quickbooks cloud vs desktop

However, performance may slow when processing files containing more than 250 employees. Although you can track expenses, QuickBooks Simple Start doesn’t enable users to pay bills. QuickBooks Online is one of the preeminent cloud-based accounting software platforms on the market. With five plans available, including a plan specifically for self-employed individuals and independent contractors, there are several options from which to choose, depending on your needs. In this guide, we’ll break down QuickBooks Online pricing, including plans, key features, and alternative platform costs so you can decide which option is best for you.

What is the difference between QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online?

QuickBooks has expanded its offerings to include cloud-based and desktop versions, providing users with different options to meet their needs. QuickBooks Cloud refers to the online version of the software that is hosted on remote servers and accessed through a web browser. QuickBooks Online is cloud-based with monthly subscriptions, while QuickBooks Desktop is locally installed with one-time purchases. QuickBooks Online offers multi-user access and automatic updates, whereas QuickBooks Desktop allows for advanced customization and industry-specific versions. Both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop users can apply for optional QuickBooks Payments processing by Intuit Merchant Services. IMS charges transaction fees and other fees for accepting customer credit card, debit card, online invoice, and ACH payments.

An overview of QuickBooks Desktop vs QuickBooks Online

These reports focus on the Dashboard view and gauging your day-to-day financials. Since QuickBooks Online is a more lightweight product the reports don’t dive as deep into things like job costing, business health, or financial projections. While QuickBooks Desktop is more expensive, you’re still paying nearly $2,000 a year for QuickBooks Online, hardly the affordable product it is marketed to be! For the purposes of this graph, we’re comparing a 5-user instance of QuickBooks Online Plus 1-5 Users + Payroll, vs. a 5-user instance of QuickBooks Enterprise Gold (which includes payroll) over a 4-year period. We’ve included the current best available promotional price to illustrate how prices will change year-over-year. Because QuickBooks Online is a SaaS product, that means you have access anywhere, any time, including on your phone.

Transitioning between the cloud and the desktop version

No need to worry if you skip one; you can always go back and add it at a later date. QuickBooks Online is user-friendly, but it requires some prior accounting knowledge to get the most out of it. You can send a copy of your company file to your accountant and import their changes. Know that your data is protected without downloading and installing product updates. You don’t have to worry about losing everything in a fire or an unforeseen event. A new and improved migration process gives you even more ways to move online.

  1. Both versions aim to empower businesses with effective financial tools, but the choice depends on which features align better with your organization’s goals and preferences.
  2. That is why it counts as one of the ost popular accounting software for large businesses.
  3. For an extra $50, sign up for a one-time live Bookkeeping setup with any of its plans.
  4. Alternatively, you can hire a QuickBooks ProAdvisor to help with your bookkeeping needs.

Notably, only QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise includes 24/7 customer service. Pro Plus and Premier Plus limit customer service https://www.business-accounting.net/ hours to just 12 hours a day, weekdays only. Unlike QuickBooks Online, Desktop Pro includes built-in inventory management.

QuickBooks Desktop is preferable for companies wanting to manage their books without an internet connection. It’s also the better option for businesses requiring complex inventory accounting features. In both QuickBooks Online and Desktop, you can assign costs to your inventory items and track the quantities sold to calculate the cost of goods sold (COGS). Many satisfied QuickBooks Online users appreciate that they can access the program from any internet-enabled device. Some commented that it’s easy to add vendors and customers and share files with their bookkeepers—and we couldn’t agree more.

quickbooks cloud vs desktop

You can also track the cost of goods sold and adjust inventory for loss or shrinkage. If you don’t want to manually enter transactions into Wave, you can opt for the Pro plan to link an unlimited number of bank and credit card accounts for automated reconciliation. The paid plan offers more competitive online payment processing rates, too (starting at 2.9% per transaction vs. the free plan’s 2.9% + $0.60 per transaction). To find startup accounting software that will best serve your business at any stage, consider scalability as well as strong customer support. You will also want to choose software that uses the accrual basis accounting method for recording transactions.

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QuickBooks Self-Employed, or QBSE, is the version of QBO marketed toward freelancers and other self-employed business owners. Unlike its counterparts, this edition of the software can never be upgraded to the small business editions of the software. Based on feedback I have received from clients, the other benefits of Plus do not warrant the additional cost.

While we’re on the topic of invoicing, QuickBooks Online has the superior product, offering six invoice templates and multilingual invoicing in six languages. During our extensive research of the business accounting industry where we interviewed financial experts finance definition and surveyed accounting software users, QuickBooks came up often as a widely used solution. When comparing QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop, each version has its own advantages, helping specific businesses with certain financial management needs.

Doing so grants you access to the Priority Circle loyalty program, including a dedicated account team, free on-demand training, and premium care from QuickBooks experts. If you have employees, you can add QuickBooks Payroll to your QuickBooks Online account for as little as $45 per month plus $5 per employee. QuickBooks Payroll allows you to pay your employees by checks or direct deposits, e-file and e-pay taxes, print and e-file W-2 Forms at year-end, and more. Head to our detailed QuickBooks Payroll review to see if it fits the bill. Others mentioned the bank account reconciliation and invoicing features are excellent. QuickBooks Online is on par with Desktop in terms of banking, but we believe that the cloud-based version is better for professional invoicing.

quickbooks cloud vs desktop

Active subscription, Internet access and Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) required. QuickBooks Desktop Payroll requires a supported version of QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise updated to the most current maintenance release. QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise supports over 100,000 employees, customers, vendors and other names combined.

And if data analysis is an important part of growing your business, QuickBooks Desktop is a solid pick. It includes 100+ reports, while QuickBooks Online Simple Start includes around 40. The Desktop Premier edition escalates to 150+ reports, including industry-specific reports for general contractors, manufacturers and wholesalers, https://www.kelleysbookkeeping.com/242-accounting-quizzes-online-trivia-questions/ nonprofits, and retailers. While QuickBooks products work for many businesses, they aren’t the best choice for all businesses. If neither of these options seems to be the right fit or you’re just exploring your options, make sure to check out our list of the best accounting software for small businesses for more great options.

Our QuickBooks Premier review will dive deep into the key features, pricing, pros and cons of the software so you can decide if it’s right for you. Distinguishing itself from QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Online offers unparalleled accessibility. You can conveniently access your financial data from any device with an internet connection, granting the freedom to manage finances on the go or from various locations. This cloud-based solution isn’t bound by the limitations of device-specific installations. Clarify complexity with efficient inventory management and integrated payroll and time tracking. Plus, with access for up to 40 users, Enterprise can scale with your business as it grows.