Usage Limit in QuickBooks Online

Usage Limit in QuickBooks Online

This is more of a QuickBooks Community Service announcement on the announcement of new Usage Limit in QuickBooks Online. You may have become aware last week that there’s a new hyperlink on your chart of accounts page in QuickBooks Online Simple Start, Essentials or Plus. Or perhaps you navigated through the gear icon, then to account settings and noticed a new section called “User Limits”.

Regardless of how you found the change, it is here, and it’s here to stay. Intuit’s new SKU, or program, is QuickBooks Online Advanced. The new product is designed to be similar to the QuickBooks Enterprise Desktop version (eventually). It is not quite there yet.

To learn about QuickBooks Online Advanced, click here.  

Learn about the usage limitations, click here.  

To find out about user types, click here.

Usage Limit in QuickBooks Online:  Why did this happen?

In light of the addition of the new product, Intuit has decided to enforce some limitations to its current product line.  The changes basically mirror what we have in the desktop version with Pro, Premier and Enterprise. You may have originally signed up to QuickBooks Online with the thought that you had unlimited chart of accounts, unlimited classes and locations. But that is changed.

QuickBooks Online Advanced:  The new program

Intuit notified its ProAdvisor’s on February 4th of these changes.  From their official press release on QB Advanced:

"QuickBooks Online Advanced provides an advantage for these growing and more complex businesses at an attractive price point, filling a gap not yet met in the market. Built on an open platform, businesses have access to hundreds of 3rd party applications, such as online bill pay and inventory management, that can easily be added and custom fit to meet their needs. QuickBooks disrupts and innovates by delivering a flexible solution that is tailor-made for businesses at this stage of growth, versus rigid mid-market software that over serve with the wrong functionality."

The reason behind this new product in the new change in direction of implementing restrictions.  According to Intuit, the new limitation is only to affect  the top 5% of the heavy users already in the Plus Version.

The biggest issue is price tag at $150 per month.  The Plus version is $60.  A significant increase. One thing to note, however, is that the Advanced program does come with a few nice perks:

  • Fathom, which is an amazing application that gives you very robust reporting.
  • Defined users. You will be able to streamline your user roles just like QuickBooks Enterprise.
  • Ability to up to 25 paid users. The Plus version used to let you add more than 5 users with an additional cost per user.  Now it is capped at 5. Additionally, the new users limit has changed for Essentials or Simple Start.  You do not get unlimited report users these two programs.  Essentials does have the unlimited time tracking user.
  • You get unlimited chart of accounts
  • You get unlimited classes in locations

Advanced QBO will get better as it develops over time. Intuit will add a lot more features to it. It will become more QuickBooks Enterprise-like.

To see a post with a detailed breakdown of users for QB Enterprise, click here.

Usage Limit in QuickBooks Online:  Being over the limit

What if you were not aware of this and you click into your program and see the red screen, like Matthew had above? What are your options?

If you are over the limit with your users, chart of accounts or class and location lists, you are now locked in where you are at. Leave it be, you will not have to upgrade

Making an account inactive, that your new set point.  Until you drop below the 250 for the chart of accounts or the 40 for combined location and class list, you will be out of luck unless you upgrade to the new QBO Advanced version.

ProAdvisor tip:  Be careful not to rename an already used account to another name because you’ll affect your historical information. You can clean up your chart of accounts to reduce it to below the 250 mark. Most businesses don’t really need more than 250 accounts on their chart of accounts. The only time I see numbers like that is if the company is a nonprofit. And if your nonprofit, I would stay in Desktop and host It using QBox. Most nonprofits can’t afford that $150 a month for the subscription. Eventually, there may be an alternate solution to purchase the Advanced version of QBO thru techsoup.org.


If you have any questions or would like to see a future video on another topic, please reach out to me on Facebook. Please join our Facebook Group, QB Community Live.

Lynda Artesani

Lynda Artesani is the president of Artesani Bookkeeping where she uses her expertise and organizational skills to help her clients thrive and become profitable. Lynda is a member of the Intuit Trainer Writer Network. She is an alumni member of the Intuit Advisory Board. Additionally, she is the first Expert Columnist for the QB Community forum. She is also a co-founder in a Facebook group called QB Community Live!