I would like to take you through this article to answer the most common question about QuickBooks. You may ask what is the differences between The QuickBooks Desktop vs online version. In this article, I am going to show you a few of the advantages and disadvantages of each QuickBooks version. You might know that QuickBooks Desktop is the software that you purchase, and install on your local computer. So, this is something that compatible with the PC or a Mac. But again, you must purchase the software and install it on your computer.
QuickBooks Desktop – Advantages
A. One-Time Purchase
So first, one advantage of the desktop version of QuickBooks is it is the one-time purchase. Dependent on the QuickBooks version that you purchase, you may spend anywhere from 150-300 USD and it is a one-time purchase.
B. Multiple Companies
One software purchase can be used for multiple companies. So if you are working on more than on business, you can use the same software package for multiple companies. And basically, the way it works is you kind of think the company as a file. In QuickBooks, you could have multiple companies within one software.
QuickBooks Desktop version also has features that are not available on the online version. And so if these features are important for your business, then you might consider the desktop version. These features are:
- Handling Inventory
- Job Costing
- Customer Discounts
So those are the advantages of the Desktop version.
QuickBooks Desktop – Disadvantages
A. Automatic Sync with The Bank
The Automatic Sync with the bank is not as streamlined as it is on the online version. So it is not really automatic. You have to actually go and download the transaction from the bank and then import them into your QuickBooks file. If you want the transactions downloaded automatically, there is a fee for that. And that fee can vary between $10-20 per month depends on your bank.
B. New Versions are Released Annually
Usually, there is a new QuickBooks Desktop version every year. Actually, you can choose not to upgrade your QuickBooks installation but please keep in mind that QuickBooks will stop provide supports to their software after three years. So, at the most, you have to upgrade every three years.
C. File Saved to Computer
The QuickBooks file is saved to a computer. This can be a disadvantage because if your computer is stolen, or if your computer crashes, you will lose access to your QuickBooks file. You will need to have a proper backup setup for your files.
D. Transferring The File Back to Accountant
Transferring files to your accountant back and forth can be cumbersome if you do on a regular basis. But if you only send files to the Accountant once a year, that might not a problem.
E. Multiple Users Require Multiple Licenses
If you have multiple users in your company who need access to QuickBooks files, you will need to purchase additional licenses for each user.
QuickBooks Online – Advantages
Now let’s take a look at the advantages of the QuickBooks Online. This is a cloud-based version of QuickBooks. There is no software to purchase. All you need is an internet access to open your files.
A. Automatic Online Sync with Bank Account
The online version of QuickBooks will sync with your Bank account automatically. This is a huge time saver because this allows you to download your transaction on daily basis automatically.
B. Access to the Latest version
You will always have access to the latest version of QuickBooks when you are using the online version because the software updates or they add new features, you always have access.
C. Can be accessed from any computer or mobile device
You can access from any computer or mobile device. If you are a business owner who works on multiple computers, you may move from your desktop to your laptop. Or if you have a physical office and then you also have a home office, the QuickBooks online software will give you a little bit more flexibility with that, because it’s not stored on a computer, it’s stored in the cloud. So you can access it from anywhere.
D. Minimum 5 Users
The QuickBooks online also comes with a minimum of 5 users. So if you have multiple users that you want to work on your QuickBooks file you will be able to give them access to your QuickBooks file and you can limit their access. So that they only have access to the things they need to do their job. QuickBooks Online allows us to have simultaneous use in the file.
The QuickBooks Online Disadvantages
A. Cost more over time
Because you are paying a monthly fee and that monthly fee varies depending on which version of QB that you have. Depending which version QB you have, will determine what the monthly fee is when you add up with the cost over a period of time you see the pay is a bit more compared with the QuickBooks Desktop version.
B. Multiple Companies require separate files
Multiple companies with QB Online will require separate files. So that means if you own two or three companies, you would have to set up three different files and you need to pay three different monthly fees for QB Online. But usually, QuickBooks does give a multiple companies discount.
C. Missing some Desktop features
The online version of QB doesn’t have some of the features that the Desktop version has. If your business is heavily into inventory, if you need to do some heavy job costing, or customer discounts, those things are not available in QuickBooks Online version.
Thank you for reading this article, I hope this article is useful for you to compare and choose the QuickBooks version.