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QBO vs QBD, which is better for me?

QuickBooks is a software produced to assist with the daily management of business procedures. If you are a business owner or self-employed, QuickBooks can help you get organized, make proper business decisions, and be prepared for events like filing taxes. The question is, which version of QuickBooks is right for you? QuickBooks Online (QBO) or QuickBooks Desktop (QBD).

Basic Things to Consider

  1. Cost is one important factor for many people. QBO has subscription-based pricing with 3 options. Each option offers a monthly rate ($20 to $150) or a yearly rate, with the yearly rate being slightly less expensive. QBD has a one-time cost of $300 for Pro Edition and a cost of around $1,000 for the Enterprise Edition. QBD users generally need to upgrade every 2 to 3 years.
  2. Access is another thing that should be considered. QBO allows access for up to 25 users at once. The cost for each user is normally around $7 to $13 per month, not including payroll features. QBD on the other hand must be installed on a computer. It can be used remotely but only by one user at a time.
  3. As far as Software Updates, QBO offers free updates included in the subscription, so the user is always using the most up to date version. QBD offers some updates for free during its 3-year product lifespan, but to get all the updates, the user must purchase a copy of the new software every year.
  4. Software support is a topic for consideration as well. QBO offers free unlimited support, while support for QBD is available during the initial 3-year period, but after that there is no support available.
  5. The final, and possibly most important piece to consider, is software integration. QBO does not integrate with QuickBooks Point of Sale, there are many apps available that can be used with QBO. On the other hand, QBD does integrate with QuickBooks Point of Sale, but there are not many available add-ons. Because QBD was primarily created for accounting functionality, add-ons are limited. QBO was purposely created as a cloud-based application with modern integration ability, therefore several certified 3rd party apps are available for use with QBO. Knowing which software and apps you would like to link to will help you in your decision.

Features only found on QuickBooks Online

The following features you can only use with QBO, if any of these are a must have, then QBO is the version for you.

  • Sales and Invoice Automation: QBO makes invoicing easy by giving you the ability to have invoices sent automatically, separately, or in batches to your customers.
  • Delayed customer billing and charges: This function allows customer invoices to be tracked and created when the time comes.
  • Activity Logs: These logs allow you to keep track of all changes made to business data, and who made the changes.
  • Automatic Email Reporting: QBO can be set up to automatically email financial reports to you on a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule.
  • Bank Transactions Automatically Downloaded: Automatically get information from your bank transactions downloaded for your convenience.
  • Location and Class Tracking: You can create your own classes to assign transactions. By doing this, you can track your account balance for any department. This allows you to better analyze your business in detail.

Features only found in QuickBooks Online

The following features you can only use with QBD, if any of these are a must have, then QBD is the version for you.

  • Inventory Assemblies: This allows you to track all the assembled goods that you keep in your inventory, produce, and sell.
  • Progress Invoicing: You can invoice by estimate at various stages instead of the full amount with progress invoicing.
  • Budget vs Actuals: This report allows you to compare the budgeted amount of your income and expenses to your actual income and expenses, helping you see how well you are performing.
  • Sales Orders: Sales orders can help you manage the sale of services or products that your customers order.
  • Statement Writer Services: This helps you create customized reports in excel worksheets and update the reports with live data to keep track of your business financials.
  • Item Receipts: This provides accurate information regarding existing inventory and payables. Also, you can track all items received even if you do not have a bill for them.
  • Class Specific Balance Sheets: This report calculates your businesses value by allocating each class.
  • Receiving partial Purchase Orders: This allows you to record any item received from a purchase order and edit your quantity to match what has been received.

Hopefully this information will help answer many of your questions you have regarding the difference between QBO and QBD. After considering the above-mentioned topics, I hope you feel a little more confident in choosing which version is best fit for you.

Arthur Harrison
Tax & Accounting

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