QuickBooks Online VS Desktop Comparison

Meanwhile, QuickBooks Desktop allows you to set up classes, but you can’t track your income and expenses by location. Those who have left negative reviews dislike that it doesn’t offer many third-party integration options. Further, one user said that QuickBooks Desktop is more expensive than QuickBooks Online, https://intuit-payroll.org/ especially if you need multiple users, which aligns with our evaluation. 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.

QuickBooks Desktop is desktop based, meaning you’ll buy a hard copy of QuickBooks’ software, then download that software once onto a single 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. However, if you’re not a Mac user, you can choose from all three QuickBooks Desktop  plans. The QuickBooks Desktop Premier Plus plan is particularly useful for business that want industry-specific features.

  1. Every business is unique, and there may be instances where QuickBooks Desktop may be a better fit.
  2. That said, it can feel overwhelming and confusing if you don’t have prior accounting knowledge.
  3. Others are also unhappy that they couldn’t easily contact QuickBooks Online’s customer support.
  4. QuickBooks Desktop is desktop based, meaning you’ll buy a hard copy of QuickBooks’ software, then download that software once onto a single device.

One is sleek and modern, and the other seems to have been designed for a cubicle. 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. Different software packages include licenses for 1 to 10 users, up to 20 users, up to 30 users, and up to 40 users. The company has updated its help centers to be more user-friendly, but there’s still no email support.

Best Accounting and Bookkeeping Apps for Small Businesses

In this comparison guide, we’ll review your options and provide recommendations to help you select the most suitable QuickBooks version for your business. You can see that Intuit has every business in mind, with the ability to customize, personalize, and scale QuickBooks for every business structure. If ease of use and on-the-go accounting access is the most important thing to you, Online is the way to go. If you are a stationery business needing more features and more control, Desktop is probably the better path.

Why is QuickBooks Online more suitable for most companies than QuickBooks Desktop?

Many users also complain that QuickBooks Online doesn’t compare to QuickBooks Pro in terms of features and quality. However, the majority of reviews are positive, with QuickBooks Online receiving 4.3/5 stars (based on 6,200+ reviews) on Software Advice and 4/5 stars (based on 3,100+ reviews) on G2. In contrast, QuickBooks Desktop offers hardly any payment gateways, making it difficult for the modern merchant to accept online invoice payments easily. Granted, you don’t have to be an accountant to learn QuickBooks Desktop either, but if you are new to accounting, you will need a lot of time to learn the program. QuickBooks Pro is geared toward small to medium businesses and starts at $41/month for a single user.

What types of businesses use QuickBooks Cloud vs. Desktop

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. QuickBooks Desktop is better for small to large-sized businesses with complex accounting needs requiring more customizable features. Both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop are capable programs with strong accounting features.

The dashboard does an excellent job dividing all accounting aspects into a flowchart type of view, while the sidebar provides quick access to a list of features. That said, it can feel overwhelming and confusing if you don’t have prior accounting knowledge. The two iterations of QuickBooks’ accounting software shine in different areas. Whereas one is completely online and cloud-based, the other operates locally on your computer.

You must plan considerably for QuickBooks Desktop and invest significant time and resources. All you need is to contact your QuickBooks cloud hosting provider, and they can rapidly provision additional computational resources within a few hours. If required, you can quickly scale down by once again contacting your provider. The software must also have a mobile app to enable users to perform accounting tasks even when away from their laptops or desktops.

What is the easiest QuickBooks to use?

One big drawback of QuickBooks Pro in the past was that it didn’t have mobile apps. Fortunately, a mobile app is now available with the introduction of QuickBooks Desktop 2022. However, the QuickBooks Desktop app is a very pared down version of the desktop and is poorly rated. These versions give business owners more features and reports geared toward their industry.

The charges are on a monthly basis, which some users prefer for its flexibility. Subscription clients in QuickBooks Desktop 2023 (R1) or older versions will need to update to the latest 2023 (R3) version before their subscription expires. 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.

While both QuickBooks Online and Desktop are supported by a large network of independent ProAdvisors, it’s much easier to share your books with your ProAdvisor using QuickBooks Online. Getting assistance with your Desktop bookkeeping is difficult since you must save an Accountant’s Copy of your company file and send it to your ProAdvisor. Additionally, all versions of QuickBooks Desktop allow you to set up cost estimates for projects and then compare them to actual expenses. In contrast, you need to upgrade to Advanced to be able to use QuickBooks Online’s budget vs. actual reporting feature. We have an extensive history of reviewing QuickBooks products, and we stay up-to-date with the latest features and enhancements.

All feedback, positive or negative, helps us to improve the way we help small businesses. Discover BusinessLoans.com’s lender network offering up to $3M in funding, no minimum credit score required. By providing feedback on how we can improve, you can earn gift cards and get early access to new features.

Our first-hand experience, guided by our internal case study, helps us understand how the different QuickBooks products compare with each other and how they work in real-world scenarios. Users can simply click on the Reports option to access reports in a variety of categories including Favorites, Business Overview, Expenses and Vendors, Employees, and Sales Tax reports, along with several others. All reports can be exported to Microsoft Excel for customizing, viewing on screen, printing, or emailing how long will it take to get an ein directly to recipients. Users can access features via the vertical menu to the left of the screen or by using the drop-down menu bar at the top, and the My Shortcuts option allows you to add a shortcut to frequently used features. If the default screen is too crowded for your taste, you can hide the vertical menu, only displaying it when you wish. You can easily access all QuickBooks Online features from the dashboard, where you’ll find a vertical menu bar to the left of the screen.

This process is tedious and time-consuming, creating confusion with numerous copies of the same file. Most organizations use conventional desktops with outdated security systems and lack the modern anti-hacking tools to secure your client’s financial data effectively. Work from anywhere with the power of the cloud and real-time, secure collaboration. 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. It’s an acceptable system but isn’t nearly as convenient as sharing your books through QuickBooks Online.