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Level 1

Desktop QB

I was taking to a CPA  and they told me. That in time there will be less  Desktop people using it. Also that I should go to QB online. My Q & A is this true, before I go from QB Desktop which I have right now to QB online . Thank you


Marty Jarvey


6 Comments 6
Community Champion

Desktop QB

There will always be Desktop. Desktop will coat you less even if you upgrade every year let alone 3, when suppport ends. But to an accountant with clients, to service desktop clients costs them $349/year for desktop accountant whereas QBOA to service their QBO cllients is free. Do the math, but do yours not theirs 

Not applicable

Desktop QB

Great question. I think a big part of it comes down to preference.


Some people like Online, "the cloud," and the advantages that come with it (being able to work remotely, easier access, no storage on your hard drive, etc). Others want their data stored locally and need the greater functionality of Desktop. There are different flavors for different types of users with different needs. 


CPAs and accountants tend to have a preference and, from a compatibility standpoint, it's important to consider it if you want to keep working with them in the future.


But at the end of the day, go with what works best for you. Desktop as a product isn't going anywhere and regardless of the volume of users on one over the other, you should go with what meets your needs. 

Level 15

Desktop QB

There are Tons of Functions not in QB Online; just ask the people using QB Enterprise. For my own clients, nearly none of them can use QB Online; it doesn't manage Job Cost from payroll and it doesn't manage Class Tracking to the same degree as Premier "Accountant."


If you have been involved with computers long enough, you would remember it has swung back and forth:

We used Mainframes, and the "computer department" was like Mount Olympus; only the Geek Gods resided there. The rest of us mere end users got Terminals = dumb interface tools. Then, we got Distributed Computing = the Power of an actual computer right on your desk! Then, we were told, "Let us keep it safe for you in The Cloud," and Lo! There was the return of the Geek Gods to take care of everything for you. Well, as long as you don't mind Not having it in your control, and as long as you Can Connect and Stay Connected to the internet, etc.

Level 3

Desktop QB

It really is a matter of personal preference and cost. Online will cost more, and as others have mentioned, it may not have all of the features to support your business. 


Online is more convenient for collaborating. Like this is the main feature I think makes it a great product. Meaning if you need to share your books with your CPA often, online will make that WAY easier than desktop. When I used desktop, I was always scared of moving those large files across the internet, both because of security, and because I was afraid I would accidentally mess up the restoring of the file when it came back from my CPA. Online is way more secure. 


The other issue to be conscious about is online is not goof proof. Yes, they backup data to their servers and such, but let's say you accidentally unreconcile the wrong account (like I did once), you can't "close it" without saving because QBO is always saving. 


The problem I ran into when I sold my business, I didn't want to maintain a QBO account for an old business, so I tried to move the data back to desktop, which really didn't work very accurately, so if you do want to "switch back", it's not going to be easy or accurate so you will have to either start a new file, or do some creative stuff to portage your data back over to desktop, but it won't be the same level of continuity. Moving from desktop to online was seamless, however.


Hope that helps.


Level 4

Desktop QB

QuickBooks Online doesn't give you all the functionalities, you can always move from QuickBooks online to QuickBooks desktop to get the full desktop functionality. QuickBooks Enterprise 2019 has all the functionalities mentioned below:

1. Online data protection

2. US based support

3. Upgrades

4. Advanced Reporting

5. Advanced Pricing

6. Advanced Inventory

7. Enhanced Payroll




Adrian Gates

Level 3

Desktop QB

If you have used and like Desktop, and have a "real" company, do not switch to Online (in my opinion). It sucks and has so many limitations. It's an APP, not a program. It has none of the robust quality of the desktop. If my clients have it, I take the right off of it immediately.

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