Different Versions of QuickBooks Explained

Published March 31, 2019
cloud hosted accounting software for small medium enterprises

American software giant, Intuit, caused waves in the business world when they introduced their ground-breaking “QuickBooks” software a couple of decades ago. The powerful and easy-to-use accounting software has been a revelation for enterprises, especially SMEs, helping them improve their financial processes and enhance overall efficiency and productivity. Being used by more than 29 million SMEs (80% of the market), Intuit QuickBooks is currently dominating the small business accounting software landscape. Intuit understands that business processes vary from enterprise to enterprise and industry to industry, which is why it offers its QuickBooks software in 3 main versions:

Each version has its own unique features and capabilities. But which one is best for your business? With so many different versions of QuickBooks to choose from, it can be quite intimidating to decide which QuickBooks software is the best fit for your enterprise. Over the course of this blog post, we’ll explore each version of QuickBooks in detail, highlight their differences, and explain what type of enterprise is suitable for each product.

QuickBooks Desktop Pro

Introduced back in the early 90s, QuickBooks Desktop Pro is the product that brought QuickBooks to the world’s attention. This locally-installed version of QuickBooks offers a host of highly advanced tools and features, which has made it popular among SMEs and accounting firms alike.

Who it’s suitable for

QuickBooks Desktop Pro is suitable for medium to small-sized businesses that require strong accounting functionality and a solid set of features. However, some of the program’s features may be a bit overkill for small businesses that don’t require such in-depth tools. While the locally-installed version of QuickBooks Desktop doesn’t offer much in terms of scalability, hosting the program in the cloud goes a long way to overcome this issue. With cloud-hosted QuickBooks Pro, businesses can add or remove users and features according to their specific requirements. This provides them with much-needed scalability and customizability. If you run a medium to large-sized business and you’re looking for industry-specific accounting tools, QuickBooks Premier and QuickBooks Enterprise are better options than the pro version. We’ll discuss those two in detail further in the post.


As we just mentioned, QuickBooks Desktop Pro is packed with a wide variety of features. If you consider it just as an accounting program, there are few solutions on the market (if any) that can match QuickBooks Pro for functionality and the sheer number of features. This version of QuickBooks boasts 130 reports, bank reconciliation, journal entries, charts of accounts, and much more. The great thing about QuickBooks Pro is that not only do you get a large number of features, but every feature you get has been developed and perfected by Intuit over 27 years. Some of the versions’ notable features include:

  • Accounts payable
  • Project Management
  • Budgeting
  • Job Costing
  • Tax Support
  • Invoicing
  • To-do lists & calendar

Moreover, QuickBooks Desktop Pro provides nearly 200 integrations, which is mighty impressive when you consider that this is primarily a locally-installed, on-premise solution. All in all, QuickBooks Desktop Pro is a great accounting program for SMEs. While it does have a relatively steep learning curve, the product offers great benefits to users who have previous accounting experience or those who can afford the time it takes to learn it.

QuickBooks Premier

QuickBooks Premier offers the same great accounting functionality as QuickBooks Pro but offers more in terms of industry-specific features and users (at a more affordable price than QuickBooks Enterprise). Just like QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Premier is a locally-installed version of QuickBooks. It provides plenty of advanced features as well as a respectable number of integrations.

Who it’s suitable for

QuickBooks Premier is best for SMEs that have 5 or fewer users and need a robust industry-specific accounting program.


QuickBooks Premier has been optimized by Intuit to provide superior accounting functionality. Like the ‘Pro’ version, QuickBooks Premier involves a steep learning curve. However, this version offers a lot more features than the Pro does. These include sales forecasting, business plans, and inventory assemblies. The main area where QuickBooks Premier is superior to QuickBooks Pro is industry-specific features. With QuickBooks Premier, businesses can either opt for the standard edition or one of 5 specialized ones. They are:

  • Professional Services
  • Manufacturing & Wholesale
  • Non-profit
  • Contractor
  • Retail

Some notable features that you can expect with QuickBooks Premier include:

  • Sales orders
  • Industry-specific reports
  • Print shipping labels

This version of QuickBooks also offers around 190 integrations. Before you decide to invest in QuickBooks Premier, it’s important to ascertain whether your enterprise requires industry-specific features. You wouldn’t want to waste money on features that you don’t need.

QuickBooks Enterprise

QuickBooks Enterprise is the flagship version of QuickBooks. In addition to offering the exceptional accounting capabilities you get with the Pro and Premier versions, QuickBooks Enterprise offers much more storage space and offers access for up to 30 users. This version of QuickBooks is available in 6 industry-specific variants and has all the advanced features required to fulfill the demands of large businesses.

Who it’s suitable for

QuickBooks Enterprise is suitable for large organizations with 30 users or fewer who want advanced, industry-specific accounting functionality.


When you consider the sheer number of features it offers, QuickBooks Enterprise is as close as you can get to fully-fledged business management software. In addition to the robust accounting functionality that QuickBooks products are synonymous with, QuickBooks Enterprise offers a wide array of advanced tools. These include invoicing, contact management, job costing, expense tracking, project management, and much more.

Businesses can either choose the standard variant of QuickBooks Enterprise or opt for one of the six specialized ones. They are:

  • Professional Services
  • Manufacturing & Wholesale
  • Non-profit
  • Contractor
  • Retail
  • Accountant

Here are some of QuickBooks Enterprise’s other great features:

  • Inventory
  • Accounts payable
  • Tax support
  • Business plans
  • Loan manager
  • Leads Management

Like the Pro version, QuickBooks Enterprise can also be integrated with around 200 third-party applications.

How To Decide Which Is the Right QuickBooks Version for Your Business

Now that we’ve provided an overview for each version of QuickBooks, you might already have formed an idea of which one suits your enterprise best. If you don’t, there’s no need to worry. Answering these important questions can help you make a decision on which version is right for you.

Do you want an on-premise or cloud-based program?

The first thing you need to consider before opting for a QuickBooks version is whether you want your software to be cloud-hosted or locally installed. The majority of enterprises now prefer cloud-based QuickBooks because of its customizability, scalability, and affordability. Furthermore, Cloud-based QuickBooks are easier to use, more secure, and more in accordance with today’s mobile business environment.

While QuickBooks Desktop Pro, Premier, and Enterprise are primarily locally-installed programs, Intuit-authorized third-party cloud hosting service providers such as gotomyerp can host your QuickBooks Enterprise or Desktop in the cloud.

Choosing to get a third-party service provider to host QuickBooks Enterprise or Desktop in the cloud has significant advantages over QuickBooks Online. The real beauty of cloud hosting services is that the servers are located off-site, which means you don’t have to concern yourself about taking care of them. They’ll be taken care of by your service provider, who’ll also handle all the software updates (including security). Eliminating server maintenance and software updates from your list of things to do will leave you with time to focus on the other important aspects of your enterprise.

Some other benefits of cloud-hosted QuickBooks include:

  • Improved mobility
  • A more flexible, subscription-based SaaS pricing model
  • The hosting provider is responsible for the security
  • Mobile applications are generally included
  • Multiple users can access the program from anywhere, at any time.

The type and size of your business

The type and size of your business have a major influence on which version of QuickBooks suits you best, as each version is designed for a certain business type and size.

The Final Verdict

Now you have a solid idea of what types of features, usability, and functionality you can expect with each QuickBooks version. While the wide array of options offered by each version can be intimidating, it’s important to take your time and assess which one suits your enterprise the best. You wouldn’t want a QuickBooks version that lacks the features you need, and likewise, you don’t want to be paying for features that you don’t need.

Being an Intuit-authorized QuickBooks hosting provider, gotomyerp promises unparalleled security, constant support, and exemplary service uptime. Get in touch with us if you’re seeking top-notch QuickBooks hosting migration or implementation services.