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

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.

  • 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.
  • If neither application catches your eye, why not take a look at some QuickBooks alternatives or check out The Ascent’s accounting software reviews.
  • Plus, with access for up to 40 users, Enterprise can scale with your business as it grows.
  • Accountants often find QuickBooks Pro and Premier to be more traditional, but you don’t have to be an accountant or professional bookkeeper to learn QuickBooks Online.

You must purchase additional licenses if you want to access it on multiple computers. While you can add cloud access to QuickBooks Enterprise, it involves an additional fee. We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence.

How do I switch from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online?

If you make the switch from Desktop to Online, you can import your data and access your original company file at any time. QuickBooks Online is better for business owners who want easy-to-use cloud-based accounting that includes anywhere online access, mobile apps, and tons of integrations with other business apps. Both of these versions offer many of the same accounting features, but there are some key differences to be aware of before you decide which to purchase for your business. QuickBooks Online is the obvious victor in terms of mobile accounting, while Desktop offers a relatively restricted mobile app. QuickBooks Web provides a mobile app with virtually all of the functionality of the online browser version, as well as additional features like receipt capturing and mileage tracking.

In terms of budget and other factors, deciding which product is better for your organization is crucial. Hence, in this article you will learn some of the critical differentiators between QuickBooks Online vs Desktop, to help you make the right decision. QuickBooks is a tried-and-true Accounting application with several features. QuickBooks gives you a 360-degree picture of your Sales, broken down by customer, product, project, and location. QuickBooks allows you to quickly generate and deliver customized, professional invoices, Sales receipts, and estimates. The enterprise version includes “enhanced pick, pack and ship” options as well as mobile inventory barcode scanning.

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Add payroll to QuickBooks Online starting at $45 per month, or to Desktop starting at $50, plus $2 per employee, per month. Merchant Maverick’s ratings are editorial in nature, and are not aggregated from user reviews. Each staff reviewer at Merchant Maverick is a subject matter expert with experience researching, testing, and evaluating small business software and services. The rating of this company or service is based on the author’s expert opinion and analysis of the product, and assessed and seconded by another subject matter expert on staff before publication. Merchant Maverick’s ratings are not influenced by affiliate partnerships. QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop operate on true double-entry accounting principles and have both accrual and cash-basis accounting.

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If you’re a QuickBooks Online user who wants these Desktop features, many third-party apps offer them for an extra charge. There are two main versions of QuickBooks — QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online — and there are many differences between them. In particular, the QuickBooks Desktop platform, which is either installed locally or hosted remotely, offers different functions than the QuickBooks Online cloud computing version, which is fully remote. QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop both earned decent user ratings, although QuickBooks Desktop’s mobile app received low scores.

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All reports can be exported to Microsoft Excel for customizing, viewing on screen, printing, or emailing 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. audit evidence and audit testing 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. 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.

At a Glance: QuickBooks Online vs. QuickBooks Desktop

If you choose QuickBooks Desktop Pro Plus, you’ll also need to pay extra if you want to access customer service via live chat. Notably, only QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise includes 24/7 customer service. Pro Plus and Premier Plus limit customer service hours to just 12 hours a day, weekdays only. QuickBooks Self-Employed is a QuickBooks Online product for contractors and freelancers, specifically for those who do not have separate business and personal financial accounts. It starts at $30 a month and includes basic features only, such as mileage tracking and invoicing. This means that QuickBooks Desktop users are limited to one hosting provider — the computer on which the software is installed — or a handful of licensed computers.

For additional options, head to our guide on the leading QuickBooks Online alternatives. We have an extensive history of reviewing QuickBooks products, and we stay up-to-date with the latest features and enhancements. 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.