QuickBooks Online vs Desktop: Which Is Right for Your Business?


quickbooks online vs quickbooks desktop

However, its limited payment channels may pose challenges for modern merchants looking to accept online invoice payments. Choosing between QuickBooks Online and Desktop is a decision that hinges on your business’s unique requirements and preferences. The primary difference between the two lies in their accessibility and pricing models.

Cost of QuickBooks Online vs QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise

You can, however, switch your business’s account from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online without losing your data. Different software packages include licenses for 1 to 10 users, up to 20 users, up to 30 users, and up to 40 users. Yes, QuickBooks generally accepted industry practices Desktop has a subscription fee that users pay annually. During our testing, it took us no time to get up to speed on how to use the QuickBooks Online platform. The platform has an intuitive layout that we were able to navigate on our own.

QuickBooks Money

quickbooks online vs quickbooks desktop

Not only is QuickBooks Online easier to use, but it offers additional support — for a fee. QuickBooks Online users can sign up for QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping to assist with getting the books up to date and managing bookkeeping tasks. As far as other add-ons, QuickBooks Online integrates with over 750 business apps and programs — well over twice the number of integrations you’ll find with Desktop. What stands out most about QuickBooks Online when compared to Desktop is that QBO is cloud-based accounting software. Because of this, QuickBooks Online is much easier to use and has many more integrations and time-saving invoicing automations, such as auto-scheduling.

quickbooks online vs quickbooks desktop

QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop features

A variety of short video tutorials are available as well as on-demand webinars and training classes. One of the best resources is the QuickBooks Online community, where you can connect with other users to share tips, answer questions, and find answers to problems that may arise. Product support can be accessed directly from within the application, where you can ask a question or connect to support personnel. Support options are fairly similar for both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop, with the more expensive plans offering better support options.

  1. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page.
  2. Doing so isn’t necessarily a complicated or a time-consuming process, but it does require more effort than having QuickBooks download your bank transactions automatically.
  3. While QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop offer contact management, only QuickBooks Desktop allows you to manage and track leads as well as contacts.
  4. This requires the software to allow users transitioning from other bookkeeping software to import their chart of accounts (COA), vendors, customers, service items, and inventory items.
  5. There’s never any requirement that you have internet connectivity after the initial download and install.

Pros of QuickBooks Online vs Desktop

The connection of QuickBooks Online and Synder streamlines your online selling tasks. It seamlessly integrates your sales and expense transactions into QuickBooks Online by linking all your sales channels and payment platforms to the app, making bookkeeping easier. Consider the importance of real-time reporting, customization options, and the level of detail required for your financial analysis. QuickBooks Desktop also offers bank-level security and encryption, but it’s important to note that you’re responsible for maintaining your data backups and keeping your software up-to-date. Additionally, when the Desktop is installed on a local computer, there’s a higher risk of data loss or theft if the computer is lost or stolen. QuickBooks Desktop ties users to a specific device, limiting the ability to manage finances on the go or work remotely, which is a significant drawback in today’s mobile business environment.

Optional QuickBooks Online add-ons

Beginning July 31, 2024, only QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise will be available. If QuickBooks Desktop seems to be the better fit after reading this comparison, make sure to act quickly to start your subscription to avoid missing out. All QuickBooks Desktop Plus and QuickBooks Desktop Payroll products, excluding QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise, will no longer be available to new users beginning July 31, 2024.

Unlike cloud-based solutions, QuickBooks Desktop doesn’t offer the same level of accessibility. Despite robust security measures, businesses with sensitive data may harbor concerns about storing financial information in the cloud. While some features are available offline, the full functionality is best experienced with a continuous internet connection. https://www.kelleysbookkeeping.com/ QuickBooks Online enables the management of finances from any device with internet access, providing convenience and flexibility. We’ll provide you with comprehensive information to aid in choosing the optimal accounting solution for your business. It can be challenging to determine which version is the best fit for your business.

However, QuickBooks also provided help bubbles and other guidance throughout the platform when we opened certain features for the first time. Some accountants dislike QuickBooks Online’s limited functionality, limited report customization, and dependency on the internet. As you consider whether QuickBooks Desktop vs. QuickBooks Online is better for your accounting needs, keep in mind that QuickBooks Online is the more recent, up-to-date, and constantly evolving product. It has faster load times and quicker response rates, all while requiring minimal local processing power. Seeing as it’s a program installed on your local system, it relies on the device’s processing power and resources. With larger datasets or complex operations, QuickBooks Desktop might utilize more local processing power compared to the online version.

Let’s imagine that you own a race track, and one of your sources of revenue is offering driving lessons. The transition from QBO to QBDT is rarely smooth and will very likely take multiple attempts to get the data to load. Once loaded, there is extensive post-migration work that will vary from company to company.

Small businesses that are growing may want to use QuickBooks Essentials. The plan offers up to three users all the features of QuickBooks Simple Start, plus the ability to track hours worked and manage bills. A key added feature of the QuickBooks Essentials plan is the ability to manage unpaid bills and allocate billable time and expenses to https://www.online-accounting.net/budget-vs-target/ a specific customer. Additionally, QuickBooks Essentials will send reminders regarding upcoming bills to be paid so that you don’t miss a payment. Although you can track expenses, QuickBooks Simple Start doesn’t enable users to pay bills. For free you can create a Wave account and attach an unlimited number or bank and credit card accounts.


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