You may have heard that QuickBooks Desktop software was discontinued after May 31, 2023. This is true and also means you won't receive critical security updates protecting your data as of June 1, 2023. So.. what’s the difference? The main difference between QuickBooks Desktop and Online (QBO) is that QuickBooks Desktop is desktop-based, while QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based software. This means that all you need to access your data with QuickBooks Online is a device with an internet connection. Both versions have mobile apps, but the app for the Desktop version primarily functions as a way to upload receipts, and the Online mobile app has multiple functions in comparison.
QuickBooks Desktop is best for businesses that are comfortable with accounting and don’t need real-time collaboration, and QuickBooks Online is best for businesses that need real-time collaboration and access to their QuickBooks file from any device. The two versions are independent of each other, which means the data you enter on Desktop doesn’t sync to the Online version and vice-versa.
The most notable difference is that the online version is cloud-based. There are pros and cons to accessing QuickBooks on the go. The mobile app for Online is vast, and Desktop’s mobile app is so limited, that it essentially functions as a receipt uploader. Working from the cloud means you need an internet connection, so a poor signal or an intermittent connection can be an issue.
When working with the Desktop version, it’s downloaded right to your computer. This means the data operates as fast as your computer, all without needing to worry about a connection issue. This introduces another notable issue with the Desktop software. You must pay an additional fee for every user who wants to access the account simultaneously, whereas Online lets multiple users access the account at the same time.
Both versions offer automatic syncing with your bank so you can categorize transactions. However, bank fees may apply for the Desktop variety. Another notable difference is QuickBooks Online offers a Self-Employed version for $15 per month, which is not available with QuickBooks Desktop.
You may be wondering if this is a sponsor from QBO, but NO! We simply want to help our clients and contacts to know why we emphasize so heavily on using QBO. It helps us both. 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. However, QuickBooks Online will suffice for most small businesses.
Moving to QuickBooks Online offers the ultimate in accounting flexibility. You have access to your business data anywhere, on any device when you work in the cloud. With all your data in one place, you can collaborate with your bookkeeper or your accountant in real time.
Need help? CBBS can answer any further questions about switching to QBO.Contact us today for assistance at 603-541-7485 or schedule a free consultation.