Online Accounting Versus Destop Accounting

Online Accounting Versus Destop Accounting

Every day, technology is changing the way we do business. This article is about desktop versus online accounting specifically QuickBooks Online. QuickBooks Online has a lot of positive characteristics and Intuit continues to enhance all their product offerings; most of the functionality is the same. Online does have some additional features over the desktop and vice versa; however online is not necessarily for everyone. I personally find it is a matter of how you work, your budget and what your business needs are.


• No need to wait for the next version to come out to get updates and to upgrade. Intuit updates the program approximately every four weeks.

• No need to backup separately; your work file is automatically backed up on their servers all the time.

• As long as you have access to the internet you and other users can access your books from anywhere in the world. However, you could nevertheless access your desktop version by online sets such as and

• Depending on the number of users there is a monthly fee; for example a company with a license for up to 3 users will pay approximately $30 per month; fees go up depending on the number of users and any additional sets such as payroll.

• QuickBooks Online has class and location tracking; the desktop version only has class tracking.


Many of my cons are workflow or visual cons for example:

• You cannot do as much customizing on forms as you can in QuickBooks desktop version. In desktop you have much more flexibility working with templates, etc. Forms include invoices, statements, estimates and sales order.

• Cost: with the desktop you can buy one Pro license for less than $200 and use that same license for at the minimum three years without having to upgrade. You can nevertheless get automatic updates or new releases. These are not the same as an upgrade: these are fixes by Intuit. Fairly large businesses can be run on the Pro version before they are ready to upgrade.

• If you like to work with multiple windows open you are better off with the desktop version. The online version only allows two windows at a time. I personally like to go back and forth between the things I am working on.

• And this is strictly opinion: reporting is not as flexible when it comes to modifications as compared to the desktop.

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