Pros and Cons of iPad 2 & What about QuickBooks?

Pros and Cons of iPad 2 & What about QuickBooks?

Apple announced the iPad 2 today and in an email stated:  “Thinner. Lighter. Faster. FaceTime. Smart Covers. 10-hour battery. Coming March 11” — my birthday! I’ve had “iPad envy” for awhile now and contemplated whether to buy an iPad or not. As a CPA and business owner, is it right for me? Would QuickBooks work on it? Or is it an expensive toy?As an accountant, I tend to analyze things (perhaps too much). When considering whether to purchase an iPad 2 or not, I have been considering the pros and cons.

Pros of buying the iPad 2:

  • It’s cool & looks fun!
  • I travel quite a bit a few months a year. With the small size and 10+ hour battery life, the iPad 2 would be great to use on the plane, in airports and hotels. Plus, I wouldn’t have to pay for internet access while traveling.
  • We frequently go to the lake and it would be great to use the iPad since internet access isn’t always easily accessible.  I enjoy writing and working while looking at the lake!
  • As a consultant to small business owners, it is beneficial to use the latest technology so I can advise my clients and answer their questions.
  • I could use it for business purposes.
  • My business has sufficient cash flow.
  • It’s cool & looks fun (worth repeating)!

Cons of buying the iPad 2:

  • QuickBooks Pro, Premier or Enterprise will not run on the iPad. I could login remotely to access QuickBooks but that wouldn’t be sufficient due to the nature of my business.
  • When traveling to present QuickBooks seminars, I would still need to bring my laptop.
  • The majority of the time, I’m in my office and would use my laptop with the full keyboard, dual monitors, etc.
  • FaceTime video — I’m not sure I want to use that feature at all.
  • When considering needs vs. wants. I don’t actually need the iPad 2 — I just want an iPad really bad!

I’ve had people tell me to just buy the iPad and deduct it as a business expense.  However, I tell my clients and small business owners they should not make a purchase simply because it may be tax deductible.  It is still money you are spending even if it is tax deductible.

For me, an iPad would be another device and would not replace my laptop.  Especially since QuickBooks will not run on the iPad,  I guess I’m just too practical, but I can’t justify buying an iPad at this time.  Besides isn’t the iPad 2 really just a larger version of the iPhone 4 (which I just purchased from Verizon)?

However, I can keep trying to win an iPad! There have been several online giveaways — who knows I just might get lucky! Or, if you were wondering what to get me for my birthday, which is March 11 — the day the iPad 2 is available……… 😉

What do you think — is the iPad really worth it (aside from the cool / fun factor) for accounting professionals, bookkeepers, tax professionals or CPAs?


Don’t MissiPad’s Allure Combined with a Good Price is Impossible to Resist and

How to Access QuickBooks from iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch


21 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of iPad 2 & What about QuickBooks?

  1. D Cline

    QuickBooks Online is just not a proper service for any financial professional or business needing QuickBooks functionality on the go. I can’t stress this enough.
    Somebody mentioned it earlier in these comments, but InsynQ – CPAASP does offer QuickBooks hosting with an iPad and smartphone app that works really well. Meaning you can access a fully functional version of QuickBooks from your iPad 2 just the same as you could from your office desktop.

    There’s some great info on this at

    Anyway, good article. Thanks Michelle.

  2. Nancy

    Sending this from an iPad2… Wish I would have your site before I purchased . Yea it is a great toy surfing the web excetera orgamizer but… Is the problem that quickbooks online does not “like” apple or that apple does not “like” quickbooks?
    Maybe I will ask Santa for a quickbooks online app for my iPad for Christmas 😉

    1. Michelle Long Post author

      QBReflex is for reports only — it doesn’t allow you to enter transactions into QuickBooks via the iPad or iPhone. But it does look useful for seeing QuickBooks reports on your iPad or iPhone.

  3. Jeannie

    I loved all of the comments. I have been a Dell laptop user for many years, and run Quickbooks for our small business. I am a computer junkie, and have to upgrade every year of two, just for fun. I have no desire to have an IPad for business purposes. I JUST WANT ONE!! :o) I am 62 years old, raised five daughters, worked hard all of my life, and I figure … if I want one, then I am going to get one! I purchased the Iphone through Verizon at midnight the day they were released, and I love it. I had a Blackberry before, and cannot believe how much more user-friendly the Iphone is. I don’t mind going through Itunes on my computer … with Blackberry, all of my updating had to be synched through my computer, too. I might even jump the PC ship and buy a MacBook eventually. But the comments were so much fun to read, and,Michelle, happy late birthday. What’s wrong with just getting the desires of your heart once in a while?

    1. Michelle Long Post author

      Thanks Jeannie! I did get an iPad on my birthday after all (here’s the post about it: I was a Blackberry user before too & now have an iPhone from Verizon too. I agree — it is much easier to user. Between the iPhone and the iPad, I find myself using them both a lot an loving it!

  4. Michelle Long Post author

    Great comments & I liked the story Sandy. You can access QuickBooks Online on the iPhone too but obviously the screen is much smaller. Plus, new in 2011 is QuickBooks Connect which allows you to enter invoices & receive payments online from anywhere — include an app on the iPhone — and sync it with the data file in the office.

  5. Sandy Lenner

    I agree with all of Michelle’s pros and cons. However, I want to share a recent client experience. One of my clients, who is a painting subcontractor,raved about being able to access QuickBooks Online Plus from his iPad in order to bill on the fly.

    One day, a customer called and told him to come to the customer’s office to pick up a check and to bring a bill. Unfortunately, the painting subcontractor had not yet prepared bill. So he went to his car, turned on the iPad and was able to email a bill on the fly, to the customer in five minutes. And he said thank you “Cloud” and also said that this simple event justified the monthly subscription for QuickBooks Online Plus.

  6. Keith Gormezano

    For me, the best reason for getting a new iPad2 is that I can take notes on what I did for my Greater Seattle area PC and Mac clients that I set up, review, fix their problems, train, help, and support in Quicken, QuickBooks, Point of Sale, and Enterprise. Then when I get home, I can transfer those notes to the detailed sales receipts I send to them. It would make it easier since writing is difficult for me but typing isn’t.

    I also like being able to go to my local coffee shop and check e-mail, social media like Biznik, LinkedIn, and Facebook, and traffic (condition) maps before heading back. And if I get stuck between clients, I can review various QuickBooks eBooks in PDF format on it.

  7. Lorene Knott


    First of all Happy Birthday…..hope you get an IPad 2. I would love one too, but can’t justify it either. We are way too practical…I think…lol

    Have a great day.


  8. Mary Longacre

    Hi Michelle-
    I went through the same “I can’t quite justify an iPad as a business expense but I really want one” angst that you describe in your post. But I went Patti’s route – I gave up trying to pretend it was for business and I admitted it was an entertainment device, and I bought one without trying to write it off. And then for work I bought a new laptop too! (I haven’t had a laptop for the last five years since I’d been using an early tablet computer and then a netbook.) Now I have a fully functional portable computer when I need it and a lightweight device when I need that.
    I love my iPad! I do use logmein to connect back to my desktop computer when traveling, so I’m able to not bring the laptop with me on every trip. Like you I travel frequently.
    QuickBooks on an iPad is coming – Awensa demo-ed it privately for me at The Sleeter Conference. CPAASP now has an iPad app to connect to their service. Merchant Processing is available. And you know you can now create invoices and Sales Receipts with the iPad’s QuickBooks Connect app. It looks like I can even sign into multiple companies now with QuickBooks Connect. When we get full access to QuickBooks on an iPad, I’ll be ready. 🙂

  9. Pam Scott

    Well I’m one that jumped on the Apple train with both feet! I got my iPad in December even though the rumors were that there was another one coming out soon, if you always wait for to see what the next version is going to be you’ll never buy anything! I love my iPad to be able to see my calendar when I’m out and about. I’ve had several calls wanting consulting and it’s kind of hard to see what your calendar is on the phone. I have several aps for business, one of them, QuickTimer I can keep track of my billing to my clients and import to QuickBooks to bill them.
    I got my iPhone with Verizon as well, now my iPad and my iPhone have my calendars, contacts, and email synced wirelessly. I couldn’t get that with my Blackberry.
    Then I recently bought a Macbook Pro as well – I’ve recently started working with more QB Mac clients so it is great to be able to support them with one computer.
    Yes, if I had my preference I’d be using a full size keyboard with 2 monitors too, but the combination is working great for my business – which is working with my clients at their office or remotely from where ever I want to be.

    And in case anyone wants to send any iTunes gift cards, my birthday is March 22nd. 🙂

  10. Michelle Long Post author

    I really enjoyed the comments from everyone — thank you!

    The iPhone (or an iPod Touch) helps alleviate the iPad envy and the BSNOS (love that). I was a Blackberry lover and had enough apps on it to meet my needs. But, I switched to an iPhone since it is now available on Verizon. I like the larger screen & I’m getting better at the touch typing.

    If you want an iPod Touch, check out Craigslist. There are a lot of people selling their iPod Touch after getting an iPhone from Verizon. You can pick one up for about $100 – $125 and use it to play with all the apps, etc.

  11. Patti Thielen

    So, am I the only one out here old enough to say, “You only live once…if you can’t justify it for ‘professional,’ buy it for personal use!”???

    The lack of a real keyboard can be fixed by purchasing a fold-up keyboard (size of a portable hard drive) and they work great (bluetooth…so no need for wires or USB). The best case to get is the one which also doubles as a stand (with keyboard in front, you might forget you’re on an Apple product!).

    I live in what is considered “a very small market” and we are the last to be updated for all the bells and whistles wireless-wise. All that is to say, I have no problems with connectivity with my iPhone even here and have been totally pleased with both product and service (AT&T).

    Am I a rep for Apple, you ask???? Nope…until Apple created the iPhone and iPad, I was (and still am) very anti-Apple but they did this right. They ARE still “big brother” in that nothing can be added without going through iTunes (gee…didn’t they sue Microsoft for this very thing???), but the product outweighs my opinions.

    No, I don’t have one yet…been trying to win one as well…but would accept a LATE birthday present (mine was on 2/23) from anyone out here who feels the need to be generous to an old woman! HAHA

    Patti ~ from beautiful downtown Yakima!

  12. Jo Ellen Peters

    Happy Birthday Michelle, hope you get the Ipad. I have been having this same discussion with friends on another forum. I just don’t see the benefits right now of having one. It seems to me like it is a thinner netbook. Maybe cool to have, but not really practical for business. Now if software makers could make thier software store on the size of a SD then the Ipad could have a slot for the SD and then we could load software on it. Then it would really be cool.

  13. Robyn Talbott

    Thanks, Michelle! I recently started doing the Pros/Con thing because of economic cutbacks. It is a totally eye-opening experience and I can see that others experience the same thing. Bright Shiny New Object Syndrome (BSNOS).

    Since you just bought an iPhone and I’m in the market, can you do the same thing for that?

    You rock my QuickBooks world! I have learned so much from you because like I tell everyone you are an amazing teacher. Thank you so much for all of your “teachings.” I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know!!!

  14. Connie N

    Michelle, We sure do think a like! I WANT an Ipad as well, but can not see the justification in getting it for my business. I DO use the QuickBooks Hosted platform for many of my clients, so I may be able to use the ipad, but like you, I like the full keyboard, dual monitors and my lovely mouse.

    It would be a cool TOY and there are soooo many APs…. I saw the piano one at a clients, and the movies looked great! Unfortunately, it would be hard to justify, right now.

    Happy Birthday March 11, I hope you get what you WANT, not what you need. Isn’t that what birthdays are for?

    Contact me when you come to Colorado! I would LOVE to see you again!

    – Connie, from colorful Colorado!

  15. Sylvia Mesaros

    Hi Michelle,

    I recently did the very same thing. I really wanted (want) the iPad and tried hard to make it something I needed for my VA/Bookkeeping business. My practicality finally won over and I purchased a notebook which I CAN run QuickBooks on and use when I go to a client’s office. Much smaller and lighter than my old laptop, but very efficient–just not as cool.

    I still want and I’m sure NEED an iPad–maybe for my birthday in October. Happy Birthday to both of us!

    Sylvia Mesaros

  16. Gina Brooks

    I’m with you Michelle. Been weighing the pros & cons for awhile. I can’t come to a full justification to get one (you have more pros than I do). I debated between a Kindle and an iPad thinking about the reading aspect alone. I got the Kindle and was sorry I didn’t hold out for the iPad. Now I’m out that money and still don’t have what I want. I thought I might be able to get it cheaper if I got the IPad 1 when the iPad 2 was released. But then I found out it was Thinner, Lighter… and said I would rather pay the money for the iPad 2 if I’m going to invest. One other thing to consider is that I think you will need a data plan (like with the iPhone) which adds to the cost (possibly more expensive than paying for internet access on an as needed basis). I’ve been trying to win one as well. That’s my 2 cents! ~Gina

  17. Sonia Rae Warmack

    Hey Michelle, I too have been on the fence about purchasing an ipad (or an iphone since I don’t have that either). If the ipad 2 would have come out with a USB port I probably would have been the first in line but it doesn’t appear that is the case. I do most of my QB work “in the clouds” these days on a virtual server so I would probably get more use out of it than you but at this point I too can not seem to justify the cost – maybe I should just bite the bullet and get an iphone.

  18. William "Bill" Murphy

    Way to go Michelle –

    You just talked me out of buying you that iPad2 for “your birthday”, not to mention buying one for myself.

    Instead of something, Thinner. Lighter. Faster. FaceTime. Smart Covers. 10-hour battery………..I think I would rather have something Thicker, Heavier, Slower, and with a Cord……….like a new Dell Powerworkstation!


    But here is an early ‘Happy Birthday’, just the same.

    William “Bill” Murphy – Oklahoma City