Which Version of QuickBooks Do You Need as a Therapist?

quickbooks version for therapists 2024

Ever feel like you’re wearing two hats at once: therapist and business manager? 

From guiding clients through tough times to handling the day-to-day grind of running a practice, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

As therapists, your passion lies in helping others, but the paperwork side of things – like keeping track of expenses and paying bills – can be a real headache.

That’s where great accounting software steps in. A tool like QuickBooks is like having a personal assistant for your finances, making the boring stuff easier so you can focus on what you love.

In this blog, we’ll break down two versions of QuickBooks designed with therapists in mind, helping you find the perfect fit for your practice. 

Evaluating Your Options: QBO Simple Start vs. QBO Essentials

There are good reasons for the popularity of QuickBooks for therapists. It’s a complete accounting and bookkeeping software suite that is easy to use and offers all the features needed to run a therapy practice. 

QuickBooks Online has several plans, but Simple Start and Essentials are the ones that stand out for private practice owners. 

So, which is the best choice in bookkeeping for therapists? 

Well, the answer depends on whether you are just starting your practice or looking for a more efficient way of running it.

Let’s look at each of these QuickBooks plans and how they fit the bill for bookkeeping for therapists.

QuickBooks Simple Start

QuickBooks Simple Start is one of the most user-friendly software products for bookkeeping for therapists. 

As the name suggests, it’s an entry-level QuickBooks plan, so it’s suitable for professionals starting and building their private practices. 

It’s affordable too, at $30 per month.

QuickBooks Simple Start is designed for you to use it as a single user but you can grant your accountant access for effortless collaboration. 

With this plan, you can invoice clients, track income and expenses, and maximize your tax deductions. (If you don’t know what your eligible tax deductions are, check out our exhaustive list of tax deductions for therapists).


  • Simple Start is an affordable plan. That’s good news if you want to minimize your running costs.
  • It has all the simple bookkeeping features you’ll need when starting your career as a therapist and building your practice. 
  • Do you travel to meet with your clients? This not only takes time, it costs money in fuel and needs to be recorded. Simple Start lets you use your smartphone’s GPS to track the miles you drive.


  • The reporting feature on the QBO Simple Start plan is quite basic. In time, you’ll find that you need to upgrade to a more advanced plan. 

QuickBooks Essentials

QuickBooks Essentials is a top choice for therapists who are scaling their practice and looking for more advanced accounting features. 

We know that at $60 per month, this plan is pricier than the Simple Start plan. However, it also offers much more value. 

Essentials offers all of the Simple Start features as well as tools for managing bills and tracking employee time. Charting your accounts for more accurate and efficient financial reporting is simple and stress-free! 

Reporting is also a breeze with customizable financial reporting features. And unlike Simple Start, QBO Essentials can be used by up to three users (plus your accountant). 

This means that you, your front desk staff, and your tax consultant can work together to make bookkeeping and tax reporting simpler. Or you and a partner in your practice can use it. You stay in complete control by setting viewing and access permissions. 

This makes QBO Essentials the perfect choice for therapy practices with more employees and clients to manage. 


  • All of the features you can enjoy on the Simple Smart Plan, plus extras like time tracking.
  • Essentials can be used by up to three users. Protect your more sensitive data with user-level access settings.
  • It also offers enhanced financial reporting features, which are vital for a growing practice.


  • At $60 per month, it’s double the cost of the Simple Start Plan.

Essential Features You Need for Your Therapy Practice

When choosing bookkeeping software, you want to make sure it has all the features you need to manage your finances efficiently. After all, the goal is to streamline your financial processes as much as you possibly can.  

So here are some of the features to keep in mind when looking for a bookkeeping solution: 

  • Automation features that streamline your day-to-day financial record-keeping as well as monthly reconciliations. 
  • Easy-to-use invoicing so that you can provide clients with a professional and accurate billing service. 
  • Unlimited invoicing. This way, you can take on more clients and grow your practice without having to change your software.
  • Cloud-based access so that you can work from anywhere.
  • Customizable financial reporting that gives you deeper insights into your practice’s financial health and progress.
  • Multiple user access so that you and your bookkeeper or accountant can work together seamlessly. 
  • Affordability and flexibility. You want to make sure you’re getting bang for your buck and that the price of your software is suitable for the size of your business. 
  • User-friendliness. Not everyone is blessed with accountancy skills – and that’s okay! Choose bookkeeping software that is intuitive and easy to use so that you can become a whiz in no time! We have some great tips specifically for therapists using Quickbooks, so be sure to check those out.

Key Takeaways

Both QuickBooks Simple Start and QuickBooks Essentials are great options for therapist’s basic bookkeeping needs. If you’re just starting your therapy practice, then QBO Simple Start is the way to go. It has everything you need to get your finances on track and keep your books in order. 

For more established therapy practices, we recommend QBO Essentials. It offers extra features and user access to help your business function seamlessly as it grows. 

Do you need to know more about QuickBooks for therapists? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at TL; DR. We’ve helped countless professionals with bookkeeping and accounting, tax preparation and filing, and even advice on planning for retirement. 

There’s no need to face the challenge of financial recordkeeping alone. Get in touch and let’s chat about it together!

Khaled - TLDR

Khaled Albadawi, CPA

Principal & CEO

Khaled joined TL;DR as Principal in December of 2022, and has quickly hit the ground running offering a fresh new perspective for the TL;DR team and clients. He’s a natural entrepreneur & leader, starting his days at 4 AM with a nice cup of coffee to get a jumpstart on projects before the business world wakes up. His one piece of advice to business owners? Ask yourself if you are creating just another job or a business. Ideally, you should be building something that doesn’t require you to be there 40 hours a week!

you may also like:

Vector 3 (2) (1)

ready to work with us?

You can schedule your introductory chat: 

© Copyright TL;DR: Accounting 2022