QuickBooks Online Advanced delivers 488% ROI: Forrester TEI study reveals top 4 benefits

QuickBooks Online Advanced delivers 488% ROI: Forrester TEI study reveals top 4 benefits

Growing businesses have a lot of questions when it comes to investing in financial management software. What are the benefits? What are the risks? What will be my return on investment (ROI)? As more mid-market business owners outgrow desktop tools, sour on slapdash solutions, and move on from manual accounting methods, they require answers and insights to make smart, informed decisions on their next big technology purchase.

Because accounting professionals love their numbers, especially when it comes to ROI, it’s important to understand the immense value that the right accounting solution offers. This is why Intuit commissioned Forrester Research, a leading global market research company, to develop The Total Economic Impact™ of Intuit QuickBooks Online Advanced so business owners like you can see just how much value comes with implementing the right application.

488% return on investment QuickBooks

First, that massive ROI: Overall findings indicated a 488% return on investment and a risk-adjusted net savings of $59K over three years (net present value, or NPV) based on a composite organization developed from businesses participating in the study. And while ROI holds great weight in a business owner’s technology purchase decision, other key findings include increased operational efficiency with daily financial tasks, better reporting, cost-savings associated with cash flow tracking, and enhanced employee collaboration.

A quick note on study methodology before we dig into the findings: Forrester interviewed six decision makers and surveyed 93 who are active QuickBooks Online Advanced users. Forrester then aggregated the experiences of all participants and combined the results into a single composite organization. That composite organization represents US businesses that are growing quickly, employ approximately 50 people, and make around $15M in annual revenue.

Now, let’s jump into the top four business and cost-saving benefits…

59K NPV QuickBooks

Key benefits of QuickBooks Online Advanced

The Total Economic Impact (TEI) study uncovered several operational-enhancing benefits for business owners that may be like you. Findings revealed that users of Advanced noted exceptional value spanning four key quantified areas:

  1. Increased efficiency while performing financial tasks—resulting in a 30% increase in productivity.
  2. Increased time-savings via advanced reporting—resulting in a 16% decrease in decision-making time.
  3. Elevated cost-savings from tracking cash flow—resulting in a 50% reduction in loan interest paid.
  4. Enhanced collaboration via data-driven insights—resulting in a 16% average reduction in rework.

The study also revealed several unquantified benefits including the ability to build a custom solution via app integrations, save time thanks to premier support (both during and after solution implementation), enhance employee (user) experience using a highly intuitive interface, support remote work, and add cost savings by decommissioning old software systems.

Each of the top four key findings is detailed below, complete with supporting statistics and unique user testimonials that will speak directly to accounting professionals’ love of numbers and results!

30% increase in productivity

Key benefit 1: Increased efficiency while performing financial tasks

Broad consensus among survey participants was that Advanced served as a highly efficient, centralized financial and accounting management hub. On average, participating business owners reported experiencing a 30% increase in efficiency when it came to processing routine financial tasks.

Users noted key features such as the system’s dashboards, batch data import and export, workflows, and direct connection to bank feeds to automate daily tasks such as invoicing and account reconciliations as essential capabilities that enhanced efficiency.

Composite data showed that time saved on day-to-day financial tasks is worth more than $45k over a three-year period.

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Download the full study

See the numbers for yourself. Get the full and detailed view of how QuickBooks Online Advanced benefits growing and complex businesses like yours. Including how Advanced helps:

  • Increase efficiency while performing financial tasks
  • Increase time savings with custom reporting
  • Raise cost-savings from tracking cash flow
  • Enhanced collaboration using data-driven insights

Mirroring the pain points of growing businesses like yours, interviewees indicated that prior to using Advanced, viewing and aggregating data was a more manual and time-consuming process. Outdated systems presented clunky interfaces and lacked automation and standardized workflows, which made performing daily financial tasks slow and labor-intensive. In addition, the drain on time intensified because their systems also required that certain tasks be performed outside of the app—using dated tools such as spreadsheets. Sound familiar?

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Doing those basic administrative tasks in QuickBooks is very user-friendly. Efficiency and accuracy have improved.
Controller, moving company

QuickBooks Online Advanced solved the pain point of extreme inefficiency by:

  • Centralizing data and information in one place, allowing for ease of access and streamlined workflows.
  • Enabling batch import and export of financial data such as receipts and customer transactions—allowing tasks to be completed in a fraction of the time it took in desktop systems.
  • Offering connections to bank feeds for fast and easy account reconciliations.
  • Offering workflows that support standardization and automation of tasks, while also eliminating errors.
  • Supporting automated invoicing for significant time-savings while helping to get paid faster.

Overall, efficiency gains equated to immense time savings, allowing employees across the organization to focus on projects that improved business operations and further fueled profitability. What firm owner doesn’t want to improve the bottom line?

$11K value of time saved on reporting over three years

Key benefit 2: Increased time savings via custom reporting

The solution’s impressive reporting capabilities allowed the composite organization to quickly generate detailed, customized reports—supporting more informed, profit-driving business decisions. QuickBooks Online Advanced is so intuitive that the team was able to create reports 20% faster, which put them in the hands of leaders far more quickly and led to making core business decisions 15% faster. 

If your firm leans heavily on reporting to make smart, cost-savings decisions (and it’s highly likely that it does, just think about what Advanced can do for you in this area. 

Composite data showed that time savings on reporting, overall, translated to more than $11K over three years.

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QuickBooks saves us a ton of time on reporting. It also improves our reporting. There’s a lot of flexibility to tailor reports to specifically how we want to look at things.
CFO, nonprofit

Again, much like the challenges today’s firm owners face, study interviewees indicated that reporting in their current solutions was far more limited. Reporting was not as detailed, versatile, or customizable—which made it difficult to gain deeper financial insights into the business. This is an issue that many firms can identify with no doubt. 

Solutions also required owners to export data and manipulate it in spreadsheets to customize as needed. Getting rid of added, disparate work in spreadsheets should be a leading goal for any business.

QuickBooks Online Advanced offers highly customizable reporting within an intuitive interface, helping to:

  • Create reports 20% faster.
  • Accelerate decision making among leaders by 15%.
  • Drill down into data to support revenue-driving decisions, cut costs, and improve the bottom line overall.
  • Increase visibility into data at a granular level. 

“With QuickBooks, we get reports with the most accurate information. They allow us to make the best decision for our company,” said the owner of a building and design company.

50% reduction in loan interest paid

Key benefit 3: Elevated cost-savings from tracking cash flow

If your plan is to progressively grow your business, then you know better than anyone the necessity of understanding cash flow at all times. Interviewees explained that QuickBooks Online Advanced provided them with a far greater understanding of their organization’s cash flow because data on current and future cash balances was more reliable and accessible. 

The tools provided in Advanced helped business owners better understand cash flow and future surpluses, which led to negotiating loans with better terms in advance, delaying loans until necessary, or avoiding loans altogether. Take a moment to think about how much your firm could save on loan interest and other fees.

Composite data showed that owners now pay 50% less on interest from loans each year, equating to nearly $10K over three years.

Prior to implementing Advanced, business owners relayed that keeping track of cash could be a major challenge. To gain proper insight into cash balances required supplemental manual analysis via spreadsheets. This proved time-consuming and did not always offer accurate analysis.

With Advanced, business owners experienced:

  • Greater insight into cash flow and a more accurate understanding of current and projected cash on hand.
  • More accurate views into cash as the system took into account various expenses such as rent, payroll, and vendor payments—along with the revenue to identify when surplus would run out.
  • An immense increase in the accuracy of budget forecasts.
  • The ability to make informed decisions on investments that create additional revenue.
  • Reduction in securing last-minute, higher-interest loans.
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Based on the analysis and forecast of our cash balance, we were able to make an investment that created additional revenue.
CFO, non-profit

“Every month I use QuickBooks to look at cash flow three months out. We’re no longer experiencing unexpected tsunamis where we’re in a vulnerable position and need to quickly borrow money. We saved hundreds of thousands of dollars on interest. And we sleep a lot better at night knowing we’ll be able to cover expenses,” explained the owner of an engineering and consulting business.

89% experienced improved collaboration

Key benefit 4: Enhanced collaboration via data-driven insights

There’s no doubt that most managers would agree that better collaboration across departments and roles should be a key objective for any business. But better collaboration requires on-demand access to data and the ability to quickly share insights and results. Once again, Advanced improves this area of business.

Because data is so much more accessible in QuickBooks Online Advanced, interviewees reported exceptional progress in collaboration among team members with ease and efficiency. In fact, an overwhelming 89% of respondents stated that they experienced improved collaboration with colleagues due to Advanced.

Because the solution serves as a centralized financial and accounting hub, team members have immediate access to data-driven insights to keep meetings with leaders and team members productive and on track. Additionally, with so many powerful features, more can be done within the software without the need to supplement work with spreadsheets or other outside solutions. The ability to sync activities within one solution reduces double work and the need for detailed explanation. 

For the composite organization, this benefit came to more than $4,000 over three years.

Prior to using Advanced, the ability to collaborate was limited because data was not easily accessible across departments and roles. Today, with Advanced at the center of the financial and accounting function, business owners can:

  • Easily collaborate with team members, offering transparency into the data to those who require it.
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I use the advertising data to have meetings with marketing, and we’re immediately able to discuss exactly how much we’re spending and on what.
Controller, retail business
  • Reduce time explaining data and insights because data is far easier to format and interpret.
  • Eliminate the need for spreadsheets and other ad hoc methods to fill gaps in understanding.

“QuickBooks makes it very easy to collaborate. When a mistake is made, it’s very obvious and it’s easy to see. Increased collaboration between our controller and billing clerk has really made those roles much more successful because everything is right there,” said an engineering and consulting business owner.

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Download the full study

See the numbers for yourself. Get the full and detailed view of how QuickBooks Online Advanced benefits growing and complex businesses like yours. Including how Advanced helps:

  • Increase efficiency while performing financial tasks
  • Increase time savings with custom reporting
  • Raise cost-savings from tracking cash flow
  • Enhanced collaboration using data-driven insights

Solving common business issues

Before making the move to QuickBooks Online Advanced, the organizations within this study reported great inefficiency with routine financial tasks. Employees were also hindered by lack of visibility into the data—working in outdated or non-cloud-based software that lacked automated, robust functionality. Reporting and tracking of metrics were also very basic, depriving leadership of timely, detailed insights required to make informed financial decisions. And finally, attempts to overcome these common issues with older, outdated systems led to “creative” manual methods that bottlenecked work, drained resources, and created unnecessary friction. 

Respondents reported that they were quickly able to see the value after investing in Advanced. The solution’s powerful tools and intuitive interface helped users increase efficiency on financial tasks, produce better reporting, reduce costs via insight into cash flow, and enhance collaboration across team members.

There is no reason why your firm can’t experience these same results, including triple-digit ROI, enhanced reporting, deeper insight into cash flow, and improved collaboration across team members. WIth the right solution in place, the sky’s the limit on efficiency and cost-saving gains.

Want to know more?

Thinking about updating your accounting solution and want to experience the same benefits of using QuickBooks Online Advanced? Access the full study to dig into the detailed findings, TEI framework, and methodology applied in this timely and highly informative study.


This content, study and materials are for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal, accounting, financial, investment, or tax advice, or a substitute for obtaining such advice specific to your business. Additional information and exceptions may apply. Applicable laws may vary by state or locality. No assurance is given that the information is comprehensive in its coverage or that it is suitable in dealing with a customer’s particular situation. Intuit Inc., or its affiliates do not have any responsibility for updating or revising any information presented herein. Accordingly, the information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research. Intuit Inc., or its affiliates do not warrant that the material contained herein will continue to be accurate nor that it is completely free of errors when published. Readers should verify statements before relying on them.

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