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QuickBooks Online offers a large selection of reports, but they aren’t industry-specific. Since QuickBooks Online is priced as a monthly subscription, it doesn’t require a contract and you can cancel your account at any time. Additionally, the desktop products are only available as annual subscriptions, making them a bigger commitment than QuickBooks Online. With four plans, robust features and a user-friendly interface, QuickBooks Online is the ideal choice for most small businesses. QuickBooks Desktop, on the other hand, is a good option for businesses that prefer desktop software, need its advanced inventory tracking and reporting tools, or are looking for an industry-specific solution.

  1. Once installed, your accounting data will only be accessible on one of these devices, making it difficult to work on the go.
  2. First, QBO is secured by 256-bit encryption, which is bank level, military-grade data encryption, also the most advanced on the consumer market.
  3. But local installation means more control over your data, who has access, and overall general security of your business information.
  4. 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.
  5. Click on Reports at the top of the screen, then click on company and financial and finally over to either the profit and loss or the balance sheet report.

Each offers a detailed chart of accounts, journal entries, bank reconciliation, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and the basic reports needed to run a company. However, QuickBooks Desktop offers better reporting and supports more complex accounting. Four pricing plans for QuickBooks Online are available, ranging from $30 to $200/month (with an additional $45+/month for payroll). Subscription clients in QuickBooks Desktop 2023 (R1) or older versions will need to update to the latest 2023 (R3) version before their subscription expires. While there are significant differences between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online, both applications offer solid accounting capability for small businesses.

While QuickBooks Desktop has a slightly higher average user rating than QuickBooks Online, we consider this criterion a draw since both solutions received a fair share of positive and negative comments. Discover’s lender network offering up to $3M in funding, no minimum credit score required. Here’s a quick way to tell which version of QuickBooks is right for your business. While QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop offer contact management, only QuickBooks Desktop allows you to manage and track leads as well as contacts.

QuickBooks Online vs. QuickBooks Desktop features

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. Intuit and QuickBooks Online also offer a mileage and expense tracking app called QuickBooks Self-Employed. 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. QuickBooks Desktop is like the traditional superhero – reliable, strong, and has been saving the day for years. Launched in 1983, it was originally aimed at individuals looking to manage their money better.

For an extra $50, sign up for a one-time live Bookkeeping setup with any of its plans. If you’re a freelancer, stick with its Self-Employed plan, which is $15 per month 9after the three-month discount at $7.50). Features include mileage tracking, basic reporting, income and expense tracking, capture and organize receipts and estimation of quarterly taxes. We’ll compare QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop and highlight the differences between each version plus which one is most suitable for collaborating on the go, and which is faster and offers more advanced features. If you share accounting responsibilities with other members of your business, QBO allows individuals to use unique logins.

QuickBooks Online vs Self-Employed: Features & Differences

For many home-service businesses, QuickBooks Online is the obvious choice. This is especially true for smaller companies, which don’t have an in-house accountant tied to a desk but that do have employees who are always on the go. QBO is more affordable and agile than the desktop version of the software, and its inherent mobility and unlimited support make the cloud-based version of QuickBooks even more attractive. You have the ability to function and use it anywhere and have the freedom to integrate with third-party apps like Housecall pro.

However features present in editions older than three years are subject to planned obsolescence, removal, and discontinuation to “incentivize” you to purchase a new release. how job costing works in cost accounting These versions are further differentiated by how you purchase the product. At, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations.

Only QuickBooks Online Offers…

The banking section of this case study focuses on cash management, bank reconciliation, and bank feed connections. The software must have bank integrations to automatically feed bank or card transactions. The bank reconciliation module must also let users reconcile accounts with or without bank feeds for optimal ease of use.

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. 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.

Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services. Accountants are most commonly against it because QuickBooks Online is a new system, and it functions the same but looks different. The job of an accountant is now to advise you on how to grow your business from those financials and business experience in a specific field.

It’s worth pointing out that since QuickBooks focuses on the online versions, it receives regular updates and seems to be slowly catching up regarding features. So, in the future, we should see QuickBooks Online becoming the better overall solution and overtaking Desktop. 6 QuickBooks Online requires a computer with a supported browser (see System Requirements for a list of supported browsers) and an Internet connection (high-speed recommended). The pandemic drove many QuickBooks Desktop customers to quickly move online to work from anywhere and collaborate remotely. They wanted QuickBooks Online to have more desktop-like features and functionally.

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. Depending on your business, the ability to integrate with other applications may be convenient, while for others, it can be a necessity.

Improve your productivity automatically. Use Zapier to get your apps working together.

Keep in mind that if you do decide to have QuickBooks Desktop hosted, there will be an additional fee. As an added convenience, if you outgrow your current edition of QuickBooks Online, upgrade to a more powerful plan in minutes. QuickBooks Desktop’s user interface is very different from QuickBooks Online, offering navigation using a flowchart style menu. To get the best possible experience please use the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Microsoft Edge to view this website. Find help articles, video tutorials, and connect with other businesses in our online community.

For over a decade, she’s helped small business owners make money online. When she’s not trying out the latest tech or travel blogging with her family, you can find her curling up with a good novel. Another notable difference is QuickBooks Online offers a Self-Employed version for $15 per month, which is not available with QuickBooks Desktop. With QuickBooks Online, you also get the latest security capabilities. Know that your data is protected without downloading and installing product updates.

All of which has changed over the past few months to provide more functionality and make the system better and easier to use. QBD includes an assortment of inventory management tools whereas QuickBooks Online only supports one method. 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.

Personalized Setup is limited to a 1-hour session with a customer success product expert. QuickBooks Desktop is on-premises accounting software with optional remote access through an internet connection. 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.

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