Quickbooks online vs Quickbooks desktop: Which version is better?
The main distinction between these two Quickbooks items is that Quickbooks online is cloud-based and operates on the Internet, whereas Quickbooks desktop is downloaded and mounted on a device. This means that Quickbooks desktop does not need the Internet to function, but it also implies that you cannot access the program remotely (unless you pay extra for hosting) or on smartphone applications. If the same firm sells two successful accounting software items, how do you pick between them? This is the issue when it comes to Quickbooks web and Quickbooks desktop.
This article discusses the variations between Quickbooks online vs. desktop. We can evaluate the functionality of and app, price, user interface, customer service, credibility, and more so that you can confidently select which program is right for your company.
Table of contents
- Quickbooks online vs desktop: Introduction
- Quickbooks online vs desktop: Key difference
- Quickbooks online vs desktop: Which is better for your business?
Quickbooks online vs desktop: Introduction
Quickbooks online vs desktop are also outstanding small business accounting software solutions, providing both absolute double-entry accounting and automated handling of closing entries.
If you’re thinking of converting to Quickbooks online or transitioning from Quickbooks desktop to Quickbooks online, the first move could be to take a long look at all of these programs. When you do, you can note the difference instantly as Quickbooks online provides a simplified user experience, whereas Quickbooks desktop depends on a flowchart-based interface. Although both offer quick access to a range of functionality and functions, you can only determine which one would be better for you.
Although several Quickbooks online fans say that connectivity is one of the key advantages of Quickbooks Online, bear in mind that Quickbooks desktop can be hosted on a virtual server if you’re trying to mix the stability of a desktop program with simple cloud access. But apart from cloud connectivity, there are other variations between the two applications that we’re going to speak about next.
Quickbooks Online will be the best solution for?
Originally developed for very small companies that needed convenient online access, Quickbooks Software has developed into a strong, simple-to-use, small business accounting program that can be easily accessed from any place on any smartphone.
Quickbooks Desktop will be the best solution for?
Quickbooks desktop is targeted for small and medium-sized enterprises needing a desktop computing solution’s stability. Quickbooks desktop is also ideal for niche companies such as non-profit organizations, manufacturers, and general contractors searching for a more industry-specific approach.
Quickbooks online vs desktop: Key difference
Before we dig into the specifics, you can use the QuickBooks online vs desktop Contrast Map below to take a fast glance at the most notable discrepancies between these two formats.
|QUICKBOOKS ONLINE||QUICKBOOKS DESKTOP|
|Plans||Four exclusive choices for the program.||Three models, each of which has separate package choices.|
|Cost||Starts at $25 a month.||Starts with $399.99.|
|Notable Features||– Free Mobile Smartphone Server Connectivity.
– Remotely downloaded banking transactions.
– Automated features and product upgrades, as well as data recovery.
- Unlimited recording of time.
|– Remotely-hosted with server storage and recovery options.
– Assess and repay the expense of employment.
– Measure discounts to the consumer.
– Specialized software for inventory, documentation, and data entry.
|Users||One to 25 on a scheduled basis.||Three to 30 depending on the version.|
|Mobile App||Available||Not available|
|Integrations||Hundreds of third party integrations, and Intuit goods.||Restricted third party integrations, can be combined with other Intuit goods.|
|Customer Support||Variations depending on the schedule.||Variations dependent on edition and schedule.|
|Best for||Small business owners that require a versatile, mobile, and portable accounting solution; B2B and service-based businesses.||Business owners who need more advanced features for job costing, inventory, and reporting; product-based companies, particularly larger ones.|
Quickbooks online vs desktop: Pros & Cons
Quickbooks Online (QBO) Pros
Quickbooks Online has a range of pros that advocate its status as an advanced accounting solution. These benefits mean that you can handle your financial reporting requirements in a holistic program, while still utilizing extra resources if the criteria call for it.
User Interface Overcomes Standards
If there is one department where QBO excels, it is without a doubt the user interface (UI). Thanks to its streamlined interface and modern perspective, QBO allows the feature-rich software simple to use. With the way the program is designed, you can explore and use the features you’re searching for without extra support or tutorials.
This has a beneficial impact on the learning curve of using QBO as a brand new person. But it still lets you switch smoothly from Quickbooks Desktop.
Customizable reporting Increases workflow
QBO also offers extremely comprehensive functionality that will satisfy your unique requirements and enable you to customize your financial reports. This adds simplicity to the consistent task of handling your company’s books. It also allows you access to crucial details at your fingertips.
It allows accounting procedures simpler and the time it takes for you to handle various financial figures. By producing reports that suit the needs, you won’t have to press generic sheets to figure out what you need. You should take a peek at your produced reports and get a handle on your company’s finances.
This is a highly secure function that sets QBO apart from other accounting strategies and helps you to make the best of your investment.
Latest Features Boost Adaptability
As Quickbooks online first surfaced, it provided minimal features and limited functionality. Although it introduced a few more choices in its 2013 revamp, it also left a lot to be desired for the different sectors that wanted an equitable approach to their unique needs.
The new iteration of QBO resolves these issues impressively. With new features such as mileage monitoring, batch transfers, and artificial intelligence (AI) driven automation, QBO addresses key industries’ specialized needs. This increases its adaptability and equips it to fulfill the specifications of such segments.
This allows the approach to be more reliable for specialized businesses that cannot reach such accounting functions of mainstream applications. This can be a significant outstanding feature of this online version comparing to Quickbooks online vs. desktop.
Improved compatibility with app integrations
Businesses now have to use automated technologies for all vital functions. They must process data in unique ways, and use it to make strategic choices, maintain in line with regulatory authorities, and compete in the marketplace.
But different applications may cause compatibility problems, particularly when you need to get financial details from several sources. QBO’s app integrations mean that this concern is a thing of the past.
QBO software integrations seamlessly link to key departments, including e-commerce sites, payment processors, and payroll processing, making accounting tasks simpler for your company. This also reduces the probability of human error and allows your workflow to be more effective. These add-ons can be downloaded from the Quickbooks App Store. It is necessary to remember that some of these applications come with prices.
With the Fattmerchant Omni platform, you can sync your data in 2 ways with our Quickbooks Online Pro Sync. You’ll streamline payment routing, leveraging the capabilities of Quickbooks. In addition to invoices, you can synchronize consumer records, receipts, catalog products, and more. Invoices and payment history are monitored safely at all sites, so you can have peace of mind regarding your data and your consumer data. Customer and transaction data are both reported separately and reconciled across all channels.
Detailed Payroll Features Assist with Accounting Services
One of the greatest attributes of Quickbooks shines in its payroll processing. This also extends to the new iteration of QBO, where the cloud-based software helps you approach vital payroll activities with laser-focused assistance and automated functionality.
Via its Self-Service Payroll and Full-Service Payroll add-ons, QBO’s payroll management can help small companies handle diverse payroll needs with ease. The payroll features don’t wind up there. QBO will supplement any business’ favorite payroll approach with additional software integrations.
This means that companies may not have to let go of their leading payroll apps when they prefer Quickbooks as their accounting app.
Quickbooks Online (QBO) Cons
Similar to every other software, Quickbooks online has a few disadvantages. However, because QBO provides a full variety of accounting procedures, these drawbacks do not mean that you are quitting the software entirely. Instead, you should easily turn to another approach to address the unique requirements that QBO struggles to meet. Let’s take a look at the downside of this edition as users compare both Quickbooks online vs desktop.
Unable to switch back to the original edition
One factor where QBO vacillates is the reconstruction of a prior edition of your books. If you choose to go back to the stage that the last transaction data is available, you would not be able to do so until you are at the maximum amount or price point of QBO.
QBO’s clarification of this topic applies to cloud storage and maintenance that update and preserve the data without any restored points. As a consequence, you cannot quickly go back to purchases that are lost or changed. You will need to enter them manually or pay for the Advanced Package that produces consistent copies for you to restore them.
This clarification is not only confusing, but it also poses concerns regarding minimal functions. Many apps run in the cloud and demonstrate their capacity to restore points inside simple plans. QBO’s lack of support for this main feature will cause several issues for accountants who wish to provide a contingency plan without needing to budget for an update.
Expensive for retaining and incorporating functionality
Although Quickbooks Online brings a world of functionality to the table, they’re still very costly to manage. Yeah, the price of QuickBooks online is one of the less enticing facets of the operation. For eg, although the app enables you to sign up to 25 members at the same price, this option is only accessible at the maximum price point of QBO, which is 6x more costly than the standard plan. This causes usability problems for those who are struggling to keep their books running without breaking the bank.
This expensive arrangement often applies to add-ons, which come at their own expense. The process often affects simple features such as automatic data backups that enable you to restore your business to a previous point in time. These functions are not eligible until you have the maximum potential access to the program.
Other functions, such as automatic permits, management maps and personalized reporting, are also not included in starter or mid-level plans. This makes it extremely difficult to utilize the complete features of the service as a small enterprise. Some of the new functionality of QBO, such as invoice batching, are only open to anyone paying the highest dollar for the program. Due to the fees associated with these functions, this version might be a disadvantage when the users are considering between Quickbooks online vs. desktop.
Payment collection became more complex than it could have been
Quickbooks Online definitely excels in areas such as payroll processing. Yet, it doesn’t perform well in the handling of payments. Although QBO will link to select payment processors such as PayPal and instantly represent new transactions for analysis, it does not have the same convenience when it comes to its payment solution.
Quickbook Payments is Intuit’s leading solution for enabling internal payments, such as credit cards, debit cards, and money transfers. But the service has its pros and cons.
Quickbook Payments adds the ease of creating invoices, allowing mobile payments, and producing fast deposits right from the program. All these features are arriving at a fast pace.
For e.g., for credit cards that are swiped, the transaction rate is 2.4 percent of the transaction value + 25 percent. For credit cards invoiced, the transaction rate is fixed at 2.9 percent of the transaction value + 25 percent. With credit cards that are locked in, the transaction rate is 3.4 percent of the transaction volume + 25 percent.
These prices can seem competitive at first, particularly when you compare them to some of the most common payment processors. However, researching them closely and contrasting them to specialized payment services paints a different image. This is because these charges are greater than the normal retail cost of modern payment processors.
Quickbooks Desktop (QBD) Pros
When you buy QuickBooks Desktop (QBD), you are told what specification your machine has to provide to execute the software. Although QOD can not perform exactly the online version does, but in the comparison between Quickbooks online vs desktop, the desktop version also shows its powers. Which gives users advantages such as:
- Assemblies of inventory
- Anytime/Anywhere connectivity by an Intuit accredited host
- Many users and sufficient licenses
- Simultaneous access to data
- Orders for purchases
- Receiving requests for procurement
- Prepare for 1099s
- Annual costs
- Writer of QuickBooks Comment
- Progress invoice
- Custom study
- Profit & Class Disadvantage
- Budget vs Real Cost of Work
- Tracking the mileage
- Advanced Excel Monitoring
- Auto Calculators of Assertion Costs
Quickbooks Desktop (QBD) Cons
Like any software or system, QBD also has some drawbacks that may affect users’ choice when considering Quickbooks online vs. desktop. The cons can be named, such as:
- Costs differ every month for each user.
- No funding for IT
- Difficulty to share files
- Doesn’t fit well for all third party applications
- Conflicts between Windows and Mac contradictions
- Escalations of price but reasonable value for:
- Subscriptions on payroll
- Costs with ProAdvisor
- Removal of older items after 3 years
Quickbooks online vs desktop: Pricing
When contrasting QuickBooks online vs desktop, the first question most company owners want to hear is how their expenses are calculated.
Overall, QuickBooks online is priced on a monthly basis. Each of the four plans has a monthly price that rises as the level of the package increases.
For QuickBooks desktop, on the other side, pricing is a little more nuanced. First of all, for QuickBooks Pro and Premier, you can have the choice of paying a one-time charge for the standard app edition or going for Pro/Premier Plus at a monthly subscription fee.
Then, for QuickBooks Business, pricing would be based on a couple of considerations. Next, if you prefer Business for Hosting, you would have a recurring membership fee. If you want to do it without hosting, on the other side, you would incur an ongoing membership charge.
First, you will have to pick the level of your plan—Silver, Platinum, or Diamond—and the costs will escalate with each level. Last but not least, you’ll pick the amount of users you need—the more users, the higher the fee.
Quickbooks online pricing
QuickBooks online features a range of payment options, varying from $12 to $75 within the first three months.
The features are package-dependent, so make sure to check the features you choose to be included in the product you apply to. The alternatives offered for the package include:
- Simple Start: Simple Start is a successful choice for sole proprietors and independent contractors. Easy Start serves a single person, records revenue and expenditures, tracks sales tax, and gathers and organizes receipts.
- Essentials: The Essentials Package will accommodate up to three device members and also provides the option to handle expenses.
- Plus: The Plus Package supports up to five users and provides all in Quick Start and Basics and product monitoring and project management capability.
- Advanced: The most versatile edition of QuickBooks online, the Advanced Package will accommodate up to 25 customers and provides many of the features listed above, along with invoice batch options, business and analytical reporting, and a dedicated account manager.
As an extra convenience, if you’re outgrowing your new version of QuickBooks online, move to a more efficient plan in minutes.
Quickbooks desktop price
The price of QuickBooks desktop differs based on the package you select. Both rates are based on an annual charge, making it more economical than QuickBooks online.
QuickBooks desktop is selling the following plans:
- Pro: QuickBooks Pro is ideal for smaller organizations or others searching for entry-level accounting tools. Pro serves up to three users and will monitor all revenue and expenditures, control inventory and charge consumers.
- Premier: QuickBooks Premier serves up to five customers and provides industry-specific functionality for niche industries such as General Contractor, Production and Wholesale, Retail and Nonprofit. If you’re trying to pick between Pro and Premier and are searching for industry-specific accounting and reporting features, Premier is your best choice.
- Enterprise: Ideal for growing enterprises, Enterprise serves up to 30 system users and offers all the capabilities included in both Pro and Premier, along with smartphone barcode scanning and improved select, pack and send solutions that are great for supermarket companies.
Bear in mind that if you plan to host QuickBooks desktop, there would be an extra charge.
Quickbooks online vs desktop: Features
Both QuickBooks online and QuickBooks Software apps provide a broad variety of options, but QuickBooks desktop features appear to be more extensive.
Quickbooks online features
You will select the functionality and functions that you are expected to use in QuickBooks Online throughout the configuration process. You don’t have to panic if you miss one; you can still go back and add it at a later date.
QuickBooks online functionality differs from plan to plan, so make sure to carefully research each plan and ensure that the features you’re searching for are included. Any of the functionality included in QuickBooks online include fast online banking access, which instantly pairs bank and credit card deposits with expenditures, greatly minimizing the number of journal entries needed. Such functions shall include:
- Accounting: QuickBooks online provides a strong accounting capability, but only 250 accounts are included with their regular package. The automated bank reconciliation function allows it easier to hold your bank balance in line with your overall expenditure, and there is also a budget feature available for making weekly, quarterly or annual budgets.
- Sales: The Sales feature helps you keep track of all your clients, generate personalized invoices and post payments. You should also give payment notices to long due customers and provide a payment address on the invoice that makes it easier for them to pay online.
- Expenses: You can monitor all your company expenses from a single computer, including the opportunity to pay bills online. You may still display any potential payments that are to be met, as well as the status of any bill from the provider or by the due date.
Of course, you do not want to pay for third-party applications, and that’s what you need to evaluate as you equate the two. Below are the features enabled by online that can’t be included in every edition of desktop:
- Automatically plan and send out transfers
- Connect records, photos, signatures & more to mobile and desktop transactions
- Using the audit log to review behavior and chart progress over time
- Track by position in addition to (or instead of) a class with several location labels
- Re-label the clients with seven additional label choices
- Automatic nightly bank transaction synchronization with undo choice
- Custom banking laws for dollar size, ratio, class and position
- Choice to auto-add bank rule
- Unlimited monitoring of time
- Unlimited reports-users only
- Delayed charges and delayed loans to plan potential transfers
- Journal entries with several sections of AR/AP
- Multiple allocations for each fiscal year
- Control reviews produce presentation-ready bundles of reports
Quickbooks desktop features
QuickBooks Web features are more designed than the equivalent features included in QuickBooks online. While not web-based, QuickBooks desktop can be hosted online for more easy access if needed. One of the greatest advantages of QuickBooks desktop is the usage of centers to offer a focal point for all operations.
Like the online edition, the specifications of QuickBooks desktop are still very plan-driven, with more costly options providing the best range of features. QuickBooks desktop also provides instant bank feeds such that you can link and download transfers on a regular basis. Other functionality included on the QuickBooks desktop include:
- The Vendor Center: QuickBooks desktop Vendor Center provides a location to monitor all vendor operation, from the original entry of vendor data to the ability to enter information for each vendor. The Bill Tracker functionality helps you to display all current bills, including due dates, and you can also monitor recently paid bills, or pay due bills, through scan, ACH transfer, or credit card payment choices.
- Customer Center: The Customer Center helps you to handle all customers, including the opportunity to make invoices, execute customer accounts, report payments, and process purchase orders and sales receipts.
- Inventory: The QuickBooks desktop Inventory module provides strong inventory control capabilities. Premier Version provides enhanced inventory capabilities such as low-stock notice, option to set reorder thresholds, part-number product monitoring, and personalized additional knowledge tracking areas.
QuickBooks desktop also includes simple connectivity of QuickBooks Payments so that you can welcome online payments from consumers.
Desktop also provides the following collection of features that online doesn’t have. If you can’t do without any of the stuff above, desktop is definitely the right place for you. Bear in mind that some of the functionality below are enabled only in QuickBooks Enterprise and Premier, not QuickBooks Pro.
Quickbooks online vs desktop: Ease of use
In addition to the subjective ranking of our accounting professional, Ease of Usage provides the provision of unrestricted customer service and the option to add payroll and online bill pay without the requirement for third-party incorporation. QuickBooks online ranks a lot higher than QuickBooks desktop for Ease of Use with 4.25 points out of 5, relative to QuickBooks desktop’s poor ranking of 1.88 out of 5.
Quickbooks online Ease of use
QuickBooks online supports a range of browsers including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari 11 or later for Mac. The software also provides a smartphone app that fits on all iOS and Android smartphones.
You can quickly navigate all the functionality of QuickBooks online from the dashboard, where you can see a vertical menu bar on the left side of the computer. Although the dashboard is a little cluttered, you can easily configure it to show the details you like. Many interested in checking out QuickBooks online can use a free 30-day sample data demo that helps you to quickly test device functionality and functions without wasting a lot of time entering data.
To speed up product configuration, you can opt to use the default account map that is provided with the application. You also have the choice of importing goods and services to the application in order to prevent the need to re-enter the results.
Quickbooks desktop Ease of use
QuickBooks Desktop’s user experience is somewhat distinct from QuickBooks Online, providing navigation through a flowchart type menu.
Navigation centers make it simple to locate the element or function you’re searching for, and the yellow tab on the right of the screen gives fast access to the updated functionality found in the current update of the program.
Users can access functionality from the vertical toolbar on the left side of the device or via the drop-down menu bar on the right, and the My Shortcuts function enables you to add a shortcut to commonly used features. If the default panel is too busy to satisfy your preference, you can cover the vertical menu only if you want it to be viewed.
Quickbooks online vs desktop: Support
Help packages are very close with both QuickBooks online vs desktop, with more costly plans providing improved support options.
QuickBooks online Support
QuickBooks online offers a broad variety of learning and assistance tools. A variety of brief video tutorials as well as on-demand webinars and training courses are open. One of the best tools is the QuickBooks online forum, where you can interact with other members to exchange ideas, address questions, and find solutions to issues that might occur. Product service can be reached directly from inside the program, where you can raise questions or talk to support workers.
Quickbooks desktop Support
QuickBooks desktop provides the same service services seen in QuickBooks online, including video guides, on-demand webinars and a range of training options. Both apps often have a simple configuration process, so you can be up and running in a very short time.
Quickbooks online vs desktop: Customer reviews
As you can see, in addition to the fact that QuickBooks desktop is hosted locally and QuickBooks online is hosted on the internet, the main distinctions between QuickBooks online vs desktop come down to the kinds of functionality that each platform provides.
Generally, QuickBooks online has more connectivity, is more mobile-friendly, and while it has outstanding functionality, QuickBooks desktop is more sophisticated when it comes to comprehensive inventory, work price, data and monitoring capability.
That being said, if you’re already on the fence about how these two accounting solutions are lining up against each other, it may be useful to consult consumer feedback to see what other company owners had to suggest about utilizing the platform:
QuickBooks online Customer reviews
Overall, QuickBooks online is highly regarded around the Internet by consumers. Usually, QuickBooks Online averages four or more star scores on popular review pages.
That being said, most QuickBooks online reviews tend to be biased positively—with a few reviews skewing entirely negative. Of note, there are generally favorable ratings that still lift some of the platform’s critiques.
Overall, below are some of the most important advantages and disadvantages of consumers when it comes to their QuickBooks Web reviews:
- It’s quick to use
- User oriented, intuitive interface
- Flexibility to log in and update data regardless of position
- Customizable to fulfill your desires
- Helps you to handle the company’s accounting, accounting, payroll
- Lacking any of the functionality the desktop has to bring
- Reporting is far so easy
- Can be glitchy and have trouble with links
In the end, several reviewers say that they have moved from desktop to Web in order to access their financial data on-the-go and from various devices. With this in mind, though, you can still find a range of reviewers report that they have turned back to desktop owing to some of the functionality missed from online.
QuickBooks desktop Customer reviews
For QuickBooks desktop, there may be some difference in online consumer feedback depending on one of the three models you’re looking at—Pro, Premier, or Business. In general, though, QuickBooks desktop is also widely reviewed.
Similar to QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks desktop tends to be an average of four or more stars on rating pages, with several feedback skewing favorably.
That being said, below are some of the most common advantages and drawbacks that you can find outlined in QuickBooks desktop consumer reviews:
- Excellent and flexible functionality
- Ability to handle all accounts, payrolls, banking, etc. in one location.
- Simple to set up and to use
- Reporting and work cost functionality are especially noteworthy
- It can be costly
- Can’t log in remotely to your account
- Customer support is sluggish and not helpful
Product can be troublesome, particularly when updated to the newest version from year to year. Interestingly enough, you’ll find a lot of similarities in feedback made in QuickBooks online and QuickBooks desktop ratings. Maybe the main gap is web-based connectivity that QuickBooks desktop needs.
Quickbooks online vs desktop: Which is better for your business?
Both QuickBooks online vs desktop are competent applications with efficient accounting features. Each program has its own peaks and lows.
QuickBooks online offers customers with much of the same excellent functionality when enjoying the mobility of cloud-based apps. QuickBooks online is easy to use and provides more automation, more integration, more billing and a special built-in lending feature. The downsides are the shortage of purchase requests, administration and other complications that loyal desktop users may neglect (like customizable letter templates, a built-in calendar, and even spell-check).
QuickBooks desktop offers customers with some of the most sophisticated accounting resources on the market. The platform provides robust functionality, special features such as lead management and purchase orders, industry-specific software versions, and has the ability to be more reliable. The downside is that QuickBooks desktop lacks QBO versatility, has few automations, does not provide credit or payment portal integrations, and has a steep learning curve (although the software is well-organized and gets easier to navigate with time).
Ultimately, the particular market scale, form, and requirements would be the real defining factor. Whatever you want, our detailed feedback will help you make an educated choice when you’re looking for the right accounting program.
Choose QuickBooks online if
- You want tech that’s simple to use and you want to learn
- You want to be able to view the accounting online or through smartphone applications on the go.
- You want time-saving automations and real-time synchronization with your bank and other company integrations
- You need payment processing integrations to allow your customers to pay invoices directly online.
- You require a foreign invoice
- You want to get access to QuickBooks Capital Loan
Choose QuickBooks desktop if
- You are searching for locally-installed accounting tools
- You need the industry relevant functionality of QuickBooks Desktop Premier or QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise
- You need orders for sales
- You’ve had a really complicated accounting
QuickBooks online may rank above QuickBooks desktop. QuickBooks online seems to be the perfect option for most of the businesses.
However, QuickBooks desktop is also a perfect option for a variety of businesses in the comparison between Quickbooks online vs desktop. It is far more accessible than QuickBooks online, given that you only need one user and do not need customer support. Also, the industry-specific QuickBooks desktop app provides features and documentation not included in QuickBooks online.