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QuickBooks: comparing desktop and online versions

March 7, 2015

I’ve had a few more questions lately about the difference between the desktop and online versions of QuickBooks. The online version expands many areas of capability with few known downsides. According to Intuit, the following features are available in QuickBooks Online (QBO) that are not available in the desktop version.

  1.  Access to data easily across multiple platforms, PC or Mac Access to data from multiple devices, browser or tablet.
  2. Mobile access is included with QBO subscriptions at no additional cost
  3. No need to transfer data files since everyone logs in to the same account to access the same data
  4. Intuit developers are always releasing new functionality to QBO
  5. All the data is hosted, backed up and secured by Intuit’s servers
  6. Attached supporting documents and transactional messaging allow for greater collaboration and centralization of information
  7. Automatically create invoices and send them to clients, including delayed customer charges for unbilled time and costs
  8. Tracks logins, third-party activity and list changes in the Activity Log
  9. Reports can be emailed to anyone at a scheduled frequency
  10. Further organize data with both Class and Location tracking.
  11. Nomenclature can be selected for location
  12. Bank transactions are automatically downloaded nightly
  13. The new Assistance Center gives clients greater access to Online Help with the new online chat option
  14. Invite unlimited report reader and time tracker users
  15. Sync third-party apps to QuickBooks without opening the QuickBooks account, since the apps sync to Intuit’s always-accessible server
  16. No downloading and managing third-party sync engines
  17. Accountant users are given special tools, such as a batch reclassify and batch write off Post to multiple Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable lines in a single journal entry
  18. Track Inventory using the first in first out (FIFO) method.

The features of QuickBooks desktop not available in the online version are:

  1. Does not require Internet connection
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