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The New QuickBooks Online: Better Design, Navigation, Performance

Intuit has rebuilt QuickBooks Online from the ground up. The resulting site looks and works much better, and should greatly improve your accounting workflow.

It’s hard to believe, but QuickBooks Online has been around for over a decade now. During that period, it’s grown from a bare-bones launch site to a cloud-based solution that rivals the desktop version of QuickBooks Pro in terms of its accounting abilities.

The user interface, understandably, was growing old. So Intuit recently did a complete redesign that does much more than create a more aesthetically-pleasing work environment. Its new layout and navigational tools will make your bookkeeping tasks easier and faster, which will ultimately save you money and free up hours to work on making your business thrive.

You won’t necessarily need QuickBooks training to master the new site, though you’ll at least need to spend some time familiarizing yourself with your new accounting platform.

Here’s what’s changed.

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The new navigational pane in QuickBooks Online makes it much easier to get to the right screen quickly.

In the old version of QuickBooks Online, you had to maneuver around a horizontal toolbar at the top. Getting your cursor on the right submenu was sometimes problematic. This new navigational scheme makes it much easier to get around.

There is a small horizontal toolbar at the top of each screen, but it contains just three links that you’ll likely use often to search, create new transactions and records, and see a list of the most recent transactions. By reducing the number of menus, Intuit has made QuickBooks Online’s tools more easily accessible. Your mouse clicks are greatly minimized.

The new user interface looks more attractive and state-of-the-art, with lighter colors and more open space, which makes it easier on the eyes. A pretty interface is more than just aesthetically pleasing, though: It actually enhances usability.

The previous version of QuickBooks Online used the same URL (web address), no matter which page you were on. The new URLs are shorter and descriptive. If you’re on the invoice page, for example, the URL will read This new feature – similar to the old Shortcuts in QBO — lets you bookmark frequently-used screens in your browser for fast access.

If you like working in multiple windows simultaneously, you can now do so by right-clicking on any navigation point. If you have two related windows open and make changes in one, those will automatically be reflected in the other window.

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Right-click on a navigation point to open the item in a new browser tab.

The new transaction view should save you time and frustration. When you click the “+” in the top toolbar and select a transaction type, that form will actually open on top of your current screen, covering it up. When you’re finished, the form closes and returns you to the previous view.

There are numerous other changes. For example, QuickBooks Online is now a single-page application, which means that you’ll move faster from one screen to the next. High-resolution displays are supported. And if you’re using QBO via a tablet-based browser, you’ll have a better browsing experience overall (this enhancement is still a work in progress).

If the new QuickBooks Online is your first exposure to an Intuit accounting application, you may want to invest some time in a QuickBooks course to learn about the workflow and QuickBooks best practices. Users of the older version will likely be pleased by the significant changes made to the solution.

Hector Garcia

Accountant and Enrolled Agent

Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Member of Intuit Trainer/Writer Network & Accountant-VIP

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