Quickbooks Online Vs Desktop

quickbooks online vs quickbooks desktop

The good news is, whichever you purchase, accounting software counts as a tax-deductible expense. QuickBooks Online can be accessed anywhere you have an internet connection, and because it’s web-based, you can work with your accountant in real time. The QuickBooks mobile app is also available for free and lets you manage your account on the go. The most notable difference, aside from price, between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop is the Online version is cloud-based.

  1. For example, it may be more suitable for businesses with complex inventory management needs or those wanting offline access to their financial data.
  2. The QuickBooks Desktop Premier Plus plan is particularly useful for business that want industry-specific features.
  3. However, if you need additional users, separate seats for each software plan are sold separately and not included in the original yearly plan cost.

You can easily access all QuickBooks Online features from the dashboard, where you’ll find a vertical menu bar to the left of the screen. While the dashboard is a bit cluttered, you can easily customize it to only display the information you wish. Those interested in trying out QuickBooks Online can access a free 30-day demo with sample data that allows you to easily explore system features and functions without spending a lot of time entering data. QuickBooks Desktop features are better developed than comparable features found on QuickBooks Online.

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The higher your plan tier, the more reports and users you can add, although it’s important to understand concurrent users are each sold separately. The two versions are independent of each other, which means the data you enter on Desktop doesn’t sync to the Online version and vice-versa. Because QuickBooks Online is cloud-based, it is a great option for those who need QuickBooks access while not in the office.

quickbooks online vs quickbooks desktop

However, Intuit’s push for its QuickBooks Online software and discontinuation of its Desktop offering in the UK has caused users to worry about possible sunsetting. Both offer strong accounting, though QuickBooks Desktop has more features and is more customizable, whereas QuickBooks Online has more automations and is easier to learn and use. QuickBooks Desktop is better for small to large-sized businesses with complex accounting needs requiring more customizable features. Both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop are capable programs with strong accounting features. Both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Pro and Premier have notoriously poor customer support (QuickBooks Enterprise support has better priority support). In contrast, QuickBooks Desktop offers hardly any payment gateways, making it difficult for the modern merchant to accept online invoice payments easily.

QuickBooks Online vs. QuickBooks Desktop: Which is best?

This means that QuickBooks Desktop users are limited to one hosting provider — the computer on which the software is installed — or a handful of licensed computers. QuickBooks Online can be accessed from any internet-connected device, including a mobile device with the QuickBooks app installed, after you enter a valid username and password. That’s because it’s one of the leading accounting software programs for managing payroll, operations, accounts receivable and numerous other financial functions.

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. QuickBooks is encouraging all existing Desktop clients to migrate to QuickBooks Online as soon as possible. The decision to use one QuickBooks version over another (QuickBooks Online vs Desktop) isn’t one that’s written in stone. While you should strive to avoid multiple and consistent back-and-forths, your choice of QuickBooks version isn’t written in stone. Receipt management in QuickBooks Desktop requires more manual attention, requiring you to upload, sort, match, and edit receipts on your own. The first — and probably most significant — difference refers to how you actually access QuickBooks.

Both platforms come with the basic features needed to manage your accounts, but there are certain differences between QuickBooks Desktop and Online. QuickBooks Online boasts a user-friendly, intuitive design, while QuickBooks Desktop looks quite antiquated and summons memories from the mid 2000s. Let’s see how these two platforms compare in features, pricing, and reviews to help you decide on QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop in 2023.

Whether you’re currently using QuickBooks and need professional consulting services, are looking to buy QuickBooks or even outgrowing QuickBooks, we can help. If you want to learn more, you can read about each of the products on our dedicated landing pages. The sales receipt can be created by clicking the +New button in the upper left-hand corner of the screen, followed by choosing the sales receipt under the header called Customers. The sales receipt can be created from the Home Page or from the Customers menu on the top of the screen. Non-Plus editions of QuickBooks Desktop put the responsibility of backing up files entirely on you. 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).

Learn More.” This will guide you through exporting your data and creating a backup company file. With QuickBooks Online, users receive many of the same great features while gaining the mobility of cloud-based software. QuickBooks Online is easier to use and has more automations, more integrations, and better invoicing. The downsides are the lack of sales orders, lead management, and other complexities that loyal Desktop users may miss (such as customizable letter templates, a built-in calendar, and even spellcheck). One big drawback of QuickBooks Pro in the past was that it didn’t have mobile apps. Fortunately, a mobile app is now available with the introduction of QuickBooks Desktop 2022.

On the other hand, QuickBooks Desktop is known for its robust and comprehensive features. It outperforms the Online version when it comes to advanced job costing, batch invoicing, and industry-specific features. According to research reports from Gartner and Forrester, QuickBooks Desktop often scores higher than QuickBooks Online in terms of functionality. QuickBooks might encourage its users to switch from QuickBooks what does equity mean outsourced accounting services Desktop to Online, but it hasn’t issued any statements about discontinuing Desktop entirely. But based on the tech industry’s growing emphasis on cloud storage over local storage, it’s hard to imagine that downloadable programs like QuickBooks Desktop will still be relevant a decade down the road. QuickBooks Online’s month-to-month subscription service starts at $30 a month (totaling $360 a year).

QuickBooks Enterprise does sync with the cloud, but is accessed from your computer’s desktop and is available offline or behind a firewall. The product also available for up to 30 users, so is a good choice for a larger business where more employees need access to the accounting system. QuickBooks Online is probably the better option if you need easy-to-use, remote-access accounting software that can be used from anywhere. However, if you need more features and customization options, currently, QuickBooks Desktop has the lead. The main difference between QuickBooks Desktop and Online is that QuickBooks Desktop is desktop-based, while QuickBooks Online, you guessed it,  is a cloud-based software.

Service or project-based businesses should choose accounting software that can track project costs, revenues, and profits. The software must have tools to track time, record billable hours or expenses, send invoices for progress billings, or monitor project progress and performance. Meanwhile, QuickBooks Premier has two payroll options with prices that start at $50 per month plus $5 per employee. If you can file taxes confidently on your own, Enhanced Payroll might be suitable.

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If you have employees, you can add QuickBooks Payroll to your QuickBooks Online account for as little as $45 per month plus $5 per employee. QuickBooks Payroll allows you to pay your employees by checks or direct deposits, e-file and e-pay taxes, print and e-file W-2 Forms at year-end, and more. Head to our detailed QuickBooks Payroll review to see if it fits the bill. When you upgrade to Enterprise, QuickBooks Desktop’s most comprehensive plan, you’ll gain access to advanced inventory features, including barcode scanning and serial number tracking. On the flip side, some complained that QuickBooks Online can’t manage multiple companies in a single account and that it lacks assembly management features. Others are also unhappy that they couldn’t easily contact QuickBooks Online’s customer support.

How We Evaluated QuickBooks Online vs Desktop

Instead of showing clear images of your cash balance, outstanding invoices, and upcoming bills like the QuickBooks Online dash, the desktop version’s dash is a flowing series of connected folders and files. Unless you’re an accountant, the learning curve will likely be a little higher for you than it would with QuickBooks Online. For instance, if you choose the Simple Start plan, you’re the only person who can use the software—apart from your accountant, with whom you can share your business’s account at no additional cost.

In the past, customers could choose between annually renewing plans and single-purchase software with a license that stayed valid for three years. If you purchased a Desktop Pro plan in 2021, your software will still work until 2024—but new customers who bought the 2022 software version can only choose annual subscriptions. QuickBooks Online offers many advantages over QuickBooks Desktop, such as cloud accessibility, https://accountingcoaching.online/ more convenient file sharing and collaboration, scalable plans with varying features, and a functional mobile app. This takes into account customer management, revenue recognition, invoice management, and collections. We evaluated QuickBooks Online vs Desktop based on pricing, ease of use, customer support, and the availability of important features, like banking, project accounting, and inventory management.

On the flip side, you can access QBO from any location in the world, with the sole requirement of connecting to the internet. You’re not limited to a single machine or even device and can easily log in to QBO from any PC, Mac, tablet, or smartphone. Once the initial setup has been completed, you’re wholly responsible for handling your books.

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QuickBooks Desktop’s user interface is very different from QuickBooks Online, offering navigation using a flowchart style menu. 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 Edge to view this website.