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Software Pairings for an Advertising Agencies with 5+ Employees Operating on QuickBooks Online

Links Advisory has worked with many advertising agencies with 5 – 20 employees.  Many of these agencies start out managing the finances of their entire business on the accounting ledger called QuickBooks. While this is a cost effective way to handle most part of a small business, a time comes when more robust reporting features and functions are required to sufficiently support the administrative needs of a growing SMB company.

There’s always more than one way to solve workflow issues.  As you consider what works best for your company, we’ve put together a series of examples, which integrate with QuickBooks Online.  We’ve provided a couple of options in each category for you to consider.


Timekeeping & Invoicing:

Harvest (favorite)




Gusto (favorite)


Intuit/QBO Payroll

(you should search for this inside of your QBO file to find more info…there are many versions)


Bill Pay

There’s a payables function in QuickBooks Online but if you want to be able to issue direct deposits to vendors or enable your vendors to see what you have received/entered: will also print and mail checks for you (I love this feature!).  It’s an easy and cost effective way to pay paper bills.

Note that also allows you to issue invoices, but there’s no timekeeping or project management function.  The advantage to using for receivables is that it enables you to accept bank drafts from your clients (if that’s important to you) and also credit card payments.  However, to enable credit card processing, you would have to sign up for an additional monthly account that’s at least $20-30/month.



If this is too much to tackle at once, one easy step you can take is to just set up an email account for all your accounting needs so that at least everything can be aggregated in one place.  It could be something such as accounting@(your_website).com or finance@(your_website).com (just as examples).



(replacement of all of the above and QBO with one system)

Here’s an example of an all-in-one solution intended specifically for creatives (however, last time I looked at it…it was expensive and desktop oriented but maybe worth a shot looking at recent features):

Clients & Profits

And then you can always use something like NetSuite or Microsoft Dynamics (this is generally about $500/person/month).

One thing I haven’t used is called Intacct, but I hear generally positive feedback about it.


Next Steps

If you find that you would like to talk with us about tools that may be right for your business, feel free to inquire about a one or two hour consulting appointment.  We offer in person, phone, and online appointments.

Elizabeth Adams

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