Quickbooks Online or Descktop for my business

Most people who own their businesses, businesses, and companies have ever used QuickBooks. This is one of the best accounting software programs in the world. Its function is to help manage payroll, settle accounting transactions, reflect accounts receivable, and many other financial activities.

In QuickBooks, there are currently two versions available to the public, which are QuickBooks online and QuickBooks desktop. The two versions contain vastly different functions and features. In particular, QuickBooks Desktop is hosted remotely or installed locally, while QuickBooks online is entirely remote. To be more sure about which program to use for your business accounting, we will show you the similarities and significant differences between these two versions in this post.

What is QuickBooks online?

Intuit Inc created this electronic accounting system, an American company also marketing this online program. Among the main functions of QuickBooks online are the realization and continuous monitoring of the treasury, always controlling the income and expenses. All this allows you to define how well the accounting of your business is and also helps to reveal any abnormality to anticipate and solve it before it is too late.

What is QuickBooks Desktop?

QuickBooks Desktop is a software package for accounting purposes and everything related to finances. This program was developed for small businesses that find it useful, especially those that have online banking as an option. The relationship between this software package and online banking is that business owners can choose to make their payments and banking operations with this program; of course, they must have a Wells Fargo checking account.

Similarities between Quickbooks online y Desktop

This program, created to facilitate business accounting, is one of the most widely used tools at the enterprise level. This is due to its capabilities, which help us manage invoicing, payments, advanced integrated time tracking, tax deductions, income, and expenses, among other tools. A great advantage is that no matter the size of your business, even if it is self-employed, you can freely use programs like these.

Both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop overcome significant differences. However, they also demonstrate numerous vital similarities, which we will explore below:

Essential basic functions

  • Invoice creation, scheduling, and routing
  • Accounts payable management
  • Sales reporting
  • Mileage tracking
  • Integrations with over 650 cloud-based applications
  • Tax reporting
  • QuickBooks accountant assistance
  • Cash flow and expense tracking
  • Ability to accept online payments
  • Tax compliance
  • General reporting functions
  • Budgeting
  • Multiple service levels are available

Differences between Quickbooks online and Descktop

As mentioned above, there are many differences between these two versions, which we will see below:


The most significant differences between the two versions are in their features. For example, QuickBooks Online contains various modern and up-to-date top-notch features, while on QuickBooks desktop, you will not find any of them. That is why we will show you some of the unique features QuickBooks Online has to offer:

  • Unlimited time tracking.
  • Report-only users.
  • Multiple budgets per fiscal year.
  • Various tagging options for customers.
  • Automated scheduling and routing of transactions with delayed credits and charges.
  • Automatic nightly synchronization of bank accounts.
  • Comprehensive reporting packages for management and presentation.
  • Audit trail to track changes and review actions.
  • Inclusion of signatures, images, documents, and many other elements in transactions.
  • Customized banking rules are broken down by dollar valuation, percentages, location, and classifications.
  • Transaction tracking by location, not just by class.
  • Journal entries with multiple accounts payable and accounts receivable (AR/AP) lines.
  • Automatic addition of bank rule options.

But on the other hand, we find multiple and classic QuickBooks Desktop tools, which we will not see in the online version. Below we will show you several QuickBooks Desktop tools that you may not know:

  • Industry-specific reports.
  • Ability to backup, restore and condense business or company data and files.
  • Batch invoice creation, transaction logging, and hours worked.
  • Ability to build assemblies and manufacturing features.
  • Mileage tracking
  • Correction of unapplied payments and credits.
  • Extensive customization of headers and footers on reports.
  • Rate level billing.
  • Inventory reordering.
  • Order collection probability and marking of estimate columns.
  • Statement writing.
  • Multiple vendor ship-to addresses.
  • Automatic payments to clearinghouse vendors.
  • Partial receipt against purchase orders.
  • Payroll and labor cost calculations.
  • 1099 management.
  • Business planning, forecasts by class and balances.
  • Inventory valuation using average cost.
  • Reporting of estimated actual amounts and labor costs.
  • Review of customer data.
  • Sales order management.
  • Ability to post to additional AR/AP accounts.
  • Invoice tracking, units of measure, and availability to pledge.
  • Sales tax correction
  • Management of undeposited funds.


Another critical difference between QuickBooks online and QuickBooks desktop is the hosting since it is hosted locally in the case of the desktop. However, QuickBooks Online is hosted in the cloud. This means that people using desktops will be limited to only one storage provider, i.e., the computer on which the program is installed. On the other hand, all those who want to access QuickBooks online can do so from any device, as long as it is connected to the Internet.

Since QuickBooks desktop is limited to the number of installations included in the selected service level, it cannot be accessed from any device other than the one on which the program was primarily installed. The online version of this program is cloud-based, making it a better option to log in if you are not in the office or near the device where the desktop was installed.

One-time purchases vs. monthly purchases

To enjoy QuickBooks online services, the subscription must be monthly, and the payment amount for each service will correspond to the level of service purchased. In the case of QuickBooks desktop, the subscription is annual or a one-time purchase, except for hosted business solutions billed monthly. To use a desktop, it is not necessary to renew the plan, only if you want to add new extended services or, in any case, a device attached to the current project.

Can both versions be synchronized?

Both QuickBooks desktop and online versions are independent; they cannot be synchronized with each other. However, the QuickBooks online application has a desktop version, so the mobile program can be synchronized with the cloud-based platform, where you can store any information and access it quickly and simply through both while connected to the internet.

Differences between QuickBooks desktop and online integration

Both versions can be integrated with more than 650 cloud-based applications. The difference is that QuickBooks desktop manages an application list that can be used to identify desktop applications compatible with the desktop software. At the same time, QuickBooks online can integrate with many software platforms such as Paypal, and Square, among others. But it should be recognized that these platforms are not always available for the desktop version.

Is it possible to switch from the desktop version of QuickBooks desktop to the mobile version of QuickBooks online?

Yes, of course, you can switch from desktop to online. However, it is essential to mention that because they are two different platforms, the business data contained on the desktop will not synchronize efficiently and automatically. Therefore, a business should only work with one program to avoid mess and loss of essential data.

How often should QuickBooks desktop be updated?

When purchasing a QuickBooks desktop, you will be asked to update the program every three years. However, the frequency with which the desktop must be updated is not a fundamental requirement. Everything will depend on the person who manages it; you will always have the option to edit it annually or every three years, as indicated by the program when the payroll extension is added. By updating it annually, you acquire certain advantages, including the newest functions, security updates, and much more.

How to choose the best option for your business between QuickBooks online and desktop?

This answer will depend on the needs, demands, and expectations of each business since the idea of each accounting software program is that it adapts precisely to each company. However, it is worth considering and studying the following points to make a more appropriate decision.

In the case of QuickBooks desktop, it can be adapted for:

Businesses that require the features and tools of the desktop version of the program, which are not available in the online version.

  • Small businesses that do not require online or cloud access. For those who want to keep all their accounting information in the office, this is one of the best options to achieve a workable balance.
    All those businesses that want to pay annually for the QuickBooks system instead of spending every month should choose desktop.
  • If your business is a retailer, wholesaler, manufacturer, supplier, building contractor, or any other service, even if it is a non-profit, QuickBooks desktop is the best option. This is thanks to business-specific edits that influence custom jobs and reports tailored to specific industries.
  • If, as your business owner, you want to keep the books for an unlimited number of businesses. And also earned top honors on the list of accounting software for various companies.
  • QuickBooks Online is well suited to these features:
    • Businesses can rely on third-party application integrations that provide tools and functions in the desktop version.
    • Suppose you have a large company with many locations, employees, warehouses, and more. Which will need to share and host vital information; the online version of this program is undoubtedly the best option. In addition, with it, you will have the facility to access quickly and securely from any mobile device.
    • Businesses that prefer to pay a monthly fee for QuickBooks online instead of an annual fee.
  • If you want to make it much easier to share information and data with your accountant, QuickBooks online is the best choice.
  • If you want your business to move into a wide variety of industries, QuickBooks online is for you. One advantage of this version is that, as a new user, it allows you to choose between two options which are a 30-day free trial or a 50% discount for 21 weeks.
  • QuickBooks Online has powerful features, but that does not take away from the fact that it is a very easy-to-use program.
  • If you want a program that contains e-commerce integrations and features, the online version of QuickBooks is for you.