Plano TX - Quickbooks Desktop Vs. QBO - Which is Best for My Business

Education & Training with Bob Jablonsky & Associates

The majority of small businesses in the US use an Intuit product ("Quickbooks") for their businesses bookkeeping. The term “Quickbooks” can mean Quickbooks Online (QBO), one of the various Desktop Versions, or Quickbooks Enterprise that is oriented towards larger businesses. When business owners come into our Richardson, TX office and ask me which is the best version, as with most things, my answer is typically “it depends”. Which is best for your business is based on a combination of your industry and your businesses special needs and your own comfort with technology. Here’s a quick look at Quickbooks Online (QBO) vs. Quickbooks Desktop.


Quickbooks Online (QBO)

QBO is a cloud based technology.  For many of my small business owner’s, I find it much simpler to use. If you want simplicity and the needs of your business can be fulfilled by QBO, I tend to find it best.


Some of the advantages include:

  • QBO is very easy to use. Whether sending an invoice, paying a bill, or downloading information for your bank, even most business owners who are not accountants or adept with technology, can navigate QBO.
  • With QBO, your file is in the cloud and is always backed up.
  • Does QBO have a new update? If so, your company will be automatically updated behind the scenes automatically. There’s no work on your part and no new software charges.
  • While QBO is bookkeeping platform not oriented towards any specific industry, there is an ever growing number of Intuit approved apps available that fill those gaps.


Some potential disadvantages include:

  • You will have a monthly subscription cost. Although Intuit offers discounts for new users, ongoing costs can be substantial for a small business.
  • QBO is probably not the best option for retail stores with large amounts of inventory or heavy job costing needs.


Quickbooks Desktop

With the Quickbooks Desktop versions, the data file is stored on your hard drive unless you have the file stored on a separate server at an additional cost.


Some of the advantages include:

  • You can control your costs. Although you may eventually need to buy updated versions to receive support, in general, you can continue your costs much better. As a small business, this may be critical to you.
  • Desktop has a variety of versions that have different areas of focus. It is possible that you may find a better for your needs, particularly if you are a retailer or contractor.
  • Quickbooks Desktop is also simple to use and is a great option for most small businesses. Because of the various alternatives, different versions may look a bit different.


Some potential disadvantages include:

  • Back-ups are not automated. You will need to find a solution or risk losing your accounting data.
  • If new functionality is available in the newest version of Quickbooks Desktop, you’ll need to buy it to get that functionality.
  • Sharing your data can be difficult. Unless you invest in a server that hosts the Quickbooks data file or subscribe to an 3rd party option, it can be difficult to share data. If you need to share your file with your tax accountant or get remote training, this can make it difficult.


Overall, both are solid solutions. What is best for you and your business is based on your personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as your particular businesses processes and your industry.


Do You Need Help?

If you need help from a Fractional CFO, with financial coaching, or specifically related to Quickbooks, I’d be happy to talk with you. Please give me a call at (972) 821-1991 or email me at bob@jablonskyandassociates.


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