QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop: Comparing Features, Accounting, Integrations, Prices, and More

QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop: Comparing Features, Accounting, Integrations, Prices, and More

QuickBooks Desktop is accounting software that promises you several features, integrations, and uses. The users of this locally-installed accounting software seem to be quite satisfied with their purchase. Likewise, the accounting software of QuickBooks Online comes with multiple benefits and the ease of use, as is shared by its users.

If you are planning to choose one of the two accounting software, then surely you must be engaged in deep thinking. QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop are provided by the same company. Therefore, comparing the two may be a complex task for you. The QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop comparison done in this blog will clearly suggest which software will be ultimate for you.

The comparison of QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online will be made based on several factors. Each factor has been elaborated in separate sections. These sections have been briefly shown here.

An Overview of QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop

QBO or QuickBooks Online is an accounting product by Intuit. This cloud-based product was introduced in the year 2004. Back then, it was not as developed as it is today. After its launch, several improvements were made to it and new features were also introduced. This software is feasible for both small and big businesses.

QuickBooks Desktop was introduced in 1992. When we talk of this accounting software, we can refer to the three products of it. These include QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise, QuickBooks Desktop Premier, and QuickBooks Desktop Pro. QuickBooks Desktop Pro is suitable for small businesses while QuickBooks Desktop Premier is best for medium-sized businesses. The third product has proved to be an excellent pick for QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise. With every version of this accounting software, users can get access to multiple features as well as accounting tools.

Please Note: It is important to know that QuickBooks Desktop has been made available for Windows OS. If you are a Mac user, then you can opt for QuickBooks for Mac. You can select a locally-installed option for your Mac.

QuickBooks Online vs. QuickBooks Desktop: Comparing the Features

Many of you would know that both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop offer a wide variety of features. Some of the features shared by both the software are similar, while many others differ. As for an example, the features of QuickBooks Desktop are perceived to be more developed than that of QuickBooks Online. However, in the case of invoicing, the former one may disappoint you a bit. In contrast to that, some crucial features can be found only in QuickBooks Online. These include professional invoicing, lending, mobile apps, etc.

Must Read: Quicken vs QuickBooks: What are the Differences?

The question that now arises is the features of which software will suit you the best. Let us now attempt a QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop comparison on the basis of their features.

(1) Contact Management: The facility of contact management is offered to the users of QuickBooks Online as well as QuickBooks Desktop. If you are a user of QuickBooks Desktop, then you can also track and manage the leads along with the contacts.

(2) Payroll Service: In our attempt to do QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop comparison, we will be looking at the payroll service provided by both of them. In terms of this service, neither of the software has been featured with in-built payroll. The users of QuickBooks Desktop Pro can opt for purchasing this service as an add-on. The cost of this will start from $29 every month. If you are getting QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise, then you will get access to the in-built enhanced payroll service.

(3) Service of Making Invoices: QuickBooks Online wins over QuickBooks Desktop when we compare the two software on the basis of the invoicing service. As per the users of QuickBooks Online, creating invoices for their customers is something they really enjoy while using this software. The invoices prepared using this software are presented with beautiful and fine-looking designs. On the part of the customers too, it is convenient for them to clearly go through the invoices.

As compared to that, the invoices prepared via QuickBooks Desktop are simple and may seem out of date. Customizing them may or may not be a convenient option.

When we compare QuickBooks Desktop vs. Online, we also see that the template designs of QBO are better along with pleasing automation. These are inclusive of automatically scheduling invoices, progress invoicing, recurring invoices, batch invoicing, a reminder to send an invoice in case of late payment by the customers, tracking an invoice to check whether it has been received, viewed or paid by the client, client portal for providing the ease of making payments online, and the ability to translate the invoice in as many as 6 languages (mainly for the international customers).

The users of QuickBooks Desktop can also opt for tracking the invoices or setting the recurring invoices. However, they may not be able to access other modern features and automation with respect to the invoice service.

(4) Access to Mobile Apps: Should you like to use mobile apps for QuickBooks and its services, then QuickBooks Online has been made for you. For iOS devices as well as Android devices, the mobile app will prove to be supportive. If you are wondering whether QuickBooks Pro will allow you to use any mobile app for accessing the software, then you should know that this software is locally installed. Therefore, any mobile apps may not be supportive of it.

(5) User-friendly: As the word is going around, the usability of QuickBooks Online is easier as compared to QuickBooks Desktop. The learning curve of QB Desktop being steep, it has not been warmly welcomed by many users. As far as QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Premier are concerned, these are comparatively more user-friendly. Also, you are not necessarily required to be a bookkeeping professional or accountant for getting to know QBO.

For learning QuickBooks Desktop also, it is not required of you to be a professional accountant. On the off chance that accounting is something you haven’t explored before, this software may require you to invest much time in learning it. In the final observation, we can say that in the QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop 2019 battle of user-friendliness, QBO is a clear winner.

(6) Accounting Service: QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online run on principles of accounting that involve double entry. Both the software also include cash-basis accounting and accrual accounting. With the two software, you can also enjoy nicely detailed accounting charts, accounts receivable, accounts payable, bank reconciliation, and journal entries. In addition to these, basic reports which a company requires for functioning are also included. The underlying difference is that with QuickBooks Desktop, you can expect better reporting. Also, this software will help you out with complex accounting.

Must Read: How to Add an Account to QuickBooks Online?

Another difference worth noticing is that the service of bookkeeping is provided with QuickBooks Online. This service, named as QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping, enables you to seek professional support by paying for it. This support will be provided to you straight from the accountants certified in QuickBooks Online as well as CPAs. Small businesses who are new to accounting will really find the QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping service helpful. Also, for such business owners, filing taxes and managing books will not seem to be challenging.

(7) Financing Service: Financing is an important element that we cannot overlook while comparing QuickBooks Online features vs. Desktop features. A new service has been added to QuickBooks. This is a lending service named Quickbooks Capital. If you happen to be a small business owner, then this lending service should prove to be useful. In case you require working capital for managing the cash flow of your small business in a better way, you will find great help.

Please Note: For your knowledge, it is essential to be aware that QuickBooks Capital is provided only to the users of QuickBooks Online.

(8) Reporting Service: If you are opting for QuickBooks Online, then you can avail at least 80 reports. However, this also depends on the kind of plan that has been preferred by you. On the other hand, if you are planning to get QuickBooks Desktop, then it will provide you with 130 reports. In case you opt for QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise and QuickBooks Desktop Premier, then you can expect a number of reports higher than that as well. The number of reports will be especially higher when a version, that is industry-specific, has been chosen.

Of course, either of the software will provide you with the basic reports such as the statement of cash flow, balance report, report of profit and loss, and a lot more.

(9) Sales Orders Feature: There are several businesses that require sales orders. Is your business also one among them? If so, then QuickBooks Desktop will be the only outstanding option available for you. The addition of sales orders may be made to QuickBooks Online as well. As of now, only the desktop products come featured with the sales orders services and know how to setup sale tax in QuickBooks.

(10) Features that are Industry-specific: You will definitely be pleased to find out that QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise and QuickBooks Desktop Premier offer you unique elements like the industry-specific features. Rather than opting for a standard version of the software, you can choose any of the versions of the software which are industry-specific.

Retail, general contractor, accountant, manufacturing and wholesale, professional services, and non-profit are the industries which are included. With the industry-specific versions, business owners get access to a number of features as well as reports which finely relate to their industries. Thus, when the Desktop QuickBooks vs. Online features are compared, this feature will serve as an important basis for you to make a good choice.

QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop 2020: Comparison on the Basis of Accounting Needs

Your experience with QuickBooks Desktop or QuickBooks Online will depend on the kind of account your business requires. In the case of QuickBooks Online, it has been seen that both small and large-sized businesses can use it. However, if these businesses need an easy software for accounting, then QuickBooks Online will be best for them. Additionally, it will provide these businesses with reliable features as well as mobility.

In the case of QuickBooks Desktop, businesses from small to large can find it useful. However, if these businesses involve complex accounting, then QuickBooks Desktop will be an ideal option for them. This software will be much helpful for the purpose of complex accounting requirements which need software that is locally installed.

Comparison of QuickBooks Desktop vs. Online Version Based on Integrations

With each of the software, many useful integrations can be found. Add-on products have also been made available for the users of QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online. If you have QuickBooks Pro, you can avail up to 200 integrations. Owning QuickBooks Online will entitle you to around 650 integrations.

In addition to the high number of integrations provided by QuickBooks Online, you will also find that these integrations are better than those of the other software. Certain business requirements are covered better by the integrations of QuickBooks Online. These are inclusive of several options for payment gateway. Contrary to that, you may find quite a small number of payment gateways on the purchase of QuickBooks Desktop. Having that said, if you are a modern merchant, accepting the invoice payments online may not be much easier for you. As far as the benefits of QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop are contrastingly placed, integrations can be better availed when getting QBO.

QuickBooks 2020 Desktop vs. Online QuickBooks: Comparing on the Basis of Customer Service

The customer support of QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Pro, and QuickBooks Premier may not be very strong or promising. On the purchase of QuickBooks Enterprise, better customer support and service will be given to you. To your interest, you will be relieved to know that Intuit is working hard to update the help centers for aiding the customers with a better experience and reduced waiting time. Users of QuickBooks Online can hope for convenient customer support and services. Also, you are not required to pay for the customer support service.

QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop Reviews and Complaints

In this section, we will be giving you a walkthrough of QuickBooks Desktop vs. Online reviews and complaints differentiation. A careful reading of these reviews and complaints will play an influential role in guiding your buying decision.

Reviews of different types have been shared by the users of both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop. Sadly, the number of complaints with respect to QuickBooks Online is slightly higher than that of the other software. These complaints tell us that the mobile apps are limited. Other complaints suggest that the running time is slow, certain bugs have been found, and customer support is average.

Additionally, favourable reviews have been received for QuickBooks Desktop. However, despite the complaints made by certain users of QuickBooks Online, its rating is higher than that of the other software. These ratings are due to the features, mobility of the software, helpful automation, the ease of usability, and integrations.

Certain complaints made by the users of QuickBooks Pro announce that the learning curve is steep and there are forced upgrades too. The customer service for this software too is average. QuickBooks Pro has also received positive reviews for its features, reporting service, reliability, and great accounting service.

QuickBooks Desktop vs. Online Pricing Structures

When it comes to the pricing of the two software, the structures will be different. The SaaS structure of pricing is followed in the case of QuickBooks Online. Users will find the option of 4 plans of pricing. These pricing plans range from $25 to $150 every month. And for payroll, an additional charge of $45 will be required per month.

In the case of QuickBooks Desktop, a model of licensing pricing, as well as yearly subscription, is followed. As you would know, you can find several versions of this software. Based on that, the price of the chosen QuickBooks Desktop version will vary. So you see, the structures of cost of QuickBooks Desktop vs. Online largely depend on the kind of pricing model that is followed.

For both small and medium-sized businesses, QuickBooks Pro will cost around $299.95 for one user. In the case of QuickBooks Premier, medium businesses, as well as niche industry businesses, will have to spend $499.95 for one user. For small enterprises and large businesses, QuickBooks Enterprise will be ideal and will cost $1,213 every year.

Please Note: In case you purchase QuickBooks Premier or QuickBooks Pro license, then 3 years out of it will be provided to you. If you prefer, you can choose a model with a yearly subscription for QuickBooks Premier and QuickBooks Pro too. Doing so will make you eligible for getting the most recent support for QuickBooks product and premium.

Due to the presence of multiple variables, it may not be easy to exactly tell which software will cost less. What we can tell you is how you should go about estimating the cost of which software will be feasible for you. For QuickBooks Desktop, you can select QB Pro for at least 3 years. And if there is no additional user, then you can definitely save your buck. The extra costs will be applicable.

For QuickBooks Online, if you require the use of live bank feeds, multiple users, and phone support, then as per the pricing, this software will undoubtedly be the best one for you. You may be owning a small business. Thus, for you too, the pricing structure for each month will be great, provided there are no annual subscriptions or cash flow for costly licensing.

As you can surmise, QuickBooks Online pricing vs. Desktop pricing will mainly be determined by the kind of business you own or as per your business needs.

Key Takeaways from QuickBooks Online Version vs. Desktop Differentiation

Having processed so much information after reading the comparison of QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop features, integrations, pricing structure, reviews complaints, etc., you may be requiring a quick recap of everything. The following 8 points have been solely prepared for this purpose.

  1. QuickBooks Online is a software that is cloud-based. It requires the internet for running. QuickBooks Desktop can be installed on your PC and needs no internet. However, mobile apps and remote access may not be provided if hosting has not been paid for.
  2. Intuit ensures that complete security is provided when you use QuickBooks Online. QuickBooks Desktop will be installed on your system. Despite being secure, you will have to take the responsibility of maintaining its security.
  3. QBO involves a SaaS cost structure on a monthly basis while QuickBooks Desktop involves a licensing structure.
  4. Up to twenty-five users are allowed (as per your plan) if you pick QBO. QuickBooks Desktop provides you with five users and thirty users if you buy QuickBooks Enterprise. For any extra user license, you will have to pay.
  5. Users of QuickBooks Desktop will get access to more developed features as compared to the features of the other software.
  6. Contrastingly, QuickBooks Online users will enjoy using the automation for managing the business tasks in a more efficient manner.
  7. The learning curve with respect to QB Desktop will be steeper than that of QBO.
  8. When it comes to using QuickBooks Capital, the users of QuickBooks alone will have access to it.

QuickBooks Desktop vs. Online 2019: Which One should You Choose?

If you require a simple software that you can easily learn and use, you can go for QuickBooks Online. With it, you can remotely access accounting and also use the mobiles apps for the same. You can avail highly useful automation along with business integrations and syncing on a real-time basis. Additionally, this software will please you with integrations for processing of payments for submitting the payment online itself. What’s more? QuickBooks Online provides you with international invoicing service and QuickBooks Capital.

QuickBooks Desktop should be the selection of users who require software that can be locally installed for accounting purposes. It will offer you industry-specific features of both QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise and QuickBooks Desktop Premier. Also, if the sales orders feature is a part of your requirement, then QuickBooks Desktop will be excellent for you. Lastly, this software will be ideal for complex accounting as well.

All in All, We can Say…

In this blog, we looked at the comparison of QuickBooks Desktop with QuickBooks Online. Each of the software comes with different levels of capabilities. Both can offer you with good accounting services. The pros and cons of QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop can be found. Based on your business needs, the features, integrations, pros, cons, pricing, etc., of both the software should be considered by you.

Our team has made the finest attempt to cover everything in this blog for differentiating QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online in the best ways possible. Just in case something has been left, you can ask for the same in the following comment section. We’ll be quick to provide you with a helpful answer!

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