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QuickBooks Online can be accessed from any internet-connected device, including a mobile device with the QuickBooks app installed, after you enter a valid username and password. While there are significant differences between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online, both applications offer solid accounting capability for small businesses. And while QuickBooks Desktop comes out on top in this comparison, only you can decide which one is best for your business. If neither application catches your eye, why not take a look at some QuickBooks alternatives or check out The Ascent’s accounting software reviews. Speaking of extra fees, QuickBooks Desktop also charges for e-commerce app integration, invoice-based payment acceptance, and online data hosting.

  • Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including scope of features and integrations, customer support and cost, among others.
  • Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services.
  • Find help articles, video tutorials, and connect with other businesses in our online community.
  • QuickBooks Pro is geared toward small to medium businesses and starts at $549.99/year for a single user.

QuickBooks Desktop users with expired subscriptions can carry out read operations ( viewing / printing / downloading data) on their QuickBooks company file but not write operations (creating / updating / deleting data). Subscription clients in QuickBooks Desktop 2023 (R1) or older versions will need to update to the latest 2023 (R3) version before their subscription expires. A variety of short video tutorials are available as well as on-demand webinars and training classes. One of the best resources is the QuickBooks Online community, where you can connect with other users to share tips, answer questions, and find answers to problems that may arise. Product support can be accessed directly from within the application, where you can ask a question or connect to support personnel. QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop are both excellent small business accounting software applications, both offering complete double-entry accounting as well as automatic processing of closing entries.

If you’re moving to QuickBooks from another accounting software, you can import your existing files to your new account. It’s important to note that QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online are two separate products, and data in the two versions do not automatically sync. A company should work small business tax preparation checklist with either QuickBooks Desktop or QuickBooks Online to avoid data discrepancies. 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.

QuickBooks Desktop can be integrated with QuickBooks Desktop Payroll and QuickBooks Time. 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. This QuickBooks Online vs Desktop comparison will help you decide which QuickBooks product is right for you based on pricing, features, ease of use, and more.

Overall, QuickBooks Desktop Pro reviews are more favorable, but both user bases have good and bad things to say about each product. Even though QB Desktop has more comprehensive features in general, there are some key features that only QuickBooks Online has, such as bookkeeping support. In comparison with QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Online is cloud-based, cheaper, easier to use, supports more integrations, and is unlikely to be discontinued by QuickBooks.

Alternatively, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial with QuickBooks Online. Just know that doing so waives your option to get 50% off your QuickBooks Online subscription for your first three months. Unlike QuickBooks Online, Desktop Pro includes built-in inventory management.

QuickBooks Online vs. QuickBooks Desktop features

QuickBooks Desktop pricing varies according to a different version of the system. QuickBooks Pro is adjusted towards medium industry business and has cost $466.99 for a single user. QuickBooks Enterprise is specially allotted for small enterprises or large businesses and starts at $1,655 annually. They both share the same options; however, more developed features are available in QuickBooks Desktop except invoicing. The QuickBooks Online has primary options including international invoicing, mobile apps, and lending international invoicing.

  • Move some or all of your data from any Desktop version, including balances, specific lists, and payroll data.
  • QuickBooks Desktop is usually preferred if you are looking for industry-specific features or have more complex accounting needs.
  • For additional options, head to our guide on the leading QuickBooks Online alternatives.

The software encompasses a wide range of accounting functions, including invoicing, expense tracking, managing accounts payable, handling contacts, project management, inventory management, budgeting, and more. While there might be occasional challenges with navigating the interface, QuickBooks Online is, on the whole, remarkably user-friendly. QuickBooks Online is the cloud-based, mobile-friendly version of the popular accounting software.


Eventually, the actual deciding factors are a particular business type, size, and requirements. Whatever you select the comprehensive reviews can assist you in creating informed decisions while hunting for the actual accounting software. QuickBooks Desktop is a more traditional accounting software that you download and install on your computer, while QuickBooks Online is cloud-based accounting software you access through the internet. For the Desktop version, you pay an annual fee starting at $349.99 per year, and the cloud-based option starts at $15 per month. Both versions have mobile apps, but the app for the Desktop version primarily functions as a way to upload receipts, and the Online mobile app is robust in comparison.

QuickBooks Desktop is more suitable for:

The QuickBooks Desktop mobile app is very limited as it only allows you to capture expense receipts. If you want to perform bookkeeping from anywhere, we strongly recommend QuickBooks Online’s mobile app. QuickBooks Online allows you to track your activity, such as income and expenses, by class and location. This is useful for businesses with multiple departments or divisions and those that provide various types of services. Meanwhile, QuickBooks Desktop allows you to set up classes, but you can’t track your income and expenses by location. QuickBooks Online and Desktop both offer excellent income and expense tracking and bank reconciliation tools.

QuickBooks Online: Additional features

QuickBooks is an Accounting Management software that helps businesses with Bookkeeping, Accounting, Payroll, Inventory Management, and other financial tasks. QuickBooks was developed by Intuit, a California-based company, to automate typical tasks and save time on bookkeeping and paperwork. Hundreds of thousands of small companies across the world rely on QuickBooks to keep track of their finances. It can be further customized to fit one’s own needs and tastes, making it applicable to a wide range of businesses.

QuickBooks Online (abbreviated as QBO) is Intuit’s Cloud-based accounting software. The most significant distinction between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop is that QuickBooks Online does not require computer installation. All product and feature upgrades are available through QBO, as well as automatic data backups and the option to restore firm data from backups. QuickBooks has ready-to-use templates for generating graphs, business plans, invoices, and spreadsheets. It can also help company owners save time and effort by automating signatures on checks. In terms of connectivity with other tools, QuickBooks provides a lot of advantages.

Both Intuit products use double-entry accounting protocols and having accrual & cash-basis accounting. Each system provides an in-depth chart of accounts, bank reconciliation, accounts receivable, journal entries, accounts payable, and the general reports required to run a company. Although QuickBooks Desktop is recognized as a better reporting system and helps in ease of managing complex tasks. Seek Capital is not a lender, loan broker or agent for any lender or loan broker. We are an advertising referral service to qualified participating lenders that may be able to provide refferals to lenders, credit repair companies, banks and trusted partners.

Advanced Reporting is included in all QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise subscriptions. QuickBooks Desktop software is as an annual subscription that will auto-renew with your credit card on file, so there’s no service interruption. If you purchased Desktop software via retail, make sure to place your credit card on file for uninterrupted service. When you move to QuickBooks Online, you’ll create a new account and login. You can migrate your business and payroll data to QuickBooks Online and keep a copy of the original file for your records. The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters.

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