QuickBooks Online vs Desktop (Compare & Choose the Best One)

Last Updated on August 13, 2021 by Editorial Staff

QuickBooks Desktop is a one-time purchase software that’s installed on your office desktop or laptop computer, while QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based monthly subscription service. Before you can compare the advantages of using QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop, you should compare the pricing tiers of each one. These QuickBooks versions are developed mainly for the growth of middle-level business development. Both are targeted to develop commercial enterprises. In this article, we will be providing you the overall comparison of both the products and makes you know which products are the best recommended for the business.

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How Is QuickBooks Online Differ From QuickBooks Desktop?

QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based software developed mainly for the growth of a small commercial enterprise. It is easy to use and by having a stable internet connection we are able to access your account from any device. We are able to access it quickly.

QuickBooks Desktop is installed on your computer or other devices. It is mainly developed for the growth of middle-level business development. It will be the best suit for NGOs, distributors, and common contractors and searching for further industry-specific solutions.

Here we will give you 7 key differences between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop. The differences in the two versions of QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop are evident when accessing the software, creating reports, processing invoices, and more. Check the below-given differences:

  • Initial Fee – Online offers a free 30-day trial so there is no initial fee to try it. The desktop requires the purchase of the software upfront.
  • Monthly Fee – Quickbooks Pro Desktop is a one-time payment or you can get Pro Plus for an annual payment. QuickBooks Online requires a monthly subscription.
  • Internet Connection – It is cloud-based, a net connection is required to use QuickBooks Online. QuickBooks Desktop can only be accessed from the system it is installed on regardless of internet connection.
  • Automation Functions – With Desktop, transactions (invoice, receipt, reports, etc.) must be processed manually. QuickBooks Online has several automated features for things such as customer billing, email reports and downloading bank transactions.
  • Remote Access – Since QuickBooks Online is cloud-based, customers can access QB reports wherever they have Internet access and from multiple devices. The QB Desktop version is linked to the computer it is installed on and therefore can only be accessed on-site.
  • Customized Features – The QB Desktop version has several features that are not available in the online version. This includes the ability to prepare 1099s, budget & track mileage, and expenses. In general, the desktop version allows more freedom to customize forms than QB Online.
  • Support – The basic QB Desktop version does not come with support although you can pay for support by getting the Pro Plus edition. QuickBooks Online comes with free support.

Pricing Difference

Pricing is one of the most important facts, which can also consider for the difference between the two versions;

QuickBooks Online Pricing:

It contains four pricing options: QuickBooks Online Simple Start, QuickBooks Online Essentials, QuickBooks Online Plus, and QuickBooks Online Advanced.

QuickBooks Online PlansNumber of Users AllowsPricing for the Plan
QuickBooks Online Simple Start    1 User    $12.50 per month
QuickBooks Online Essentials    3 Users    $25 per month
QuickBooks Online Plus    5 Users    $40 per month
QuickBooks Online Advanced    25 Users    $90 per month

QuickBooks Desktop Pricing:

It contains three options: QuickBooks Desktop Pro Plus, QuickBooks Desktop Premier Plus, QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise 21.0.

Number of Users AllowsQuickBooks Desktop Pro Plus(Costs) QuickBooks Desktop Premier Plus(Costs)QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise 21.0(Costs)
  For 1 User$199 per year$299 per year$1275 per year
  For 2 Users$299 per year$449 per year$2037 per year
  For 3 Users$399 per year$599 per year$2547 per year
  For 4 UsersQuickBooks Desktop Pro Plus allows up to three users. $749 per year$3057 per year
  For 5 UsersIt allows up to three users.$899 per year$3556 per year
  For 6 UsersIt allows up to three users.It allows up to five users.For more than 5 users, you need to contact QuickBooks.

By comparing the prices of the above two products QuickBooks Online has monthly subscriptions plans and QuickBooks Desktop has annual subscriptions plans. So QuickBooks Desktop is more affordable compared to QuickBooks Online.

Features Difference

Compare the features available in both the products and analyze which will be the better choice for your business.

FeaturesQuickBooks OnlineQuickBooks Desktop
Reporting It contains more learning resources and platforms, and it contains small video tutorials, On-demand webinars, and provides training classes. It is possible to communicate with others to clarify your doubts and directly we are able to ask your query.QuickBooks provides more than 100 reports and Premier and Enterprise provides more than 150 reports including industry-specific reporting, and it will be easy to navigate.
Ease of Use It provides mobile apps that work with ios and Android devices, It is easy to use and learn. It allows the browser like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Safari and for Mac.It is easy to navigate, and it provides navigation by a flowchart-style menu. It will be very simple to search for features that are needed.
Customer Services It contains more learning resources and platforms, and it contains small video tutorials, On-demand webinars, and provides training classes. It is possible to communicate with others to clarify your doubts and directly we are able to ask your query.It provides all the options present in the QuickBooks Desktop like Video tutorials, On-demand webinars, and training classes. It takes only less time and is also easy to set up. 
Other Available Features to WorkTrack Income and Expenses
Invoice and accept payments
Maximize tax deductions
Run reports
Capture and organize reports
Track miles
Manage cash flow
Track sales and sales tax
Send estimates
Manage 1099 contractors
Allows 25 users
Manage and pay bills
Track time
Track inventory
Track project profitability
Business analytics and insights
Batch invoices and expenses
Customize access by role
Premium apps
Support team
On-demand training Automate WorkflowsRestore Company data
Simultaneous users
Track income & expenses
Invoicing
Run reports
Send estimates
Track sales tax
Manage bills and account payable
Track time
Track inventory
List limits
Pay 1099 contractors
Unlimited clients support
Data backups and upgrades
Forecasting
Industry-specific features
Mobile inventory barcode scanning
End-To-End sales order
Payroll
Remote access through hosting

Pros & Cons of QuickBooks Online & Desktop

Here are some of the pros, and cons of QuickBooks Online, and QuickBooks Desktop. Read the given information to get a clear difference between the two versions.

Advantage & Disadvantage of QuickBooks Online

  ProsCons
It is cloud-based accounting software. You are able to access your account by using any device with a stable internet connection.Customer service is not too good.
It contains monthly pricing plans.High cost
Contains More Advanced featuresThe main disadvantage is sales orders will not be available.
It contains 650+ integration        _
To access capital lend.        _

Advantage & Disadvantage of QuickBooks Desktop

Pros  Cons
                        
It contains more advanced features.Accessible only for windows operating system only.
It follows regular accounting.Remote access will not be available. No mobile apps will be available.
It will be more secure.It consists of a more costly License format.
Contains 200+ integrations.It contains fewer self operations compared to QuickBooks online.

Choosing the Right QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop Version

Understanding the many differences between the QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online versions allows business owners to make an informed decision about what is right for their business. In general:

QuickBooks Desktop is a Good Choice for:

  • Businesses with a fixed office location
  • Businesses that have a small number of people who need access
  • Businesses that don’t want a recurring monthly charge
  • Businesses that don’t want their books to be accessible QuickBooks Online
  • Businesses that want to explore customized features such as the ability to track budget & spending

QuickBooks Online is a Good Choice for:

  • Businesses where users need to remote access the books
  • Where multiple users may need to access the books at the same time
  • Businesses that are comfortable with a monthly fee & the additional support that comes with it
  • Businesses that are comfortable with cloud computing where data is stored online & only accessible with an internet connection
  • Businesses that want to explore automation

Each version of QuickBooks has its strengths and weaknesses. All owners should carefully review the differences before deciding which is the best solution for their business. We have tried to cover all of the facts regarding the two versions. Hope you find it informative, and now you are able to see the difference between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop.

Quickbooks Online vs Quickbooks Desktop