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QuickBooks Product Comparison – A Comprehensive Guide

quickbooks product comparison

You might be wondering which version of QuickBooks will be better according to your business requirements. QuickBooks steadily gets valued as the impeccable accounting software but most of those evaluations point out QuickBooks versions. Finding a perfect QuickBooks product that works well, it might seem difficult to find the right one. However, you don’t need to fret as we are listing QuickBooks product comparison in this given post.

This post is a compilation of QuickBooks desktop & QB online versions; we wanted to share with you. In this article, we will discuss what each version is capable of, and the differences between each version. If you would like to get a more in-depth comparison of desktop & online versions, directly call our experts. 

Don’t have time to go through our whole article? No worries undergo the following table and get instant review on all QuickBooks product comparison. This will help you in choosing the right edition that fulfills all your business requirements. 

QuickBooks Desktop versions Specifically designed for 
QuickBooks Desktop ProDeveloped to cater to small and midsize customers.
QBD Premier Suits for growing businesses or for those who are in search of industry-specific accounting software.
QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise SMBs across different industry verticals like nonprofit distribution, retail, manufacturing, and construction.
QuickBooks Online versions Specifically designed for
Simple Start Developed for partnerships, sole proprietors, small businesses, LLCs. 
Plus For businesses selling products and want advanced inventory.
QuickBooks Online Essentials Services-based businesses that bill their customers for the time invested in rendering services. 
QuickBooks Online Advanced Leans more toward the enterprise level instead of small businesses. That can be a real bonus specifically for the owners who are running large businesses.
Self-Employed Self-Employed individuals like real estate agents, freelancers, Uber drivers, and independent consultants. 

A Quick Review of all QuickBooks Desktop Versions

QuickBooks Desktop has to be set up and managed manually and facilitates reporting, advanced inventory, billing and payment, payroll management, etc. If you are operating a product-based business that has complicated needs of managing inventory, QuickBooks Desktop can be the best option to go with. To access the QuickBooks Desktop, you don’t need to have an internet connection as this software needs installation on your desktop. Including so, various industry-specific features like customized products, services, chart of accounts can be availed of for each industry. It can be proved fruitful for you if you are thinking to manage accounting for various companies at the same time.

For now, there are three versions available of QuickBooks desktop, which are listed down. Further, we are going to compare QuickBooks desktop versions briefly. 

  • QuickBooks Pro
  • QB Premier 
  • Enterprise 

Now, moving ahead to get a detailed explanation of all four versions of QuickBooks Desktop so that you can wisely choose the perfect edition accordingly. 

QuickBooks Pro

Introduced for small to medium-size businesses having 3 users or fewer in need of strong accounting or manually installed software

QB Desktop pro is an enhanced and improved version of the QuickBooks accounting software developed for many small and medium-sized businesses. Additionally, it allows you to organize all your business finances at the same time so you can be more industrious. If you are a new user and don’t know how to access QuickBooks, don’t worry as the desktop pro is very simple to set up & use. No accounting knowledge will be required to stay on top of invoices, run reports, file taxes for the first time, and import the data from a spreadsheet. Also, you get the feature of paying faster by routinely reminding customers in case of due payments.


  • Advanced features 
  • Potentially more affordable 
  • 200+ integrations 
  • Advanced features 
  • Tracking revenue and expenditure 
  • Generation of profit and loss statement 
  • Automated payment schedule 
  • Business performance assessment 
  • Automated payment reminders for customer
  • Merging of multiple invoices into a single statement.


  • Steep learning curve
  • Limited users 
  • PC-only 
  • No mobile apps 
  • Lack support  

QuickBooks Desktop Premier

This version is suited for small to mid-sized businesses having 5 users or fewer in the requirement of strong accounting and industry-specific accounting features. 

With QuickBooks Desktop Premier, you can run the business finances easily with the capability of knowing about running QB files. Multiple tasks can be performed whether it is related to business, contract manufacturing and wholesale, professional services, retail, or nonprofit organizations via QuickBooks Premier. Also, this version of QuickBooks Desktop includes all pro features plus tools. The new version of QuickBooks premier allows you to use a mobile device to capture all your receipt data with receipt management only when you have the subscription plan.


  • Strong accounting 
  • Advanced features 
  • 200+ integrations 
  • Industry-specific features and reports 
  • Manages performance at customer project or product level
  • Ability to forecast revenue
  • Pre-built industry-specific reports
  • Preview your PDF attachments 
  • Installation of all products from one management tool
  • Create rule-based customer groups 


  • Steep learning curve
  • PC-only
  • No mobile apps
  • Lack of integration in the inventory feature
  • Chances of losing data

QuickBooks Enterprise

Works well for large businesses having 30 users or fewer looking for industry-specific accounting and advanced accounting.

QuickBooks enterprise solution essentially aims at mid-size businesses such as like construction segments, wholesalers, and notably manufacturing. It has a user-friendly interface, predecessor’s navigation tools, and simplified language which make it a perfect accounting solution for non-accountants. You can get advanced features in QB desktop enterprise as an all-in-one package according to your industry type. Furthermore, you don’t have to implement ERP requirements to get end-to-end accounting solutions. You get the following three plans in QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise.

  • Silver: The main feature that can be availed of in the silver plan is advanced reporting.
  • Gold: It comprises advanced payroll along with all the features of the silver plan.
  • Platinum: It comes with advanced pricing including all the features of silver and gold plans.


  • Advanced features 
  • Strong accounting
  • Advanced inventory
  • Industry-specific features 
  • Priority customer support 
  • Access anywhere, anytime, from any device. 
  • Maintain control of your data with custom user permissions
  • Gold- enhanced payroll functionalities 
  • Silver-key metrics
  • Platinum- advanced inventory and pricing capabilities 


  • Expensive 
  • Steep learning curve
  • PC-only 
  • Inconsistent report filters 
  • Restricted permission lockouts for financial reporting

After acknowledging all of the products of QuickBooks Desktop, it’s time to have a look at the QuickBooks Online versions. By doing so, you can get the complete information on which version will be the perfect one in your case. 

Also Read: QuickBooks Tool Hub – A Complete Guide  

A Quick Review of all QuickBooks Online Versions

QuickBooks is cloud-based accounting software that has gained incredible popularity among SaaS-based businesses. The most exclusive feature of this software is the ability to update, access, and manage the data from wherever you want and integrate it into any CRM application. You must know that an internet connection will be required to access QBO. Additionally, an account on QuickBooks Online can be created by signing in via a web browser or app.

QBO can also be opened via your smartphones. You can get five versions in QuickBooks Online, which are listed below-

  • Simple start 
  • Plus 
  • Essentials 
  • Advanced
  • Self-employed 
  • Now, we are looking forward to compare QuickBooks products in detail. 

Simple Start

QuickBooks Simple Start is an ideal accounting solution for single users (solo entrepreneurs, freelancers, gig workers). From individual contractors & freelancers to businesses that are about to start, the simple start version proves to be the fastest & easy way to track all of their incomes and expenses in one tool. With the help of this version of QBO, you will be able to invoice customers, connect credit cards and bank accounts, manage sales tax, and perform basic accounting. Along with this, you can also connect with your accountant at tax time and sign up for a free 30 days trial that should be long enough to decide if this will be the perfect solution for you or not. 


  • Manage expenses 
  • Track check numbers
  • Connect your bank
  • Organize receipts 
  • Maximize tax deductions 
  • Invoice and accept payments 
  • Manage miles 
  • Ease to access basic reports
  • Manage 1099 contractors 
  • Track sales and sales tax


  • Syncing issues
  • Missing entries 
  • Difficult to learn 
  • Restricted inventory management 
  • Internet Connection required 

QuickBooks Online Plus

QuickBooks Online Plus is more than just accounting software as it offers you to manage the cash flow statements, create invoices, accept payments, sales & expenses, and much more. Managing financials accurately is essential for any business; here QuickBooks Online Plus works well and saves money by connecting the business tools.

QuickBooks Plus includes additional features in a comparison of simple start that help to run a complex small business a breeze. All of these additional features are listed further down.


  • Manage and pay bills on time. 
  • Tracking 
  • Saves times on data entry 
  • Detailed reporting 
  • Organized receipts
  • Tracks bills and time 
  • Include 5 users
  • Manage 1099 contractors
  • Create custom and professional estimates 
  • Use smartphone’s GPS to track the miles you drive 


  • Limited users
  • Pay to get additional features 
  • Doesn’t support the CSV file format completely
  • No backup functions 
  • Sometimes difficult to learn

QuickBooks Online Essentials

The QBO essentials version allows three users access to the software with enhanced features and additional capabilities for tracking bills and payments, paying multiple vendors at the same time, etc. So it will be a great idea to choose the Simple Start package. Additionally, this plan allows you to access accounts payable aging reports to keep eye on bill due dates. You can also get the opportunity to connect with your accountant while filing taxes. 


  • Automate your work 
  • Use detailed reporting 
  • Able to take the manual labor out of bookkeeping 
  • Manage incomes and expenses 
  • Maximize tax deductions 
  • Get paid fast with a credit card and bank transfers right in the invoice. 
  • Use smartphones to take photos of receipts
  • Detailed accounts receivable  and accounts payable 
  • Pay multiple vendors at the same time 
  • Send estimates and tracks miles, etc.


  • Lack of direct professional support
  • Limitations on the number of users 
  • System crashes 
  • Internet connection required 
  • Limited no of transactions. 

QuickBooks Online Advanced

QBO Advanced allows access to up 25 users and leans more toward the enterprise level instead of small businesses. You will be able to enjoy business analytics, the ability to import, send batch invoices, a dedicated account manager after taking a subscription. That can be a real bonus specifically for the owners who are running large businesses. The starting price that needs to be paid to buy an advanced version is $75 per month. 


  • Reports taxes for multiple states 
  • Merging banking
  • Advanced invoicing 
  • Custom user permission 
  • Reporting tools 
  • Batch checks and expenses 
  • Automated workflows
  • Revenue streams 
  • Custom roles
  • Export your reports to Google Sheets


  • Not for beginners 
  • File-size issues 
  • Limited users
  • Difficult to find user training videos 
  • Issues in loading credit card accounts

QuickBooks Self-Employed

This version of QuickBooks has been specifically designed for independent contractors to make the lives of freelancers easier. If you are filing a Schedule C including your taxes, then QuickBooks Self-Employed will be the best option to go with. You can avail of three packages in QuickBooks self-employed; all of them have been listed below.

QuickBooks Self-Employed

This one is the least cost version of QuickBooks Self-Employed comes with $7.50/ month. It offers quite a bit of functionality at a very low price that is completely valuable. Self-employed gives you the ability to manage the business and personal expenses independently, manage mileage manually, send invoices from anywhere, estimate taxes quarterly, and help you in maximizing Schedule C deductions. In near future, you can upgrade the self-employed version to a higher-priced version. 

So if you are looking for a program to operate a successful business, it’s not a bad option to start with. 

Get our expert Quickbooks ProAdvisor on call
to resolve your query in no-time.

QuickBooks Self-Employed Tax Bundle

In the self-employed tax bundle version, QuickBooks has been added additional functionality along with the features of other cloud software. This version starts at $12/month which allows you to transfer tax information seamlessly from QuickBooks into TurboTax. Eventually, if you are in search of federal tax support, this can be a good option to go with. But, you should know that QuickBooks self-employed does not contain a state tax report.

QuickBooks Self-Employed Live Tax Bundle

The starting price of the self-employed live tax bundle is $17 per month and is considered the most expensive version of QuickBooks Online. It comprises access to the additional features for tax filings such as technical support any time and from anywhere and asks for CPA help who will be responsible for tax return filing on your behalf.

Moreover, various business owners are dependent on trusted accountants or high-street tax filing shops for their taxes. If you are looking for a devoted accountant, hire someone who can work for a long time rather than relying on a rotating cast of remote accountants employed. 


  • Self-running software 
  • Ease of creating and sending invoices within minutes 
  • Manages taxes easily 
  • Tracks and organize expenses on multiple accounts
  • Optimized incomes and expense categories for tax purposes
  • Easy mode of payment 
  • Estimate quarterly taxes 
  • Access basic reports 
  • Manage Miles 
  • App integration, etc.


  • Doesn’t contain a state tax report
  • Difficulty in upgrading the software. It is not scalable 
  • Additional payment for filing taxes 
  • Doesn’t allow extended bookkeeping or accounting functionalities.
  • Unable to send estimates.

QuickBooks Product Comparison: A Review of Pricing and Features

QuickBooks software permits for more in-depth reporting such as advanced inventory, job costing, & manufacturing. Also, it contains top features that can be availed of such as Forecasting, 1099s, Job costing, Profit and Loss by class, services, Customer or Job, etc. Now, we are concluding the price of all QuickBooks products available in the market.

QuickBooks Desktop versionsCost
Pro  $299.99/year
Premier $499.99/year







QuickBooks Online versionsCost
Simple Start $12.50/month 
Plus $20/month
Advanced $75/month 


QuickBooks Self-Employed

Self-Employed Tax Bundle 

Self-Employed Live Tax Bundle 

$7.50/month (for the first three months then $15/month)$12/month 


Concluding the post!

Now that you have gone through the complete post regarding QuickBooks product comparison, it should be understood which version of the QuickBooks works well. The end result is if you are still working with an older version of QuickBooks; update it to the latest one to timely get technical support and security updates. Well, we hope that the above post helped you in differentiating QuickBooks versions. To know more differences and get instant assistance regarding the software, you can get connected with us at QASolved


Q1: Write down all the different versions of QuickBooks Desktop?

A: Presently, there are three different versions of QB desktop that can be availed of according to business needs. 
1. QuickBooks Pro 
2. Desktop Premier 
3. QuickBooks Enterprise

Q2: Is QuickBooks Desktop being discontinued?

A: According to Intuit disclosure, an older version of the QuickBooks desktop will be discontinued, after May 31, 2021. Also, you can’t avail of add-on services on the Windows desktop version 2018. Without upgrading the software, you will not be able to take advantage of services via the desktop version. This applies to both PC and Mac versions of the QuickBooks Desktop.

Q3: Is QuickBooks Desktop 2021 obtainable?

A: The latest QuickBooks desktop 2021 comes with improved features to help you with managing payroll on time and many more functionalities. You can get this version and avail of various improved features such as receipt management, data level permission, create customer groups, etc.

Q4: How long will QuickBooks 2019 version be supported?

A: As per the latest info, the add-ons services will be discontinued for QuickBooks desktop for Windows 2018. This consists of all versions of QB desktop like-pro, premier, and enterprise solutions. If you don’t use add-on services in QuickBooks desktop 2018, you can continue working on your products. However, you can’t get security updates and live technical support.

Q5: How can you upgrade QuickBooks 2020 to QB 2021?

A: Here are the steps to upgrade the software:
1. Go to the Help section of the QuickBooks software.
2. After that, click on Upgrade QuickBooks and select Upgrade Now.
3. Choose Buy Now only when you are installing QB for the first time.
4. Finally, QuickBooks will automatically verify the latest upgrades related to your customer account.

Q6: What will be the cost for upgrading to QB 2021?

A: The following list helps you with the exact pricing of QuickBooks Desktop 2021.

Versions 2020 Pricing 2021 Pricing
QB Premier $299.95/year or $499.95 one-time license $499.99/year, $649.99 one-time license

QuickBooks Desktop
Enterprise $924/year $1,213/year

Mac $399.99 one-time license  $399.99 one-time license 

Q7: Can you install QuickBooks Desktop on more than one system?

A: Yes, you can install the product on up to 3 PCs because of having the QuickBooks pro plus license. Also, you can install it on up to 5 computers with premier plus. And, the enterprise version lets you install up to 40 computers.

Q8: What are the system requirements for pro and premier versions?

A: Given below are the pro and premier system requirements:

1. 2.5 GB disk space required and additional space for data files
2. Payroll and online features need an Internet connection with 1 Mbps speed
3. Product registration 
4. 4 GB Ram 
5. 2.4 GHz processor 
6. 4x DVD-ROM drive 
7. Windows 10 update or version supported by Microsoft Windows Server 2019, 2016, or R2.

Q9: Is a Desktop product available for Mac?

A:  Yes, you can also get a desktop version for Mac. It has been particularly developed for small businesses that use MacOS. The AnyDesk macOS remote desktop works well with any Mac PC. The starting price of the 21.5-inch iMac with a 4k display is $1,299.

Q10: What is the main difference between pro plus, premier plus, and enterprise?

A: QuickBooks pro plus and premier plus manage up to 14,500 items. On the other hand, the enterprise version manages up to 1 million vendors, customers, and items. Pro plus version comes with some additional features such as expense tracking, inventory tracking, sales tax tracking, etc. Similarly, Premier plus includes some improved and enhanced features along with the features of the premium version.

About The Author

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

At QAsolved, we are a team of skilled professionals dedicated to delivering unparalleled accounting and bookkeeping services. With backgrounds in finance and technology, our collaborative efforts focus on providing practical solutions and guidance. Our services are tailored for a range of businesses, covering advisory, CFO services, bookkeeping, and financial systems consulting. QAsolved is an award-winning consulting firm and Intuit’s #1 QuickBooks Reseller Partner. We offer comprehensive QuickBooks services, including consulting, integration, migration, maintenance, data conversion, training, and support, among other services. Over the years, we have assisted over 30K customers across various industries with their Intuit products.

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