Quickbooks desktop vs online comparison.QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop: Which QuickBooks Accounting Solution is Right for Your Business?

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If you want to perform bookkeeping from anywhere, we strongly recommend QuickBooks Online. Its mobile app, which you can download on Google Play and the App Store, includes nearly all the features of the browser version, plus other functions like receipt capture and mileage tracking. It made our list of the best mobile accounting apps. If you need more automation features through integration with third-party tools, QuickBooks Online is the clear choice as it connects to more than third-party integrations.

QuickBooks Desktop has only a few integrations available, and most are focused on ecommerce. Recently, it integrated with Webgility, an ecommerce bookkeeping provider, which boosts its inventory features across various platforms, like Amazon, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and eBay. QuickBooks Online is generally easier to use than QuickBooks Desktop as it has a more streamlined user interface. The copy will allow you to continue to work on transactions in the current period while your accountant makes adjustments to past periods.

Learn more in our QuickBooks Accountant Desktop review. Customer, vendor, and account details can be viewed by clicking on the left menu bar. For instance, customer details, including what they owe you, can be viewed by clicking on Sales and then Customers.

QuickBooks Desktop offers a multitude of ways to navigate, but the easiest way for beginners is through the home page. Vendor, customer, or employee details can be viewed by clicking on the appropriate tab while transactions can be initiated by clicking on the corresponding icon. The home page displays the most essential functions, including Vendors, Customers, Employees, and Banking. Each function includes respective icons that allow you to access and perform certain transactions easily, such as Enter Bills for vendors, Create Invoices for customers, and Enter Time for employees.

If you need more personalized support for your bookkeeping, QuickBooks Online might be a better choice since you can subscribe to QuickBooks Live for support. Users needing professional bookkeeping assistance can purchase an add-on called QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping, which connects you to a team of certified bookkeeping professionals for real-time support through video chat. Your dedicated bookkeeper will manage your books and provide month-end reports.

It should be easy to find one in your area, especially now that many accountants and bookkeepers want to become a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Cassie is a deputy editor, collaborating with teams around the world while living in the beautiful hills of Kentucky.

She is passionate about economic development and is on the board of two non-profit organizations seeking to revitalize her former railroad town. Select Region. United States. United Kingdom. Kathy Haan, Cassie Bottorff. Contributor, Editor. Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations. Table of Contents QuickBooks Desktop vs.

QuickBooks Desktop vs. Online: At a Glance QuickBooks Desktop is a more traditional accounting software that you download and install on your computer, while QuickBooks Online is cloud-based accounting software you access through the internet.

QuickBooks Desktop. Mobile App Yes, but limited functionality. Why We Picked It. With QuickBooks Desktop, send invoices, accept payments, track sales and sales tax, log mileage, manage and pay bills, connect plus apps and access a limited mobile app for accounting on the go. You will not receive a prorated refund; your access and subscription benefits will continue for the remainder of the billing period. Offer cannot be combined with any other QuickBooks offer. Terms, conditions, pricing, special features, and service and support options subject to change without notice.

Offer terms : Your account will automatically be charged on a monthly basis until you cancel. Offer only available for a limited time and to new QuickBooks customers. The QuickBooks Online Payroll subscription will terminate immediately upon cancellation. You will not receive a pro-rated refund; your access and subscription benefits will continue for the remainder of the billing period.

QuickBooks Desktop customers : If you are an existing, active QuickBooks Desktop customer you will receive a limited time only offer by calling and purchasing a subscription to QuickBooks Online. Customers must initiate a migration meeting by July 31, The assisted migration offer is eligible to Desktop customers that are migrating their data and setting up QuickBooks Online.

The personalized setup offer is eligible to Desktop customers that are migrating their data, as well as those customers who elect not to migrate their data, who are starting new QuickBooks Online accounts, and setting up QuickBooks Online.

Assisted migration and personalized setup is limited to a 1-hour session with a customer success product expert. Intuit reserves the right to limit the number of sessions and the length and scope of each session.

Assisted migration results may vary based on business complexity and file size. Terms and conditions, features, support, pricing, and service options are subject to change without notice.

Customers will need to download the app no later than December 31, or before 25, app downloads have been reached, whichever occurs first. App access will expire on December 31, QuickBooks Online Mobile : QuickBooks Online requires a computer with a supported Internet browser see System Requirements for a list of supported browsers and an Internet connection a high-speed connection is recommended.

Devices sold separately; data plan required. Not all features are available on the mobile apps and mobile browser. QuickBooks Online mobile access is included with your QuickBooks Online subscription at no additional cost. Product registration required.

Connect your bank and credit cards : Online services vary by participating financial institutions or other parties and may be subject to application approval, additional terms, conditions, and fees. Receipt capture : Requires QuickBooks Online mobile application. Collaborate with your accountant : You can connect up to the following for each product: 1 billable user and 2 accounting firms for QuickBooks Online Simple Start, 3 billable users and 2 accounting firms for QuickBooks Online Essentials, 5 billable users and 2 accounting firms for QuickBooks Online Plus, 25 billable users and 3 accounting firms for QuickBooks Online Advanced.

Accounting firms must connect using QuickBooks Online Accountant. Mileage tracking : Mileage tracking is only available to the master administrator of the QuickBooks Online account.

Requires QuickBooks Online mobile application. QuickBooks Online mobile access is includedwith your QuickBooks Online subscription at no additional cost.

QuickBooks online services : Online services vary by participating financial institutions or other parties and may be subject to application approval, additional terms, conditions, and fees. Auto-update and reconciliation not available in Self-Employed.

Subject to additional terms, conditions, and fees. Automatic categorization : QuickBooks Online automatically categorizes newly imported transactions under existing categories and will initially require confirmation.

Remote multi-user access : You can connect up to 25 billable users and 3 accounting firms for QuickBooks Online Advanced. Batch invoices and expenses : QuickBooks Online Advanced supports the upload of transaction lines for invoices at one time.

If a unique custom field is duplicated in any of the aforementioned templates, the number of customizable fields will decrease. Payments and Cash Flow Management: You may be paid faster by delivering an invoice or statement to your customer and allowing them to pay you with a credit card or a bank transfer using the QuickBooks Payment System.

You can pay your bills online with Quickbooks. You can also download your monthly statement from a participating bank for increased convenience. Support: QuickBooks Professionals will answer all of your queries and provide you with unlimited free assistance.

To help you become a QuickBooks expert, QuickBooks offers seminars, videos, an online community, and other resources. Minimal Learning : Hevo, with its simple and interactive UI, is extremely simple for new customers to work on and perform operations. Hevo Is Built To Scale : As the number of sources and the volume of your data grows, Hevo scales horizontally, handling millions of records per minute with very little latency.

Incremental Data Load : Hevo allows the transfer of data that has been modified in real-time. This ensures efficient utilization of bandwidth on both ends. Live Support : The Hevo team is available round the clock to extend exceptional support to its customers through chat, email, and support calls. Live Monitoring : Hevo allows you to monitor the data flow and check where your data is at a particular point in time.

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While both software types have plenty of perks, QuickBooks Online is a more flexible, affordable, and scalable option for most small-business owners. However, QuickBooks Desktop can work for bigger businesses that need industry-specific software or for small businesses with limited internet access. QuickBooks Online has been part of the Intuit accounting software family for a few decades now. Since QuickBooks Online is browser-based, not desktop-based, you can log on to your Quickbooks Online account from any web-enabled device with a sturdy internet connection.

So what can you do with your cloud-based accounting service? Since QuickBooks Online offers four cloud-based plans, it easily grows with your business. As you hire more employees or bring on more customers, you can scale up your software to match. Only QuickBooks Online includes free access to a comprehensive version of the QuickBooks mobile accounting app, which is one of the best apps in the accounting sphere. If cost is your primary concern, we recommend looking at an accounting option other than QuickBooks.

And if data analysis is an important part of growing your business, QuickBooks Desktop is a solid pick. The QuickBooks Desktop version of the mobile app is also incredibly limited in scope—you can use it to scan receipts only. And for what it’s worth, the app is very poorly reviewed by its very limited number of both iOS and Android users. In other words, Mac users can’t scale up their software from one plan to the next as they add software users.

The QuickBooks Desktop Premier Plus plan is particularly useful for business that want industry-specific features. In the past, customers could choose between annually renewing plans and single-purchase software with a license that stayed valid for three years.

But the one-time-payment option was discontinued in If you purchased a Desktop Pro plan in , your software will still work until —but new customers who bought the software version can only choose annual subscriptions.

With QuickBooks Online, user limits are built into each plan.

 
 

QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop: Which Is Right for Your Business? – NerdWallet.QuickBooks Online vs. QuickBooks Desktop |

 

Additionally, QuickBooks has a wide network of ProAdvisors — accountants who are certified in the software — who you can work with for professional assistance. Additionally, the desktop products are only available as annual subscriptions, making them a bigger commitment than QuickBooks Online. The QuickBooks mobile app is also available for free and lets you manage your account on the go. QuickBooks Desktop is more limiting. 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. These include the ability to track raw materials and finished products and automate order management, among other functions. It also has barcode scanning capabilities, in which business owners can download the QuickBooks Desktop mobile app and use their mobile device as a scanner.

QuickBooks Desktop Premier Plus and Enterprise plans have industry-specific reports for manufacturing and wholesale, retail, nonprofit, general contractor and professional service businesses, too. For example, nonprofits can use the desktop products to run donor contribution summary reports while manufacturing, wholesale and retail businesses have the ability to forecast product sales.

Contractors and professional service businesses can use the software to compare revenue by city, customer and job type. Read Review. Wave Financial Free add-ons available. QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop comparison. Why QuickBooks Online is a better choice.

When you might choose QuickBooks Desktop instead. Advanced inventory management. Industry-specific reports. If comparing estimated costs to actual job costs is critical to your business, check out Xero. QuickBooks Advanced has many bells and whistles compared to Plus, but no additional features that are crucial to good bookkeeping, such as it removes the limitations on the number of classes, locations, and chart of accounts, making it ideal for businesses with a growing staff.

So, unless you need more than five user seats, support from a dedicated success manager, and free training to help your team members familiarize themselves with new features, then you can stick with Plus. Since the majority of the features added in Advanced are more on expansion and customization rather than specific accounting features, the difference between Plus and Advanced in our case study is limited to customer support. Case study results for QuickBooks Plus vs Advanced. The right QuickBooks Online plan depends on the size of your business and the features you need.

For example, Self-Employed is best for freelancers or solopreneurs who need to monitor income and expenses, while Simple Start works well for very small businesses wanting to track assets and liabilities but not unpaid bills. Growing businesses with up to five users should consider Essentials, especially if they need to generate accrual-based financial statements.

If you need inventory and project management, go with Plus. However, if you scale to 25 users, then upgrade to Advanced. Yes, you can. QuickBooks Online is better than QuickBooks Desktop if you prefer a cloud-based accounting software to a locally installed one. As a locally installed program, QuickBooks Desktop makes it a bit hard for you to share your files with your bookkeeper—unless you have one working on-site.

Some instances where you need to find an alternative include:. The best QuickBooks Online version depends on the size of your business and your particular needs. If you heavily deal with inventory or large projects, Plus is the best option. However, self-employed persons should consider Self-Employed—unless they have an employer, which will require an upgrade to Simple Start.

Find Timothy On LinkedIn. He then taught tax and accounting to undergraduate and graduate students as an assistant professor at both the University of Nebraska-Omaha and Mississippi State University. He most recently spent two years as the accountant at a commercial roofing company utilizing QuickBooks Desktop to compile financials, job cost, and run payroll.

Find Mark On LinkedIn. Mark Calatrava is an accounting expert for Fit Small Business. He has covered more than 50 accounting software for small businesses and niche industries and has developed an in-depth knowledge of the important features of accounting software and how the importance of these features vary by business.

Sign up to receive more well-researched small business articles and topics in your inbox, personalized for you. Fit Small Business content and reviews are editorially independent.

We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More. Published October 13, Table of Contents. QuickBooks Online Self-Employed : Best for small service business owners who report business income on Schedule C of their personal tax return and have no employees QuickBooks Online Simple Start : Best for small service businesses that have employees and issue invoices regularly QuickBooks Online Essentials : Best for small businesses needing to assign billable time and expenses to customers, track bills due, and provide access for up to three users QuickBooks Online Plus : Best for retailers, wholesalers, contractors, and other small businesses requiring inventory tracking, job costing, budgeting, and access for up to five users QuickBooks Online Advanced : Best for small and midsize businesses SMBs wanting more detailed reporting, custom user permissions, a dedicated support manager, and access for up to 25 users.

Visit QuickBooks Self-Employed. Visit QuickBooks Simple Start. Visit QuickBooks Essentials. Visit QuickBooks Plus. Check out our review of Lendio Accounting to learn more. However, for each QuickBooks Desktop plan, only one user is included, which means you have to pay a fee for each extra seat.

QuickBooks Online offers four plans, each with a set number of users while QuickBooks Desktop is available as a yearly subscription with an additional cost per user. If you prefer QuickBooks Desktop, read our comparison of QuickBooks Desktop products to help you pick the right solution.

For example, in Online Plus, you cannot compare estimated to actual project costs, whereas with Desktop Premier, you can compare your estimated costs to your actual expenses and revenue. Touch the graph above to interact Click on the graphs above to interact. A big advantage of QuickBooks Online vs Desktop is its calculation of sales tax based on the customer address, which is useful if you sell and ship products out of your state.

While both can manage inventory, QuickBooks Desktop takes it one step further by allowing you to create inventory assemblies, which is great for manufacturing companies. If you want to perform bookkeeping from anywhere, we strongly recommend QuickBooks Online. Its mobile app, which you can download on Google Play and the App Store, includes nearly all the features of the browser version, plus other functions like receipt capture and mileage tracking. It made our list of the best mobile accounting apps.

If you need more automation features through integration with third-party tools, QuickBooks Online is the clear choice as it connects to more than third-party integrations. QuickBooks Desktop has only a few integrations available, and most are focused on ecommerce. Recently, it integrated with Webgility, an ecommerce bookkeeping provider, which boosts its inventory features across various platforms, like Amazon, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and eBay.

QuickBooks Online is generally easier to use than QuickBooks Desktop as it has a more streamlined user interface. The copy will allow you to continue to work on transactions in the current period while your accountant makes adjustments to past periods. Learn more in our QuickBooks Accountant Desktop review. Customer, vendor, and account details can be viewed by clicking on the left menu bar. For instance, customer details, including what they owe you, can be viewed by clicking on Sales and then Customers.

QuickBooks Desktop offers a multitude of ways to navigate, but the easiest way for beginners is through the home page. Vendor, customer, or employee details can be viewed by clicking on the appropriate tab while transactions can be initiated by clicking on the corresponding icon.

The home page displays the most essential functions, including Vendors, Customers, Employees, and Banking. Each function includes respective icons that allow you to access and perform certain transactions easily, such as Enter Bills for vendors, Create Invoices for customers, and Enter Time for employees.

If you need more personalized support for your bookkeeping, QuickBooks Online might be a better choice since you can subscribe to QuickBooks Live for support. Users needing professional bookkeeping assistance can purchase an add-on called QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping, which connects you to a team of certified bookkeeping professionals for real-time support through video chat.

Your dedicated bookkeeper will manage your books and provide month-end reports. It should be easy to find one in your area, especially now that many accountants and bookkeepers want to become a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Both even give you access to many independent QuickBooks ProAdvisors whom you can hire to help you get started and keep things in order. Some complaints about QuickBooks Online include the inability to manage multiple companies in a single account and the lack of enhanced inventory features, such as assembly management.

Meanwhile, QuickBooks Desktop gets more praise for strong functionality, such as inventory accounting, and the ability to generate advanced reports. However, some are frustrated about its limited mobile app and high cost especially if payroll is included.

Choose QuickBooks Online if most of your accounting duties are done remotely and you need a mobile app with a wide range of features.

 

QuickBooks Online vs Desktop | Compare & Convert from Desktop to Online – How many users (not including an external accountant) will need to access the company books?

 

You might be using an unsupported or outdated browser. To get the best possible experience please use the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Microsoft Edge to view this website. When it comes to accounting software, Intuit QuickBooks is one of the most popular options on the market. There are two versions to choose from: QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop, each with its own plans and pros and cons.

One is notably more expensive than its counterpart, and the cheaper option might be best for most circumstances. Desktop and highlight the differences between each version, plus which one is most suitable for collaborating on the go, and which is faster and offers more advanced features.

QuickBooks Desktop is a more traditional accounting software that you download and install on your computer, while QuickBooks Online is cloud-based accounting software you access through the internet.

Both versions have mobile apps, but the app for the Desktop version primarily functions as a way to upload receipts, and the Online mobile app is robust in comparison.

Track Mileage Yes. Why We Picked It With QuickBooks Desktop, send invoices, accept payments, track sales and sales tax, log mileage, manage and pay bills, connect plus apps and access a limited mobile app for accounting on the go. Why We Picked It With QuickBooks Online, track income and expenses, send invoices, accept payments, get the most tax deductions, track sales and sales tax, upload and categorize receipts, manage contractors, run reports, track mileage and send estimates.

It includes more than five users, business analytics and insights, manage employee expenses, customize access by role, exclusive app integrations, a dedicated account team, on-demand online training, automate processes and tasks and restore company data from backups. Features include mileage tracking, basic reporting, income and expense tracking, capture and organize receipts and estimation of quarterly taxes.

There are pros and cons to accessing QuickBooks on the go. Working from the cloud means you need an internet connection, so a poor signal or an intermittent connection can be an issue.

This means the data operates as fast as your computer, all without needing to worry about a connection issue. This introduces another notable issue with the Desktop software.

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. When signing up for QuickBooks Online, it only gives options for paying monthly. All Online plans include receipt capture, QuickBooks support and more than app integrations with apps such as PayPal, Square and Shopify. There are over options instead of the plus to its cloud counterpart. Access your account via the cloud for up to 25 users with the Online version, and pay an additional fee per user, up to 40 users, for cloud access with Desktop.

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.

Both versions offer automatic syncing with your bank so you can categorize transactions. However, bank fees may apply for the Desktop variety. QuickBooks Online offers more features on the go and is a better overall value than QuickBooks Desktop. However, QuickBooks Online will suffice for most small businesses. Kathy Haan, MBA is a former financial advisor-turned-writer and business coach. Cassie is a deputy editor, collaborating with teams around the world while living in the beautiful hills of Kentucky.

She is passionate about economic development and is on the board of two non-profit organizations seeking to revitalize her former railroad town. Select Region. United States.

United Kingdom. Kathy Haan, Cassie Bottorff. Contributor, Editor. Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations. Table of Contents QuickBooks Desktop vs. QuickBooks Desktop vs. Online: At a Glance QuickBooks Desktop is a more traditional accounting software that you download and install on your computer, while QuickBooks Online is cloud-based accounting software you access through the internet.

QuickBooks Desktop. Mobile App Yes, but limited functionality. Why We Picked It. With QuickBooks Desktop, send invoices, accept payments, track sales and sales tax, log mileage, manage and pay bills, connect plus apps and access a limited mobile app for accounting on the go. Each plan has a mobile app to upload receipts. Track inventory Get unlimited access to support and QuickBooks experts with any plan Pay contractors.

Recurring annual subscription fee Only gives access to plus apps, compared to over with its online counterpart Limited mobile app functionality Payroll costs extra Manual mileage tracking. QuickBooks Online. Mobile App Yes.

With QuickBooks Online, track income and expenses, send invoices, accept payments, get the most tax deductions, track sales and sales tax, upload and categorize receipts, manage contractors, run reports, track mileage and send estimates. Was this article helpful? Share your feedback. Send feedback to the editorial team. Rate this Article. Thank You for your feedback! Something went wrong. Please try again later. Best of.

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Performance information may have changed since the time of publication. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

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QuickBooks Online vs Desktop: 9 Critical Differentiators – Learn | Hevo

 
 
QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop Open a QuickBooks Checking account for business banking right inside QuickBooks.**. Forecast cash flow 30 and 90 days Easily restore QuickBooks . Sep 10,  · QuickBooks Desktop is a more traditional accounting software that you download and install on your computer, while QuickBooks Online is cloud-based accounting . QuickBooks Online includes up to 25 users, but Desktop prices per user QBO restores company data files, but QuickBooks Desktop doesn’t QuickBooks Online includes free .