I recommend saving a backup of your QuickBooks Desktop company file in case of any issues. While most information transfers well to QBO, not all of your information will convert from Desktop. We think QuickBooks Online is the best overall option for small businesses, but QuickBooks Desktop Premier is a great option for niche businesses. Overall, QuickBooks Desktop Pro reviews are more favorable, but both user bases have good and bad things to say about each product. It’s hard to say which software is cheaper because there are so many variables. But there are some general guidelines to know which version might be the one for your business (and your budget).
It is incredibly user-friendly and easy to navigate, so if you are a sole proprietor looking for basic accounting software, FreshBooks will meet your needs at a relatively low cost. Its basic plan is in line with QuickBooks Simple Start, at $15 per month. The best QuickBooks Online version depends on the size of your business and your particular needs. If you deal with inventory or large projects heavily, Plus is the best option. However, self-employed persons should consider Self-Employed—unless they have an employee, which will require an upgrade to Simple Start. If your business is service-based without any inventory, then Essentials should provide everything you need while saving you $30 per month compared to Plus.
- For instance, QuickBooks Desktop allows you to create customized job costing reports tailored to specialized industries, including manufacturers, contractors, and retailers.
- Best for small businesses looking for easy-to-use, cloud-based accounting software and strong mobile apps.
- For additional options, head to our guide on the leading QuickBooks Online alternatives.
- During the setup process, you can choose the features and functions that you will likely be using in QuickBooks Online.
The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters. QuickBooks Desktop offers good integration options, integrating with more than should your nonprofit go for a government grant 200 third party applications, making it one of the better integrated desktop application options. However, it doesn’t compare with the more than 500 options offered by QuickBooks Online.
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However, the QuickBooks Desktop licenses have been discontinued, and users have to buy a yearly subscription now instead. Additionally, QuickBooks Mac Plus and QuickBooks Pro Plus can no longer be purchased from the QuickBooks website and can be purchased by contacting Sales by phone or through an authorized QuickBooks reseller. The majority of small businesses use QuickBooks Online over the other versions of QuickBooks.
- Additionally, QuickBooks Premier supports up to five users, whereas QuickBooks Pro only supports a maximum of three.
- Many users also complain that QuickBooks Online doesn’t compare to QuickBooks Pro in terms of features and quality.
- If your business is service-based without any inventory, then Essentials should provide everything you need while saving you $30 per month compared to Plus.
- While we love QuickBooks Online’s accessibility, low learning curve, and simple scalability for multiple business types and sizes, it’s one of the pricier cloud-based accounting solutions.
- You can easily access all QuickBooks Online features from the dashboard, where you’ll find a vertical menu bar to the left of the screen.
According to the QuickBooks site, individual businesses interested in Enterprise can work out a customized pricing solution that saves them some money. But without any sort of discount, and if you add all 40 users to your account, you’re looking at more than $52,000 a year. You can access cloud-based software from any web-enabled device—your data isn’t tied to one location but stored on an external server for easy access. If QuickBooks pricing is out of your budget or if the complexity of its plans and pricing structures has your head spinning, here are a few alternative accounting software solutions to consider. QuickBooks Self-Employed is a “lite” version of the Online product that’s ideal for people who earn income from a variety of sources and helps to separate personal and business finances. Customer support includes 24/7 help from a virtual assistant (chat bot) as well as live phone and chat support during daytime hours, Monday through Saturday.
However, the process can be challenging as they are built on different platforms. For detailed instructions, head to our tutorial on how to switch from Self-Employed to Online.
And with up to 40 users, it works best for big businesses that emphasize financial collaboration and can shoulder the higher cost of an enterprise-level solution. QuickBooks Mac Plus — also known as QuickBooks for Mac — is locally-installed accounting software designed specifically for Mac users. The software features invoicing, contact management, expense tracking, inventory, and more. QBO also allows third-party apps and integrations to enhance the capabilities of small businesses. Unlike QuickBooks Online plans, which each come with a set number of users, QuickBooks Desktop Premier Plus comes with one user license. QuickBooks Desktop Premier Plus includes a full list of basic bookkeeping tools and features.
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If you’re a freelancer, QuickBooks Self-Employed is the obvious choice. If you’re running a small business, you’ll be comparing QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Pro. The first major deciding factor is whether or not you want cloud-based or locally-installed software. Best for small to medium-sized businesses looking for locally-installed software compatible with Macs. Best for freelancers, contractors, and other self-employed individuals in need of basic bookkeeping and tax support.
The Essentials plan provides all the functionality of Simple Start along with managing bills and tracking time. The Plus plan offers everything that Simple Start and Essentials do with the added ability to track inventory and profitability by the project. QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Self-Employed are the best for businesses wanting cloud-based software with mobile apps.
Most midsize businesses can’t afford to (and don’t need to!) spend that much cash on accounting software. You can infer this from the plan’s name alone, but with a cost that high, Enterprise’s price is best suited to enterprises. Still, bear in mind that with only 40 users and a focus on accounting, Enterprise is far from a total enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. As an extremely popular accounting solution, QuickBooks Online integrates with hundreds of the best third-party financial apps, from payroll companies like Gusto to point-of-sale systems like Square. Plus, with four plans, QuickBooks Online has a plan and price point for most small businesses. Locally installed basic bookkeeping tools, including invoices, industry-specific reports, time tracking, inventory management and more.
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It’s worth taking a closer look at the included reports list to see if there’s anything you’d be missing out on if you chose Essentials over Plus. With QuickBooks Online, users receive many of the same great features while gaining the mobility of cloud-based software. QuickBooks Online is easier to use and has more automations, more integrations, and better invoicing. The downsides are the lack of sales orders, lead management, and other complexities that loyal Desktop users may miss (such as customizable letter templates, a built-in calendar, and even spellcheck).
The features offered will vary depending which version of QuickBooks you decide to use. Get more in-depth information about the differences between Online, Desktop, and Desktop Plus versions of QuickBooks. Katherine Haan, MBA is a former financial advisor-turned-writer and business coach. For over a decade, she’s helped small business owners make money online. When she’s not trying out the latest tech or travel blogging with her family, you can find her curling up with a good novel. Another notable difference is QuickBooks Online offers a Self-Employed version for $15 per month, which is not available with QuickBooks Desktop.
What QuickBooks Desktop offers
The right QuickBooks Online plan depends on the size of your business and the features you need. For example, Self-Employed is best for freelancers or solopreneurs, while Simple Start is ideal for small businesses wanting to track assets and liabilities. Essentials is preferable if you need to track unpaid bills, while Plus is great if you require inventory and project management. Plus includes inventory accounting that allows you to monitor stock items and quantity—a necessity if you’re selling products. It uses first-in, first-out (FIFO) inventory tracking, an essential feature that helps manufacturers or retailers determine how their inventory affects their profitability. It also lets you update inventory costs and quantities, separate taxable from nontaxable items, and set up alerts if you’re running out of stock.
Its invoices aren’t very customizable, and you can’t use any versions of QuickBooks to interact with customers the same way you can with FreshBooks’ or Zoho Books’ client portals. QuickBooks Online is the most versatile and well-rounded of the QuickBooks suite of products. Since it’s cloud based, QuickBooks Online is easy to access from any phone, tablet, or laptop. Since QuickBooks Online is priced as a monthly subscription, it doesn’t require a contract and you can cancel your account at any time. Additionally, the desktop products are only available as annual subscriptions, making them a bigger commitment than QuickBooks Online.