Quickbooks a very popular accounting tool which is being used mostly nowadays. One of the most crucial tasks of any business, whether small or big, is to manage their business’ finance, also called account management or bookkeeping.

Prior to the evolution of accounting software, business owners had no choice but to resort to maintaining their accounts on papers, which is both times consuming and expensive.

This traditional method of bookkeeping sometimes lacked accuracy and needed large rooms for storing all the recorded book of journals.

Therefore, to cope with the complications of maintaining accounts with accuracy, storage, and efficiency, etc., there is good news for those business owners who are still practicing the traditional methods of accounting. And the ones who might be seeking alternatives for their current accounting software.

Here, we are going to look at one of the world’s most popular and powerful accounting software called QuickBooks.

So, let’s go ahead and learn more about QuickBooks in detail. Also, we shall see how different editions of the accounting software – QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop are compared with respect to their features, technical specifications, and price. This will help you in making a better decision when selecting the right product for your small or medium-sized business.

An Overview of QuickBooks

QuickBooks is a commercial accounting software which mainly focuses on small and medium-sized businesses. This accounting software is developed and marketed by Intuit. Quickbooks justify all accounting formulas

It has gained a lot of popularity and, at present, the number of users has soared higher to over a million. QuickBooks has been developed to cater efficiently to the accounting needs of business owners and thus, it is currently used in 226 countries across the globe.

Today, Intuit’s QuickBooks accounting software is widely adopted in various countries of North America, South America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa.

QuickBooks accounting software is now used primarily by several industry types and professional individuals, such as:

  • Manufacturers

  • Wholesalers

  • Retailers

  • E-Commerce

  • Entrepreneurs

  • Professional Service Firms

  • Contractors

  • Non-Profit Organisations

  • Professional Accountants

  • Certified ProAdvisors (CPA)

In the next section, we shall go a little further into the detailed comparison of Intuit’s two most popular accounting software, namely QuickBooks Online, which is a web-based accounting tool and the other is QuickBooks Desktop, which is a PC-based software application.

The comparison shared below will have answers to most of the common questions that you, as a business owner may have in mind and the purpose of this blog is to help you decide which of the two accounting software would best satisfy your business needs.

Comparison Between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop

QuickBooks Online vs QuickBooks Desktop

Both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop are completely independent versions of the accounting software. They have their own share of features, data accessibility, hardware and software requirements and much more.

In the following sections, we shall take a look at the comparison between the two editions – QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop. This may help you make a significant decision in choosing which amongst the two would fit best for your business.

QuickBooks Online Compared

QuickBooks online

Intuit’s QuickBooks Online mainly developed for service-based businesses that do not like to spend much time in the office (prefers portability) as well as requires quick and easy access to all their data from a mobile device without going through the hassle of setting up the software program.

QuickBooks Online is also an ideal choice for businesses that do not need inventory tracking options or does not have complex invoicing requirements. Furthermore, it is also the best option for businesses that want access from multiple devices and have more than one person who needs access or those that require automatic updates directly from the cloud.

You may opt for QuickBooks Online if you are seeking base functionality such as:

Automated Real-time Updates: Using QuickBooks Online with either single or multiple users allows automatic real-time updates of the changes to the data that makes by any user and from any device.

All the changes update automatically and in real-time.  Means your updated data will be available to you no matter which device you are using from which location. This comes very handily for individuals or businesses that need to stay outdoors a lot of time.

Availability of Multiple User Accounts: QuickBooks Online allows you to create separate user accounts for each person so that the person who needs to access data from wherever they are located can easily do so. You can set up a user ID and password for one or more authorized persons or your accountant in your business who can access and make changes to the data using QuickBooks Online.

Compatibility with PC, Mac, and Smartphone: One of the best advantages of QuickBooks Online accounting tool is that it does not require installation.  All you need is a compatible device such as a PC, Mac or even a smartphone, a web browser and an internet connection. Then you can simply open a web browser from your desktop or laptop running Windows operating system, Mac or smartphone and log into your account using your user ID and password to quickly access your data.

Technical Specifications for QuickBooks Online

Whether you work on a desktop, laptop or a mobile device, it is important that your device should meet the basic hardware and software requirements. These are the system requirements for QuickBooks Online, which are mentioning below:-

Operating System: QuickBooks Online developed for Windows 7, 8, 8.1 Pro, 10, macOS, iOS and Android operating system platforms. QuickBooks Online is not able to run on the Linux/UNIX platform, as of now.

Processor: This web-based accounting software tool works well with a processor (CPU) speed of at least 1 GHz or higher.

Memory (RAM): The desktop or laptop you want to use QuickBooks Online on requires RAM of at least 1 GB (for the 32-bit machine) and 2 GB or more (for the 64-bit machine).

Web Browser: QuickBooks Online requires browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer 10 or higher.

Internet Connection: QuickBooks Online is a software accounting tool and it requires an internet connection to function. Preferably there is a requirement of a high-speed internet connection, whether on LAN (Ethernet) or Wi-Fi.

Mobile App: QuickBooks Online also has a mobile app for iPhone and iPad which also works with Android and tablets. However, remember one thing that software Online mobile app offers limited features in comparison to the web-based version.

QuickBooks Online Plans and Price

QuickBooks Online offers several variations to its users with monthly pricing stated as under:

  • Self Employed: $5 per month (1 user)

  • Simple Start: $10 per month (1 user)

  • Essentials: $20 per month (3 users maximum)

  • Plus: $35 per month (5 users maximum)

  • Advanced: $60 per month (25 users maximum)

Additionally, users avail 50% off on purchasing Self Service Payroll or Full-Service Payroll add-ons.

QuickBooks Desktop Compared

QuickBooks Desktop

Intuit’s QuickBooks Desktop, on the other hand, has quite many differences against QuickBooks Online. Generally speaking, the Desktop software edition is an ideal choice for product-based businesses that have complex inventory tracking needs. This industry-specific edition or version of the accounting software is largely used by small businesses that provide them with a customized QuickBooks chart of accounts lists and products and services, especially for business types like contractors, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and more.

You may opt  Desktop software if you are seeking base functionality such as:

Industry-specific Features: QuickBooks Desktop offers industry-specific features to businesses, all of which also comply with the industry standards and regulations. Contractors, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, non-profit organizations can get benefit easily from the industry-specific version of QuickBooks Desktop accounting software.

Batch Invoicing: Desktop software offers another great feature, which is batch invoicing capability. When the amount and type of service you are billing to multiple clients are the same. This feature allows you to invoice all of them at the same time. This simultaneous process allows you to prepare a batch invoice for your clients or customers.

Tracking Options for Multiple Inventory: QuickBooks Desktop allows tracking of multiple inventories, which is not available in the Online version. Here, the tracking of inventory can complete in two ways – first, by using the average cost method and second. And by using the first in first out (FIFO) method. The latter option is available upon purchasing the Advanced Inventory add-on module.

Thus, if your need is based on inventory tracking and complex invoice management. Then  Desktop software is ideal accounting software for your business.

Technical Specifications for QuickBooks Desktop

Given below are the system requirements for QuickBooks Desktop:

Operating System: Desktop accounting software can easily install on a desktop or laptop running Windows 7, 8, 8.1 Pro. And 10 (all 32-bit and 64-bit), Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, 2012 R2 or 2016.

Note: QuickBooks Desktop is not able to install on macOS because there is a totally separate version built for the macOS platform. And is currently available in the US only.

Processor: In order to run  Desktop software smoothly, ensure that your machine has at least 2 GHz (2.4 GHz is recommended).

Memory (RAM): Desktop requires at least 4 GB (8 GB is recommended) of RAM.

Hard Disk (Internal Storage): Generally, the installation of QuickBooks Desktop requires 2.5 GB of internal storage space. And there is also a requirement of additional space for storing data files.

CD/DVD Drive (4x speed or higher): If you have purchased Desktop software CD or DVD, then ensure your desktop or laptop has a CD/DVD slot for inserting the disc and installing the software product on your machine.

Internet Connection: A high-speed internet connection requires, whether using LAN (Ethernet) or Wi-Fi connectivity, for carrying out operations during product activation.

Product Registration: QuickBooks Desktop requires product registration. Then you will get a license when you purchase the software online or from a retail store.

QuickBooks Desktop Plans and Price

the desktop offers three variations with their price stated as under:

  • Pro: $299.95 yearly (3 users maximum)

  • Premier: $499.95 yearly (5 users maximum)

  • Enterprise: $1039.50 yearly (30 users maximum)

The Decision Is Yours Now

Both QuickBooks Online and Desktop serves their purposes for a given industry type. differentiating the two accounting products on the basis of their features, usability, and price should help you decide which is better for your business. You may, of course, switch between the two anytime, in case you happen to change your mind later. I’ll leave the decision to you.

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