Everything You Need to Know Before Choosing QuickBooks Online or Desktop

  • April 29, 2020
  • admin@ohi

QuickBooks is a best-selling suite of programs by Intuit, designed exclusively to rationalize complex financial operations that include budgeting, expense tracking, payroll, inventory, and sales. The software caters to all the financial needs of a small business firm.

Some of us even use it for personal accounting, though it’s explicitly designed to truncate the complexity that comes along with business finances.

Over time, add-ons and specialized editions have been introduced and tweaked to include facilities like merchant services, marketing tools, product and supply inventory, as-well-as training solutions.

QuickBooks Online vs. QuickBooks Desktop

There is no specific answer as to whether the online version is preferable or the desktop software. For some, the desktop version might be prioritized, while for others, the online software might be of more value.

The following set of points must be considered while choosing between QuickBooks Online or Desktop. This will let you decide as to which one is better suited.

Outlook and Appearance

The differences are obvious and easy to notice the moment you boot up or log in to the software. Everything from aesthetics to layout, to menu items, are different for both versions.

Initial Fees

QuickBooks Online is a subscription service that is paid monthly and varies according to the services you avail. QuickBooks Online comes with an initial free 30-day trial as-well. QuickBooks Desktop needs to be purchased at full price with or without any trial.

QuickBooks Online charges a monthly subscription fee while the desktop version can be owned lifetime with a one-time fee.

Connection Requirements

For those of you who work on the go, QuickBooks Desktop can be used anytime, anywhere, if you have your computer plugged in or a laptop with charge. QuickBooks Online requires internet access as it is based in the cloud.


The QuickBooks Desktop version needs all transactions like invoices, receipts, and other reports to be processed manually, hence requiring more effort. The online version has multiple solutions to automate things like customer billing, email reports, and bank transaction downloads.


QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based application. Hence, an active internet connection is a primary requirement. The Desktop version is solely available on the desktop machine on which the software has been installed.

Multiple Users

In order to accommodate the entire finance team, QuickBooks Online can handle about 25 users simultaneously. QuickBooks Desktop is restricted to a single person at a time.

QuickBooks Desktop Advantages

QuickBooks Desktop, despite lagging in certain aspects, can be beneficial for you if –

  • Your business requires you to manage copious inventory and sales
  • Only a limited number of team members need access
  • Paying a monthly charge is not your deal
  • You do not intend to be at risk of getting hacked from the cloud

QuickBooks Online Advantages

QuickBooks Online can be beneficial for you if –

  • Your business team needs remote access to financial books
  • Your business doesn’t require you to track a large inventory or high-volume sales
  • You run a business where more personnel need simultaneous access
  • You prefer paying a monthly fee
  • You would feel advantageous from the complimentary customer support access

Final Words

QuickBooks Online and Desktop are both suited for different requirements. However, the online cloud-based version is more emphasized. Investing in the QuickBooks Online would be a better option to consider, with the traffic shifting towards online connectivity.

Intuit is putting more effort into improving the online version as the company is shifting from hardware-based programs to cloud and internet connectivity and storage. However, if you find it better to use the desktop version, then you can pay a lifetime fee and avail its features as per your requirements.


OHI is a specialized finance and accounting outsourcing service provider with over fifteen years of finance and accounting outsourcing experience. We have strong functional outsourcing expertise in end to end accounting processes covering daily accounting activities, reconciliations, month end and year-end account finalization processes, employee reimbursements, payroll processing, management reporting and financial analysis.

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Learn More About Our Accounting Services Using QuickBooks: Call us at 1-646-367-8976Email at sales@outsourcinghubindia.com – CONTACT US

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