no way to convert your data over when you realize you have outgrown QBSE.

BEST FOR: Creatives/Entrepreneurs who intend to only work as a contractor for others who do not plan on growing their own business.


Ah, this is more like it.

QBO offers three versions, each offering more as you move up the price scale.

Please note all three versions integrate with Dubsado!

You can use both QBO Payroll products and QuickBooks Payments with all three QBO versions as well.

The only thing QBO doesn’t do that QBSE does is track mileage, but for that I use MileIQ—much more robust than the QBSE mileage tracker. Click here to check out Mile IQ and get 20% off!

Ok, let's break it down.

QBO: Simple Start  

This is really only a few steps up from QBSE. This version is the least expensive and the most simplified. You get full financial reports plus the ability to track sales tax and send invoices.

This is a great version for most creatives entrepreneurs unless you need to do any of the following:

You can’t:

  • Track and manage bills

  • Set up recurring client billing

  • Track 1099 contractors

  • Track Inventory

BEST FOR: Creatives/Entrepreneurs who don’t need to maintain inventory or track accounts Payable. If you have no intention on hiring any contracted labor such as second shooters, designers, etc, this version should suite you just fine!

Next . . .

QBO: Essentials

This version has everything most small businesses need. This version integrates with a ton of apps, helping you to build a more efficient business flow. This version does everything Simple Start does, plus you can enter bills coming due and manage them and their payments. You can create recurring monthly client invoicing and track billable hours.

You can’t:

  • Track 1099

  • Track Inventory

BEST FOR: Creatives/Entrepreneurs who want to set up automatic payment schedules & track billable hours to clients. This version allows you to setup a payment schedule, and the invoices are sent to the client on an automatic schedule you choose.

Dubsado Note:

If you are using Dubsado for your billing you can do all of automated payment scheduling and hour tracking in Dubsado and integrate with the simple start version just fine.

Last but not least . . .

QBO: Plus

(When you need just a little more)

This is the version I recommend to 90% of my clients. But that is because the majority of them deal heavily in contracted labor. This will allow you to track all subcontracted labor for the year and file the 1099 & 1096 electronically at the end of the year. The only reason to upgrade to QBO Plus is if you need the following features:

  • Track Inventory

  • Track 1099 Contractors

BEST FOR: Creatives/Entrepreneurs who work with subcontractors such as second shooters, or those creatives who hire others to do portions of the work. If you hire someone to handle your social media or a virtual assistant, or if you are a website designer but you contract out the actual programming, this is the version you want.

So what does it cost?

  • Self-Employed –  $5/Month for 3 months; $10/month thereafter

  • Online Simple Start – $7/month for 3 months; $15/month thereafter

  • Online Essentials – $20/month for 3 months; $40/month thereafter

  • Online Plus – $30/month for 3 months; $60/month thereafter

Tiffany Bastian is the owner of Bastian Accounting. She confirms the rumors you heard are true: she does have an MBA in Accounting, she is an Advanced QuickBooks Proadvisor, and she is an IRS Enrolled Agent. Most days you can find her jamming out to old school and hip-hip sipping on a fresh, hot cup of coffee while she transforms a client’s messy QuickBooks file into a beautiful piece of tax-ready art!

Bastian Accounting supports many creative clients, with everything from QuickBooks setup and cleanup to monthly bookkeeping, tax planning, and filing. She believes your time is valuable and better spent on tasks you enjoy that bring growth to your business. She loves helping creatives rekindle the drive and passion they had before it was dulled by the stress of trying to wear too many hats.

You can check out her blog where she shares tons of Dubsado and QuickBooks Tips, Tricks and Hacks here: https://bastianaccounting.com/blog

IG: @bastianaccounting

FB: https://www.facebook.com/BastianAccounting


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