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Pros and Cons Of QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop

Let’s start with a simple comparison between the QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop. Usually, we can’t compare these two products, as they are totally different products and they are fit for the different requirements too.

You can follow that up with ‘analyze the client’s needs first, then decide which tool is the best one to solve the situation’. If you think about it, then these are the conflicting statements. So, just ‘Don’t compare’ but then ‘choose between them’ – Besides that, how can you choose if you don’t compare them.

There’s no problem when someone lists the features & functions of these two products, and then using that to select the right product to use. QuickBooks Online is not a copy of QuickBooks Desktop which has been web-enabled.

They are different products with the totally different database structures and approaches in solving problems, and both were developed in-house by Intuit inc.

Now Let’s start Comparing

So here we’ll have a look at what these two products share, and how they are different. Basically, this is not a comprehensive list of every feature – but it is a start.

Before we jump in, here are some of the important points:-

● Whenever we refer to QuickBooks Desktop, so we are just talking about the Windows version, not the Mac version.

● In all cases, we refer to the US versions of the products. (for hosted QuickBooks as well).

● Both the products have a number of add-on options which are available from the third party vendors. You can note that at this time QuickBooks Desktop has more add-on products than the QuickBooks Online, but that are also changing rapidly.

● Here, we are not talking about the features that are found in the optional Advanced Inventory feature of QuickBooks Enterprise hosting. We can consider this to be the same as an add-on product, as it is only available for the significant additional fees.

● To try to keep it simple, we are not going to get into all the variations that we see with the QuickBooks. We are not getting into the differences between the various versions of QuickBooks Premier and Enterprise. The matrix can be really complicated, with some of the features that are found in Enterprise but not in Premier, or found only in Accountant (which is a Premier level) but in all the Enterprise versions. We are here to trying to simplify things a bit.

Here are some of the important features that are found in QuickBooks Desktop but not in QuickBooks Online.

● Average Cost inventory valuation
● Billable Time and Expense preferences
● Balance Sheet by Class
● Calendar
● Business Planner
● Forecasting Price Levels
● Progress Invoicing/billing
● Receive partially against purchase order
● Report, collapse rows
● Report Favorites
● Share report templates with Intuit community
● Inventory – reorder/rebuild points
● Sales Orders
● Sales Order Fulfillment Worksheet
● Transaction History Panel
● Units of Measure
● Change orders on Estimates
● Collections center
● Batch Invoicing
● Batch Timesheet Entry
● Billing rate level
● Shipping Manager

It goes both ways – QuickBooks Online has features that don’t exist in QuickBooks Desktop!

● Remote access – You can do this with QuickBooks Desktop also but you need an additional software product or you can use QuickBooks Hosting service as well.

● Auto Send Reports – Reports can be scheduled to send automatically

● Automatic upgrades – With QuickBooks Online you are almost always running the most up-to-date version (whether you want or not)

● Company Scorecard

● Delayed charges/billing – Can enter the charges to be billed later

● Income list/transaction center

● Invoice automation – Will automatically create invoice from unbilled activity

● More than one A/R or A/P account per journal entry

● FIFO Inventory valuation (Also available in QuickBooks Enterprise but only with the additional fees Advanced Inventory feature).

● Location tracking – A secondary level of class tracking (In QuickBooks Online Plus only).

We hope that this serves as a starting point for understanding the differences between the QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online. You just need to understand both the products if you are going to make a good decision about which product to use or recommend.

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