Online Quickbooks Vs Desktop

admin17 March 2023Last Update :


Online Quickbooks and Desktop Quickbooks are two different versions of the popular accounting software developed by Intuit. While both versions offer similar features, there are some key differences between them that may make one more suitable for your business needs than the other. In this article, we will explore the differences between Online Quickbooks and Desktop Quickbooks to help you decide which version is right for you.

Cost Comparison: Online Quickbooks vs Desktop

When it comes to managing finances for a business, Quickbooks is one of the most popular software options available. However, there are two different versions of Quickbooks: online and desktop. Each version has its own advantages and disadvantages, but one of the biggest factors that businesses consider when choosing between the two is cost.

Online Quickbooks is a cloud-based software that allows users to access their financial data from anywhere with an internet connection. This means that businesses can manage their finances on-the-go, without being tied to a specific computer or location. Online Quickbooks also offers automatic backups and updates, so businesses don’t have to worry about losing their data or manually updating their software.

However, these conveniences come at a cost. Online Quickbooks requires a monthly subscription fee, which can add up over time. The cost of the subscription varies depending on the plan chosen, but businesses can expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $150 per month. Additionally, some features that are included in the desktop version of Quickbooks may require an additional fee in the online version.

On the other hand, desktop Quickbooks is a software that is installed directly onto a computer. This means that businesses don’t have to worry about paying a monthly subscription fee, as they only need to purchase the software once. Desktop Quickbooks also offers more advanced features than the online version, such as inventory tracking and job costing.

However, desktop Quickbooks does have its drawbacks. Businesses are limited to accessing their financial data on the computer that the software is installed on, which can be inconvenient for those who need to manage their finances on-the-go. Additionally, desktop Quickbooks requires manual backups and updates, which can be time-consuming and potentially risky if not done properly.

When comparing the cost of online Quickbooks vs desktop, it’s important to consider the long-term expenses. While online Quickbooks may seem more expensive due to the monthly subscription fee, it may actually be more cost-effective in the long run. This is because businesses don’t have to worry about purchasing new versions of the software or paying for updates, as these are included in the subscription fee.

Additionally, online Quickbooks can save businesses money by reducing the need for IT support. Since the software is cloud-based, businesses don’t have to worry about maintaining their own servers or dealing with technical issues related to the software. This can save businesses both time and money in the long run.

Ultimately, the decision between online Quickbooks vs desktop comes down to the specific needs and preferences of each business. While online Quickbooks may be more convenient and cost-effective for some, others may prefer the advanced features and one-time cost of desktop Quickbooks. It’s important for businesses to carefully consider their options and choose the software that best fits their unique needs and budget.

Quickbooks Showdown: Online vs. Desktop

When it comes to managing your business’s finances, Quickbooks is a name that often comes up. But did you know there are two different versions of Quickbooks to choose from: Online and Desktop? They both have their own unique features and functions, and in this blog post, we’ll break down the differences to help you make the right choice for your business. So, let’s dive in!

Online Quickbooks: The Cloud-Based Wonder

Online Quickbooks

Online Quickbooks is like your financial superhero in the cloud. Here’s why:

  • Access Anywhere: With Online Quickbooks, you can access your financial data from anywhere with an internet connection. So whether you’re in the office, at home, or on a beach vacation, your finances are at your fingertips.
  • Collaboration Made Easy: Multiple users can work on the same data at the same time. It’s teamwork made simple. No more waiting for your colleague to finish updating the books!
  • Mobile App: They’ve got a nifty mobile app that lets you manage your finances while on the move. A business owner’s dream, right?
  • Automatic Backups: Worried about losing data if your computer crashes? Fear not! Online Quickbooks automatically backs up your data, keeping it safe and sound.
  • Integration Galore: It plays nice with other software, like PayPal and Shopify. This is especially handy if you run an online store or e-commerce business.
  • Pricing: Online Quickbooks comes with subscription plans starting at $25 per month. You get automatic updates and customer support bundled in.

Desktop Quickbooks: The Powerhouse on Your Computer

Desktop Quickbooks

Desktop Quickbooks, on the other hand, is like the trusty old computer you’ve had for years. It’s got some impressive features:

  • Advanced Customization: Desktop Quickbooks lets you create custom reports and invoices. No more one-size-fits-all templates!
  • Inventory Management: If your business deals with physical products, Desktop Quickbooks has your back with robust inventory management features.
  • Steeper Learning Curve: It might take a bit more time to get the hang of Desktop Quickbooks, but once you do, you’ll have a powerful tool at your disposal.
  • One-Time Purchase: Instead of a monthly subscription, you make a one-time purchase ranging from $299 to $1,200 depending on the version. But keep in mind that customer support and updates are limited after the first year.

Which Quickbooks is Right for You?

The choice between Online Quickbooks and Desktop Quickbooks depends on your business’s specific needs:

  • Online Quickbooks: Perfect for small businesses that want an easy-to-use, accessible solution. Great for collaboration and on-the-go financial management.
  • Desktop Quickbooks: Ideal for larger businesses needing advanced features and customization options. Especially useful for those dealing with inventory.

In the end, both versions have their unique strengths. Your decision should align with what your business requires.

Security Concerns: Online Quickbooks vs. Desktop

Security Concerns

Managing your business’s finances is crucial, but so is keeping your financial data safe. When choosing between Online Quickbooks and Desktop Quickbooks, security is a paramount concern. Let’s break it down:

Online Quickbooks: Secure in the Cloud

Online Quickbooks operates in the cloud, meaning your data is stored off-site on Intuit’s servers. This can raise some security concerns, but fear not! Here’s why it’s safe:

  • Encryption: Your data is encrypted, making it nearly impossible for unauthorized parties to access it.
  • Firewalls: Robust firewalls protect your data from online threats and attacks.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication: Additional layers of security, like multi-factor authentication, ensure that only authorized users can access your account.
  • Automatic Backups: Your data is regularly backed up automatically, reducing the risk of data loss.

Desktop Quickbooks: Local Control

Desktop Quickbooks, in contrast, resides on your local computer or server. Here’s what you need to know about its security:

  • Local Storage: Your data stays on your premises, which can provide a sense of control and security.
  • User Responsibility: You’re responsible for implementing your security measures, like antivirus software and regular security updates.
  • Manual Backups: You’ll need to manually back up your data, which can be time-consuming and risky if you forget.

Choosing the Right Fit

When deciding between Online Quickbooks and Desktop Quickbooks, consider your business’s security needs:

  • Online Quickbooks: Ideal if you value the convenience of off-site storage, automatic backups, and trust in Intuit’s security measures.
  • Desktop Quickbooks: Better suited if you want full control over your data security and are willing to manage it yourself.

Ultimately, the right choice depends on your business’s specific security preferences and requirements.

Ease of Use: Online Quickbooks vs. Desktop

Ease of Use

Managing your business’s finances shouldn’t feel like navigating a maze. That’s why choosing the right version of Quickbooks can make a world of difference. Let’s see which one’s easier to use:

Online Quickbooks: User-Friendly and Accessible

Online Quickbooks is your friendly neighborhood financial manager, and here’s why it’s a breeze to use:

  • Anywhere Access: Access your financial data from any device with internet access, whether it’s your laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
  • Intuitive Interface: The user-friendly interface makes managing finances a piece of cake, even for those who aren’t financial experts.
  • Automatic Updates: Say goodbye to manual updates; everything happens automatically, ensuring you always have the latest features.
  • Collaboration Friendly: Multiple users can work simultaneously, making teamwork a cinch.

Desktop Quickbooks: A Learning Curve, but Powerful

Desktop Quickbooks is like the seasoned pro – it might take a bit more time to get to know, but it’s powerful:

  • Computer-Dependent: You can only access it from the computer where it’s installed, so no remote access here.
  • Control: You have more control over your data and software but with the responsibility of manual updates.
  • Advanced Features: Once you get the hang of it, you can take advantage of its advanced features for streamlined financial management.

The Right Fit for You

Choosing between Online Quickbooks and Desktop Quickbooks boils down to what suits your business best:

  • Online Quickbooks: Perfect for those who value accessibility, collaboration, and a user-friendly interface.
  • Desktop Quickbooks: Ideal for those who need more control, don’t mind the learning curve, and require advanced features.

In the end, the choice depends on your business’s specific needs and how comfortable you are with technology.

Customization Options: Online Quickbooks vs. Desktop

Customization Options

Your business is unique, and your financial software should adapt to your needs. Let’s explore how Online Quickbooks and Desktop Quickbooks stack up in terms of customization:

Desktop Quickbooks: The Customization Champ

Desktop Quickbooks gives you the power to tailor your financial management experience:

  • Custom Reports: Create reports and invoices that match your business’s specific needs. No more settling for pre-made templates.
  • Custom Fields: Track unique data points that standard Quickbooks fields might miss by creating custom fields.
  • Access to Resources: Being installed on your computer grants access to all your resources, allowing for extensive customization.

Online Quickbooks: Customization, with Some Limitations

Online Quickbooks also offers customization, but it’s not as extensive as the desktop version:

  • Customization: You can still customize reports and invoices, but the options are more limited compared to the desktop version.
  • Custom Fields: Custom fields are available but may not cover every unique data point your business requires.
  • Resource Constraints: Being cloud-based means you have limited access to resources for extensive customization.

The Right Choice for Your Business

Choose the version that aligns with your customization needs:

  • Desktop Quickbooks: Perfect if your business requires in-depth customization and you don’t mind the limitations of a desktop installation.
  • Online Quickbooks: Ideal for those who need some customization but prioritize accessibility and collaboration.

Your decision should match your business’s unique requirements.

Integration with Other Software: Online Quickbooks vs. Desktop

Integration with Other Software

In today’s digital age, software needs to play nicely with others. Let’s explore how Online Quickbooks and Desktop Quickbooks fare in terms of integration:

Online Quickbooks: A Cloud-Based Integration Wizard

Online Quickbooks shines when it comes to integrating with other cloud-based software:

  • Seamless Integration: It easily connects with other cloud-based tools like Salesforce, Shopify, and PayPal.
  • Data Import: Automatically import data from these platforms, streamlining your financial management.
  • Accessibility: Access your financial data from anywhere, making collaboration a breeze.

Desktop Quickbooks: A Bit More Effort Required

Desktop Quickbooks can integrate with other software but might require additional plugins or workarounds:

  • Plugin Needed: For integration with software like Salesforce, you may need to purchase and install additional plugins.
  • Computer-Dependent: Access is limited to the computer where the software is installed, which can hinder remote work and collaboration.

Making the Right Choice

Consider your business’s integration needs when choosing between the two:

  • Online Quickbooks: Ideal if you use cloud-based software and value seamless integration, accessibility, and remote work.
  • Desktop Quickbooks: Better suited for businesses with legacy software or those who don’t rely heavily on cloud-based tools.

Your choice should align with your business’s software ecosystem.

Customer Support: Online Quickbooks vs. Desktop

Customer Support

Getting help when you need it can be a game-changer. Let’s compare the customer support options for Online Quickbooks and Desktop Quickbooks:

Online Quickbooks: Call Me Maybe

Online Quickbooks offers a unique approach to customer support:

  • Call-Back Service: Instead of traditional phone support, you can request a call from a representative at a convenient time. No more waiting on hold.
  • 24/7 Email Support: Get your questions answered via email anytime, day or night, with a response within 24 hours.
  • Live Chat: If you prefer text-based communication, live chat support is available during business hours.

Desktop Quickbooks: Classic Support

Desktop Quickbooks offers a more traditional approach to customer support:

  • Phone Support: Reach out to a representative by phone during business hours, from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm Pacific Time.
  • 24/7 Email Support: Just like Online Quickbooks, you can get email support around the clock, with a response within 24 hours.
  • Live Chat: Desktop Quickbooks also provides live chat support during business hours.

Your Preferred Support Style

When choosing between Online Quickbooks and Desktop Quickbooks, consider your preferred method of communication:

  • Online Quickbooks: Ideal if you like the flexibility of scheduling a call-back, 24/7 email support, or live chat.
  • Desktop Quickbooks: Perfect if you prefer traditional phone support or need assistance during business hours.

Both versions offer extensive online resources like user guides, tutorials, and forums to help you troubleshoot and learn.

Scalability: Online Quickbooks vs. Desktop


As your business grows, so do your financial management needs. Let’s explore how Online Quickbooks and Desktop Quickbooks handle scalability:

Online Quickbooks: Built for Growth

Online Quickbooks is ready to grow with your business:

  • Easy Expansion: Cloud-based technology makes it a breeze to add new users and increase storage capacity as your business grows.
  • No Hardware Hassles: No need to worry about hardware upgrades or additional licenses; it’s all in the cloud.
  • Remote Access: Access your financial data from anywhere, perfect for businesses with remote employees or multiple locations.

Desktop Quickbooks: Limited Growth Potential

Desktop Quickbooks has its limitations when it comes to scalability:

  • Hardware and Licensing: Adding new users or increasing storage capacity may require costly hardware upgrades or purchasing additional licenses.
  • Location Dependent: You can only access it from the computer where it’s installed, which can be inconvenient for remote work.

Adapting to Your Business

Choose the version that aligns with your business’s scalability needs:

  • Online Quickbooks: Ideal for businesses that want a flexible and scalable solution without the hassle of hardware upgrades.
  • Desktop Quickbooks: Better suited for those who don’t anticipate rapid growth and are comfortable with potential hardware investments.

As your business evolves, make sure your financial management system can adapt accordingly.


Choosing between Online Quickbooks and Desktop Quickbooks is a decision that should align with your business’s unique needs and priorities. Each version offers its own set of features and benefits, so consider what matters most to you:

  • Online Quickbooks: Ideal for businesses valuing accessibility, collaboration, ease of use, scalability, and seamless integration with cloud-based software.
  • Desktop Quickbooks: Better suited for businesses requiring advanced customization, data control, and don’t mind the learning curve.

Evaluate your business’s specific requirements, and remember that whichever version you choose, Quickbooks remains a powerful tool for managing your finances.

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