Deciding Between QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop

Quickbooks - Complete Controller

Deciding between QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop can be confusing and time-consuming. In this article, we will compare features, reviews, and pricing in detail.

Ever since QuickBooks launched its new Online version (QBO), business owners have been contemplating making the switch. New business owners who have never used either software may be looking into which software may be best for their company. QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop?  The details can seem confusing for those who are not trained in the art of accountant lingo. Have no fear because, in this article, we break down the key differences and similarities, the future of QuickBooks, and prices for both. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Mobility vs. Stability

Intuit is actively encouraging its QuickBooks Desktop (QBD) customers and future customers to start using their newest cloud-based software. Entering Intuit’s QuickBooks Desktop vs. Online page, where both products are offered, it would seem like a no-brainer that QBO is the better choice. But this switch may seem unnecessary. To begin, let’s look at the key difference between the two: mobility. The main difference between cloud-based software vs. desktop software is the ability to access your accounting software on the go. For larger companies who need the extra features offered on QBD (feats. discussed later in the article) while also needing to be able to access your account on the go, companies offer cloud hosting for QBD at an extra cost. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

QuickBooks and Your Computer

Still haven’t decided whether QBO or QBD is for you? Let’s talk about your computer. It’s easy to forget that one of the key factors in this decision is the device that will be running your software. Because QBD is software downloaded onto your computer, the internet is not required, and vice-versa for QBO. Because QBD is downloaded onto your computer and does not require internet access, it uses less processing power/memory to operate the program and perform tasks. You will have to download the program thus use computer storage, but the rest is up to the program. When you are operating such a large task online, your computer will need more short-term processing power to complete tasks. Therefore, the answer may lie in your computer and how new/old it may be or how willing you are to buy a new computer so you can run QuickBooks Online. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers


As far as features go, QBO has more mobility features as well as instant access for accountants, phone support, and up-to-date upgrades without the extra charges. QBD ranks higher for accountants and bookkeepers because it has more time-saving features.  With that said, business owners prefer the easy to use cloud-based software over the desktop software because of its straightforwardness and lack of accountant jargon. A key deciding factor for you or your company may depend on how large your company is, the products or services you offer, and the number of accountants you will be sharing QuickBooks with. For small businesses, who don’t use accountants or use one accountant, QBO may sound more appealing.


Ultimately, the choice between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop comes down to the specific needs of the business. If mobility and accessibility are a priority, QuickBooks Online may be the better choice. However, if advanced features and customization options are needed, QuickBooks Desktop may be the way to go.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers