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What are the differences between QuickBooks Desktop and Online?

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 supplies definition and meaning features found on QuickBooks Online. While people may assume that QuickBooks Online is simply the cloud version of QuickBooks Desktop, in reality, the two products are very different. For an extra $50, sign up for a one-time live Bookkeeping setup with any of its plans.

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. QuickBooks Online’s monthly subscription may be easier for some small businesses to fit into their financial situation. The good news is, whichever you purchase, accounting software counts as a tax-deductible expense.

The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters. QuickBooks Desktop offers good integration options, integrating with more than 200 third party applications, making it one of the better integrated desktop application options. However, it doesn't compare with the more than 500 options offered by QuickBooks Online. QuickBooks Online offers integration with more than 500 third party apps in categories such as Payments, CRM, Project Management, Payments, Payroll, Invoicing, Inventory, and Time Tracking.

QuickBooks Online VS Desktop: Pricing

It can be further customized to fit one’s own needs and tastes, making it applicable to a wide range of businesses. It offers comprehensive features that will make running your business a little bit easier. 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.

  • In terms of connectivity with other tools, QuickBooks provides a lot of advantages.
  • Both the program and data file are installed on a specific computer or network.
  • Its prominence also stems from its inclusion of tools its competitors lack, such as integrated advanced time tracking.
  • So, in the future, we should see QuickBooks Online becoming the better overall solution and overtaking Desktop.
  • Alternatively, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial with QuickBooks Online.

One unique feature of QuickBooks Online we like is its project dashboard, which the desktop version doesn’t have. This allows you to quickly inspect profit margins per project and see an income/costline chart. QuickBooks Desktop recently began requiring an annual payment to maintain live technical support and even some features, such as payroll. Thus, QuickBooks Desktop effectively forces you to pay for an annual license if you want full support.

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Meanwhile, QuickBooks Desktop is desktop-based—meaning it can only be accessed from the computer where it is installed. It’s great for businesses that appreciate the stability of desktop software and those that require its advanced features, like inventory assembly management and industry-specific features. QuickBooks Desktop Premier Plus and Enterprise plans have industry-specific reports for manufacturing and wholesale, retail, nonprofit, general contractor and professional service businesses, too. For example, nonprofits can use the desktop products to run donor contribution summary reports while manufacturing, wholesale and retail businesses have the ability to forecast product sales.

How Much Does QuickBooks Online Cost?

With QuickBooks Online you can easily link to your client’s bank accounts to automate the collection of bank transactions, statements, and receipts. All of their transactions and statements are downloaded to the server nightly, which means all the necessary data will be available when you need it. Plus, you can set up bank rules within QuickBooks to define how each transaction should be treated, and the system will categorize them for you.

Get QuickBooks

Making a guess based on their names, you might assume that one product is an enterprise accounting software, while the other is online accounting software. But that doesn’t explain much about the differences in features being offered. 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. However, if you need access to add-on services to replicate some or all of the features of QuickBooks Desktop software, you may wish to explore QuickBooks Online options instead.

Best Free Accounting Software for Small Businesses

QuickBooks Online (QBO) is the cloud-based, online version of accounting software provided through a monthly subscription pricing plan. QuickBooks Online offers upgrade options and integrates with many add-on third-party apps to increase functionality. QuickBooks Enterprise includes all features of QuickBooks Pro/Premier as well as more advanced features than what is offered in QuickBooks Online. This includes the features QuickBooks is most known for, such as financial management, sales orders, inventory cost tracking, and pricing. It also offers 13 predefined user roles, which lets you control access into the program for each employee.

Depending on your business, the ability to integrate with other applications may be convenient, while for others, it can be a necessity. 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. While the dashboard is a bit cluttered, you can easily customize it to only display the information you wish.

If circumstances or contractors change, this is not always automatically reflected in the original invoice. This means you’ll have to make manual adjustments, which are more prone to errors or simply being overlooked. In the previous section, we gave you an overview of the main differences between both versions. Now, it’s time to see the differences head-to-head, to give you a better idea of how each version stacks up. QuickBooks offers traditional stand-alone desktop software – QuickBooks Desktop. This is a downloadable copy of QuickBooks you’d install on your computer.

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