QuickBooks Online vs Quickbooks Desktop: Which is best? 2024

Upgrade to Plus for $42.50 per month for the first three months, then $85 per month afterward, and you will receive access for up to five users, inventory tracking and the ability to track project profitability. Both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop can integrate with over 650 cloud-based apps. QuickBooks Online integrates with many other software platforms, such as PayPal and Square, but these platforms do not always have desktop versions.

  1. QuickBooks Online is cloud-based with monthly subscriptions, while QuickBooks Desktop is locally installed with one-time purchases.
  2. It offers more integrations, as well as a much smoother integration process that allows you to access third party apps directly within QuickBooks Online without the need to sync applications or import data.
  3. Interestingly, the benefits of QuickBooks Desktop can be further amplified if the software is hosted on the cloud by a credible service provider.
  4. However, businesses with ever-changing needs may prefer the freedom offered the applications offered within QuickBooks Online.

Intuit provides conversion tools and services to facilitate the transition. However, it’s recommended to consult the migration guide and backup your data before proceeding with the switch. They don’t sync automatically, so data transfer between them is manual. It’s best to choose one based on your needs, but some businesses use both for specific purposes or workflows. Cloud-hosted QuickBooks Desktop offers the best of both worlds, enabling businesses to leverage the full feature set of the Desktop version from anywhere, anytime. In contrast, QuickBooks Online files are automatically backed up on a nightly basis to ensure that there is no loss of data.

Which QuickBooks is right for your business

The software-only QBDT versions are fully functional and useful at the time you purchase them. However features present in editions older than three years are subject to planned obsolescence, removal, and discontinuation to “incentivize” you to purchase a new release. At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations.

QuickBooks Online plans and pricing

DIY clients often find that hiring a professional bookkeeper for on-demand support is a better use of their time and money than the 24/7 support desk. By not purchasing the Plus https://quickbooks-payroll.org/ edition of the software, you lose the automatic backups, but those can be easily handled by yourself. These versions are further differentiated by how you purchase the product.

If you invoke the guarantee, QuickBooks will conduct a full n evaluation of the Live Bookkeeper’s work. It has less of a learning curve than QuickBooks Desktop and comes with a much more simplified dashboard that’s easy to navigate. Zapier is a no-code automation tool that lets you connect your apps into automated workflows, so that every person and every business can move forward at growth speed.

QuickBooks Online vs. QuickBooks Desktop: Features

I do this using Parallels, software which allows you to run Windows applications on your Mac. Though there is a Mac version of QuickBooks Desktop, it’s not as well liked as the Windows version. Users often attest to its sluggishness and lack of reliability, both issues that have been echoed in my own experience. Live Bookkeepers aren’t responsible for errors resulting from incorrect information that you provide, or if you re-open the books by overriding closure after a Live Bookkeeper completes the month-end closure. And let’s not forget offline accessibility for the times your ISP decides to ruin your Monday. Everything from the installation screen to the lagging UI gave me flashbacks to the 1998 dial-up tone on my family’s Pentium III computer.

In particular, the QuickBooks Desktop platform, which is either installed locally or hosted remotely, offers different functions than the QuickBooks Online cloud computing version, which is fully remote. As of late 2015, QuickBooks Enterprise requires an ongoing subscription to gain access to the software. This is independent of your deployment method (whether running the software on-premise or in the cloud). However, when it comes to intricate financial management, predefined user roles, and capacity for growth, QuickBooks Enterprise does hold an edge. That said, businesses just starting out or those who prioritize mobility might find QuickBooks Online a better fit.

A/P features include creating vendors and bills, recording purchase orders and converting them to bills, creating service items, and recording full or partial bill payments. In evaluating pricing, we considered the billing cycle (monthly or annual) and number of users. 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.

Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services. It’s important to note that QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online are two separate products, and data in the two versions do not automatically sync. A company should work with either QuickBooks Desktop or QuickBooks Online to avoid data discrepancies. After that date, you won’t be able to access QuickBooks add-on services like Online Banking, Online Backup, Live Support and QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Services from any version of the desktop software.

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.

QuickBooks Online boasts a user-friendly, intuitive interface, making it easy even for accounting novices to navigate. In contrast, QuickBooks Desktop, while offering more advanced functionalities, may pose a steeper learning curve due to its quickbooks online advanced fathom traditional interface. Similar to other cloud-based apps, QuickBooks Online allows for anytime/anywhere access to your books. Based on feedback I have received from clients, the other benefits of Plus do not warrant the additional cost.

With QuickBooks Desktop, users receive some of the most developed accounting tools on the market. The software offers comprehensive features, unique touches (such as lead management and sales orders), industry-specific versions of the software, and the potential to be more secure. One of the biggest differences here is that QuickBooks Online now offers a bookkeeping service called QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping, where you can pay for professional support from certified QBO accountants and CPAs.

What used to be a huge bulk of QuickBooks business is no longer so—it focuses mostly on its cloud version and actively encourages users to make the switch from Desktop to Online. This may signal future abandonment of its Desktop version as more people move to the cloud. If you make the switch from Desktop to Online, you can import your data and access your original company file at any time.

Users can simply click on the Reports option to access reports in a variety of categories including Favorites, Business Overview, Expenses and Vendors, Employees, and Sales Tax reports, along with several others. All reports can be exported to Microsoft Excel for customizing, viewing on screen, printing, or emailing directly to recipients. Users can access features via the vertical menu to the left of the screen or by using the drop-down menu bar at the top, and the My Shortcuts option allows you to add a shortcut to frequently used features. If the default screen is too crowded for your taste, you can hide the vertical menu, only displaying it when you wish. 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.


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