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How is QuickBooks Online Different than QuickBooks Desktop?

QBO Plus (5 users) or QBO Essentials (3 Users)

  • QBO Plus has all the features found in Essentials Plus
  • 1099 and 1096 Printing
  • Inventory Management
  • Class tracking (provides for departmental tracking of final Job Costing and Job Cost reporting)
  • Time tracking and billing by customer



QuickBooks Desktop advantages

Do you sell a product?
  • Average costs for Inventory with reorder points (Online only offers FIFO inventory Valuation).
  • Auto creates purchase orders on reorder points.
  • Price levels let you set different price points.
  • Unit of measure (purchase and sell in different quantities).
  • Sales orders provide order tracking and order fulfillment.
  • QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise edition is supercharged with advanced pricing, advanced reporting, bar coding, multiple location tracking, bin tracking, and lot or serial number tracking.
  • Shipping manager.
Do you build a product or provide a service for a fixed fee?
  • Superior job costing report.  Estimated vs actual (costs and revenue).
  • Progress billing- Tracks open unbilled balances on your quotes to your customer (QBO closes the estimate after the first invoice).
  • Task management through the use of Service, non-inventory, inventory, other type items.
  • Payroll services that send hours and payroll dollars including labor burden rates to your job reports.
  • Change order on estimates.
  • Markup column on estimates.
Do you assemble or manufacture a product?
  • QuickBooks desktop provides for inventory assemblies (bill of material) and data entry for daily production to keep your raw material counts up to date.
Do you need both Cash and Accrual Balance sheets and P&L?

QuickBooks Desktop handles A/R and A/P differently than QB Online

  • The desktop Permits multiple A/R and A/P accounts (Online does not)
  • Unapplied journal entries containing A/R and A/P accounts will disappear from cash basis reports (as they should).  QB online will NOT exclude unapplied journal entries in the A/R and A/P from the P&L cash basis which makes it more difficult to maintain both a Cash and Accrual set of books in one data file (minus one for QBO)
  • Unapplied A/R cash receipts and A/P disbursements in the Desktop sit as negative balances on a cash basis balance sheet.  QBO will reallocate these amounts to the P&L in the year received (plus one for QBO)
  • Desktop only permits one A/R or A/P amount per transaction.  QBO allows for multiple A/R or A/P amounts per transaction (plus one for QBO)

Our verdict – Desktop is still superior in allowing for complete cash basis and accrual basis reports within one data file.  If you need help with making a decision give us a call.

Features that make your life easier:
  • Collections center – helps to manage Accounts receivable.
  • Batch invoicing.
  • Timesheets by crews.
  • Billing rate levels.
  • Multiple ship-to addresses for customers.
  • Condense a data file when it begins to slow down.
  • Period copy for IRS audits
  • Mileage tracking
  • Online bill pay

QuickBooks Online Advantages

Nothing to the left sounds like it would help your business?

QuickBooks Online is an awesome choice and these features are found only in QuickBooks Online.
  • Delayed billing – allows you to enter a non-posting billing transaction which you can bill for at a later time.
  • Recurring invoices – do you bill a fixed amount on regular intervals?  You can schedule to automatically create and send invoices.
  • Invoice automation – based on unbilled activity.  In preferences, you can choose to automatically create invoices from unbilled activity (time or expense assigned to a job or any delayed charge). Select your automation frequency of daily, weekly, monthly or yearly.
  • Transactions can have more than one Accounts receivable or accounts payable account in the transaction.
  • Attach documents images and signatures using a mobile device.
  • Track your business by location (in addition to the class tracking).
  • Bank transactions download automatically every night (in most cases).
  • And my favorite is Banking rules – more advanced in QuickBooks online.  You can have repetitive transactions post automatically (you can even split the costs into separate accounts by dollar or percentage)– no data entry!!
  • Unlimited Time tracking only users
  • Auto send reports
  • Unlimited reports – only users
  • More robust audit log – tracks logins and logouts, date/time by whom set up customer/vendors or employees
  • Fifo inventory