QuickBooks Online Edition Save 20%. QuickBooks Online versus QuickBooks Desktop - make your best choice!
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QuickBooks Online Edition


QuickBooks Online edition or QuickBooks Desktop
Which it right for your company?

Over the past few years QuickBooks Online Edition is becoming more robust, but there are still some feature limitations. The description below will demonstrate the differences between accounting software versions of QuickBooks by describing how a full featured Desktop version of QuickBooks Pro or Premier would convert into QuickBooks Online edition. 

Some descriptions may be a confusing if you have not used QuickBooks previously, or do not use a feature in the desktop edition simply make a list of questions and if you need guidance, we would be happy to provide you with information you need to make an excellent choice among the QuickBooks family of products. Our Certified QuickBooks advisors  800-216-0763 are available to help you determine the best QuickBooks product for your company.

The online edition is a good accounting software, but it stops there. Great for basic users.  Perfect for companies that outsource their accounting functions to a bookkeeper or accounting firm, or for businesses who need a software to write checks and pay bills, make deposits, invoice customers and track payments due.  If you find you do not access reports except as requested by your CPA, then QuickBooks online is a really good choice.  QuickBooks online is not great if you want to manage your business processes with it (ie: if you are constantly running reports looking up transactions, you will find QuickBooks online a bit lacking in feature sets). If you are a multi-tasker, speedy typist, quick thinker, data entry will take much longer in the online edition and you will seriously miss the added features of the desktop edition. QuickBooks Enterprise, QuickBooks Premier or QuickBooks Pro all offer a myriad of shortcuts that provide robust reporting and save a great deal of time with your daily activities.

You should do a test drive of the software using the online sample company file.  testing entering transactions and running reports in the sample company file
Click here to sign in to the QuickBooks online sample company file. 

There are alternative solutions to sharing data remotely, including the remote access feature found in QuickBooks Premier edition. One such product is a third party remote access solution www.logmein.com.  
The downside to logging into a computer from a remote location is that you take control of a computer desktop, which means if you are not using terminal services, you will need to have a computer available for the remote user to use.  But if you are using thinking of using the online edition just so your  CPA can access the records, choose the desktop edition and purchase a remote access solution (webex, logmein, terminal services). Your CPA will not be utilizing the computer on a regular or lengthy basis, so scheduling a good time for your CPA to work on your computer while you do something else will allow you to take advantage of the great desktop features. 

Another alternative is to host your QuickBooks on a cloud based server. These service providers are called ASP hosting  (application service provider).  In reality, they are IT companies that have set up racks of servers which they manage, parsing out the computer real estate (memory, hard drive, security, user rights)
to businesses.  You can have your own server, or you can use a piece of the server, keeping your costs for IT support and computer hardware to a minimum. What is really terrific about this model, is your IT guy is always available!  Search on the key words  "QuickBooks ASP Hosting", there are many qualified companies providing this service.  If you select this remote access model, you can access QuickBooks at anytime from any computer. 

In addition, QuickBooks Desktop version has myriad of training and support options. There are thousands of QuickBooks advisors who are experts and can help you take advantage of all that it can offer in addition to helping you with bookkeeping, accounting and tax questions. The online edition has e-mail support only.

QuickBooks online works for businesses with:

Multiple locations
Have Traveling Timekeepers and/or Decision Makers
Do not track Inventory Perpetually
Have relatively simple reporting needs
Share bookkeeping responsibilities with you
Have security concerns

Click here to read a 10 page PDF discussing in detail the QuickBooks Online Edition:
Including what data will convert from QuickBooks Desktop to the QuickBooks Online edition.
This document is ideal for getting a true understanding of the difference between the online and the desktop editions.

  QuickBooks Online Edition QuickBooks
Pro/Premier 201
Anytime, Anywhere, Any PC X  
Connect Multiple Locations & Users X  
List price starts at  $24.95 -3 Users Starts at $200
E-mail support Included in service $299 per year
Automatic Upgrades Included in service Repurchase product
Multiple User Capability    
Simultaneous Users Up to 25  plus accountant Up to 3-5 users
Permission Levels X X
Restore Data from Previous Date   X
Automatic Backup X  
Track Income & Expenses    
Create Estimates, Invoices, Payments, Sales Tax X X
Automatic Billing X X
Accept Credit Cards Additional cost Additional cost
Customize Invoices/Statements Plus Package Feature X
Print checks Pay Bills, Track Expenses X X
Pay bills online   Additional cost
Delayed Billing Plus Package Feature  
Sales Orders   Premier Edition
Track 1099s X X
Reporting & Analysis    
Generate, customize, print and email reports X X
Track Multiple locations X  
Class Tracking Plus Package Feature X
Employee Management    
Time Tracking Plus Package Feature X
Manage Payroll Additional Cost Additional Cost
Track Inventory and Create Purchase Orders   X
Assign Multiple Price Levels for Items   X
Data Integration, Import, Export    
Send Reports to Excel X X
Generate letters in Word   X
Import Data from Previous Versions of QB X X
Password-protected login X Optional
Always on Audit Trail X X
Always on Activity Log X  
Buy now: QuickBook Online

Learn more about
the different QuickBooks Products




  • QuickBooks online allows for 3 users plus a CPA, but you can pay a higher monthly premium to have up to 25 users
  • QuickBooks online does not print packing lists
  • QuickBooks online basic does not track 1099 vendors but QuickBooks online Plus does
  • QuickBooks online does not include nifty shortcuts like inserting lines on transactions.
  • QuickBooks online Plus will allow you to assign an expense to a job or project
  • QuickBooks online will backup your data file with all the other online data files. But keep in mind that if you decide that you spent several days entering data the wrong way, you will not be able to restore from a backup. You will need to delete and reenter your work. The backup is for when the intuit servers crash or if there is a weather or natural disaster that takes out the data center.
    Your data will be restored and available in very short order.
  • QuickBooks online does not have customizable fields for customers, vendors and employees
  • QuickBooks online does not have a finance charge feature for past due invoices
  • QuickBooks online must have a working internet connection to enter work, no working offline
  • QuickBooks online uses the QuickBooks Voucher style checks (1 per page). It does not work with 3 per page.
  • QuickBooks online basic does not include customizable forms, but QuickBooks online Plus does.
  • QuickBooks online reporting does not include graphing or charts.


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