QuickBooks Online VS Desktop Comparison 2023

desktop company files

Terms and conditions, features, support, pricing, and service options are subject to change without notice. These include the ability to track raw materials and finished products and automate order management, among other functions. It also has barcode scanning capabilities — business owners can download the QuickBooks Desktop mobile app and use their mobile device as a scanner.

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Read our review of this popular small business accounting application to see why. Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation.

QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop: Which QuickBooks Accounting Solution is Right for Your Business?

While they share many of the same features, QuickBooks Desktop’s features are often more developed, except when it comes to invoicing. QuickBooks Pro is geared toward small to medium businesses and starts at $549.99/year for a single user. QuickBooks Pro 2023 must be purchased through a reseller or a phone call with QuickBooks Sales. QuickBooks Online is a more attractive option for budget-conscious small business owners looking for a flexible software solution. Another notable difference is QuickBooks Online offers a Self-Employed version for $15 per month, which is not available with QuickBooks Desktop. As of late 2015, QuickBooks Enterprise requires an ongoing subscription to gain access to the software.


We don’t guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services. In contrast, QuickBooks Desktop’s interface was built with accountants in mind. Instead of showing clear images of your cash balance, outstanding invoices, and upcoming bills like the QuickBooks Online dash, the desktop version’s dash is a flowing series of connected folders and files. Unless you’re an accountant, the learning curve will likely be a little higher for you than it would with QuickBooks Online. QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online are separate platforms that do not sync with each other. However, in addition to its mobile app, QuickBooks Online has a desktop app.


Although the program is simple to install, you will need to devote a significant amount of time to customizing your preferences and learning how to use the many functions to get the most out of them. Sign up and be the first to get notified about new blog posts and product updates. That means you will lose all add-ons, including the popular Payroll Service, and there will be no more updates or critical fixes. Next, set up the mapping of the file column related to the QuickBooks field. Dancing Numbers template file does this automatically; you just need to download the Dancing Number Template file. We provide round the clock technical assistance with an assurance of resolving any issues within minimum turnaround time.


Launched in 1983, it was originally aimed at individuals looking to manage their money better. Should you use the desktop application or web browser version of QuickBooks? You need to manually export your files from QuickBooks Online by clicking on the gear icon and selecting Export data. You’ll then need to import your files to QuickBooks Desktop through the File menu. Whether you choose QuickBooks Online or Desktop, it’s essential that you familiarize yourself with QuickBooks and how it benefits small businesses. To help you get the most out of QuickBooks, check out our top-recommended QuickBooks training courses.

How They Compare: QuickBooks Online vs. QuickBooks Desktop

The good news is, whichever you purchase, accounting software counts as a tax-deductible expense. With QuickBooks Desktop, users receive some of the most developed accounting tools on the market. The software offers comprehensive features, unique touches , industry-specific versions of the software, and the potential to be more secure. QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop operate on true double-entry accounting principles and have both accrual and cash-basis accounting.

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Whether QuickBooks Online Advanced or QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise is better depends on what exactly your business needs. If your priority is accessibility, then you might choose QuickBooks Online. If you are a large enterprise that deals heavily with inventory, you can go with Enterprise. Once Intuit Quickbooks is discontinued it will also mean that you will not receive any new, critical security updates. If you are currently using QuickBooks 2020, it is highly recommended to install the latest updates prior to discontinuation on May 31, 2023. If you are using the 2018 or 2019 versions, the deadline for installing the latest updates has already passed.

how to calculate sales tax is encouraging all existing Desktop clients to migrate to QuickBooks Online as soon as possible. There are two versions of QuickBooks Desktop and four versions of QuickBooks Online . According to QuickBooks, 95% of QuickBooks Online customers agree that they work more collaboratively in QuickBooks Online than QuickBooks Desktop. Tim is a Certified QuickBooks Time Pro, QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and CPA with 25 years of experience. QuickBooks Online Advanced is designed for a maximum of 25 users vs 40 users for Desktop Enterprise. Keep in mind that if you do decide to have QuickBooks Desktop hosted, there will be an additional fee.

  • Taking into account also the extra features that the Online version offers, it’s safe to say that Intuit really wants you to move over to QBO sooner rather than later.
  • Despite their differences, QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online also have plenty of overlap.
  • With QuickBooks Pro, you can create 100+ one-click sales, tax, and financial reports.

This is for the “Self-Employed” version that is intended for use by freelancers. This simple version will help track income and expenses, organize your receipts, and help you invoice customers. Contrary to popular belief, all versions of QuickBooks that are traditionally thought of as desktop options have a subscription-based pricing model. You no longer are able to purchase a version of the software and use it indefinitely.

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. You can switch from QuickBooks Online to Desktop, and many users who are used to traditional accounting and working with QuickBooks tend to do so after giving QBO a try. At the time of this writing, QuickBooks has noted that it has no plans on sunsetting the QuickBooks Desktop software.

Those who have left negative reviews dislike that it doesn’t offer many third-party integration options. However, QuickBooks Desktop is better as it allows you to set up cost estimates for projects and then compare them to actual expenses. This feature is a great way for contractors to see whether they are making money on a project and manage their budget better. QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop are two different Intuit accounting software products used by small businesses and mid-sized companies with a limited number of users.

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In QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks support states that you can manually restore a backup of your accounting data with your backup company file (.qbb). Starting June 1st, 2021, Intuit QuickBooks is discontinued, including all access to add-on services on its desktop version for Windows 2018. This includes all of the older versions of the accounting platform, like the Pro, Premier, and Enterprise Solutions of QuickBooks Desktop 2018.

  • A variety of short video tutorials are available as well as on-demand webinars and training classes.
  • Kathy Haan, MBA is a former financial advisor-turned-writer and business coach.
  • QuickBooks Online comes in four different packages that vary in functionality offerings depending on your business needs.
  • You can also integrate the desktop version of the software with QuickBooks Payments, enabling you to accept online payments from your customers.
  • Getting assistance with your Desktop bookkeeping is difficult since you must save an Accountant’s Copy of your company file and send it to your ProAdvisor.

Most notably, Premier Plus has 150+ customizable reports for nonprofits, general contractors, and retailers. We also don’t recommend QuickBooks Desktop to Mac users, since there’s just one desktop-based plan for Mac users. This plan, QuickBooks Desktop for Mac, has the same features as QuickBooks Desktop Pro Plus, the most basic desktop-based plan. In other words, Mac users can’t scale up their software from one plan to the next as they add software users. QuickBooks Online has been part of the Intuit accounting software family for a few decades now.

QuickBooks Desktop will be subscription-only in 2022 – Accounting Today

QuickBooks Desktop will be subscription-only in 2022.

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Katana is a manufacturing ERP software that manufacturers use to take control of many business processes like production scheduling, inventory management, and manufacturing operations. In comparison, QBO yearly plans start from $180, whereas QBD yearly prices start from $549. Taking into account also the extra features that the Online version offers, it’s safe to say that Intuit really wants you to move over to QBO sooner rather than later. QuickBooks Pro does not provide the mobile applications being locally-installed system, the QuickBooks Online offer features advantageous with both Android and iOS apps.

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