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QuickBooks Online vs. QuickBooks Desktop

With Intuit’s QuickBooks Online taking up more and more of the bookkeeping software spotlight every day, it’s time to settle the debate. Is the Online version of everyone’s favorite accounting tool about actually better?

Battle of the Bookkeepers

In one corner, we have QuickBooks Desktop, the veteran. The established champion of all accounting software. It’s admittedly a bit more robust than our other contender, QuickBooks Online, but the latter is beginning to grow more formidable. To compensate for its more streamlined, less feature-heavy offering, QuickBooks Online is compatible with a variety of apps and add-ons that can extend its functionality to rival that of Desktop.

Pros and Cons of QuickBooks Desktop

For many of us, QuickBooks Desktop is like a close, old friend. An old friend who’s really organized, great with numbers, and sometimes helps us manage our payroll. We’re used to it. Familiar with its features and functionality. But is it holding us back?

Pro: Internet Independence
Does it sometimes feel like the whole world grinds to a halt when your internet’s down…even for a second? Some enterprises can’t afford even that much downtime, which is where QuickBooks Desktop, which requires no connection to function, truly shines.

Con: Outdated Restrictions
With Desktop, you can’t just log out, take off, and log back in from another device to continue where you left off. As, well, Desktop software, QuickBooks Desktop lacks the convenient cloud access that most other contemporary digital tools offer. Though this may be fine for a small business that handles all of its accounting internally, it can present quite the obstacle for more complex or mobile operations.

Pro: An All-in-One Solution
QuickBooks Online may have its perks, but it’s hard to argue with a solution that delivers everything, no apps or alterations required. Desktop is a powerhouse, full to bursting with the features that put QuickBooks on top in the first place.

Pros and Cons of QuickBooks Online

There’s a good side and a bad side to everything. Even if your opinion of QuickBooks Online is set in stone, the following should be taken into account:

Pro: Sustainability
As is the case with so many things, the future of QuickBooks is online. Intuit knows this and will continue to invest their time and efforts into the development and expansion of QuickBooks Online. Using it now could put you ahead of the curve and spare you the adjustment period the eventual transition away from Desktop will require.

Con: It’s a Lightweight (Sort Of)
While QuickBooks Online is no pushover, it isn’t overburdened with an excess of functionality. Want an industry-specific edition for your business? Got to go with Desktop. Have some extremely unique requirements for your inventory management? You might want to stick with Desktop…for now.

Pro: Mobility for a Mobile World
Just a few years ago, “There’s an app for that,” seemed like a ridiculous assumption. That is, right up until we started seeing an app pop up for just about everything imaginable. Now, finding out that there isn’t an “app for that” seems equally ridiculous. Why should QuickBooks be any different? With mobile apps available for iOS and Android, QuickBooks Online has set itself apart as the more advanced, more accessible option.

QuickBooks Beats Paper

Which is Best for You?

For many businesses, QuickBooks Online offers all the features and mobility they need. Others, however, require more extensive functionality, even if it means sacrificing convenience. As always, you’ll want to consult your QuickBooks ProAdvisor before making any purchasing decisions. Don’t have a ProAdvisor handy? We can help with that.

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