QuickBooks Online vs Desktop: What is the Key Differences?

Businesses have relied on QuickBooks Desktop for decades, and many professional accountants are intimately familiar with the program. Updated versions are released each year, with new features and functionality added annually. QuickBooks Desktop (QBD) and QuickBooks Online (QBO) offer two distinct approaches to small business accounting, each with its own set of strengths and weaknesses. Yet this division between the traditional QBD software and the cloud-based QBO solution leads many home-service professionals to wonder which version of the software might be a better fit for them. And, indeed, it can be confusing if you’re not familiar with each flavor of the accounting software and what it has to offer. Moreover, because QuickBooks features differ from plan to plan, be sure to thoroughly examine each tier for the components you need.

  • This is also possible with QuickBooks Desktop, though some banks charge connection fees.
  • QuickBooks Online is optimized to be as user-friendly as possible and very easy to navigate.
  • While they share many of the same features, QuickBooks Desktop’s features are often more developed, except when it comes to invoicing.
  • Every QuickBooks Enterprise user will have a dedicated Customer Service Manager who will be your point-person at Intuit for support concerns.
  • To access QuickBooks Desktop, on the other hand, you need to use the PC where you have the software installed.
  • With QuickBooks Desktop, you can set recurring invoices, send payment reminders, send batch invoices, and track invoices, but you’ll miss out on many of the other modern, cloud-based automations that QBO provides.

Despite its better mobile functionality, QuickBooks Online still lags behind QuickBooks Desktop in terms of job costing and advanced estimating features. The QuickBooks Online mobile and desktop apps are worlds apart – the Quickbooks Online mobile app is generally seen as being leaps and bounds better than the mobile app for QuickBooks Desktop. The Desktop-specific mobile app has minimal functionality and is mostly used for receipt uploading and other basic tasks. The other version, which is currently Intuit’s priority, is QuickBooks Online.

Both the online dashboard and mobile app, with their clear and straightforward graphics, are remarkably easy to understand and use.Conversely, QuickBooks Desktop was designed with accounting professionals in mind. It has a flowchart-style menu, a customizable user interface, and shortcuts for frequently used features. Mac users would need to download and install QuickBooks for Mac to use the service. QuickBooks Desktop is on-premises accounting software with optional remote access through an internet connection.

How do I switch from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online?

Plus, you can set up bank rules within QuickBooks to define how each transaction should be treated, and the system will categorize them for you. With data coming straight to you in real-time, you’ll never have to chase down a client for paper receipts and statements again. Every day, your clients face complex financial decisions, increasing demands on their time and growing competition—and they rely on you to help them overcome these challenges.

  • Unlike its counterparts, this edition of the software can never be upgraded to the small business editions of the software.
  • However, if you need more features and customization options, currently, QuickBooks Desktop has the lead.
  • However, if you still need help or simply want to outsource your bookkeeping to an expert, you can also find a bookkeeping professional in the ProAdvisor directory.
  • 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.
  • While QuickBooks Desktop has been many business’s accounting software of choice dating all the way back to the late 1990s, in the modern era, the online version of the tool can be a far better way to go.

Learn how else the two products differ in our QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Enhanced vs Assisted Payroll comparison. Merchant Maverick’s ratings are editorial in nature, and are not aggregated from user reviews. Each staff reviewer at Merchant Maverick is a subject matter expert with experience researching, testing, and evaluating small business software and services.

QuickBooks Desktop vs. Online: At a Glance

QuickBooks Online has a cheaper monthly cost and is more affordable if you have a lot of employees who will be using the software. QuickBooks Desktop Pro may be cheaper if you do not need additional users or add-ons such as payroll. While there are significant differences between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online, both applications offer solid accounting capability for small businesses.

QuickBooks Desktop: Best for industry-specific reporting

Here’s a look at how these two QuickBooks accounting software options stack up. At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don’t guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services. For many small-business what are the types of internal controls owners, most of the time, QuickBooks Online works better than QuickBooks Desktop. It’s more affordable, easier to share with your accountant or other financial stakeholders, and offers better invoicing than its locally installed counterpart. Both QuickBooks Online and Desktop are on our list of the best small business accounting software.

What is QuickBooks?

Additionally, the desktop products are only available as annual subscriptions, making them a bigger commitment than QuickBooks Online. Being a cloud-based solution, it offers the flexibility to manage your finances from any location, anytime, across various devices, as long as you have an internet connection. Its features include automatically scheduling and dispatching transactions, attaching multiple documents, images, signatures, etc., to transactions, and monitoring income and expenses.

QuickBooks Online supports a variety of browsers including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, as well as Safari 11 or later for Mac. The application also offers a mobile app that works with both iOS and Android devices. QuickBooks Desktop is designed for small to mid-size businesses that are looking for the reliability of a desktop software solution. QuickBooks Desktop is also a good fit for niche businesses such as nonprofit organizations, retailers, and general contractors looking for a more industry-specific solution. 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. Subscription clients in QuickBooks Desktop 2023 (R1) or older versions will need to update to the latest 2023 (R3) version before their subscription expires.

QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop: Which Is Best for You?

QuickBooks Desktop, on the other hand, is highly customizable and suitable for small to large-sized businesses with advanced requirements. Consider factors like mobility, collaboration, and customization to determine which version aligns better with your business. 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. QuickBooks Online operates on a subscription-based model with various pricing tiers, each offering a different level of features.

Ease of use is one of the most important things to consider when shopping for software. Neither QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop are difficult to use, although they offer very different user experiences. In this guide, you’ll understand how and why to create a construction budget.

Though not web-based, QuickBooks Desktop can be hosted online for more convenient access if desired.One of QuickBooks Desktop’s best features is its use of centers, which provide a central point for all activity. During the setup process, you can choose the features and functions that you will likely be using in QuickBooks Online. No need to worry if you skip one; you can always go back and add it at a later date. While people may assume that QuickBooks Online is simply the cloud version of QuickBooks Desktop, in reality, the two products are very different. When you move to QuickBooks Online, you’ll create a new account and login. You can migrate your business and payroll data to QuickBooks Online and keep a copy of the original file for your records.

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. It’s hard to say which software is cheaper because there are so many variables.

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