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The Pros & Cons of QuickBooks Online vs Desktop

The client may pay at the time of the service or they might send a check later. This is also possible with QuickBooks Desktop, though some banks charge connection fees. If your bank is one such institution, you may opt to upload your transaction data to QBDT yourself. 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. Access to accountants is granted independently from your regular user limit in QBDT.

However, QBO restricts access to up to two accountants or accounting firms. It is worth noticing that an accounting firm can add their team members, and this does not impact the user limit because it happens from within the firm’s access. When subscribing to a QuickBooks Online plan, you can elect to purchase add-on services and enhancements to better suit your needs, found at

  1. By understanding the unique offerings of both, CPAs can make well-informed recommendations to their clients, ultimately enhancing their accounting processes and business efficiency.
  2. With so many options, nailing the proper choice for your needs may appear more challenging than actually using the software.
  3. Yes, you can, but the process is a bit tedious, as you need to manually export your files from QuickBooks Online to Desktop.
  4. This is by saving them to other locations on your PC, other sorts of media (such as flash drives), or uploading them to the cloud (using apps like Dropbox or Drive).

Intuit also offers QuickBooks for Mac for Mac users looking for an on-premise option. Check out our complete roundup of the best accounting software for other options, or read more about the best QuickBooks alternatives. How do these two options stack up when it comes to the number of users? This may be an important deciding factor for your business as you try to ensure every staff member gets the access they need to the program. The most advanced offering in the family, QuickBooks Enterprise, is the closest thing to an ERP software that Intuit provides. 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.

Compare QuickBooks Online to Desktop

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. QuickBooks Enterprise comes with 150+ out-of-the-box reports, including industry specific reports for the Contractor, Non-Profit, and Manufacturing Editions.

QuickBooks Online Reviews

Learn more about the time tracking capabilities in our full review of QuickBooks Time. QuickBooks Desktop Pro, Pro Plus and Premier are no longer sold, although unsold copies https://quickbooks-payroll.org/ may still be available at authorized vendors for a limited time. QuickBooks is encouraging all existing Desktop clients to migrate to QuickBooks Online as soon as possible.

This means the data operates as fast as your computer, all without needing to worry about a connection issue. 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 an internet connection, so a poor signal or an intermittent connection can be an issue.

QuickBooks migration is (hopefully) something you do once, and there is no benefit for you to spin your wheels for days trying to make this work. Non-Plus editions of QuickBooks Desktop put the responsibility of backing up files entirely on you. This can be accomplished in much the same way you’d back up other files. This is by saving them to other locations on your PC, other sorts of media (such as flash drives), or uploading them to the cloud (using apps like Dropbox or Drive). Once the initial setup has been completed, you’re wholly responsible for handling your books.

Find help articles, video tutorials, and connect with other businesses in our online community. To get the best possible experience please use the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Microsoft the difference between cash flow and profit Edge to view this website. There are two versions of QuickBooks Desktop (Premier Plus and Enterprise) and four versions of QuickBooks Online (Simple Start, Essentials, Plus and Advanced).

However, if you own a big business, prefer locally stored software, or want industry-specific reports, QuickBooks Desktop could be a better fit for your business. Work from anywhere with the power of the cloud and real-time, secure collaboration. 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.

QuickBooks Online offers multi-user access and automatic updates, whereas QuickBooks Desktop allows for advanced customization and industry-specific versions. QuickBooks Desktop gets more praise for strong functionality, such as project costing and advanced inventory accounting. Desktop offers inventory tracking features unavailable in QuickBooks Online, including lot and bin tracking and barcode scanning. Additionally, some users like that QuickBooks Desktop allows them to customize, memorize, and schedule reports easily. QuickBooks Desktop indeed has advanced reporting features, but you must upgrade to Advanced to access them. Businesses that have purchased one-time licenses of the locally-installed QuickBooks Desktop versions that have been sunset can still use the software’s accounting features.

QuickBooks Self-Employed is a QuickBooks Online product for contractors and freelancers, specifically for those who do not have separate business and personal financial accounts. It starts at $30 a month and includes basic features only, such as mileage tracking and invoicing. Unlike QuickBooks Online, Desktop Pro includes built-in inventory management.

Areas Where Desktop Outscores Online?

Although Intuit has talked about adding sales orders to QuickBooks Online, this feature is only available with QuickBooks Desktop products at this time. QuickBooks Premier also has a payroll add-on, or you can purchase the QuickBooks Premier + Payroll annual plan. QuickBooks Enterprise Gold and Platinum plans include Enhanced Payroll, while Enterprise Diamond includes Assisted Payroll. QuickBooks Online offers over 80 reports depending on your plan, whereas QuickBooks Desktop Pro has over 130 reports.

You must purchase additional licenses if you want to access it on multiple computers. While you can add cloud access to QuickBooks Enterprise, it involves an additional fee. Both QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online offer multiple service tiers that cater to different business needs, such as the number of employees who need to access the software. Once purchased, the licensing of QuickBooks Enterprise is good for 3 years.

Let Katana fill the gaps in QuickBooks Online

Alternatively, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial with QuickBooks Online. Just know that doing so waives your option to get 50% off your QuickBooks Online subscription for your first three months. In the past, customers could choose between annually renewing plans and single-purchase software with a license that stayed valid for three years.

QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop operate on true double-entry accounting principles and have both accrual and cash-basis accounting. Each offers a detailed chart of accounts, journal entries, bank reconciliation, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and the basic reports needed to run a company. However, QuickBooks Desktop offers better reporting and supports more complex accounting. Four pricing plans for QuickBooks Online are available, ranging from $30 to $200/month (with an additional $45+/month for payroll). In the battle between QuickBooks Online versus Desktop, it’s best to focus on the differences between the two accounting software options since they are so similar.

Reporting options are good in both applications, though only one of the applications offers industry-specific reporting options. QuickBooks Desktop offers good integration options, integrating with more than 200 third party applications, making it one of the better integrated desktop application options. However, it doesn’t compare with the more than 500 options offered by QuickBooks Online. QuickBooks Online offers integration with more than 500 third party apps in categories such as Payments, CRM, Project Management, Payments, Payroll, Invoicing, Inventory, and Time Tracking.

When comparing the platforms, the first thing you notice is the design. QuickBooks Online boasts a user-friendly, intuitive design, while QuickBooks Desktop looks quite antiquated and summons memories from the mid 2000s. To access QuickBooks Desktop, on the other hand, you need to use the PC where you have the software installed. It’s worth noting that QuickBooks Desktop is only available on Windows. The decision to use one QuickBooks version over another (QuickBooks Online vs Desktop) isn’t one that’s written in stone.

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