Quickbooks Online vs Desktop: The 8 Surprising Differences

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Karine Woodman

When it comes to choosing the right accounting software for your business, you can’t go wrong with QuickBooks.

However, there are a few different versions of QuickBooks accounting software, and while there are a lot of features that overlap between them, there are some capabilities that are unique to each version.

Today, we’ll break down QuickBooks Online vs. QuickBooks Desktop and 8 differences in their features that you may not know about.

But first, let’s go over some good-to-know information regarding the installation of these two platforms.

It should be noted that Online actually requires no installation whats-so-ever. However, Desktop does. Many business-owners really like this aspect of Online because it makes it extremely easy to get started.

Another important detail to note is that for service-based businesses, QuickBooks Online’s features work better.

However, for product-based companies, Desktop’s feature is more compatible.

At 24hr Bookkeeper, we work with a lot of construction companies to train them on using QuickBooks Online. We find that it is the best software for companies within this industry.

If you’re in need of training on QuickBooks Online, then contact us today!

Four Things QuickBooks Online Can Do That Desktop Can’t

Automatically Schedule and Send Transactions

QuickBooks Online can schedule and send out transactions automatically. This is a huge plus for anyone who loves software that can automate.

Overall, anytime you can work with a program or software that allows you to avoid doing tasks manually, the better chance you’ll have of avoiding costly mistakes with your accounting.

This function is just one of the many reasons why we’re big proponents of QuickBooks Online here at 24hr Bookkeeper.

Attach Documents, Images, Signatures and More to Transactions Using a Mobile Device

It’s no secret that the present and future is extremely mobile-oriented. QuickBooks Online is a very mobile-friendly software, which makes conducting business on-the-go easy.

The ability to attach documents, images, signatures and more to transactions via a mobile device adds an additional level of convenience to the platform that many small and medium-sized business owners can appreciate.

Use Management Reports to Build a Presentation Ready Package of Reports From Cover Page to Endnote

For reporting needs, QuickBooks Online is extremely helpful with their management reports feature. It’s a pretty nifty feature that, depending on which industry you’re in, may or may not be super necessary for your accounting needs.

That being said, if you are a report-heavy business, the Management Reports feature should be enough to sway you into choosing QuickBooks online.

Relabel Customers – 7 Options to Choose From – For Easier Categorizing

If you have a lot of different types of clients or customers, this relabeling option is a great way to categorize your clients into specific groups.

For example, if you’re a construction and remodeling company, you can label clients based on the type of job you’re completing for them (i.e. kitchen remodel, basement remodel, custom home construction).

While definitely not a necessity, it’s another feature that makes things just a little easier on you.

Four Things QuickBooks Desktop Can Do That Online Can’t

Batch Enter Transactions

Designed for accounting professionals who want to work more efficiently when it comes to write-up services for clients, the batch entering feature of QuickBooks Desktop can help you get more done in a shorter amount of time.

It’s a 6-step process, but overall it can help you speed things up when you have a lot do.

Business Planner, Forecasting, Balance Sheet by Class

Just like how Online lets you categorize your customers, you can categorize by class for business planners, forecasting and balance sheets.

So, if it makes sense for you to have different labels for those resources, then Desktop is certainly worth looking into.

Better Report Header and Footer Customization

This is by no means a make-or-break feature when it comes to choosing between QuickBooks Desktop or Online, but it is a nice little feature that the perfectionist in you will enjoy.

These are just a few of the many differences between Online and Desktop, but what it really comes down to in deciding which is right for you is the type of industry your business is in.

For service-based companies, go with Online.

For product-based businesses, Desktop is the top choice.

For more industry trends and QuickBooks insight, make sure to check back often for new content on our blog!

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