As most of you probably know, QuickBooks is an accounting software developed and marketed by Intuit. QuickBooks is a software geared mainly toward small and medium-sized businesses and in my experience, it is the most common accounting software my clients utilize.
Throughout the years, I have observed that most of our clients used the traditional QuickBooks Desktop version, but lately, I have seen that most of our clients have switched to the QuickBooks Online version. The switch is understandable since QuickBooks Online allows our clients to access their company information on the go and has some other new features.
At the beginning, I was frustrated with this switch because I was not familiar with QuickBooks Online. The QuickBooks Online layout is different than QuickBooks Desktop, and I couldn’t find my usual reports or do my usual double clicks to get more detailed information. The frustration was not going away, so one day, I decided to stop being frustrated and to make time during my busy season and signed up for a QuickBooks Online class.
Taking the QuickBooks Online class helped me get familiar with the new layout and new features, I felt so good that I took the certification exam and I became a QuickBooks Online Certified Pro-Advisor. Overcoming my frustration made me more productive at work and better able help our clients. So, if something is frustrating you, I strongly recommend you make some time and overcome it. It worked for me!
If you want a little more information on the differences between QuickBooks Desktop and Online, you can read the summary outlined below by Qvinci.
8 Key Differences Between QuickBooks Desktop & Online
The differences in the two versions of QuickBooks can be seen when accessing the software, creating reports, processing invoices and more. Here are a few of the key differences:
- Initial Fee – QuickBooks Online offers a free 30 day trial, so there is no initial fee to try it out. The QuickBooks Desktop version requires the purchase of the software upfront.
- Monthly Fee – QuickBooks Pro Desktop 2015 is a one-time payment or you can get QuickBooks Pro Plus for an annual payment. On the other hand, QuickBooks Online requires a monthly subscription.
- Internet Connection – Because it is cloud-based, an Internet connection is required to use QuickBooks Online. On the other hand, QuickBooks Desktop can be accessed from the computer it is installed on regardless of Internet connection.
- Automation Functions – With QuickBooks Desktop, transactions (invoice, receipt, reports, etc.) must be processed manually. The online version has several automation features for things such as customer billing, email reports, downloading bank transactions and more.
- Remote Access – Since QuickBooks Online is cloud-based, users can access QuickBooks reports wherever they have Internet access and from multiple devices. The QuickBooks Desktop version is linked to the computer it is installed on and therefore can only be accessed on-site.
- Multiple Users – QuickBooks Online allows for up to 25 simultaneous users whereas QuickBooks Desktop does not permit simultaneous access.
- Customized Features – The QuickBooks Desktop version has several customized features that are not available in the online version. This includes the ability to prepare 1099s, track mileage, and to budget and track expenses. In general, the desktop version allows more freedom to customize forms than QuickBooks Online.
- Support – The basic QuickBooks Desktop version does not come with support although you can pay for support by getting the Pro Plus edition. QuickBooks Online comes with free support.
Veronica Larriva, CPA