QuickBooks Desktop or QuickBooks Online – Which Version of the Accounting Software is Best for Your Business?


QuickBooks is by far the most popular accounting software used by small and mid-size businesses and deservedly so as it has more than enough product options for most any type of business. It is also the most commonly used accounting software amongst our clients; however, as the massive shift to cloud-based business applications continues, many of our clients have been moving from the desktop version of QuickBooks to QuickBooks Online.

If you are considering moving from QuickBooks Desktop to the online version, below are some benefits and drawbacks of each to help you decide which version of the accounting software is best for your business.

Why QuickBooks Desktop?

The desktop version is a very robust product that can handle even the most complex accounting situations.


  • Vast array of accounting functions
  • Multiple entry screens and reports can be open at one time
  • Lots of different financial reports can be run
  • Inventory tracking and job costing related functions good for manufacturing companies


  • Can appear overcomplicated
  • Have to manually backup your file, risk loss of data if your computer crashes
  • Banking and credit card information has to be manually pulled into the system

Why QuickBooks Online?

QuickBooks Online strives for simplicity without compromising accounting functionality.


  • Always online, no lost data, no backups
  • Can have multiple users in the system at any time
  • Ability to setup an accountant for access
  • Auto-link bank and credit cards to push information into company file
  • Monthly subscription model, always updated to the latest version
  • Ease of access from laptops, tablets and even smartphones


  • Limited reports
  • Slow internet connections will slow entry and accounting
  • Each report or input screen you have running requires an additional browser tab

Making the Switch to QuickBooks Online

Cloud-based applications are the wave of the future and 9 times out of 10 the accounting and financial features of the QuickBooks Online platform will be more than enough to support the accounting function of your company.

If you’re considering moving away from your on-premise accounting system to a cloud-based accounting software such as QuickBooks Online, we can help. We have helped several clients make the transition and it’s actually simpler than you may think. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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