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Choosing the Right QuickBooks Software for Your Organization

QuickBooks Time Premium is included with Payroll Premium and Time Elite is included with Payroll Elite. From side-hustles to complex companies, we have the tools you need to run your business. Both programs allow you to create and key irs forms and tax publications for 2021 send invoices to clients, but QuickBooks Online’s invoices are more professional-looking and have more room for customization. Keep in mind that if you do decide to have QuickBooks Desktop hosted, there will be an additional fee.

From ForEx trading to compliance to mobile engineering to demolition, he’s definitely not afraid to test out new things. Both platforms offer a free 30-day trial that you can use to get familiar with the software before paying. Now that we’ve gone over the main differences in features, let’s see the cost of QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop. When comparing the platforms, the first thing you notice is the design. QuickBooks Online boasts a user-friendly, intuitive design, while QuickBooks Desktop looks quite antiquated and summons memories from the mid 2000s. To access QuickBooks Desktop, on the other hand, you need to use the PC where you have the software installed.

It provides features that cater to invoicing, expense tracking, payroll management, and tax preparation. QuickBooks Desktop doesn’t offer the same multi-user accessibility, but it does have a more comprehensive assortment of features that provide an in-depth view of your accounting operations. QuickBooks Desktop offers more advanced inventory management features, job costing worksheets, sales orders, and highly customizable reports. I was impressed with how you could do batch invoicing, something QuickBooks Online doesn’t offer. QuickBooks Desktop Premier Plus and Enterprise plans have industry-specific reports for manufacturing and wholesale, retail, nonprofit, general contractor and professional service businesses, too.

QuickBooks Online Pricing

The right QuickBooks Online plan depends on the size of your business and the features you need. For example, Self-Employed is best for freelancers or solopreneurs, while Simple Start is ideal for small businesses wanting to track assets and liabilities. Essentials is preferable if you need to track unpaid bills, while Plus is great if you require inventory and project management.

  • Unfortunately, you can’t assign billable expenses to customers unless you upgrade to Plus.
  • Still, QuickBooks isn’t as powerful as other enterprise accounting tools, so large businesses may prefer a more scalable alternative instead.
  • It includes 100+ reports, while QuickBooks Online Simple Start includes around 40.

For example, nonprofits can use the desktop products to run donor contribution summary reports while manufacturing, wholesale and retail businesses have the ability to forecast product sales. Contractors and professional service businesses can use the software to compare revenue by city, customer and job type. QuickBooks Online offers a large selection of reports, but they aren’t industry-specific. Since QuickBooks Online is priced as a monthly subscription, it doesn’t require a contract and you can cancel your account at any time.

QuickBooks Self-Employed vs QuickBooks Simple Start

Here’s a look at the biggest advantages and potential drawbacks of using QuickBooks Online for your home-service business. Here’s a look at the biggest advantages and potential drawbacks of using QuickBooks Desktop for your home-service business. Having lived most of his adult life abroad, he’s amassed a variety of experiences from many different fields.

Assisted Bookkeeping (Winner: QuickBooks Online)

You just need to create a single invoice template and then apply it to all the customers who require the same invoice. Meanwhile, QuickBooks Desktop is desktop-based—meaning it can only be accessed from the computer where it is installed. It’s great for businesses that appreciate the stability of desktop software and those that require its advanced features, like inventory assembly management and industry-specific features. In addition, the Premier and Enterprise plans offer more than 150 reports, with industry-specific reporting options available. Access your account via the cloud for up to 25 users with the Online version, and pay an additional fee per user, up to 40 users, for cloud access with Desktop. What used to be a huge bulk of QuickBooks business is no longer so—it focuses mostly on its cloud version and actively encourages users to make the switch from Desktop to Online.

If you need personalized customer support, you can upgrade to QuickBooks Online Advanced or QuickBooks Enterprise. Doing so grants you access to the Priority Circle loyalty program, including a dedicated account team, free on-demand training, and premium care from QuickBooks experts. While both QuickBooks Online and Desktop are supported by a large network of independent ProAdvisors, it’s much easier to share your books with your ProAdvisor using QuickBooks Online. Getting assistance with your Desktop bookkeeping is difficult since you must save an Accountant’s Copy of your company file and send it to your ProAdvisor. If you have employees, you can add QuickBooks Payroll to your QuickBooks Online account for as little as $45 per month plus $5 per employee. QuickBooks Payroll allows you to pay your employees by checks or direct deposits, e-file and e-pay taxes, print and e-file W-2 Forms at year-end, and more.

Can I switch from QuickBooks Self-Employed to any other version of QuickBooks Online?

It’s designed to foster collaboration between multiple users, facilitating multi-user access to accounting data. Each user has their own login credentials, which can be customized to limit access to sensitive information. There’s also a feature that facilitates inviting your accountant to the platform, so they can have direct access to your data. If your accounting software doesn’t register changes in real time, it could lead to costly delays. Businesses will need to upgrade to the higher QuickBooks Online plans to use inventory accounting features, such as the ability to track stock items and value and automatically update quantities. Advanced users receive better customer support through its Priority Circle membership.

This is useful for businesses with multiple departments or divisions and those that provide various types of services. Meanwhile, QuickBooks Desktop allows you to set up classes, but you can’t track your income and expenses by location. A slight difference between QuickBooks Online and Desktop in terms of invoicing is that the former allows you to calculate sales taxes automatically to apply to an invoice based on the customer address. This feature is particularly useful if you sell and ship products out of your state. Both QuickBooks Online and Desktop are on our list of the best small business accounting software. QuickBooks Online is our top recommendation, while QuickBooks Desktop is our leading desktop accounting program.

Alternatively, you can hire a QuickBooks ProAdvisor to help with your bookkeeping needs. To help you get started, we prepared a guide on how to find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Meanwhile, if you or your accountant want to become a ProAdvisor to demonstrate expertise in QuickBooks, read our article on how to become a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. A Live Bookkeeper cannot begin cleaning up your past books until they receive the required supporting documentation, which your bookkeeper will request from you after your first meeting.