This is especially true for smaller companies, which don’t have an in-house accountant tied to a desk but that do have employees who are always on the go. QBO is more affordable and agile than the desktop version of the software, and its inherent mobility and unlimited support make the cloud-based version of QuickBooks even more attractive. You have the ability to function and use it anywhere and have the freedom to integrate with third-party apps like Housecall pro.

Terms, conditions, pricing, special features, and service and support options subject to change without notice. The dashboard is super intuitive with large, easy-to-understand charts, and the mobile app is similarly easy to use. The maximum amount of users you can have with a QuickBooks Online subscription is 25 (plus an accountant). If you need more users than that, you can contact QuickBooks Online’s customer support to see if you can create a custom plan with custom user access.

Different software packages include licenses for 1 to 10 users, up to 20 users, up to 30 users, and up to 40 users. QuickBooks Online’s month-to-month subscription service starts at $30 a month (totaling $360 a year). Or, to save money, you can try QuickBooks’ typical offer of 50% off for three months (though choosing the discount waives your free trial).

QuickBooks Online VS Desktop Comparison

Subscription clients in QuickBooks Desktop 2023 (R1) or older versions will need to update to the latest 2023 (R3) version before their subscription expires. A variety of short video tutorials are available as well as on-demand webinars and training classes. One of the best resources is the QuickBooks Online community, where you can connect with other users to share tips, answer questions, and find answers to problems that may arise. Product support can be accessed directly from within the application, where you can ask a question or connect to support personnel. Whether you’re thinking about converting to QuickBooks Online or switching from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online, your first step should be to take a long look at both applications. When you do, you’ll notice the difference immediately as QuickBooks Online offers a streamlined user interface, while QuickBooks Desktop relies on a flow-chart based interface.

  • Hackers know that small businesses tend to have fewer security features, so it’s easier to get past one antivirus program or a single firewall.
  • Other businesses should consider whether tracking P&L by class and location is worth the extra $30 per month.
  • You can use either QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop, but not both.
  • For more than two decades, QuickBooks has been the de facto accounting software for small businesses across a vast number of industries.
  • QuickBooks Online is cloud-based with monthly subscriptions, while QuickBooks Desktop is locally installed with one-time purchases.

The QuickBooks Desktop Premier Plus plan is particularly useful for business that want industry-specific features. Most notably, Premier Plus has 150+ customizable reports for nonprofits, general contractors, and retailers. Because QuickBooks Online is cloud-based, it is a great option for those who need QuickBooks access while not in the office.

QuickBooks Online vs Desktop: Key Differences

Batch invoicing allows you to create multiple invoices at once rather than creating them one at a time. This can be useful if you have many customers who need to be invoiced for the same products or services. You just need to create a single invoice template and then apply it to all the customers who require the same invoice. QuickBooks offers a free one-on-one meeting with a QuickBooks ProAdvisor for new users.


No, QuickBooks offers users smart and efficient methods of recording transactions that minimize overhead costs. Although a bit complex when starting out, QuickBooks offers users an easy and effective way to record transactions, expenses, and revenue with only basic knowledge. For property management companies, QuickBooks Pro provides an easy and ready solution to tracking your repair expenses, registration costs, and your overall revenue. For new property management companies, QuickBooks Pro allows an easy and cost-effective way to track your income and expenses that can help your CPA.

Customized Reports

Local installations are billed annually, while hosted solutions are billed monthly. That’s because it’s one of the leading accounting software programs for managing payroll, operations, accounts receivable and numerous other financial functions. QuickBooks Online offers more features on the go and is a better overall value than QuickBooks Desktop. If you don’t need the advanced features offered by the Desktop plan, the Online version will save you money. QuickBooks Desktop is a good choice if you need specialized features such as inventory tracking or forecasting, and you don’t mind paying more for them. When signing up for QuickBooks Online, it only gives options for paying monthly.

QuickBooks Online pros and cons

The assisted migration offer is eligible to Desktop customers that are migrating their data and setting up QuickBooks Online. Personalized setup is limited to a 1-hour session with a customer success product expert. Intuit reserves the right to limit the number of sessions and the length and scope of each session. Assisted migration results may vary based on business complexity and file size.

Pros and Cons of QuickBooks Desktop

With that being the case, an accounting solution designed for the end user is better so that you can get the most out of your accounting. If QuickBooks Online seems like an appropriate solution for your home-service business, it’s easy to get started. Begin by visiting the QuickBooks Online non operating expenses signup page and choosing the plan that meets your needs. The top products based on usability and customer satisfaction, as rated by user reviews. Still, QuickBooks isn’t as powerful as other enterprise accounting tools, so large businesses may prefer a more scalable alternative instead.

While both provide easy access to a variety of features and functions, only you can decide which one will work best for you. QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop are both excellent small business accounting software applications, both offering complete double-entry accounting as well as automatic processing of closing entries. 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.

Conversely, many classic QuickBooks Desktop tools can’t be found in the online version. QuickBooks Desktop Pro, Pro Plus and Premier are no longer sold, although unsold copies may still be available at authorized vendors for a limited time. QuickBooks is encouraging all existing Desktop clients to migrate to QuickBooks Online as soon as possible. There are two versions of QuickBooks Desktop (Premier Plus and Enterprise) and four versions of QuickBooks Online (Simple Start, Essentials, Plus and Advanced).