QuickBooks Online vs Desktop: A Comparison

quickbooks online vs desktop

Are you trying to decide which software goes well with your business? Trying to figure out the appropriate software to fulfill your financial goals? Is it QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop? If yes, then you have arrived at the right place. This blog will help you get an in-depth understanding of QuickBooks Online vs Desktop.

What is QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop?

Running a business is quite a challenging task. And for it to survive in the longer run, you need proper planning. In addition, the differences between both the versions are explained on the basis of their suitability, features, flexibility, and ease of use.

 QuickBooks Online:

QuickBooks Online is an outstanding version for your business services. It can automatically schedule and send invoices from your smartphone, Mac, personal computer, or tablets. Along with this, it gives prompt file access to more than 300 cloud-based apps. Most importantly, it comprises the automatic features to its customers like expense tracking, invoice management, report transactions, and much more.

QuickBooks Desktop:

QuickBooks Desktop is the perfect option for businesses that deal with selling products. It can track sales, create invoices/ expenses, manage accounts payable/ receivable, creates sales and tax reports. The version of QuickBooks is installed on an individual computer system and can be used by one person. QuickBooks desktop can be accessed only on the PC it has been installed without having the internet connection.

Moreover, to analyze which version goes well with your business and financial planning, it is important to spot out the differences between QuickBooks Desktop and Online.

Differences Between – QuickBooks Online vs Desktop

The differences are given to assess which one is better for your business and its financial health

  • quickbooks online vs quickbooks desktop infographicMonthly Fees:

QuickBooks Online version charges a monthly subscription fee from its users. On the other hand, there is a one-time payment requirement for QuickBooks Desktop version.

  • Ease Of Use:

Use Desktop version anytime, anywhere. This is possible if your PC is plugged in or the laptop is fully charged. As opposed to, the online version which requires internet access to use it.

  • Automation:

All the transactions are manually processed in QuickBooks Desktop. On the contrary, QuickBooks Online allows customer billing, bank transaction, email reports to get downloaded automatically.

  • Accessibility to Users:

QuickBooks Online needs internet access and login details to access it. Whereas, Desktop version is only available on the single PC on which it is installed. But, it can still be accessed even without a stable internet connection.

  • Multiple Users Access:

When comparing QuickBooks online vs Desktop based on multiple user access, QuickBooks Online can accommodate up to 25 simultaneous users. However, one person can use QuickBooks Desktop at a specific time.

  • Customized Features:

QuickBooks Desktop version can prepare budget, track mileage and expenses. Generally, the desktop version gives more liberty to customize forms as compared to QuickBooks Online.

After understanding the differences between QuickBooks Online versus desktop, you get the choice to choose your QB version. This makes your financial life cycle run the way you want.

Moreover, you can go through the steps to set up the company and connect your bank account to QuickBooks in an easy way.

Process to Setup QuickBooks Online and Desktop

There is no need to be an expert to set up or use QuickBooks Online and Desktop. The procedure takes 20 minutes to set up. Apart from this, the setup process for QB Online and Desktop requires you to give the main company info. It also provides you an option to connect your bank account to QuickBooks. Getting connected to your bank account permits you to import the bank transactions automatically.

Follow the procedure to set up your company file and connect your bank account to QuickBooks.

Setting Up Your Company

The setup process for the company file is same for both the versions. The setup process takes 5 to 10 minutes and you need to give some basic info about the company. If there is an in-depth setup, it may take one or two hours, depending on bringing data over from different accounting system.

Apart from giving basic information about your company, you have to answer questions about the way how you want to manage your business. You must give extra time to complete the in-depth setup procedure.

The whole procedure of setting up your company helps you to manage your business properly.


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When to Select QuickBooks Online?

You should go for QuickBooks Online if it is going to solve your business’ specific logistical and financial needs. Some of the major advantages that QuickBooks Online comes with are:

  • Access from anywhere:

QuickBooks Online permits its users to access data from any location. Also, it allows you to set up a user ID as well as password for every person.

  • No Software Installation Needed:

The online version doesn’t need software installation. You need to open web browser from your PC or Mac, mobile device and can log in to your account to access the financial data.

  • Shows automatic, real-time updates:

The changes which are done in QuickBooks Online automatically get updated. Along with this, the modifications and updates are done real-time.

When to Opt QuickBooks Desktop?

QuickBooks Desktop indeed suits the product-based business that has complicated inventory tracking needs. To know what does QuickBooks Desktop contains, you can read the points:

  • Ability of multiple inventory tracking options:

You can track two options for tracking inventory i.e. First in First Out method and second the average cost. Both options are available at the time of buying the Advanced Inventory add-on module.

  • Batch invoicing option:

You will get the batch invoice capability in desktop, if you are billing the same type of service and amount to multiple clients. You will be able to invoice all of them at the same time.

  • Industry-specific versions:

You will be provided with the industry-specific features in QuickBooks Desktop which will come in one of the following industries: manufacturing and wholesale, contractor, general business, nonprofit, and retail.

After looking at these points, you must have assessed whether QuickBooks Desktop is the right fit for your business. Also, you get the idea of the usefulness of the version as per your financial prerequisites.

What QuickBooks Online Encloses and QuickBooks Desktop Doesn’t Have?

  • QuickBooks gives automatic online backup and security for data:

The data are backed up automatically online and secured by Intuit’s servers safely for its users. This means you don’t have to stress out about your data. In case your personal computer gets stolen or malfunctions, the data stays safe and transparent.

  • Access your Data anytime via multiple platforms:

You can access your data on your online version 24/7 365 days from your Mac as well as a personal computer. To access the data, you need login credentials like user ID and password as well as a stable internet connection.

  • Free unlimited technical support:

Online users can contact technical support anytime they feel like. There are no additional charges for taking technical support. Whereas, Desktop costs $89 for 90 days.

  • Automatic access to the latest version of QB:

You can have quick access to the most recent version of the software. There is no need to upgrade your version to use its features and improvements. On the other hand, Desktop product requires to update the system in such case.

  • Sample company file test drive:

With the help of sample company file, you can access a sample company file that already has data in it.  Additionally, its users can go through the program and record their transactions.

  • Multiple inventory tracking Options:

It gives you the permission to use multiple inventory tracking option via the FIFO (First in First Out) method. In case you wish to try different inventory methods, you can opt Desktop version.

These are things that QB online version encompasses strongly.

Let’s check out what QuickBooks Desktop has for its users.

What QuickBooks Desktop Provides that QuickBooks Online Does Not Comprise?

  • Manual protection and backup:

The users need to create a backup plan and they have to set it on their own. Secondly, they can upgrade to a Desktop plan that comprises automatic backups with unlimited support.

  • Access data from a single platform:

QuickBooks desktop gives the facility to access the data from the PC on which the software is available. Along with this, you can add to the Hosting Services to access the data from anywhere, anytime.

  • Paid technical support:

QuickBooks Desktop support is free for the first initial 30 days after the installation of the tool. Furthermore, after expiry of 30 days, you have to upgrade to a QB Desktop plan that comprises unlimited support as well as an automatic backup facility for $299 annual fee.

  • Paid upgrades:

You need to buy the most recent version of the software so that you can gain access to the products latest features. Moreover, pricing differs on the version of the software you have.

  • Sample company files:

The users can practice the method of adding transactions feature without using their company file.

  • Multiple inventory tracking choices:

QuickBooks Desktop allows you to use inventory tracking via two methods. The two options for tracking inventory are FIFO and average cost method.

  • Batch invoicing feature:

It gives the batch invoicing capability feature to its users. The feature permits to create an invoice for multiple customers at the same point of time.

  • Industry based versions:

QuickBooks Desktop proffers industry defined features. The industries are contractor, general businesses, retail, professional services, wholesale and manufacturing, etc.

Furthermore, we now know what QuickBooks Desktop offers to ease out the financial life cycle of its users.

In Conclusion:

The blog covers major aspects of QuickBooks Online and Desktop and throws light on the features of both. It also covers topics like differences between QuickBooks Desktop vs Online, when to select QuickBooks Online or Desktop, what makes QuickBooks Online different from Desktop and vice-versa. Most importantly, how to set up online and Desktop. So far, the blog explores many important points about both versions. QuickBooks Online suits for a service-based business. Alternatively, the desktop version is considered an apt solution for a product-based business. At this stage, you need to decide which version you wish to choose to manage the accounts of the business.

If you want to know more about QuickBooks Online vs Desktop, you can dial the QuickBooks Support Phone Number.

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