QuickBooks Online vs Desktop: Which Is Right for Your Business?

quickbooks online vs quickbooks desktop

When you sell driving lessons, you are asking your client to purchase a specific service from you. The client may pay at the time of the service or they might send a check later. Access to accountants is granted independently from your regular user limit in QBDT. However, QBO restricts access to up to two accountants or accounting firms. It is worth noticing that an accounting firm can add their team members, and this does not impact the user limit because it happens from within the firm’s access. Because QBO is based entirely in the cloud, granting access to additional users doesn’t impact the purchase price as long as you’re under the predefined user limit.

Tax Benefits and Deductions for the Self-Employed

QuickBooks Online (QBO) is the cloud-based, online version of accounting software provided through a monthly subscription pricing plan. QuickBooks Online offers upgrade options and integrates with many add-on third-party apps to increase functionality. 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. Terms and conditions, features, support, pricing, and service options subject to change without notice.

Over 2.3 million Desktop customers have made the switch to QuickBooks Online.1

Reporting options are good in both applications, though only one of the applications offers industry-specific reporting options. 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. QuickBooks Desktop also offers easy integration with QuickBooks Payments so you can accept online payments from customers. 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. Businesses with inventory items should choose accounting software that can track inventory costs, manage COGS, and monitor inventory units.

Cash Flow Management Tips for E-commerce Businesses

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. QuickBooks Online offers seamless integration with a multitude of third-party apps, thanks to its SaaS model. Although QuickBooks Desktop also supports integrations, setting them up and maintaining them might require more technical know-how. The top products based on usability and customer satisfaction, as rated by user reviews. While QuickBooks Desktop is more expensive, you’re still paying nearly $2,000 a year for QuickBooks Online, hardly the affordable product it is marketed to be! For the purposes of this graph, we’re comparing a 5-user instance of QuickBooks Online Plus 1-5 Users + Payroll, vs. a 5-user instance of QuickBooks Enterprise Gold (which includes payroll) over a 4-year period.

Why You Can Trust Fit Small Business

This lets them save and comment on invoices, save their payment information, invite others to access the account and collaborate on projects they’ve been invited to view. To choose the right option for you, think about the present and future versions of your business — your accounting software should be able to support both. Right now, check that it’s within your budget and is compatible with your point-of-sale and/or payroll software, as well as your accountant’s system. Based on how much you expect your small business to grow, keep an eye on scalability, too.

quickbooks online vs quickbooks desktop

Use Cases and Pros & Cons

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. The accounting software a company chooses needs to be able to work for those using it and scale with the growth of the company. This is what makes software selection such a vital step in a company’s overall financial management journey. The specific QuickBooks version and edition you buy dictates how many users are allowed access to your business’ individual account. In other words, if you buy one license for QuickBooks Desktop, only one specific person at your company can access the app and file. Starting fresh in QuickBooks Online allows you to create a new company file and set up your accounting records from scratch, providing a clean slate for your financial data.

While people may assume that QuickBooks Online is simply the cloud version of QuickBooks Desktop, in reality, the two products are very different. In evaluating pricing, we considered the billing cycle (monthly or annual) and the number of users. QuickBooks Online is generally easier to use than QuickBooks Desktop as it has a more streamlined user interface.

However, the QuickBooks Desktop app is a very pared-down version of the desktop and is poorly rated. If your business needs sales orders, QuickBooks Desktop is your only option. Although Intuit has talked about adding sales orders to QuickBooks https://www.quick-bookkeeping.net/a-look-at-the-renovation-of-the-estate-of-things/ Online, this feature is only available with QuickBooks Desktop products at this time. While QuickBooks Online boasts many of the features you’ll find with Desktop, some of its features, such as inventory management, aren’t quite as advanced.

Our editorial team independently evaluates and recommends products and services based on their research and expertise. With QuickBooks Online, users receive many of the same cash flows 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.

In this guide, we break down our findings, helping you decide if Online or Desktop — or another software altogether — is best for your business accounting needs. I find myself leaning toward the futuristic solution, which makes QuickBooks Online my preferred choice of accounting software (my Ralph Macchio). Plus, it’s the only one that integrates with Zapier, enabling you to seamlessly link your accounting management to the rest of your business’s tools. QuickBooks Online is simply easier to learn, provides a detailed onboarding process, and is very intuitive. QuickBooks Desktop, on the other hand, is installed locally, meaning you download and install the software on your computer or multiple computers in your office, for example. Once installed, your accounting data will only be accessible on one of these devices, making it difficult to work on the go.

quickbooks online vs quickbooks desktop

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. Your business is unique, but your routine bookkeeping tasks are going to be similar to many other businesses such as consultants/coaches, dog walkers, and photographers.

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. Both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop are designed to handle small business’s bandwidth and needs. Strictly based on ease of use and basic functionality, QuickBooks Online is an easier-to-adopt option that can handle small business accounting needs well. While the two iterations are different in some aspects, they’re essentially the same product, and the differences between them aren’t as glaring as they are with other accounting software solutions. The two iterations of QuickBooks’ accounting software shine in different areas.

QuickBooks is a suite of accounting software 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. 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.

  1. You can perform bin location tracking, serial number location tracking, and sync your QuickBooks Enterprise to a barcode scanner so your warehouse team can easily monitor what’s in stock.
  2. Businesses that have purchased one-time licenses of the locally-installed QuickBooks Desktop versions that have been sunset can still use the software’s accounting features.
  3. Those who have left negative reviews dislike that it doesn’t offer many third-party integration options.
  4. This means you can check in and manage your books from anywhere in the world, whether you’re relaxing on a beach in The Bahamas or enjoying a hot chocolate at a ski lodge.
  5. Similar to other cloud-based apps, QuickBooks Online allows for anytime/anywhere access to your books.
  6. As a business grows, users can easily upgrade to a more advanced plan with additional features seamlessly.

All you need is your account information, and you can access your QuickBooks details on any device with an internet connection. The superiority of QuickBooks Online or Desktop depends on your specific needs. QuickBooks Online offers accessibility, automatic updates, and multi-user access, making it ideal https://www.wave-accounting.net/ for small to medium-sized businesses. 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.

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