There are a few things that you can control from the app itself.
There is a More actions menu link next to the “qb” icon:
Click that to get a menu:
See your invoices shows you those five “prioritized” invoices, as I discussed earlier.
Settings shows a small number of options:
Each of these are links to the appropriate place in my QuickBooks Online account.
Free QuickBooks Online Account
If you click the link to Sign Up for a new account when you set up this app, you will be creating a special “invoicing only” version of QuickBooks Online. This is a limited account, but it’s free to use. The only cost to you will be the transaction fees for any online payments that you receive.
This free account works with Stripe for payments, rather than QuickBooks Payments. I was surprised, since QuickBooks Payments is one of the major Intuit products. However, Stripe has an easier payments onboarding process. You don’t need to fill out very much to start accepting online payments from customers. QuickBooks Payments takes more effort to set up and your application requires approval before you can use it. That doesn’t fit within what I see as the goals of this app.
At this time, the free “invoicing only” QuickBooks Online account cannot be upgraded to a full featured QuickBooks Online account (Simple Start, Essentials, or Plus), although I would expect that if there is enough demand for that then Intuit will work on making an upgrade path available.
The only way that you can get one of these free “invoicing only” QuickBooks Online accounts is if you sign up through the QuickBooks Invoicing for Gmail app.
A few comments:
- Note that all the QuickBooks Invoicing for Gmail screens are narrow enough to fit on a mobile device screen without modification.
- This app is only available in the US at this time.
- You can only create an invoice from an email message. There isn’t a way to create an invoice from any other place in the Gmail dashboard.
- I found that response time can be a bit slower than I would like. Of course, I was using a beta test version, so that could change as the product is released.
- I’m concerned with how easy it is to add a new item to the products/services list. If you have a typo, and don’t notice it, you’ve added a new item. There should at least be a warning of some sort so that you can correct it before you fill up your products/services list with duplicate junk.
- I do wish that inventory items would default to “By quantity” pricing.
- At the time that I’m writing this I have not had access to one of the “invoicing only” QuickBooks Online accounts. It is not clear to me what features you have there, but we can guess that it isn’t much other than the portions that I’ve shown you above.
It is hard for me to evaluate the need for a product like this. It only works if you use Gmail extensively, and correspond with your customers that way. You have to receive an email from your customer before you can use this to create an invoice for them. Is this easier than working from QuickBooks Online and having your Gmail contact list available there? Perhaps, in some situations.
Speed will be a major concern. If there are long lags in working with this, people won’t accept it.
The most interesting aspect, to me, is the free “invoicing only” QuickBooks Online account. I’m guessing that this is the real focus for this app – to bring in those very small businesses that are just looking for a quick way to generate invoices. The user doesn’t get “accounting,” they don’t even get “taxes” like you get with QuickBooks Self Employed. Is Intuit creating too many fractured, partially functional products? They have this QuickBooks Online “invoicing only” product, QuickBooks Self Employed, QuickBooks Online Simple Start, all aimed at these very simple business situations.