Quickbooks Online Vs Quickbooks Desktop: The Better Tool in 2024?

Accounting software like QuickBooks monitors many small and medium-sized business owners’ revenue and expenses. It was developed by Intuit and provides options for handling tax, business, and personal affairs. There are different subscription tiers available for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop. Companies can use QuickBooks to automate a variety of activities, including accounting, payments, and invoicing. These features facilitate the management and monitoring of firm finances.

This article will cover the pros and cons of QuickBooks’s two different products, QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online. We’ll lay out both perspectives for you: QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop and QuickBooks Desktop vs. Online in 2024.

Here What We Cover:

QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop

QuickBooks Online Vs Desktop

The web-based version of the well-known desktop accounting program is called QuickBooks Online. It offers a user-friendly interface, multi-user plans, and rich reporting capabilities. Although the new QuickBooks Online Advanced plan makes the program adaptable for larger enterprises, QuickBooks Online is primarily meant for small businesses. The software provides many features, including powerful bookkeeping, online payroll, appealing invoicing, and more than 650 integrations.

QuickBooks Desktop software is a favorite of accountants and business owners. QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise has four distinct versions according to pricing and the number of features available to the customer. Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Silver and Gold are geared toward smaller businesses, Platinum is for medium-sized enterprises, and Diamond is for larger corporations. This is the fundamental distinction between the four. As a result, each plan advances in terms of the features and users that are accessible. QuickBooks Desktop is compatible with specific Windows and Mac operating systems.

You can go through the differences between the two products regarding prices and features and analyze which software is better for you and your company.

Estimate Template

Use our free estimate template now

Make winning quotes in minutes—for any industry and any job.

Pros And Cons Of QuickBooks Online

Web-based QuickBooks Online was first created for tiny businesses that wanted simple online access. It has now developed into a reliable small business accounting program that is simple to use and can be instantly accessed from any location on any device.

The QuickBooks Multicurrency functionality is one of the most notable aspects of QuickBooks Online. If you conduct foreign business, you should make use of this function. With the Essentials, Plus, and Advanced memberships, multicurrency is possible.

The pros and cons of QuickBooks Online are given below,

QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop

Pros And Cons Of QuickBooks Desktop

Small to midsize businesses searching for the dependability of a desktop software solution can use QuickBooks Desktop. QuickBooks Desktop is also an excellent choice for specialized companies like nonprofits, shops, and general contractors looking for a more sector-specific solution.

Windows and Mac can run QuickBooks Desktop but only specific versions that support updates. It provides the majority of the critical functions of accounting software.

Four separate bundles are offered to users. The most extensive package includes improved granular user rights and automated data encryption backups.

QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop

Differences Between QuickBooks Online And QuickBooks Desktop


QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop

The Plus pricing of QuickBooks Online is very popular, so the team at QuickBooks has offered specific prices for QuickBooks Online Plus along with the price for Payroll additions,

QuickBooks Online Plus –
$45/Month(for 3 months) ⇒ $90/Month(After 3 months)

QuickBooks Online Plus + Payroll Core –
$67.50/Month(for 3 months) ⇒ $135/Month(After 3 months)
+ $6/employee/month

QuickBooks Online Plus+ Payroll Premium –
$85/Month(for 3 months) ⇒ $170/Month(After 3 months)
+ $8 employee/month

Get posts like this in your inbox.

Keep learning how to run a 5-star business with our bi-weekly newsletter.


QuickBooks Online offers comprehensive features such as income and expense tracking, invoice creation, and seamless integration with third-party apps. With advanced tools like revenue recognition updates and forecasting, users can streamline financial management and gain insights into their business’s performance. 

On the other hand, QuickBooks Desktop boasts enhanced navigation and help capabilities for a smoother user experience. It offers automatic payment reminders, syncing with HR platforms, and robust security features with 256-bit encryption.

Both versions offer powerful tools tailored to meet the demands of modern businesses, empowering users to manage finances effectively and drive growth.

QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop

Integration With Other Software

QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop

Depending on your industry, the ability to interact with other programs may be helpful, while it may be essential for others. This is one area where the two products differ significantly.

QuickBooks Online Integrations

QuickBooks Online integrates with over 500 third-party apps across multiple categories, including CRMs, Project Management, Payments, Payroll, Invoicing, Inventory, and Time Tracking. It not only has more integrations, but it also has superior integrations.

QuickBooks Online’s integrations address business requirements and provide different payment gateway solutions. You may effortlessly connect to any third-party app from within the app, saving you a significant amount of time.

QuickBooks Desktop Integrations

QuickBooks Desktop integrates with over 200 third-party programs, making it one of the better-integrated desktop application solutions. However, it pales in comparison to QuickBooks Online’s more than 500 possibilities.

In comparison, QuickBooks Desktop has fewer payment gateways, making it difficult for modern merchants to receive online invoice payments. Integrations with apps like Method:CRM, BigTime, and Gusto, enhance various business processes. Unfortunately, these are not directly available in QuickBooks Desktop. They still have integrations for QuickBooks Desktop like SOS Inventory and QuickBooks Time.

QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop

Switch From QuickBooks Desktop To QuickBooks Online

If you prefer the ease of access and superior integration, you would like to convert your accounting software to QuickBooks Online. Thus, we have compiled FAQs that concern numerous folks, like why you should switch from QuickBooks Desktop, when is the ideal time, and how hard is it to convert to a different product.

The official QuickBooks site and support page can give you a comprehensive view of the process and its product.

When Should You Switch From QuickBooks Desktop To QuickBooks Online?

According to the QuickBooks site, access to add-on services for QuickBooks Desktop for Windows 2021 will be withdrawn after May 31, 2024. This contains all QuickBooks Desktop Pro, Premier, and Enterprise Solutions v21 versions. If you do not use any QuickBooks Desktop 2021 add-on services, your software will continue functioning normally. You will be unable to subscribe to live technical assistance or any of the other Intuit services that are compatible with QuickBooks Desktop. In addition, discontinued versions will not receive the most recent security fixes and updates.

Why Should You Switch From QuickBooks Desktop To QuickBooks Online?

After May 31, 2024, your QuickBooks Desktop 2021 software will be discontinued. This includes all 2021 versions of QuickBooks Desktop Pro, QuickBooks Desktop Premier, QuickBooks Desktop for Mac, and QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions v21. Other Intuit products are affected by the software discontinuation.

If you don’t upgrade your QuickBooks Desktop 2021 by May 31, 2024, you won’t have access to live technical support if you run into problems or any of the other Intuit services that can be integrated with QuickBooks Desktop. This includes QuickBooks Desktop Payroll, QuickBooks Desktop Payments, and online bank feeds. Discontinued versions won’t receive the latest critical security patches and updates.

Products affected by service discontinuation:

  • QuickBooks Desktop Pro 2021
  • QuickBooks Desktop Premier 2021 (General Business, Contractor, Manufacturing & Wholesale, Nonprofit, Professional Services, and Retail)
  • QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 21
  • QuickBooks Premier Accountant Edition 2021
  • QuickBooks Enterprise Accountant 21
  • QuickBooks Desktop for Mac 2021

That’s why we recommend switching to QuickBooks Online for much greater flexibility in your features, integrations, and a much more smoother experience of the software and its capabilities as a whole.

How To Switch From QuickBooks Desktop To QuickBooks Online?

QuickBooks Online includes features such as automatic bank account updates, access to your books from any computer with an internet connection, and much more.

How long does it take? In most circumstances, you may switch to QuickBooks Online in under an hour, and you have 60 days from the time of creating your Online account to transfer all your data online. The greater your corporate file, the longer it takes. Here are the steps you can follow for a short and quick switch to QuickBooks Online:

  1. Get your desktop file ready.
    In QuickBooks, press F2 (or Ctrl+1) to open the Product Information window. Check your current version and release. You will have 60 days to move your data from creating your QuickBooks Online account.

  2. Move the QuickBooks Desktop file to QuickBooks Online. If your QuickBooks version is 2020 or older, use the QuickBooks Desktop file restoration tool to upgrade your file. You can then move your data to QuickBooks Online.

If you are using QuickBooks Desktop Pro or Premier (older versions):

  • Sign in as an admin to the company file you need to import.
  • Go to Company, then select Export Company File to QuickBooks Online.
  • Select Start your export.
  • Sign in as an admin to your QuickBooks Online company.
  • Select Choose Online Company and choose the QuickBooks Online company you want to replace with your company file.
  • Select Continue.
  • If you track inventory in QuickBooks Desktop:
    • Please select Yes to bring them over, then enter the as-of-date.
    • Select No if you want to set up new items later in QuickBooks Online.
  • Enter Agree in the text field, then select Replace.
  • Select Yes, go ahead and replace the data, then select Replace.

If you are using QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise:

  • Sign in as an admin to the desktop company file you want to move.
  • On your keyboard, press Ctrl + 1 to open the Product Information window.
  • Press Ctrl + B + Q, then select OK to display the export window.
  • On the export window, select Get Started.
  • Sign in as an admin to your QuickBooks Online company.
  • Select an online company, then select the QuickBooks Online company you want to replace with your company file.
  • Select Continue.
  • If you track inventory in QuickBooks Desktop:
    • Select Yes to bring them over, then specify the as-of date.
    • Select No if you want to set up new items later in QuickBooks Online.
  • Enter “Agree” in the text field, then select Replace.
  • Select Yes, go ahead and replace the data, then select Replace.

  1. Prepare to use QuickBooks Online

  • Connect your bank or credit card account.
  • Create and send invoices to your customer.
  • If you track sales tax, set up location-based sales tax in QuickBooks first.
  • Track your bills and learn how to pay them in QuickBooks.


As we end this article, we hope we have imparted you with sufficient information on QuickBooks products so that you can make an informed decision. QuickBooks Online is more straightforward, with more automation, connectors, and improved invoicing. The disadvantages include missing sales orders, lead management, and other complexities devoted Desktop users may miss.

QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop

You should use QuickBooks Online if:

  • Easy-to-interpret software is what you need.
  • You need to use mobile apps to enable remote accounting access.
  • Automation and integrations that will save time are what you require.
  • You strive to make online invoice payments via payment processing integration.
  • International invoicing is essential.

The software has extensive capabilities, distinctive touches (such as lead management and sales orders), industry-specific editions, and the possibility to be more secure. The disadvantages of the QuickBooks Desktop are that it lacks the mobility of QBO, has few automation and payment channels, and has a steep learning curve.

QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop

You should use QuickBooks Desktop if:

  • You desire locally installed accounting software.
  • You require industry-specific QuickBooks Premier or QuickBooks Enterprise capabilities.
  • Sales orders are necessary.
  • Your accounting is extremely extensive.

The final choice will depend on which product suits your business and your employees the best.

QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop

Get organized, win jobs, and wow customers.

Try ZenTrades for 14 days to see how easy running your business can be.

Zentrades Resources

Explore More Free tools and Templates