Your choice will depend on your workflow priorities, so you should understand their differences.

Earlier, I discussed some of the major differences between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Pro. QuickBooks Online came out ahead in some areas because it offers:

  1. Faster operations and better integration
  2. Location tracking and
  3. Minimal data entry.

Location tracking lets you designate territories, stores, departments, etc. in transactions.

QuickBooks Pro, on the other hand, prevailed in terms of add-ons (The Intuit App Center has far more solutions that integrate with the desktop) and reports (many more available in desktop edition).

QuickBooks training courses cover the issue of online vs. desktop extensively, because it involves a critical decision. If you’re using desktop now, should you consider moving to the cloud? And if you’re just getting started with accounting for your small business, which should you choose?

That all depends on what attributes are important for your company. Just because a solution has more features doesn’t mean it’s better for you. Consider these other differences as you make your decision.

For example, using QuickBooks Online, you’ll be able to:

  • Save money on support. Unlimited phone support, backup and upgrades are free. You’ll pay $299.95/year for a desktop QuickBooks support plan.
  • Let up to five people work in QuickBooks simultaneously. QuickBooks Pro only allows three. And those users have to be working on a PC where QuickBooks is installed.

QuickBooks Pro has strengths in other areas, like:

  • Specialized tools for dealing with Collections
  • Support for multiple currencies
  • The Lead Center, which helps you manage the progress of prospective customers and

Get a quick overview of a customer in the Customer Snapshot.

  • The Customer Snapshot, a dashboard-like screen that displays key information about each customer.

In a feature-for-feature battle, QuickBooks Pro wins. But any QuickBooks training course will emphasize the importance of using the tools that work best for your company.

Will you be left behind if you don’t move your accounting operations into the cloud? There’s no hurry. Intuit continues to support its desktop products, and launches new versions annually. Right now, you have the best of both worlds in desktop QuickBooks: a local application that has many hooks into the web through its online services.

If what you’re using is working for you, there’s no reason to change. But if you start to outgrow your current solution, know that you’ll always have other options.

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