Another significant distinction between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online is customer service. You may either pay $299.99 for a yearly customer care package or upgrade to Pro Plus or Premier Plus if you want technical support. In contrast, QuickBooks Online users can contact customer obligations service by phone or online easily. It is a cloud-based subscription service that gives you the freedom to work from any device, including a phone. An entrepreneur or small business owner will benefit from the easy access to data and the ability to us both Mac and PC operating systems.

  • An entrepreneur or small business owner will benefit from the easy access to data and the ability to us both Mac and PC operating systems.
  • QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise with Hosting is a subscription-plan and incurs an additional cost on top of the standard Enterprise licensing costs.
  • It’s best to choose one based on your needs, but some businesses use both for specific purposes or workflows.
  • Head to our detailed QuickBooks Payroll review to see if it fits the bill.
  • Once you decide, if you need some assistance with your QuickBooks Migration, be sure to check out our comprehensive QuickBooks Tutorial.

Notably, only QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise includes 24/7 customer service. Pro Plus and Premier Plus limit customer service hours to just 12 hours a day, weekdays only. QuickBooks Desktop is preferable for companies that want to manage their books without an internet connection.

QuickBooks Desktop vs. Online top feature comparison

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. DIY clients often find that hiring a professional bookkeeper for on-demand support is a better use of their time and money than the 24/7 support desk. By not purchasing the Plus edition of the software, you lose the automatic backups, but those can be easily handled by yourself. These versions are further differentiated by how you purchase the product. QuickBooks Online is like the charismatic superhero who can do it all while looking cool.

  • Let’s see how these two platforms compare in features, pricing, and reviews to help you decide on QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop in 2023.
  • Learn More.” This will guide you through exporting your data and creating a backup company file.
  • This feature is particularly useful if you sell and ship products out of your state.
  • Granted, you don’t have to be an accountant to learn QuickBooks Desktop either, but if you are new to accounting, you will need a lot of time to learn the program.
  • While QuickBooks Online can handle a high volume of users (depending on the version you have), it performs the best when you are using 5 or fewer users.
  • The two versions are independent of each other, which means the data you enter on Desktop doesn’t sync to the Online version and vice-versa.

Rather, it runs through a browser which allows you to access QuickBooks from wherever you have internet access with a set login and password. QuickBooks Time Premium is included with Payroll Premium and Time Elite is included with Payroll Elite. Keep in mind that if you do decide to have QuickBooks Desktop hosted, there will be an additional fee. As an added convenience, if you outgrow your current edition of QuickBooks Online, upgrade to a more powerful plan in minutes.

For a business looking to set up multiple users with predefined roles, they may find themselves eventually wishing they had a system that allowed for unlimited users. Completely eliminating paper in your small business may not always be practical but even a small reduction in paper usage could yield cost savings and boost productivity…. Book your free demo today to learn how a virtual bookkeeper can save you time and money for your business.


The QuickBooks Desktop version can be purchased in a physical store and users can access all its features offline. Rachel Barnett has been a QuickBooks user since 1995, eventually earning QuickBooks ProAdvisor status. When she’s not busy supporting professionals and their businesses, Rachel enjoys actively participating in the QuickSource accounting community.

QuickBooks Services

However, some complained that QuickBooks Online can’t manage multiple companies in a single account and that it lacks assembly management 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). A slight difference between QuickBooks Online and Desktop in terms of invoicing is that the former allows you to calculate sales taxes automatically to apply to an invoice based on the customer address. This feature is particularly useful if you sell and ship products out of your state.

QuickBooks Online is user-friendly, but it requires some prior accounting knowledge to get the most out of it. Katherine Haan, MBA is a former financial advisor-turned-writer and business coach. For over a decade, she’s helped small business owners make money online. When she’s not trying out the latest tech or travel blogging with her family, you can find her curling up with a good novel. Another notable difference is QuickBooks Online offers a Self-Employed version for $15 per month, which is not available with QuickBooks Desktop.

Contact Management

The “Plus” subscription affords you certain benefits, including 24/7 support, automatic backups of your QuickBooks file, and yearly software upgrades. However, in most cases, it’s recommended that you purchase the software-only version. While this means you’d be subject to certain service discontinuations on a rolling three-year basis, you’d be saving money on the annual subscription.

MyRQB Offers Peace of Mind

When it comes to user limits, the major difference between QBDT and QBO is in how access is granted to additional users. The price and subscription frequency of QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online differ depending on the specific product — and, subsequently, the version — you choose. QuickBooks Desktop is, as its name implies, the desktop version of the software.

The desktop version of the software, however, charges $9.99 a month for this service. For many small-business owners, most of the time, QuickBooks Online works better than QuickBooks Desktop. It’s more affordable, easier to share with your accountant or other financial stakeholders, and offers better invoicing than its locally installed counterpart. Unlike QuickBooks Online, Desktop Pro includes built-in inventory management. And if data analysis is an important part of growing your business, QuickBooks Desktop is a solid pick.

If you want QuickBooks to file your taxes for you, then you must upgrade to QuickBooks Desktop Assisted Payroll for $109 per month plus $2 per employee. Learn how else the two products differ in our QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Enhanced vs Assisted Payroll comparison. While QuickBooks Online offers project management features, it doesn’t have the same level of customization options as QuickBooks Desktop. For instance, QuickBooks Desktop allows you to create customized job costing reports tailored to specialized industries, including manufacturers, contractors, and retailers.

Ultimately, your specific business’s size, type, and needs are the real deciding factors in determining which of the QuickBooks versions is best for your business. Overall, QuickBooks Desktop Pro reviews are more favorable, but both user bases have good and bad things to say about each product. Both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Pro and Premier have notoriously poor customer support (QuickBooks Enterprise support has better priority support). The online version of QuickBooks is much easier to use than the desktop version. Find out how this woman-owned business moved to QuickBooks Online to save time and money.

If you go on vacation or are working from home, you’re not going to be able to access and make changes in your books. While the cloud-based convenience of QuickBooks Online certainly has its appeal, it seems that when functionality takes center stage, QuickBooks Desktop often steals the limelight. QuickBooks Desktop is like the traditional superhero – reliable, strong, and has been saving the day for years. QuickBooks Online excels at security due to automatic data backups, encryption, and regular security audits. However, QuickBooks Desktop relies on users to implement security measures and perform regular data backups. Both platforms offer a free 30-day trial that you can use to get familiar with the software before paying.

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