Sunday, February 25, 2024

QuickBooks Desktop, Compare QuickBooks Desktop to Online

While it is great to have all these features in one system, Intuit is no longer developing these features while apps that solve these same problems are constantly being developed. As apps continue being released that solved industry-specific problems and connect with online accounting solutions, the desktop version falls further behind in its functionality. Yes, QuickBooks Enterprise does have a cloud-hosted option that gives you access to the software at any time, anywhere, and with any device. QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise with Hosting is a subscription-plan and incurs an additional cost on top of the standard Enterprise licensing costs. Hosting for QuickBooks Enterprise is provided via Right Networks, who also perform all data backups on a nightly basis.

The additional user license for QuickBooks Desktop Pro cost is $299 which seems slightly expensive. QuickBooks Desktop Premier permits five users & QB enterprise users to allow 40 users. In a few circumstances, QuickBooks Desktop may be a better fit for your home-service business than QuickBooks Online.

  • The most advanced offering in the family, QuickBooks Enterprise, is the closest thing to an ERP software that Intuit provides.
  • QuickBooks Desktop Pro, Pro Plus and Premier are no longer sold, although unsold copies may still be available at authorized vendors for a limited time.
  • And timely knowledge is power that fuels important managerial and strategic decisions for your business.
  • It’s easy to loop in your accountant and, unlike some competitors, it can scale to meet a growing business’s changing needs.
  • This means the data operates as fast as your computer, all without needing to worry about a connection issue.

A Premium and Elite version of payroll exists for an increased monthly and employee/month cost. These versions cover more powerful tools and on-demand experts to assist you with daily tasks. QuickBooks was developed by Intuit in 1998 as a double-entry accounting program meant to be used by small businesses. This was a follow-up to the success of Quicken, which was more of a personal finance and home-office accounting solution.

It’s great for businesses that appreciate the stability of desktop software and those that require its advanced features, like inventory assembly management and industry-specific features. QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based software that can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection. It offers four scalable plans and a user-friendly interface, making it suitable for most businesses. QuickBooks Enterprise is designed for large businesses or small enterprises and starts at $1,340/year. Sales tax laws for ecommerce businesses differ between states and are constantly changing. Solutions such as TaxJar are incredible products that automate the process of identifying in what states businesses owe sales tax, collecting sales tax in those states, and then remitting sales tax in those states.

The application also offers a mobile app that works with both iOS and Android devices. QuickBooks Desktop is designed for small to mid-size businesses that are looking for the reliability of a desktop software solution. QuickBooks Desktop is also a good fit for niche businesses such as nonprofit organizations, retailers, and general contractors looking for a more industry-specific solution. But aside from cloud access, there are other differences between the two applications that we’ll talk about next. Both QuickBooks Online and Desktop are on our list of the best small business accounting software.

QuickBooks Online vs Desktop: Which should you choose for your business?

While not an ERP software in the traditional sense, QuickBooks Enterprise brands itself as an “ERP alternative” and is truly an all-in-one solution for business management. The debate of the best accounting software can’t be complete without a mention of QuickBooks. In some way, shape, or form, QuickBooks has been one of the leading small business accounting software solutions since it’s inception. Yes, you can migrate your data from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online.

Katherine Haan, MBA is a former financial advisor-turned-writer and business coach. When she’s not trying out the latest tech or travel blogging with her family, you can find her curling up with a good novel. Another notable difference is QuickBooks Online offers a Self-Employed version for $15 per month, which is not available with QuickBooks Desktop. QuickBooks Online is user-friendly, but it requires some prior accounting knowledge to get the most out of it.

Bring Real-Time Data from Any Source into your Warehouse

You must pay an additional fee for every user who wants to access the account simultaneously, whereas Online lets multiple users access the account at the same time. The most notable difference, aside from price, between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop is the Online version is cloud-based. The mobile app for Online is robust, and Desktop’s mobile app is so limited, that it essentially functions as a receipt uploader. Working from the cloud means you need united nations civil society participation an internet connection, so a poor signal or an intermittent connection can be an issue. QuickBooks Online offers many advantages over QuickBooks Desktop, such as cloud accessibility, more convenient file sharing and collaboration, scalable plans with varying features, and a functional mobile app. QuickBooks Enterprise is intended for use by larger-small businesses and can be used by manufacturing and distribution businesses with its advanced inventory features.


Neither QuickBooks Desktop pro nor QuickBooks online has built-in payroll. You can go through the Intuit Online payroll review for in-depth information. Although, if you select to buy QuickBooks Desktop enterprise, it let you access built-in enhanced payroll.

You can use the Direct Connect Option by enrolling for the Direct Connect service which will allow you access to the small business online banking option at This feature allows you to share bills, payments, information, and much more. QuickBooks online version is capable of having more automation options as a comparison to QuickBooks Desktop. QBO depends upon cloud technology which provides ease of managing books quickly. Ultimately, the size, use case, budget, and requirements of your company will be the decisive factors. Regardless of the option you pick, this comprehensive article will assist you in making an informed decision throughout your search for the ideal accounting software.

QuickBooks Online vs Desktop: A quick overview

Advanced Reporting is included in all QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise subscriptions. When you move to QuickBooks Online, you’ll create a new account and login. You can migrate your business and payroll data to QuickBooks Online and keep a copy of the original file for your records. The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters. We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.

While both QuickBooks Online and Desktop are supported by a large network of independent ProAdvisors, it’s much easier to share your books with your ProAdvisor using QuickBooks Online. Getting assistance with your Desktop bookkeeping is difficult since you must save an Accountant’s Copy of your company file and send it to your ProAdvisor. While QuickBooks Online offers many integrated apps, we believe there are only a few that stand out. Explore our list of the best QuickBooks Online integrations for different business purposes. The QuickBooks Desktop mobile app is very limited as it only allows you to capture expense receipts.

QuickBooks Desktop is more suitable for:

Ease of use is one of the most crucial factors to consider when choosing a software package. While installing QuickBooks Desktop on a single computer may take only a few minutes, installing it on multiple computers might be more complicated because each machine will need access to the company data file. Since QuickBooks Online is cloud-based and doesn’t require installation, it’s the clear winner in terms of ease of installation. Moreover, QuickBooks Online is generally easier to use and navigate than QuickBooks Desktop because it has a more streamlined and intuitive user interface. Both the online dashboard and mobile app, with their clear and straightforward graphics, are remarkably easy to understand and use.Conversely, QuickBooks Desktop was designed with accounting professionals in mind. It has a flowchart-style menu, a customizable user interface, and shortcuts for frequently used features.

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