When choosing whether to invest in a desktop or online QuickBooks product, we would suggest you evaluate three differences in the products.

1. Accessibility

If you want the option to access your QuickBooks file from anywhere with internet connection, you will want QuickBooks Online (QBO). If you prefer to have your file on one laptop or computer in your office, you may want the desktop product.

  • If you use an Apple computer, you will want QBO since Intuit has discontinued the Mac product. If you are on a PC, you may want to use a desktop product.
  • If you need more than five users in the file at one time, you may want QuickBooks Online. If you need less than five users in the file at one time, you may prefer the desktop product.
  • If you want your accountant to have the ability to access your file to make changes or consult at any time throughout the year, you may prefer QBO. If you only need to get your accountant a file quarterly or annually, you may prefer the desktop product.

2. Appearance

The interface and processes of the two products are significantly different. They can both perform the same tasks, but the process of performing those tasks requires different procedures. Learning new processes can be a little difficult, so we suggest you stick with the product with which you are more comfortable.

3. Payment for Product

Last, there is a difference in the way you pay for your QuickBooks product. To purchase the QuickBooks desktop product is a one-time fee. We do suggest that every three years you upgrade your product because Intuit regularly sunsets old products. QBO is a monthly subscription that is continually updated and supported by Intuit.

Overall, both QuickBooks products are great to use. If you need help selecting which product better suits your needs, we would be happy to assist you in making the decision.

Amanda O'Brien