QuickBooks Online vs Desktop Comparison for 2024

quickbooks desktop vs online

QuickBooks Online is cloud based, which means you can access your QuickBooks account anywhere you have the internet and an internet-enabled device. QuickBooks Desktop is desktop based, meaning you’ll buy a hard copy of QuickBooks’ software, then download that software once onto a single device. 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. Unlike QuickBooks Online, Desktop Pro includes built-in inventory management. And if data analysis is an important part of growing your business, QuickBooks Desktop is a solid pick.

quickbooks desktop vs online

The changes need to be saved and refreshed, leaving a lot of potential for errors. With QuickBooks Desktop, you must make an Accountant’s Copy of your data file and send it to your ProAdvisor. The copy will allow you to continue to work on transactions in the current period while your accountant makes adjustments to past periods.

QuickBooks Desktop provides better security and control over data than QuickBooks Online

QBO allows you to access your file anywhere as long as you have an Internet connection. While the Desktop version, the company data can only be accessed on the computer or network where the file is installed. We need to be able to use quickbooks while it is accessed by other employees elsewhere. We’ve made the migration experience much better and added new features to meet the needs of more desktop customers. We knew it’d be the best platform to serve your needs longer term and give you new capabilities faster to make your life as a business owner easier.

It’s hard to say which software is cheaper because there are so many variables. But there are some general guidelines to know which version might be the one for your business (and your budget). Our complete QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop comparison covers key differences, pricing, features, and usability, so you can easily decide whether QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop is right for your business. QuickBooks Desktop offers more than 100 standard reports that can be customized as needed. QuickBooks Online wins this one, offering easy system navigation from the user dashboard. Ease of use is one of the most important things to consider when shopping for software.

  1. Maybe it’s not taking over anytime soon, but there are dozens, if not hundreds of new tools available across a swath of industries.
  2. Going completely cloud-based comes with marginally higher security risks.
  3. Desktop offers inventory tracking features unavailable in QuickBooks Online, including lot and bin tracking and barcode scanning.
  4. Users must have easy access to customer service channels in case of problems, questions, or assistance.
  5. When you move to QuickBooks Online, you’ll create a new account and login.
  6. If you have employees, you can add QuickBooks Payroll to your QuickBooks Online account for as little as $45 per month plus $5 per employee.

When signing up for QuickBooks Online, it only gives options for paying monthly. However, once you’ve signed up, navigate to your account settings, and you can switch to annual billing to save 10%. All Online plans include receipt capture, QuickBooks support and more than 650 app integrations with apps such as PayPal, Square and Shopify. 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.

Here are three additional scenarios reasons why QuickBooks Online might be a better fit for your business. 6 QuickBooks Online requires a computer with a supported browser (see System Requirements for a list of supported browsers) and https://www.kelleysbookkeeping.com/ an Internet connection (high-speed recommended). While the cloud-based convenience of QuickBooks Online certainly has its appeal, it seems that when functionality takes center stage, QuickBooks Desktop often steals the limelight.

What’s the difference between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop Pro?

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 https://www.online-accounting.net/ where everything is, but a quick run-through is more than enough to familiarize yourself with what QuickBooks Online can do. The two iterations of QuickBooks’ accounting software shine in different areas.

Head to our detailed QuickBooks Payroll review to see if it fits the bill. When you upgrade to Enterprise, QuickBooks Desktop’s most comprehensive plan, you’ll gain access to advanced inventory features, including barcode scanning and serial number tracking. On the flip side, some complained that QuickBooks Online can’t manage multiple companies in a single account and that it lacks assembly management features. Others are also unhappy that they couldn’t easily contact QuickBooks Online’s customer support. I’ve also had some not-so-great experiences with QuickBooks’ support, but there are occasions when they manage to resolve things well—and that depends greatly on the assigned agent.

quickbooks desktop vs online

QuickBooks Online boasts a user-friendly, intuitive interface, making it easy even for accounting novices to navigate. In contrast, QuickBooks Desktop, while offering more advanced functionalities, may pose a steeper learning curve due to its traditional interface. On the other hand, QuickBooks Desktop is known for its robust and comprehensive features. It outperforms the Online version when it comes to advanced job costing, batch invoicing, and industry-specific features. According to research reports from Gartner and Forrester, QuickBooks Desktop often scores higher than QuickBooks Online in terms of functionality. 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.

When is QuickBooks Desktop better than QuickBooks Online?

Any info you enter into the QuickBooks Online desktop app will sync with your cloud-based QuickBooks platform if your computer is connected to the internet. For many small-business owners, most of the time, QuickBooks https://www.quick-bookkeeping.net/ 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.

Bookkeeping and accounting software

Our excitement for QuickBooks Online is because there are many benefits enabled by an online platform you can’t get through desktop software. An online platform gives unmatched flexibility to continually improve to meet business needs. We’re talking to QuickBooks desktop users more about QuickBooks Online than before and we want to tell you why. Yes, you can convert your QuickBooks Online data to QuickBooks Desktop using Intuit’s conversion tools. It’s important to note that the process may not transfer all data and features, so thorough preparation and backup are advised before switching. In conclusion, the choice between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop comes down to individual business needs.

Is QuickBooks Online easier to use than QuickBooks Desktop?

While the dashboard is a bit cluttered, you can easily customize it to only display the information you wish. Those interested in trying out QuickBooks Online can access a free 30-day demo with sample data that allows you to easily explore system features and functions without spending a lot of time entering data. 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.

Doing so grants you access to the Priority Circle loyalty program, including a dedicated account team, free on-demand training, and premium care from QuickBooks experts. Others mentioned the bank account reconciliation and invoicing features are excellent. QuickBooks Online is on par with Desktop in terms of banking, but we believe that the cloud-based version is better for professional invoicing. The company has updated its help centers to be more user-friendly, but there’s still no email support. Both options, however, are working to reduce long hold times on the phone by now offering a callback feature.