In the fast-evolving world of accounting and financial management, change is inevitable. QuickBooks, the trusted accounting software developed by Intuit, has been a staple for businesses of all sizes for decades. However, recent developments have left many QuickBooks Desktop (QBD) users wondering about the future of this accounting powerhouse.
The big news? The 2020 version of QuickBooks Desktop is set to be discontinued on May 31, 2023. This announcement has raised a host of questions: Is QuickBooks Desktop being phased out completely? What are the alternatives for current users? How does QuickBooks Online compare, and is it the right choice for your business?
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take a deep dive into the evolving landscape of QuickBooks. We’ll explore the reasons behind the introduction of QuickBooks Online, clarify the fate of QuickBooks Desktop, provide steps to purchase the latest Desktop version, dissect the differences between Desktop and Online, and guide you through the process of transitioning from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online. So, let’s embark on this journey of understanding and making informed choices for the financial well-being of your business.
Why was QuickBooks Online Introduced?
QuickBooks Online was introduced to address the evolving needs of businesses in the digital age. Here are the primary reasons behind its introduction:
1. Accessibility: QuickBooks Online provides a cloud-based platform accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, enabling businesses to manage their finances and collaborate with team members or accountants remotely. This accessibility caters to the growing trend of remote work and mobile business operations.
2. Real-time Collaboration: The online version allows multiple users to work simultaneously on the same financial data, facilitating real-time collaboration among team members, accountants, and business owners. This promotes better communication and teamwork.
3. Automatic Updates: QuickBooks Online eliminates the need for manual software updates and maintenance tasks, ensuring that users always have access to the latest features, security patches, and tax law changes without interruption.
4. Data Security and Backup: By storing financial data securely in the cloud, QuickBooks Online reduces the risk of data loss due to hardware failure or other disasters. Regular automated backups further enhance data security.
5. Scalability: QuickBooks Online offers different subscription tiers to accommodate businesses of various sizes and complexity levels. This scalability allows businesses to start with a plan that suits their needs and upgrade as they grow.
6. Integration: QuickBooks Online seamlessly integrates with various third-party applications and services, providing businesses with a wide range of tools and resources to enhance their financial management capabilities.
7. Simplified User Experience: QuickBooks Online is designed with a user-friendly interface, making it more accessible to individuals with varying levels of accounting expertise. It streamlines financial management tasks, reducing the learning curve for users.
Is QuickBooks Desktop being discontinued?
The short answer is no, but it’s not that simple. QuickBooks Desktop is not disappearing entirely, but a specific version, the 2020 edition, is sunsetting. Here’s what this means:
- The 2020 version of QuickBooks Desktop will continue to be available for current owners, but it will no longer receive updates or support.
- Users of QuickBooks Desktop 2020 will lose access to any add-ons, including the popular payroll add-on.
So, while QuickBooks Desktop as a whole is not being phased out, this particular version is reaching the end of its lifecycle. But what about the future of QuickBooks Desktop?
Steps to Purchase QuickBooks Desktop
1. Visit the QuickBooks Website:
Go to the official QuickBooks website at https://quickbooks.intuit.com/.
2. Select QuickBooks Desktop:
On the website’s homepage, you’ll typically find a section where you can choose between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online. Click on “QuickBooks Desktop.”
3. Choose the Version:
QuickBooks Desktop comes in several versions, including Pro, Premier, and Enterprise, each with different features and pricing. Select the version that best suits your business needs.
4. Select the Number of Users:
Determine how many users will need access to QuickBooks Desktop. Different versions have different user limits, so choose accordingly.
5. Review Pricing:
Review the pricing options for the version and user count you selected. Pay attention to any discounts or promotions that may be available.
6. Add to Cart:
Click on the “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now” button to add the chosen version to your cart.
7. Create or Sign In to an Intuit Account:
You’ll be prompted to create an Intuit account or sign in if you already have one. This account will be used for billing and managing your QuickBooks subscription.
8. Provide Billing Information:
Enter your billing information, including payment method and billing address.
9. Review and Confirm:
Double-check your order details, including the version, user count, and pricing, to ensure everything is accurate.
10. Complete the Purchase:
Once you’ve reviewed and confirmed your order, proceed to complete the purchase by clicking on the “Place Order” or “Complete Purchase” button.
11. Download and Install:
After your purchase is successful, you will receive instructions on how to download and install QuickBooks Desktop on your computer.
12. Activate Your License:
Upon installation, you’ll need to activate your QuickBooks Desktop license using the product key provided during the purchase process.
13. Set Up Your Company:
Follow the on-screen prompts to set up your company profile and start using QuickBooks Desktop for your accounting and financial management needs.
Keep in mind that pricing and availability may vary depending on your location and the specific version of QuickBooks Desktop you choose. It’s a good idea to review the system requirements and ensure that your computer meets the necessary specifications before purchasing and installing the software.
What is the Difference Between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online
QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online are both popular accounting software products developed by Intuit, but they differ in several key ways:
- QuickBooks Desktop: It’s installed on a single computer and typically used at a specific location. Data is stored locally, limiting access to that device.
- QuickBooks Online: It’s cloud-based, accessible from any internet-connected device. This provides more flexibility for businesses with remote teams or multiple locations.
2. Real-time Collaboration:
- QuickBooks Desktop: Limited real-time collaboration; multiple users may need to share files and experience version compatibility issues.
- QuickBooks Online: Supports multiple users simultaneously, allowing for real-time collaboration with automatic data syncing.
3. Updates and Maintenance:
- QuickBooks Desktop: Requires manual updates and backups, which can be time-consuming.
- QuickBooks Online: Updates are automatic, eliminating the need for manual maintenance tasks.
4. Features and Add-ons:
- QuickBooks Desktop: Often seen as more feature-rich and suitable for complex accounting needs. It has industry-specific editions.
- QuickBooks Online: Offers core accounting features but may require third-party apps for specialized functions. It’s known for its simplicity and ease of use.
- QuickBooks Desktop: Typically involves a one-time purchase fee, with periodic upgrades.
- QuickBooks Online: Subscription-based pricing, paid monthly or annually, with different tiers based on features and the number of users.
6. Data Security and Backup:
- QuickBooks Desktop: Users are responsible for their data security and backup.
- QuickBooks Online: Data is stored securely in the cloud with regular backups, reducing the risk of data loss.
- QuickBooks Desktop: Supports integration with third-party applications but may require additional setup.
- QuickBooks Online: Offers a wide range of integrations with other cloud-based tools and services, often with seamless connectivity.
The choice between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online depends on factors such as business size, location, collaboration needs, and budget. Small businesses and those requiring remote access often favour QuickBooks Online, while larger or more complex businesses may find QuickBooks Desktop more suitable for their advanced accounting needs.
Must Read: QuickBooks Online vs Desktop
Want to continue using QuickBooks Desktop 2020?
Continuing to use QuickBooks Desktop 2020 is possible, but there are important considerations to keep in mind:
1. Software Updates: Intuit typically provides support and updates, including bug fixes and compliance updates, for a few years after a product’s release. However, these updates may eventually stop. This means you won’t benefit from the latest features, security patches, or tax law changes.
2. Compatibility: As your operating system and hardware evolve, QuickBooks Desktop 2020 may become less compatible or face performance issues. It’s essential to ensure that your computer infrastructure can continue to support the software effectively.
3. Data Security: Since Intuit may stop providing security updates, your data could become vulnerable to new threats. You’ll need to take extra precautions to secure your financial information.
4. Support: Access to customer support and online resources may become limited or less accessible as Intuit shifts its focus to newer versions and QuickBooks Online.
5. Regulatory Changes: Tax and accounting regulations can change yearly. Staying compliant with outdated software can become challenging.
If you choose to continue with QuickBooks Desktop 2020, it’s advisable to have a transition plan in place for when support and updates cease. Consider periodically upgrading to the latest version or transitioning to QuickBooks Online to ensure you have access to the latest features and ongoing support while maintaining the security and compliance of your financial data.
How to move from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online
Migrating from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online involves several steps to ensure a smooth transition of your financial data. Here’s a high-level overview of the process:
1. Evaluate Your Requirements:
Assess your business needs and make sure QuickBooks Online can meet them. Compare the features and functionality between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online to ensure a seamless transition.
2. Backup Your QuickBooks Desktop Data:
Create a backup of your QuickBooks Desktop data to ensure you have a copy of your financial records. Use the built-in backup feature within QuickBooks Desktop.
3. Prepare Your Data:
Review your QuickBooks Desktop data for accuracy and cleanliness. Clean up any duplicate or erroneous entries and ensure all transactions are up-to-date.
4. Create a QuickBooks Online Account:
Sign up for a QuickBooks Online account. You may need to choose the right subscription plan based on your business needs.
5. Export Data from QuickBooks Desktop:
In QuickBooks Desktop, use the export feature to convert your data into a format compatible with QuickBooks Online. Follow the prompts to export your data as a .qbo file.
6. Import Data into QuickBooks Online:
Log in to your QuickBooks Online account and go to the “Company Settings” or “Gear” icon. Choose “Import Data” and select “QuickBooks Desktop.” Follow the on-screen instructions to upload the .qbo file.
7. Review and Reconcile Data:
After importing, review your data in QuickBooks Online to ensure accuracy. Reconcile your bank and credit card accounts to ensure balances match.
8. Set Up Users and Permissions:
Configure user access and permissions in QuickBooks Online to match your team’s needs.
9. Adjust Preferences and Settings:
Configure QuickBooks Online settings and preferences according to your business requirements.
10. Reconnect Bank and Credit Card Accounts:
Re-establish connections with your financial institutions in QuickBooks Online to enable bank feeds and transaction downloads.
11. Train Your Team:
Provide training for your team members on how to use QuickBooks Online effectively.
12. Monitor and Troubleshoot:
Continuously monitor your data in QuickBooks Online and address any issues or discrepancies promptly.
13. Cancel QuickBooks Desktop Subscription:
Once you are confident in the transition, cancel your QuickBooks Desktop subscription to avoid unnecessary costs.
14. Seek Professional Assistance:
If you’re unsure about any step in the process or need help with complex data conversions, consider consulting QuickBooks ProAdvisor at our Toll-Free number: +1-855-875-1223.
Conclusion – Is QuickBooks Desktop Being Discontinued?
Businesses that are currently utilizing QuickBooks Desktop must carefully consider their migration approach. This could entail looking into appropriate alternatives, taking data transfer into consideration, and offering training to employees so they can easily adapt to the new system. Businesses may ensure a smooth transition and continue to thrive in the digital age by proactively embracing the shift.
As the sun sets on QuickBooks Desktop, the rise of innovative, cloud-based financial solutions promises a future when companies will be able to function more effectively, make data-driven decisions, and concentrate on what really matters: growth and success in an ever-changing business environment.
Moving from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online can streamline your accounting processes and provide greater accessibility to your financial data. However, it’s crucial to plan carefully, back up your data, and take your time to ensure a successful transition.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Is QuickBooks Desktop being discontinued entirely?
No, QuickBooks Desktop as a whole is not being discontinued. Only the 2020 version is sunsetting, and newer versions are available.
2. What are the key differences between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online?
QuickBooks Desktop is a locally installed application with complete control over data but limited accessibility. QuickBooks Online is cloud-based, offers real-time collaboration, and is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.
3. Can I continue using QuickBooks Desktop 2020?
Yes, you can continue using it, but it’s not advisable due to the lack of support, security vulnerabilities, and potential data migration challenges.
4. How do I move from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online?
To transition, prepare your data, backup, export to QuickBooks Online, review and adjust settings, train your team, and then cancel your QuickBooks Desktop subscription.
5. Is QuickBooks Online a suitable replacement for QuickBooks Desktop?
Whether QuickBooks Online is a suitable replacement depends on your business’s specific needs. It offers mobility and collaboration but may have different features compared to Desktop. Evaluate your requirements before making a decision.