QuickBooks Online vs QuickBooks Desktop 2023

To expedite product setup, you can choose to use the default chart of accounts that is included in the application. You also have the option to import products and services into the application to avoid having to re-enter the data. Workyard was built from the ground up to support construction companies. Overall, both of these versions are capable accounting tools for construction companies. QuickBooks Online excels with its ease of use, intuitive Project Dashboard, and surprisingly good mobile app.

  • This is thanks to the secure cloud-based server that QuickBooks Online uses to store all your client’s data.
  • You can access all QuickBooks Online’s features through any computer with an internet connection.
  • For an extra $50, sign up for a one-time live Bookkeeping setup with any of its plans.
  • We have an extensive history of reviewing QuickBooks products, and we stay up-to-date with the latest features and enhancements.

QuickBooks Desktop Premier and Quickbooks Desktop Enterprise have even more reports (especially if you opt for the industry-specific versions of these programs). QuickBooks Desktop offers more control and extensive features, making it suitable for larger or more complex businesses. QuickBooks Online provides accessibility, automatic updates, and is generally a better fit for smaller businesses or those that require remote access to their financial data. Ultimately, it’s all about getting the job done right and on time while ensuring your costs are tracked accurately, whether on a per-job, per-employee, or per-period basis.

QuickBooks Desktop shines with enhanced customization regarding estimating and reporting, although the app and integrations are not as good as QuickBooks Online. In the long term, QuickBooks may move entirely online, but by now, you can probably expect all (or at least most) of Desktop’s key features to be folded into QuickBooks Online. Here are some positive reviews highlighting what business owners like about QuickBooks Online. However, companies with complex jobs and reporting will find it limiting. This can make reporting difficult for more complex jobs, and you’ll need to find a workaround in QuickBooks Online.


Smaller businesses may find QuickBooks Online a better fit on price considerations but may also want to consider whether Online can provide everything they’ll need as they grow. If you plan on doing some accounting while at the beach or in a hotel room, don’t expect to do it efficiently or effectively with the QuickBooks Desktop mobile app. irs schedule 1 2 and 3 In this article, we’ll outline the differences between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online. We’ll focus on differences specific to the construction industry, so you can make an informed decision about which version is best for your accounting needs. The other version, which is currently Intuit’s priority, is QuickBooks Online.

QuickBooks Desktop can be integrated with QuickBooks Desktop Payroll and QuickBooks Time. 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. Head to our detailed QuickBooks Payroll review to see if it fits the bill. This QuickBooks Online vs Desktop comparison will help you decide which QuickBooks product is right for you based on pricing, features, ease of use, and more. We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers.

If you want to perform bookkeeping from anywhere, we strongly recommend QuickBooks Online’s mobile app. Additionally, all versions of QuickBooks Desktop allow you to set up cost estimates for projects and then compare them to actual expenses. In contrast, you need to upgrade to Advanced to be able to use QuickBooks Online’s budget vs. actual reporting feature.

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Try using your mobile device web browser to access more QuickBooks Online features if you’re in the field with Internet access. QuickBooks Self-Employed is a QuickBooks Online product for contractors and freelancers, specifically for those who do not have separate business and personal financial accounts. It starts at $30 a month and includes basic features only, such as mileage tracking and invoicing. Unlike QuickBooks Online, Desktop Pro includes built-in inventory management.

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. With four plans, robust features and a user-friendly interface, QuickBooks Online is the ideal choice for most small businesses. Its highest-tiered plan is the Advanced option, which costs $100 per month for the first three months, then $200 per month after that.

QuickBooks Online service tiers and pricing

For an extra $50, sign up for a one-time live Bookkeeping setup with any of its plans. If you’re a freelancer, stick with its Self-Employed plan, which is $15 per month 9after the three-month discount at $7.50). Features include mileage tracking, basic reporting, income and expense tracking, capture and organize receipts and estimation of quarterly taxes. However, Intuit’s push for its QuickBooks Online software and discontinuation of its Desktop offering in the UK has caused users to worry about possible sunsetting. Both offer strong accounting, though QuickBooks Desktop has more features and is more customizable, whereas QuickBooks Online has more automations and is easier to learn and use.

Integrations (Winner: QuickBooks Online)

Assisted migration results may vary based on business complexity and file size. Terms and conditions, features, support, pricing, and service options are subject to change without notice. These include the ability to track raw materials and finished products and automate order management, among other functions.

Feature differences between QuickBooks Online and Desktop

QuickBooks Desktop is an annual subscription, starting at $549.99 per year, which may be cost-prohibitive for small businesses or cash-strapped startups. While the Desktop version has app integrations, it doesn’t have near as many as the Online version. There are over 200 options instead of the 650-plus to its cloud counterpart. When working with the Desktop version, it’s downloaded right to your computer. This means the data operates as fast as your computer, all without needing to worry about a connection issue.

It’s worth noting that QuickBooks Desktop is only available on Windows. Conversely, many classic QuickBooks Desktop tools can’t be found in the online version. Here are some of the key differences between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online. QuickBooks Desktop Pro, Pro Plus and Premier are no longer sold, although unsold copies may still be available at authorized vendors for a limited time.

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QuickBooks Online is still very capable, though, and it’s hardly a “basic” app. Let’s take a look at how each of these QuickBooks versions has been received by actual users on popular software review websites. One key integration we always recommend for either QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop is the Workyard app. This industry-leading time-tracking app accurately monitors employee work time for each job and project. Easily accessible visual tools like this make QuickBooks Online stand out, despite missing more advanced reporting and estimating features.

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