UPDATED 09/03/2019 – Note: QuickBooks Desktop 2020 is scheduled to come out in mid-September, all purchases of 2019 will include free upgrades to 2020)
If you need help purchasing the right version of QuickBooks, call our office at 1-800-819-6307 (9-5pm ET)
Let me start by clarifying that I will be referring to the Desktop Windows/PC versions of QuickBooks! This is a full comparison. QuickBooks Desktop Pro has most of the features any small business needs to run their accounting; however depending on the industry and specific operations-related needs of the business, they could consider looking into Premier, Accountant, and Enterprise editions. If you are looking for a comparison of QuickBooks Online vs. QuickBooks Pro, check out this article.
QuickBooks Pro is the base level of the QuickBooks Desktop family, it is a very complete program, containing key features like:
- Download Banking & Perform Bank Reconciliations
- Estimates, Invoicing, and Accounts receivables tracking for customers and jobs
- Tracing Bills from Vendors (Accounts Payable)
- Create Purchase Orders and Manage Inventory (Avg. Cost)
- 100+ Standard Financial Reports and custom reporting capabilities
- Track and Manage Sales Tax
- Ability to add Payroll Module and track payroll (robust Payroll Job Costing capabilities)
- Store attachments of receipts and other documents in transactions
The following features are available in the Premier and above versions of QuickBooks, but not the Pro version:
- Sales Orders: I tend to describe this features in the QuickBooks Courses I teach as “a transaction between an estimate and an invoice”. Estimates are simple to explain, they are non-posting transactions and do not affect any accounting or inventory. Invoices are transactions used to complete a sale affecting sales and inventory. So, Sales Orders are used to create an internal control of approved orders or approved estimates, but do not post into sales; but, the key element of the sales order is the backorder. A Backorder is a way to reserve or the inventory if it is in stock or commit it so when it gets received.
- Creating purchase orders straight from estimates or sales orders. This allows the user to use the item information already found on a “pre-sale” worksheet such as an estimate and sales order to create a purchase order using the preferred vendors assigned to the items
- Inventory Center, which was introduced in version 2012, found in 2013 and 2014 as well. This is a center dedicated to help the user quickly analyze or identify all transactions that involve a particular inventory item. For years the Customer Center and the Vendor center have been very popular features, and finally there is a similar interface dedicated to inventory items.
- Sales Order Fulfillment Worksheet is a module that allows the user to preview all fulfillable sales orders based on inventory quantities and can batch print pick tickets and/or packing slips.
- QuickBooks Business Planner is a built-in tool based on Atlas Business Solutions, Inc’s Ultimate Business Planner. Simple tool that can create very comprehensive Business Plans and it can take the data straight from your QuickBooks file to reduce data entry of financial data.
- 10 additional Sample files encompassing these industries: non-profit, contractor, manufacturing, wholesale/distribution, consulting, engineering firm, graphic design/advertising, law firm, retail with summary sales from POS system, retail with detailed sales in QuickBooks. very useful for people learning or wanted to practice in an environment similar to their industry. QuickBooks Pro includes a general Product and general Service sample file only.
- Industry Specific Reports specific for these industries: Contractor, Manufacturing and Wholesale, Professional Services, Retail, and Non-Profit.
- Billing Rate Levels is to have custom service item rates for different employees and vendors, so you you can charge different rates for an employee based on the service rendered, all while using the same sales item in invoices, but performed by different employees or vendors.
- Forecasts, this adds another dimension to Budgets with their own reports.
- Per item price levels let you set custom prices for items that are associated with different customers or jobs. QuickBooks Pro has fixed percentage price levels only.
- Inventory Assembly, as defined by Intuit: is one of the types of line items you can use when you are filling out a sales or purchase form. An assembly item lets you combine inventory part items and other assembly items (subassemblies) into a single item by defining a Bill of Materials, which lists the assembly item’s component parts. You can also include the costs associated with building the assembly item by adding non-inventory part items, service items, and “other charge” items to the Bill of Materials. Creating and adding assembly items to inventory is a two-step process. You first define the Bill of Materials (Also only available in Premier or above editions) that specifies what components go into making the assembly item, and then you build a certain quantity of the assembly item so QuickBooks can deduct the component parts from inventory and add new quantities of the assembled item. In other words, as soon as you build an assembly item, its component parts no longer exist as separate parts in inventory because they have become part of a new inventory item called an assembly.
- Batch Invoicing: create an invoice you want to send to multiple or even all customers with the same items in a single batch. Customers can be grouped into Billing Groups.
- Invoice from Time & Expenses it to let you invoice customers with un-billed time and expenses directly from a single list. You can view subtotals of your un-billed time and expenses for each customer, filter the list by date, and select which customers to bill.
- Balance Sheet by Class Report. Pro version can do Profit & Loss by Class, but not Balance Sheet
- Current Availability window is a preview to current availability of inventory (based on quantity on hand, minus quantity on backorder from sales orders)
- Change Order notes, option thats adds a note with timestamp of changes made to an estimate.
- Previous Reconciliation Reports, unlimited history of previous reports from reconciliations. QuickBooks Pro will only have the last report reconciled.
- Multiple Units of Measure, so you can buy by the dozen and sell by the unit, for example.
- 1-Click Reverse Journal Entry, creates a journal entry with opposing debits and credits on the next day of the original Journal Entry.
- Job Costing Center, one worksheet to review all Job Costing related functions. Only available when installed as Contractor Edition.
- Work with Min and Max inventory levels for restocking control (Pro only works with Min levels)
- Auto Copy Ship-To Address: This is great for companies converting Sales Orders to Purchase orders with DROP SHIP.
- Re-print previous bank reconciliations
There is another version of QuickBooks called: QuickBooks Accountant (used to be called QuickBooks Premier Accountant Edition) All features on Pro and Premier are in the Accountant Edition, plus:
- Batch Enter Transactions: You can add Checks, Credit Card Charges, Deposits, Invoices/Credit Memos, and Bills/Bill Credits from an excel spreadsheet with a quick copy/paste style function.
- Batch Delete Transactions: This feature lets you delete or void transactions in a batch
- Batch Reclassify Transactions to reclassify the account wrongly categorized transactions in batch, also reclassify classes in batch as well
- Create Period copy great for audits with limited time periods.
- Work with 2 files simultaneously.
- Client Data Review is the fastest way to write off invoices, fix open balances, fix undeposited funds, fix sales tax, and troubleshoot inventory issues
- Fixed Asset Manager to calculate depreciation from Fixed Item List
- Add Comments to Reports with the new Commented Reports feature
- Statement Writer allows you to create custom, compliant, financial reports
And these four features, that are only relevant to Accountants that receive a copy of their client’s QuickBooks File:
- Receive Accountants Copy, make changes and send changes back to client
- Toggle to any version of QuickBooks to be able to “see what their clients see” (Accountant, Pro, or Premier any of the industry editions: Contractor, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Retail, Professional Services, and Nonprofit)
- Send Journal Entries to clients that send the accountant a copy of the QuickBooks file
- Client Collaborator feature allows you to send client notes or questions about specific transactions and clients will receive them in their QuickBooks file. Accountants and users keep track of all notes. Will need Need to have an intuit login to update via the “cloud”
Also comparing price-points is important:
|No. of Users||QuickBooks Desktop Pro 2019||QuickBooks Desktop Premier 2019||QuickBooks Desktop Accountant 2020|
*for exact pricing, please call 1-800-819-6037, as there are sales and price promos from time to time
Moving on up, QuickBooks Enterprise – Silver Edition is the first offering of the top of the line from Intuit’s QuickBooks products, you will find all features from QuickBooks Accountant, plus:
- Advanced user Permissions and Restrictions (Over 100 individual functions can be toggled for users)
- Ability to upgrade to 6-30 Simultaneous users. Number of user licenses has an incremental cost, ranging from 1-user at $1,299 to 30-user at $9,300. Also monthly subscriptions available at discounted rates
- Consolidate multiple QuickBooks files to create a combined report in excel
- More Custom fields, and ability to create drop-down custom fields to restrict user to specific data entry choices.
- ODBC connector for easy data export into Microsoft Access and other ODBC compliant database systems.
- Unlimited names and items. Pros and Premier are normally limited at 14,500.
- Designed for larger data file sizes and network. Works faster over multiple users in a network.
- US-Based Tech support included with annual subscription
- Ability to open 2 company files simultaneously
- Ability to consolidate 2 or more company files into one consolidated financial statement
- Shortage Report for inventory assemblies missing components
- Enhanced Inventory Receiving: Separates the receiving process from the accounts payable process, which is great to maintain separation of the receipt date of inventory from the bill date.
- WIP Report and Committed Cost Report (with unpaid wages and open PO values)
- Sales Rep and Custom Fields to Bills, Checks, and Credit Card Charges. Which allows a true profit by Rep report
- Maximum stock levels in addition to Min (formerly known as re-order point) that allows you to Auto Create PO’s that allows for the automation of purchase users based on minimum and maximum inventory levels
- Adjust Margin and Mark-up per item, also when cost changes, sales price will automatically adjust using the pre-fixed margin or mark-up
- Assign a Default Class to a Name, Item, or Account
- Pending Builds Assemblies and easily swap an item that are used in any assemblies
- Disallow Negative Inventory with a built-in mechanism to prevent the user from creating a transaction that triggers a negative inventory. Also a Negative Item Listing Report
- Disallow sales to overdue customers
- Disallow user from entering opening balances when creating new customers, vendors, and/or items.
- Show Item cost on sales transactions
- Search Within Transactions and sort columns within groups
- Ability to show a subtotal for qty and numerical custom fields within transactions.
- Label Printer Support: You can now print labels on single roll continuous labels, instead of being limited to regular printers only.
- Find and Select Items: Very fast way to search for an item by name or description within a sales form, such as an Invoice.
- Advanced Reporting add-on allows to unlock most of our QuickBooks data to create very customizable reports using QlikView technology
QuickBooks Enterprise – Gold, includes all of the above (Silver), plus a Enhanced QuickBooks Payroll Service (a $600/year value)
And finally, The top of the line option, QuickBooks Enterprise – Platinum, adds these additional features:
- Advanced Pricing: supersedes Price Levels from Premier and QBES Silver/Gold, and also adds advanced pricing functionality, including expiring discounts, and package conditional pricing.
- Volume Discounts: you can set a different price table based on quantities being sold
- Bar Code Scanning Support: you can connect a USB (wired or bluetooth/wireless) barcode scanner to receive item and invoice items
- FIFO Inventory Costing: QuickBooks by default uses average costing for inventory, with QBES Platinum you can set FIFO as your costing mechanism
- Multiple Inventory Sites: you can track inventory in multiple sites and create transfers between the sites
- Bin location Tracking: you can track inventory based on sub-locations within an inventory site
- Mobile Phone (android) and Mobile Scanner Support: you can sync you open sales order data to a mobile device to manage the inventory picking process wirelessly, using a MC40 device you can also scan the items in order to confirm a pick
- Pick/Pack/Ship Status Support (and Express Pick-Pack) for Sales Orders and mobile scanner support for status updating
- Receive PO’s with mobile app and mobile scanner
- Perform Inventory Cycle Counts with mobile app/scanner. Also can do cycle counts with Excel!
- Landed Cost: ability to allocate expenses like freight, customer, insurance, etc. to inventory costs
- Track an additional four Alternate Vendors in addition to the preferred vendor. Track Vendors Part Number, Lead time, and vendor’s cost across multiple vendors for the same item. And compare items across multiple vendors prior to purchasing.
Also, check out this video on comparison across different QuickBooks versions
And my master feature comparison spreadsheet
You can call us 954-414-1524 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org to get a price quote on any version of QuickBooks