One of the best elements of QuickBooks Online’s new user interface is the page you see when you sign in.
Considering the fact that the desktop version of QuickBooks has been around for well over two decades, it’s not surprising that its user interface has undergone more than one revamping. Before its most recent remodeling a couple of years ago, you practically had to take a QuickBooks course to learn how to get around from the home page.
That’s a testament to how powerful QuickBooks desktop is. But QuickBooks Online has been around long enough that its home page, too, was getting a little cramped.
If you’ve ever seen the old version of the QuickBooks Online home page, you’ll appreciate how much more usable it is now.
QuickBooks Online’s new user interface starts here. The home page is much more intuitive and effective than the one in the previous version.
Let’s look at the individual sections of the new home page. The vertical pane on the left is your navigation tool. It partially replaces the toolbar in the old version that was sometimes difficult to use if you wanted to access a submenu. Click on any of the links besides Transactions, and the data, tools and a few additional links appear there (the Transactions link opens a submenu divided into Banking, Sales, Expenses, Registers and Print Checks).
The center part of the screen gives you a quick overview of your company’s financial status. It presents graphical representations of your:
- Income. Totals for open and overdue invoices, and for payments over the last 30 days
- Expenses. 30-day total and a pie chart showing the relevant spending categories
- Profit & Loss. Income minus expenses equals the current profit or loss; a line graph splits this up into weeks.
This area of the home page is more than just numbers and pretty charts. It provides navigation tools. You can click on just about any element, and a new page opens displaying detailed data for it. Click on Cost of Goods Sold in the expenses chart, for example, and you get a QUICKREPORT with all of the numbers.
This report opens in QuickBooks Online when you click on the Cost of Goods Sold section of the Expenses pie chart.
The small horizontal toolbar at the top of the screen has three functions. It can open the:
- Search Transactions box
- Create box, which displays just a few of the most often-used transactions at first, but can be expanded to show all of them, and the
- Recent Transactions list.
You’ll probably consult the information in the right vertical pane very soon after you sign in every day. It gives your account totals and tells you how many transactions need your attention. Below that is a list of all of them, which can be sorted by type. Click on a hyperlink in one of them, and QuickBooks Online takes you to the actual transaction screen.
Of course, QuickBooks Online can’t teach you the fundamentals of accounting. You need QuickBooks training for that. But the new user interface in the revamped version of QuickBooks Online will accelerate your workflow once you understand the basics.