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Difference between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online

Cloud-Based VS Locally-Installed: The biggest difference between these two QuickBooks products is that QuickBooks Online is cloud-based and runs using the Internet, while QuickBooks Desktop is downloaded and installed on a computer. This means that QuickBooks Desktop doesn’t require the internet to work, but it also means that you can’t access the software remotely (unless you pay extra for hosting) or on mobile apps. Businesses can use QuickBooks Cloud Hosting to get remote access to QuickBooks Desktop.

Security: Because QuickBooks Online is cloud-based, the security is taken care of for you by Intuit. On the other hand, QuickBooks Enterprise is locally-installed, so while this program has the potential to be more secure, you are responsible for taking those security measures yourself.

Pricing Structure: Another key difference is that QuickBooks Online has a monthly SaaS pricing structure, whereas QuickBooks Desktop has a licensing structure. You can buy a license for QuickBooks Desktop that will be good for three years, or you can pay for yearly updates, but there are no monthly payment options.

Number Of Users Allowed: QuickBooks Online allows up to 25 users depending on your pricing plan and you can have an unlimited number of time-tracking only users. Additional user licenses for QuickBooks Desktop Pro cost $299 each, which is a bit steep, and the software caps out at three users max. QuickBooks Desktop Premier caps out at five users, and QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise caps out at 40 users (both require even steeper costs for additional users). All of these QuickBooks products offer strong user permissions.

Feature Depth: While QuickBooks Online and Desktop have many of the same features, QuickBooks Desktop’s features are usually more developed.

Available Automations: QuickBooks Online has far more automations than QuickBooks Desktop, which allows business owners to manage their books more efficiently and quickly — and because QBO is cloud-based all of your information (like bank or credit card data) is synced in real-time.

Learning Curve: Because of its feature set and focus on traditional accounting, QuickBooks Desktop has a much steeper learning curve than QBO (and the UI isn’t as modern or simple to navigate).

Access To Capital: Another big difference between QuickBooks Online and Desktop is that only online users have access to QuickBooks Capital.

Hope this helps you out.

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Jake Paul.