QuickBooks Online Outages Bring Small Business Back Offices to a Halt

Like many small businesses, we use QuickBooks Online to manage our general ledger. For a rapidly growing, self-capitalized company completely dependent on cash flow to fund payroll, healthcare costs, OPEX and new hiring, the QB URL has become more than just a general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable and reporting tool -- it's our lifeblood, the pulse of our business. It's a pity then that Intuit in recent weeks has had so many issues keeping the service up and running for subscribers like us. Just this week, we've even had to resort to manually writing checks because we can't access the system. And don't get us started on not being able to invoice customers!

Coming from the software as a service (SaaS) and cloud world, we know that growing sites and services will always have outages. Amazon, Workday and numerous others have had their website down moments over the years, no doubt. But they solved their problems with each specific outage relatively quickly, at least as memory serves. Not so with Intuit, which can't seem to get their act together (nor are they communicating with customers and keeping them proactively informed about the status of the site) over a multi-day and week period.

In fact, I was personally going through an onboarding process with an electronic invoicing network provider earlier in the week as part of an evaluation we're doing of different services when an executive at the vendor told me -- after a long pregnant pause when my QuickBooks site would not respond -- that they've observed quite a bunch of issues with QuickBooks Online in November already. In fact, it would appear to be a consistent problem given our experience and at least one other media site's observations as well. Yet the problems have not been widely covered in the media, at least not yet.

We urge any business in the Spend Management and supply chain space -- we've heard of more than one -- considering ventures with Intuit to hold off on doing anything with QuickBooks until they get their scalability act together on a consistent basis with their online product. The ongoing failure of the QuickBooks site combined with their lack of responsiveness suggests this is one organization that has not yet made the transition to truly operating as a cloud service provider. With Intuit, this has happened before, but the fact that it keeps happening again and again this time around is indicative of something very wrong underneath QB's online covers.

Jason Busch

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  1. Merlin Seamon:

    We are a small business using Quickbooks online and I am sad to say that the problems remain as of Nov. of 2013. We have been without our books for 5 days now and had to do payroll manually an am unable to do reports critical to our business. I have currently been on hold with support for close to an hour and I did the same yesterday. They promise to call back at a specific time with updates and never call back and I am unable to reach anyone who seems to really know what is going on. Their support needs a lot of help!!! Once I get my data back I am looking for other options.

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