Quickbooks Online vs Desktop: Which Is Best in 2024?

When working with the Desktop version, it’s downloaded right to your computer. This means the data operates as fast as your computer, all without needing to worry about a connection issue. 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. The most notable difference, aside from price, between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop is the Online version is cloud-based.

If you need more users than that, you can contact QuickBooks Online’s customer support to see if you can create a custom plan with custom user access. Otherwise, you’ll need QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise, which supports up to 40 users. If you’re searching for accounting software that’s user-friendly, full of smart features, and scales with your business, Quickbooks is a great option.

The downside to locally stored data, though, is that you can only access it from where it’s stored. You can pay extra (or upgrade to a pricier plan) to get data hosting through QuickBooks, which will let you access some financial information—though not all of it—on a different device. For instance, if you choose the Simple Start plan, you’re the only person who can use the software—apart from your accountant, with whom you can share your business’s account at no additional cost. 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.

However, it doesn’t compare with the more than 500 options offered by QuickBooks Online. QuickBooks Online offers integration with more than 500 third party apps in categories such as Payments, CRM, Project Management, Payments, Payroll, Invoicing, Inventory, and Time Tracking. You can easily connect to any third-party app from within the application, fifo periodic inventory method saving you a ton of time in the process. QuickBooks Online offers a variety of pricing plans, which range from $12 to $75 for the first three months. QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop have very different pricing structures, with QuickBooks Online available by a monthly subscription, while QuickBooks Desktop has an annual cost.

QuickBooks Online vs Desktop: A quick overview

We’ll focus on differences specific to the construction industry, so you can make an informed decision about which version is best for your accounting needs. Once purchased, the licensing of QuickBooks Enterprise is good for 3 years. If you fail to renew your solution each year, you are still welcome to continue using the solution on your desktop, but you will be limited to 1 user license and not have any ongoing support. However, when it comes to intricate financial management, predefined user roles, and capacity for growth, QuickBooks Enterprise does hold an edge.

  • It starts at $30 a month and includes basic features only, such as mileage tracking and invoicing.
  • To expedite product setup, you can choose to use the default chart of accounts that is included in the application.
  • Ask for testimonials from people who have utilized your services in the past and spread the word about your offerings through a website or social media.
  • For small business owners new to the accounting scene, this service may bring much-needed peace of mind when managing your books and filing small business taxes.

In other words, if you buy one license for QuickBooks Desktop, only one specific person at your company can access the app and file. QuickBooks Self-Employed, or QBSE, is the version of QBO marketed toward freelancers and other self-employed business owners. Unlike its counterparts, this edition of the software can never be upgraded to the small business editions of the software. For both QuickBooks products, Intuit QuickBooks mobile apps are offered for Apple iOS and Google Android devices.

QuickBooks Desktop features are better developed than comparable features found on QuickBooks Online. 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. While people may assume that QuickBooks Online is simply the cloud version of QuickBooks Desktop, in reality, the two products are very different. Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. For an extra $50, sign up for a one-time live Bookkeeping setup with any of its plans.

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Terms and conditions, features, support, pricing, and service options are subject to change without notice. Webgility syncs QuickBooks Desktop with your online stores, giving you an automated and reliable multichannel inventory hub for your entire business. With Webgility, you can minimize inventory mistakes and maintain centralized control over products, pricing, and profits. You can also easily add new products to online stores and marketplaces from QuickBooks.Webgility automates ecommerce accounting, inventory and pricing, order management, fulfillment and purchasing, and more.

Yes, you can, but the process is a bit tedious, as you need to manually export your files from QuickBooks Online to Desktop. If you are currently using QuickBooks Online and want to switch to an interface similar to QuickBooks Desktop, we recommend using the QuickBooks Online Desktop app. Read our article on what the QuickBooks Online Desktop app is to learn more.

Desktop

By using optical character recognition (OCR), details from your receipts are scanned and recorded directly into relevant transactions. QuickBooks Online simplifies both the receipt collection and organization process by allowing you to easily capture and upload a photo or document into your QuickBooks file. From there, you can add it to the correct transaction (or create a new transaction) and, voila, no more shoebox. On the flip side, you can access QBO from any location in the world, with the sole requirement of connecting to the internet. You’re not limited to a single machine or even device and can easily log in to QBO from any PC, Mac, tablet, or smartphone.

Which Version of QuickBooks is Best for Your Business?

If your office computer is a Mac, you can still use QuickBooks Desktop on your Mac. 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. QuickBooks Desktop Pro, Pro Plus and Premier are no longer sold, although unsold copies may still be available at authorized vendors for a limited time. QuickBooks is encouraging all existing Desktop clients to migrate to QuickBooks Online as soon as possible.

In conclusion, the choice between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop comes down to individual business needs. By understanding the unique offerings of both, CPAs can make well-informed recommendations to their clients, ultimately enhancing their accounting processes and business efficiency. This pillar blog has aimed to provide an in-depth, comparative guide to assist in that decision-making process. 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. Should you let a third-party company source raw materials for your products with contract manufacturing?

Products

You can migrate your business and payroll data to QuickBooks Online and keep a copy of the original file for your records. However, if you own a big business, prefer locally stored software, or want industry-specific reports, QuickBooks Desktop could be a better fit for your business. Different software packages include licenses for 1 to 10 users, up to 20 users, up to 30 users, and up to 40 users. However, Intuit’s push for its QuickBooks Online software and discontinuation of its Desktop offering in the UK has caused users to worry about possible sunsetting.

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