QuickBooks Desktop vs. QuickBooks Online

Whether you’re a new QuickBooks user or a loyal desktop user considering switching to the online software, you may be confused as to which version of QuickBooks is best for your business. Before you begin comparing the different QuickBooks pricing plans, you first must decide between the desktop version and the online version.

Although Intuit is urging its users to make the switch to their online software, that may not be the best decision for your business. So which should you choose: QuickBooks Desktop or QuickBooks Online? That depends on a variety of factors. Below we’ve highlighted the advantages and pricing plans of each to help you make the right choice!

Understanding the Difference Between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online

There are some big differences between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online, which depending on your company and personal preferences, may be seen as advantages or disadvantages.

The most significant difference between the two is QuickBooks Online is cloud-based, while QuickBooks Desktop is not. Many users believe QuickBooks Desktop is more powerful, as it has been around longer, but other users believe that can easily be fixed with third party applications on QuickBooks Online (though they do come at a price). Speaking of price, QuickBooks Desktop is a one-time fee or annual subscription, whereas QuickBooks Online is a monthly payment plan.

Advantages of QuickBooks Desktop

Despite Intuit pushing its customers towards Online, there are still some key advantages that QuickBooks Desktop has over QuickBooks Online. Some of these include:

QuickBooks Desktop Offers Multiple Inventory Tracking Options

One of the main reasons why desktop is preferred for product-based companies is its ability to manage large amounts of inventory. When it comes to tackling inventory, QuickBooks Desktop offers both the average cost method or the First In First Out (FIFO) method* (*which is available when you purchase the Advanced Inventory add-on module). The online version only offers the FIFO method.

QuickBooks Desktop Offers Batch Invoicing

Desktop’s batch invoicing capability allows you to invoice multiple clients at the same time when the amount and type of service are the same. This can help you save time in the long run.

QuickBooks Desktop Offers Industry-Specific Versions

Does your business fall in one of the following categories?

If so, QuickBooks Desktop has an industry-specific version that includes features to help your business succeed.

QuickBooks Desktop Offers Prepared and Customizable Documents

The desktop version has the ability to prepare time consuming documents, like 1099s and budget and track expenses. In addition, it offers great freedom in customizing reports. This feature is missing from most pricing models of the online version.

QuickBooks Desktop Pricing

Intuit has recently changed their desktop pricing model to the following:

  1. Pro 2018 ($299.95)
  2. Pro Plus 2018 ($299.95)

Now you must be thinking: What’s the difference? Pro is a one-time payment, while Pro-Plus is an annual subscription. Pro Plus offers all of the perks that Pro does, but also offers 24/7 support, automated data back up, and easy upgrades. Intuit also gives you the option to add on a hosting service, which offers features like up-to-date info anytime, the ability to collaborate with your accountant, and no expensive servers or IT maintenance costs.

Advantages of QuickBooks Online

The future of QuickBooks is online. Being a newer product, it has been designed with accessibility and functionality in mind. Some of the key advantages of QuickBooks Online include:

QuickBooks Online Allows You to Access From Any Device and Location

Whether you need to check in on something from home or are away on business, QuickBooks Online allows you to login from anywhere. In addition, you have the ability to set up user IDs and passwords for those who need access to your data, for example, your accountant and other employees.

Because the online version does not require software installation, you can log in to your account from a PC, Mac, and even your mobile device. On desktop, you can only access your data from the computer you downloaded the software on.

QuickBooks Online Updates in Real Time

When you make changes to your data using the online version, it all updates in real time, No matter if two users are in the file at the same time, both users will see these updates.

QuickBooks Online is Compatible with Mac Computers

Do you prefer to work on a Mac? If so, you’re going to want to choose QuickBooks Online. Intuit’s QuickBooks Desktop for Mac 2016 would be its last version for this type of computer. This is further proof of Intuit trying to steer their customers towards their online option.

QuickBooks Online Pricing

QuickBooks currently offers four different versions of their online software:

  1. Self Employed ($10)
  2. Simple Start ($15)
  3. Essentials ($35)
  4. Plus ($50)

Each price point comes with different features, but all prices above are paid monthly. The self-employed option is geared towards independent contractors, while the other versions are great for small to medium-sized businesses. Here’s a detailed comparison of the different online versions.

Benefits of Choosing Intuit’s QuickBooks

While there are many differences between Intuit’s QuickBooks products, both are used by millions of business owners to help keep their finances in order. Both the online and desktop versions are compatible with a variety of third party software that seamlessly integrates into QuickBooks, making it an even more integral tool to your company’s success.

There are a lot of small-business financial accounting software programs out there, but QuickBooks is composed of a variety of integrated subsystems. This allows you to monitor items like accounts payable, purchase orders, payroll, etc. all on one platform. No matter if you choose the online or desktop version, QuickBooks helps keep everything organized in one place.