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QuickBooks is accounting software that manages a company’s accounting and bookkeeping tasks. The software has several versions available depending on an organization’s size, needs, and required operations.
Traditionally, QuickBooks was available as a desktop version, but with the emergence and development of an online version, many bookkeepers are faced with a choice: stay with the desktop version or switch to the online one? This article will briefly compare the Desktop and Online versions of QuickBooks software and explore their features to enable the user to make an educated decision.
Both QuickBooks Online and Desktop can be effectively used for accounting and bookkeeping tasks, although the interface and the operational processes may be different. The variations also depend on the versions of the software: there are several versions of both Online and Desktop software to choose from, making it easier for accountants, bookkeepers, and companies to accommodate their interests and needs.
Despite their differences, both the Online and Desktop versions have various features in common. Some of the common features include:
Some features, such as job costing and document management, are available in both versions, but may be less functional in the Online version. Other, such as multi-user access, is available in both versions, but the details can depend on the specific software.
The Online version of QuickBooks has a lower monthly subscription cost ($10–$40, depending on the software version). The set-up process is considerably easier than with the Desktop version, and information input into the digital ledger books is accessible to anyone online. This frees up the need to be bound to an office computer, making the Online version of QuickBooks an attractive option for accountants and bookkeepers who prefer to work from home.
Some of the benefits of the Online version include:
However, QuickBooks Online does not have many of the advanced features found on the Desktop version.
The Desktop version of QuickBooks has been around for many years and over time, developers have created software with a very comprehensive user interface and multiple ledger options. On the one hand, this gives the user more functionality and increases the number of possible accounting operations they can take advantage of. But on the other hand, it can also make the software harder to utilize without special training.
The Desktop version for QuickBooks has a rather high initial cost (from $300 to $500 and higher, depending on the version and the number of users), but no subsequent costs are necessary – unless deciding to upgrade the software, increase the number of users, or use add-on features.
Some of the benefits of the Desktop version include:
Both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop have their own advantages. The key for making the right decision would be to choose the tools that best suit the company’s needs. Ask yourself:
After answering these questions, you should have a better idea of which software would work best for you and your company.