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QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop: Which Is Better For Your Business?

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(CTN NEWS) – Are you considering switching to QuickBooks but unsure of which version to choose? QuickBooks is one of the most popular accounting software for small businesses.

It helps you keep track of your finances, generating an invoice, manage bills, and generate reports. In this article, we’ll compare QuickBooks Online vs Desktop and help you make an informed decision.

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based accounting software that allows you to access your financial data from anywhere with an internet connection. It’s a great option for small businesses that need flexibility and accessibility.

Features of QuickBooks Online

  • Invoicing: Create and send professional invoices to your customers and clients. You can customize the look and feel of your invoices, set up automatic reminders, and track payment status.
  • Banking: Connect your bank accounts and credit cards to QuickBooks Online and automatically import transactions. You can categorize transactions, reconcile accounts, and track expenses.
  • Reporting: QuickBooks Online provides a variety of reports to help you understand your business’s financial health. You can generate balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, and more.
  • Third-party integrations: QuickBooks Online integrates with many third-party apps such as PayPal, Shopify, and Square. This makes it easy to manage your business’s finances from one central location.

Pricing of QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online offers four pricing plans:

  • Simple Start: $30 per month
  • Essentials: $55 per month
  • Plus: $85 per month
  • Advanced: $200 per month
Version Features No. of Users Best For Cost
Self-Employed Tracks income and expenses, capture and organize receipts, estimate quarterly taxes, run basic reports, and track miles One, with one external user, such as an accountant Sole proprietors, independent contractors, freelancers, consultants and other self-employed individuals with basic accounting software needs $15 per month for basic bookkeeping, $25 with the addition of TurboTax Self-Employed and $35 with TurboTax Live Self-Employed
Simple Start Income and expense tracking, invoice sending and payment acceptance, estimate sending, receipt capture and organization, mile tracking, sales and sales tax tracking, tax deduction maximization, Basic reporting, and 1099 contractor management One Small businesses that need only one user $30 per month
Essentials Everything in the Simple Start plan, plus bill management and client/project cost billing Up to three Smaller, service-based businesses that invoice clients for time $55 per month
Plus Everything in the Essential plan, plus project profitability tracking and inventory tracking and management Up to five Businesses with several budgets, projects, employees and contractors to track $85 per month
Advanced Everything in Plus plan, as well as Excel plug-in, expense management, batch entering of checks and invoices, automated approvals and reminders, customizable workflows, continuous and automatic backup, online training, and access to the QuickBooks account team More than five Larger businesses with multiple revenue streams $200 per month

The pricing plans vary in features and functionality. For example, the Advanced plan includes features such as custom user permissions, batch invoicing, and enhanced custom fields.

QuickBooks Desktop

QuickBooks Desktop is a locally installed accounting software that runs on your computer. It’s a great option for small businesses that prefer the traditional approach to accounting.

Features of QuickBooks Desktop

  • Invoicing: Create and send professional invoices to your customers and clients. You can customize the look and feel of your invoices, set up automatic reminders, and track payment status.
  • Banking: Connect your bank accounts and credit cards to QuickBooks Desktop and automatically import transactions. You can categorize transactions, reconcile accounts, and track expenses.
  • Reporting: QuickBooks Desktop provides a variety of reports to help you understand your business’s financial health. You can generate balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, and more.
  • Customization: QuickBooks Desktop allows you to customize forms, reports, and invoices to match your business’s branding and style.

Pricing of QuickBooks Desktop

QuickBooks Desktop offers three pricing plans:

  • Pro: $399.99
  • Premier: $799
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing
Version  About No. of Users Best For Cost
QuickBooks Desktop Premier Plus Best suited to companies that require inventory management functionality. Includes unlimited customer support and automated data backup as well as forecasting and industry-specific features Up to five Companies with extensive inventories of physical products to store, sell and track, especially if the products differ by category $799 per year
QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise Allows users at multiple locations access to the company file Up to 40, plus advanced roles Manufacturing and wholesale, nonprofit, contractors, retail, accountants and professional services Between $1,281 and $2,664 for on-premises; and between $206 and $275 per month for cloud solution

The pricing plans vary in features and functionality. For example, the Enterprise plan includes features such as advanced inventory, advanced pricing, and advanced reporting.

QuickBooks Online vs Desktop

Now that we’ve discussed the features and pricing of QuickBooks Online and Desktop, let’s compare them side by side.

User Interface

QuickBooks Online has a modern, easy-to-use interface that’s accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. QuickBooks Desktop has a more traditional interface that’s installed on your computer.

Accessibility

QuickBooks Online is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, making it easy to manage your business’s finances on the go. QuickBooks Desktop requires installation on your computer, which limits accessibility.

Pricing

QuickBooks Online has a subscription-based pricing model, which allows you to pay monthly or annually for the software. QuickBooks Desktop has a one-time payment, which can be a significant upfront cost for small businesses.

Features and Functionality

Both QuickBooks Online and Desktop offer similar features and functionality such as invoicing, banking, and reporting.

However, QuickBooks Desktop offers more advanced customization options for forms, reports, and invoices.

Integrations

QuickBooks Online integrates with many third-party apps such as PayPal, Shopify, and Square. QuickBooks Desktop also has integration options, but they may require additional software or plugins. E-commerce businesses can Sync PayPal, Shopify, Square with QuickBooks without any hassle. QuickBooks Desktop also has integration options, but they may require additional software or plugins.

Data Storage

QuickBooks Online stores your data in the cloud, which means you don’t have to worry about backing up your data or losing it if your computer crashes.

QuickBooks Desktop stores your data on your computer, which means you’re responsible for backing up your data regularly.

Customer Support

QuickBooks Online offers customer support via phone, chat, and email. QuickBooks Desktop offers customer support via phone and email, but chat support is unavailable.

Security

QuickBooks Online uses bank-level security and encryption to protect your data. QuickBooks Desktop also has security measures in place, but the responsibility of securing your data lies with you.

Conclusion

QuickBooks Online and Desktop both have their pros and cons.

QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based solution that offers flexibility and accessibility, while QuickBooks Desktop is a locally installed software that provides advanced customization options.

The choice ultimately depends on your business’s needs and preferences. Consider the features, pricing, and functionality before making a decision.

If you’re still unsure which QuickBooks version to choose, you can try a free trial of QuickBooks Online or talk to a QuickBooks expert for guidance.

Thank you for reading this article on QuickBooks Online vs Desktop. We hope it has been informative and helpful.

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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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