Desktop vs. Online: Finding the Right Fit for You

Published November 11, 2022
secure accounting software for small medium businesses

One of the most critical aspects of switching to QuickBooks is deploying the version that’s in line with your needs. Each version has its own set of benefits that streamline a certain aspect of their accounting processes. This blog will discuss and compare QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online.

What Are the Similarities?

Both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop serve the same basic purpose: accounting!

They’re both designed to help businesses get through their routine accounting tasks faster and more effectively. Both of them rely on the digital form of accounting data. Both of them reduce your dependence on dedicated accounting teams and help you save up on costs.

As far as the features are concerned, both QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online are widely used to generate professional computerized invoices. They also allow the accountant to schedule these invoices and send them out at their designated timings automatically. One of the most advantageous features of both versions is that they allow you to generate most forms of tax and sales reports at a single click. The accountants no longer have to spend hours calculating cash flows from investing activities and the total value of fixed assets.

Expense tracking is again a useful feature of both versions. You can also track the miles and sales the same way. Both versions are highly compatible with other applications and can be connected to as many as 650 other cloud-based apps. Both of them facilitate real-time collaboration and across-the-board information sharing.

Now, let’s take a look at the differences.

QuickBooks Online

Since this version of QuickBooks is ‘online,’ it’s not necessarily downloaded in your office computer system. It’s online and can, therefore, be accessed anywhere and everywhere. This adds flexibility to your operations.

Since the software use is not confined to the office computer, you can also get an external accountant on board and give them access. The same is not possible with QuickBooks Desktop. This is also the reason why QuickBooks Online helps businesses share data with external accounting stakeholders and outsource some of their accounting processes.

Another benefit of QuickBooks Online is that of data entry. You can put in data that is saved on your mobile device and export it to the software. Even other documents, signatures, and images can be attached via both the desktop and your mobile phone. All the data backups are encrypted, and most bank transactions can be downloaded automatically.

QuickBooks Desktop

Although QuickBooks Online might sound like an ideal version of QuickBooks due to its features, it also lags in many aspects. QuickBooks Online isn’t great if you’re dealing with a huge inventory. It’s also not easily compatible with Excel and might make data export a bit of a hassle. This is where QuickBooks Desktop comes in.

If you have an experienced in-house bookkeeper, QuickBooks will be a better option for you. Just like the name suggests, QuickBooks Desktop needs to be downloaded on the office computer and can’t be accessed online. This is perhaps the only drawback.

QuickBooks Desktop is known to be more valuable for traditional accounting processes. The transactions are known to be more secure. QuickBooks Desktop is more useful when it comes to industry-specific accounting. Other than that, it also facilitates more specific forms of accounting, such as job costing, labor burden costing, and inventory valuation. Robust inventory management features also allow you to create inventory assemblies and evaluate the cost of supplies.

QuickBooks Desktop is also more specific when it comes to reporting. You can forecast and plan your accounting processes in terms of different categories. You can also speak to your service provider and get industry-specific modules for more accurate reporting. For this feature, you’ll need to get QuickBooks Desktop Premier. Common industry-specific modules include those for manufacturing, wholesale, construction, retail, and non-profit.

At gotomeryp, we have some of the best QuickBooks experts on board! Get in touch, and we will help you decide which version of QuickBooks suits your needs the best. Learn more about our QuickBooks hosting services here.