The hot topic buzzing around our office is the difference between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop.  It has people asking, “Which one is right for me?”

It can be challenging trying to find the right software.  Each one has its benefits and drawbacks compared to the other one.  The following table outlines some key comparative aspects.

QuickBooks Online QuickBooks Desktop
Versions Available – Essentials vs. Plus – Mac, Pro, Premier, Enterprise
Accessibility – 100% in the cloud.  Access anywhere, anytime.

– Access data easily on multiple platforms, PC or Mac

– Online Plus (5) simultaneous users and Online Essentials (3)

– Limited to data saved on separate device.

– Purchase software for PC or Mac, only

– QB’s Pro 3 users, QB’s Premier Limited 5 users, QB’s Enterprise 30 users

 Cost  – Monthly access fee varies by version. Upgrades free.- Support at  no additional cost  – Purchase software, then need to upgrade every 3 years (for payroll).- Support is not life time
Comparing Functions – Less flexibility with customizing forms and reports (65+)

– Does not do job costing

– Track inventory first in first out (FIFO)

– Online Plus

– Navigation is different

– Offers reports (100+)

– Budget vs. Accrual job costing

– Only Enterprise has Advanced Inventory tracking

– Interface changes only slightly from year to year

 Sharing of Data  – Invite an Accountant access with an email (no importing a file)  – Send an Accountants Copy’s file requiring import of changes later
 Maintenance & Support  – Automated Backups  – Need to create periodic backups
 Other Functions – 3rd party apps sync without opening QuickBooks (limited number available, currently)- Reports can be emailed on a scheduled frequency

– No sales orders

– Multiple invoice customers at once with batch invoicing not available

 – Have to manage downloading 3rd party apps- Manually email reports

– Sales orders in Premier Edition Only

– Ability to do batch invoicing

As you can see, there are many features and elements to consider when determining the right fit for your company.  Kia Smith and Kim Logsdon, two of our QuickBooks ProAdvisors, can assist you with comparing these two software options. They can be reached at our Rapid City office at (605) 342-5630.