QuickBooks Online vs Desktop Comparison for 2024

Whether you’re thinking about converting to QuickBooks Online or switching from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online, your first step should be to take a long look at both applications. When you do, you’ll notice the difference immediately as QuickBooks Online offers a streamlined user interface, while QuickBooks Desktop relies on a flow-chart based pay federal taxes online with paypal and payusatax interface. While both provide easy access to a variety of features and functions, only you can decide which one will work best for you. QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop are both excellent small business accounting software applications, both offering complete double-entry accounting as well as automatic processing of closing entries.

The good news is, whichever you purchase, accounting software counts as a tax-deductible expense. 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. As a cloud-based solution, it enables you to access your data from anywhere, anytime, and on any device with an internet connection.

  1. While the dashboard is a bit cluttered, you can easily customize it to only display the information you wish.
  2. Users often attest to its sluggishness and lack of reliability, both issues that have been echoed in my own experience.
  3. QuickBooks Desktop is preferable for companies wanting to manage their books without an internet connection.
  4. However, it’s recommended to consult the migration guide and backup your data before proceeding with the switch.
  5. While you can add cloud access to QuickBooks Enterprise, it involves an additional fee.

The sellers receive customer payments in their designated merchant bank account. In addition, the Premier and Enterprise plans offer more than 150 reports, with industry-specific reporting options available. 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. When working with the Desktop version, it’s downloaded right to your computer.

There are over 200 options instead of the 650-plus to its cloud counterpart. For $1,410 per year, get the Enterprise plan with advanced pricing, reporting and inventory. 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.

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If you go on vacation or are working from home, you’re not going to be able to access and make changes in your books. There are two versions of QuickBooks Desktop (Premier Plus and Enterprise) and four versions of QuickBooks Online (Simple Start, Essentials, Plus and Advanced). Discover BusinessLoans.com’s lender network offering up to $3M in funding, no minimum credit score required.

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. However, most users still view Quickbooks Desktop favorably, and the product receives high marks on most customer review sites. The software receives 4.4/5 (based on 1,800+ reviews) on Software Advice and 4.3/5 (based on 1,700+ reviews) on G2. QuickBooks Pro is praised for its strong accounting, ample features, reliability, and reporting.

QuickBooks Online vs. QuickBooks Desktop: Which is best?

The side menu categorizes features for easy access, for example, aggregating sections for employees, their taxes, and compliance details under the Payroll category. It takes a bit of time to click around and understand where everything is, but a quick run-through is more than enough to familiarize yourself with what QuickBooks Online can do. The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team. QuickBooks Desktop wins this, offering more reporting options as well as industry-specific reports and forecasting options not offered in QuickBooks Online. QuickBooks Desktop offers good integration options, integrating with more than 200 third party applications, making it one of the better integrated desktop application options.

QuickBooks Desktop Pricing

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. QuickBooks Desktop doesn’t offer the same multi-user accessibility, but it does have a more comprehensive assortment of features that provide an in-depth view of your accounting operations. QuickBooks Desktop offers more advanced inventory management features, job costing worksheets, sales orders, and highly customizable reports.

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. And if you manage your business from multiple locations, you’ll want QuickBooks Online over Desktop. 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.

With QuickBooks Online, you can add QuickBooks Online Payroll starting at $45/month. While QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop offer contact management, only QuickBooks Desktop allows you to manage and track leads as well as contacts. Both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop offer a large number of features. While they share many of the same features, QuickBooks Desktop’s features are often more developed, except when it comes to invoicing. Both QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online utilize a subscription pricing model.

QuickBooks Desktop versions are Pro Plus, Premier Plus, and Enterprise, which are sold as yearly editions with an annual price that varies by the number of users. QuickBooks Desktop is 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. For the Desktop version, you pay an annual fee starting at $549.99 per year, and the cloud-based option starts at $15 per month. 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.

QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based software that can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection, while QuickBooks Desktop is on-premise—meaning it can only be accessed from the computer where it is installed. QuickBooks is a suite of accounting software https://intuit-payroll.org/ developed and marketed by Intuit, designed for small and medium-sized businesses to handle their financial management and automate accounting operations. It provides features that cater to invoicing, expense tracking, payroll management, and tax preparation.

Industry-specific reports

Notably, only QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise includes 24/7 customer service. Pro Plus and Premier Plus limit customer service hours to just 12 hours a day, weekdays only. 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. 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.

We also don’t recommend QuickBooks Desktop to Mac users, since there’s just one desktop-based plan for Mac users. This plan, QuickBooks Desktop for Mac, has the same features as QuickBooks Desktop Pro Plus, the most basic desktop-based plan. In other words, Mac users can’t scale up their software from one plan to the next as they add software users. Support network refers to a community of software users that can extend professional help to businesses. Having an independent software expert perform the bookkeeping is good for overall ease of use. Lastly, our expert opinion score is our subjective rating based on our experience in trying the software.

For an additional monthly fee, QuickBooks Online offers a virtual bookkeeping solution, which can be used to get help with setting up and managing your accounts. Interestingly, the benefits of QuickBooks Desktop can be further amplified if the software is hosted on the cloud by a credible service provider. This approach essentially marries the robust functionality of QuickBooks Desktop with the accessibility of QuickBooks Online, providing businesses with a powerful, flexible solution.