Most small or medium sized businesses have come to rely on QuickBooks, whether that is QuickBooks Online, Desktop, or hosted QuickBooks Desktop. That's a lot of options.
Bear with us as we break it down. For those that don’t know, QuickBooks is an accounting software package geared mainly towards small/medium sized businesses.
QuickBooks is popular among business owners because it automates and manages a number of financial functions – including invoicing, bill payment, business to business payments, tax reports, and payroll. Many business owners choose to hire an in-house or outsourced bookkeeper to manage their QuickBooks service, but it’s quite common for business owners to use QuickBooks services themselves. There are many different versions of QuickBooks, and most business owners spend some time thinking about which software package best benefits their business.
There are two major versions of QuickBooks available, “Quickbooks Online” and “QuickBooks Desktop." Business owners should spend some time thinking about which software they prefer for their business. There are many similarities between the two software packages, but there are also some notable differences that business managers should be aware of before making a purchase. Below, we’ve highlighted some of the major differences between these two packages to help you decide which is best for your business.
The online version of QuickBooks is “cloud-based” like a website; which means that your information is stored on a server in “the cloud”. The benefit of utilizing a cloud-based QuickBooks is that your information can be accessed from any computer at any time, and all of your information is automatically uploaded and stored. When you “purchase” QuickBooks Online you’re not really buying any software, you’re actually just “subscribing” (or leasing) the rights to use the software. One benefit to this system is that you don’t actually have to download any software onto any particular device. Therefore, if your business is regularly going through new computers, this might save you some headache. For small business owners that are highly mobile and not necessarily tethered to any one location, this is a highly useful tool. It will even work from your cell phone.
It’s worth noting that QuickBooks Online—because it’s a month-to-month subscription package—will likely end up costing you more money over a prolonged period of time. Adding users and additional modules; like payroll, inventory, and others are an additional expense. However, if you have multiple employees that require access to QuickBooks (bookkeeper, co-owners, etc.), then it may save you money to have just one QuickBooks Online. It’s up to you to decide if the flexibility is worth the extra money, or if it’s necessary for you to allow multiple people to access QuickBooks remotely.
As you might have guessed, QuickBooks Desktop is a software package that you purchase and download directly onto your computer. Therefore, QuickBooks Desktop can only be accessed from the device on which the software has been installed. In the long-run, QuickBooks desktop is much less expensive than QuickBooks online because it is a one-time purchase. So, if you’re a business owner that does all your own finances and doesn’t need remote access, it might be worth it to just purchase QuickBooks Desktop package.
Also, keep in mind that QuickBooks Desktop does not automatically store your data in the cloud. This means that you will have to go to greater lengths to make sure that your data is backed up. There are some additional add-on packages that make it easier to immediately upload your financial data to a cloud, but you will have to put in the extra effort to find/purchase/install these packages. If you choose not to back-up your data, you run the risk of losing a mountain of important financial information should your computer crash.
QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop do basically the same thing; functionally, they’re largely dependent upon which package you purchase. It’s up to you to decide which specific package you need to purchase so that your business can be provided the functions you need.
The major difference between these two systems is that one can be accessed anywhere, and the other can only be used if you’re on the computer for which the license has been purchased (with an exception that we will outline below). For business owners that don’t require a significant amount of flexibility in location, or don’t need to give access to multiple bookkeepers/managers – it’s probably cheaper to just purchase Desktop QuickBooks vs. QuickBooks Online. That being said, regardless of whether you require location flexibility or not, QuickBooks Online is attached to the cloud. Having a system that automatically backs up your data might provide you with some peace of mind.
If you want the convenience of QuickBooks Online but want the reliability and robust services of its desktop counterpart, we offer Hosted QuickBooks Desktop. The best of both. That simply means you can do your bookkeeping or have us help; with QuickBooks Desktop, keep the data on our cloud and access remotely from anywhere, anytime.
The OfficeSquad has dedicated servers that keep your individual license of QuickBooks Desktop Hosted making it accessible from the internet via private network connection. What that means is that you can avoid the numerous pitfalls of QuickBooks Online such as duplicate downloads from your bank syncing, lost data due to website issues, and reduced efficiency due to working on a website for your bookkeeping.
We also provide training and free advice along with a free 30-day trial of the software.
Ready to get started? Click below to check out our Free 30-Day Trial of The Flight Club, our Hosted Desktop QuickBooks solution.
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