QBO Test Drive: How QuickBooks Online Test Drive Works and How It Helps

QBO Test Drive: How QuickBooks Online Test Drive Works and How It Helps

Exploring QuickBooks Online and its various features from afar can be difficult, especially if you’re new to accounting software or considering switching from another platform. Fortunately, Intuit offers a risk-free exploration solution: the QuickBooks Online test drive. This unique tool provides a sandbox environment where potential users can navigate through the software, try out its functionalities, and get a feel for the interface without the worry of affecting their own financial data. 

In our guide, we will look closely at the QuickBooks Online test drive, how it compares to other available tools within Intuit, and what you can and cannot do in this demo version.

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What is the QuickBooks Online test drive?

The QuickBooks Online (QBO) test drive is essentially a sandbox environment or a demo version of the QuickBooks Online accounting software. Think of it like a test flight that pilots do when learning to fly an airplane. It’s safe and secure, yet it gives you all the bells and whistles of a real flight experience. 

The QBO test drive lets you explore and interact with all the features of QuickBooks Online without having to sign up, subscribe, or enter any personal financial information. You can navigate through the dashboard, create invoices, record expenses, manage bills, and even run reports—all in a safe, risk-free environment. It also offers a no-pressure way to see if QuickBooks fits your business needs.

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Definition of QuickBooks Online test drive. Experience the power of QuickBooks Online with a virtual tour.

Is the QuickBooks test drive the same as the QuickBooks free trial?

The answer is a big and resounding NO. You might think that a test drive looks a lot like a free trial but they are critically different, and here is how.

Trial account

A trial account is designed for potential customers to use and evaluate the full version of QuickBooks Online with their own data, in a real-world scenario. You get access to all the features and capabilities of the QuickBooks plan you choose for the trial. This means you can enter your own data, set up your business, connect bank accounts, and essentially use QuickBooks as if you were a paying customer.

Since you enter your own data, anything you do within your trial account can be saved and continued if you decide to subscribe after the trial period ends.

Test drive

The test drive is a demonstration environment that allows anyone to explore QuickBooks Online’s features without signing up, entering any personal data, or making any commitment. It uses a sample company to showcase what QuickBooks can do. You can play around with various features, like creating invoices or running reports, but you cannot customize it with your own business information.

No real data is entered, and nothing is saved. Each time you access the test drive, it resets to its original state, allowing for a risk-free way to explore the software.

Key takeaways

A free trial account offers a full, temporary QuickBooks experience with your own data, requiring some level of commitment but with the benefit of continuing your work if you subscribe. The test drive, on the other hand, is a quick, commitment-free way to see QuickBooks in action using sample data, without the ability to save work or customize the account extensively.

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Does QBO have a demo company?

When talking about test drives, we must also mention the demo company within this QuickBooks environment. The demo company is essentially a fictional business that QuickBooks has set up within their platform to help users get a hands-on feel for how the software works.

The demo company, called “Craig’s Design and Landscaping Services,” is a fully functional QuickBooks environment. It’s like stepping into the shoes of a business owner who already has their company set up on QuickBooks. You can explore a wide range of transactions and activities that a typical business might conduct. 

The purpose of this demo company is to let potential users experience the look and feel of QuickBooks Online, understand its features, and learn how it can be customized to suit their business needs. 

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Dos and don’ts of QuickBooks Online test drive

The QuickBooks Online test drive lets you explore and interact with a wide array of features so let’s have a look at what you can and can’t do in the QBO test drive.

What you can do in the QBO test drive

QuickBooks gives you a wide area of different features and settings that you can test-drive:

  • Explore the dashboard: Familiarize yourself with the QuickBooks interface and dashboard, where you can see an overview of the company’s financial health.
  • Manage transactions: Experiment with creating invoices, entering bills, and recording other types of transactions to see how they affect financial reports.
  • Handle sales and customers: Add fake customers, generate sales receipts, and manage invoices to understand how customer transactions are handled.
  • Work with expenses and suppliers: Learn how to record expenses, add supplier details, and manage payments.
  • Run reports: Generate various financial reports (like Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet reports) to see how QuickBooks tracks a company’s financial performance.
  • Check inventory management: Get to know how QuickBooks can track inventory, manage stock levels, and handle product sales.

What you can’t do in QBO test drive

There are some elements of QuickBooks that you can’t use in the test drive, but for good reason. This is to protect your data and provide safety and security for exploration. Here is a list of a few things you can’t do in the test drive:

  • Save your data: Any data entered or transactions made will not be saved. Once you exit the test drive or refresh the page, all changes are lost.
  • Access real-time data: You can’t connect to real bank accounts or import your personal or business financial data.
  • Customize fully: While you can explore customization options (like invoice templates), you can’t save these settings for future use.
  • Use it as your accounting software: The test drive is for demonstration purposes only and can’t serve as a substitute for a real QuickBooks Online account.
  • Export data: You cannot export data or reports from the test drive to use outside of the demo environment.
  • Subscribe or purchase within the test drive: The test drive doesn’t allow you to subscribe to QuickBooks services or make any purchases; it’s strictly a demo environment.

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How can I access the sample company in the QBO test drive?

As we said previously, you don’t need to sign up to access the test drive, all you need to do is follow a link that Intuit provides for the product you want to test-drive. 

This link depends on the country you are testing the software in. In the US, you can enter the QBO test drive for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Online Advanced. Here are the links:

QuickBooks Online: https://qbo.intuit.com/redir/testdrive

QuickBooks Online Advanced: https://qbo.intuit.com/redir/testdrive_us_advanced

Are there other test drives for QuickBooks software?

QuickBooks Online is not the only product that Intuit has and luckily you can test most of them. Here are some of the most popular ones that you can try.

QuickBooks Online Payroll

The QuickBooks Online Payroll test drive lets you explore the payroll features using a fictional company named Collins Paint & Wallpaper Services. This sample company is pre-loaded with various payroll components such as employees, their pay rates, deductions, and policies regarding vacation and sick leave. This helps you understand how the service can streamline payroll processes, calculate taxes, and manage employee information efficiently.

QuickBooks Time

The QuickBooks Time test drive, like its other counterparts, offers a demo company for users to explore the functionalities and settings. This interactive test drive is pre-loaded with sample data, enabling potential users to experience firsthand how QuickBooks Time can track employee hours, manage schedules, and streamline payroll and invoicing processes. 

QuickBooks Desktop

By definition, the QuickBooks Desktop version is not an online solution, so here, the situation looks a bit different. QuickBooks Desktop doesn’t seem to have a test drive in a typical sense, but it does offer a product tour for QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise. This tour is designed as an interactive, hands-on demonstration that allows potential users to explore the features and capabilities of QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise without the need for installation or setup – much like the test drive. 

Can I connect my website to QuickBooks Online?

Yes, you can connect your website to QuickBooks Online. QuickBooks Online offers integration capabilities with a wide range of e-commerce platforms and websites. This connection allows for the automatic syncing of sales data, inventory, and customer information between your website and QuickBooks Online, streamlining your accounting processes and reducing manual data entry.

To achieve this, you can use built-in integrations available through the QuickBooks Online App Store, where you’ll find apps for popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce, among others.

If a direct integration isn’t available for your specific website platform, you might consider using third-party tools or services like Synder, which can act as a bridge between your website and QuickBooks Online for data synchronization.

Take advantage of the opportunity to optimize your business processes and explore Synder features with a free trial. To gain more insights and tips, book your seat on the informative Weekly Public Demo offered by Synder. 

Additionally, for custom or proprietary websites, developers can use the QuickBooks Online API to create a tailored integration, ensuring seamless connectivity between your website’s backend and QuickBooks Online. It’s recommended to consult with a professional or reach out to QuickBooks support for guidance on setting up the connection that best fits your business needs.


Test driving QuickBooks Online is a great resource for anyone looking to understand the ins and outs of this comprehensive accounting software. By offering a hands-on experience with a fictional company, Intuit gives potential users a chance to make informed decisions about a purchase. 

For those looking to delve deeper into other QuickBooks products, Intuit extends this exploratory opportunity to its payroll, time tracking, and desktop solutions, providing a thorough and accessible way for potential customers to discover the right QuickBooks solution for their business needs.

If you’re investing in R&D activities in your business and you wonder how they affect your accounting practices and tax liabilities, read our article about research and development amortization.

Share your experience

Have you explored the QuickBooks Online test drive? Share your experiences, discoveries, and feedback in the comments section below to help others navigate their journey with QBO!

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