beehexa integrationsidebar
beehexa beehexa logo 1

We Build HexaSync Integration Platform for Connecting ERP, POS, CRM, Accounting, and eCommerce Applications to Automate Business Processes

QuickBooks Online vs Desktop 2024: Comprehensive Comparison for Your Business

For those who are learning about the concept of “What is QuickBooks?“, be sure to consider the two main QuickBooks products: Online and Desktop.

QuickBooks offers two core products: QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop. Both provide users with unique features and are suitable for specific types of businesses.

So let’s discuss how QuickBooks Online vs Desktop compares—including key features and differences—to help you determine which accounting solution is best for your business.

QuickBooks Online vs Desktop: Market Share

Growth Trajectory of QuickBooks Online Ecosystem

According detailed QuickBooks financial and quarterly results, the QuickBooks Online Ecosystem has demonstrated a consistent growth trajectory from FY’22 to FY’24. With revenue growing from $4,438 million in FY’22 to $5,759 million in FY’23, and $1,618 million in Q1 of FY’24, this segment showcases a robust expansion. The upward trend indicates a strong market adoption and an increasing preference for online accounting solutions.

Declining Relevance of QuickBooks Desktop Ecosystem

Contrary to the online ecosystem, the QuickBooks Desktop Ecosystem shows signs of stagnation and decline. With revenue figures at $2,022 million in FY’22, $2,279 million in FY’23, and a slight dip to $726 million in Q1 of FY’24, it is evident that the desktop version is losing ground. This trend underscores a shift in user preference towards more flexible and accessible online solutions.

Impact of Strategic Investments on QuickBooks Online

Investments in enhancing the QuickBooks Online services, such as improved user interface and integration capabilities, have played a critical role in its revenue growth. The increase from $2,171 million in FY’22 to $2,910 million in FY’23, and a strong start of $820 million in Q1 of FY’24, reflects the positive market response to these strategic enhancements.

Competitive Edge of QuickBooks Online Over Desktop Solutions

QuickBooks Online’s competitive edge lies in its scalability, remote accessibility, and integration with other online services. The sharp revenue increase to $5,759 million in FY’23 compared to the stagnant growth of desktop solutions highlights the growing preference among businesses for cloud-based accounting solutions, which offer greater flexibility and real-time access to financial data.

Future Prospects for QuickBooks Desktop

Despite the declining trend, QuickBooks Desktop still holds a significant revenue share, indicating its continued relevance for certain market segments. The challenge for Intuit will be to innovate and potentially hybridize their desktop offerings to retain loyal customers while transitioning them to the online ecosystem.

Revenue Diversification Strategy

Intuit’s diversification strategy through different segments such as Credit Karma and ProTax, alongside QuickBooks, has created a balanced revenue model. However, the dominant growth of QuickBooks Online highlights the importance of continually investing in this segment to maintain overall financial health and growth momentum.

QuickBooks Online vs Desktop: Pricing

QuickBooks Online Pricing

Users can refer to QuickBooks plans to find a price suitable for their business model:

PlanRegular Monthly PriceDiscounted Price (First 3 Months)Features
Simple Start$25$12.50Track income and expenses, create invoices, and manage sales tax.
Essentials$50$25All Simple Start features, plus manage bills, track time, and have multiple users (3)
Plus$80$40All Essentials features, plus track inventory and manage 1099 contractors.
Advanced$180$90All Plus features, plus advanced reporting, expense management, and workflow automation.

QuickBooks Desktop Pricing 

The current annual QuickBooks Desktop pricing is based on the number of users. QuickBooks Desktop pricing for 3 users is:

PlanRegular Annual PriceDiscounted Price (First Year)Features
Pro Plus$549.99$299.99Track income and expenses, create invoices, and manage sales tax.
Premier Plus$799.99$549.99All Pro Plus features, plus industry-specific reports and inventory tracking.
Enterprise$1,340+$1,155+All Premier Plus features, plus advanced reporting, user roles, and priority customer support.
Add-on Remote hostingAdditional monthly fee
Add-on Payroll and QuickBooks Time (formerly TSheets) for time trackingAdditional monthly fees

Discounts offered may change. Optional one-time bookkeeping setup is $50.00.
QuickBooks Desktop versions are available through digital download or as products shipped from QuickBooks or other retail merchants.

QuickBooks Online vs Desktop: Features

FeatureQuickBooks OnlineQuickBooks Desktop
AccessibilityCloud-based, accessible from any device with an internet connection. Ideal for remote teamsLocally installed on a computer, limiting access to local networks unless additional solutions are implemented
Mobile AppYesNo
User CapacityUp to 25 usersUp to 40 users (Enterprise version)
Automatic BackupsYesNo (manual backups required)
Integration with AppsSupports over 750 third-party integrations, including popular business tools and platformsLimited integration options compared to QuickBooks Online. Offers specific integrations but fewer in number
InvoicingCustomizable, send and track invoices onlineCustomizable, send invoices, track manually
Bank FeedsAutomatic bank and credit card feedsAutomatic bank and credit card feeds
ReportsCustomizable reportsAdvanced, industry-specific reports
Inventory ManagementBasic inventory trackingAdvanced inventory management
Project ProfitabilityYesYes
Sales Tax ManagementAutomatic sales tax calculationsAutomatic sales tax calculations
Multi-Currency SupportYesYes
Time TrackingTrack billable hoursTrack billable hours
Payroll IntegrationYes (additional cost)Yes (additional cost)
Industry-Specific FeaturesNoYes (Premier and Enterprise versions)
Customer Support24/7 online supportBusiness hours phone support
Batch Invoicing and ExpensesAdvanced plan onlyAvailable in all Desktop versions
Custom User PermissionsAdvanced plan onlyAvailable in Premier and Enterprise versions
PriceMonthly subscription (varies by plan)Annual subscription (varies by plan)
Training and TutorialsExtensive online resourcesLimited online resources

QuickBooks Online vs Desktop: Insight

Pros and Cons of Accessing QuickBooks on the Go

    There are pros and cons to accessing QuickBooks on the go. The mobile app for Online is robust, and Desktop’s mobile app is so limited, that it essentially functions as a receipt uploader. Working from the cloud means you need an internet connection, so a poor signal or an intermittent connection can be an issue.

    When working with the Desktop version, it’s downloaded right to your computer. This means the data operates as fast as your computer, all without needing to worry about a connection issue. This introduces another notable issue with the Desktop software. You must pay an additional fee for every user who wants to access the account simultaneously, whereas Online lets multiple users access the account at the same time.

    Inventory Needs and Multi-Company Management in QuickBooks

      So a couple things: QB doesn’t handle certain inventory needs properly unless you buy a higher version which wasn’t required in the past with desktop.

      Then, it’s per user per month PER COMPANY. As i’m sure we all see, businesses seem to always have these pet or side or holding companies in addition to main. Some customers, that’s their business model. Literally 8 people running 30 separate companies (energy, property, etc industries). So QBO wants you to pay 8 x 30 x current rate for all that? QB desktop will let me open 1000 companies if i wanted, and if i’m the only person, pay for just me.

      QB Desktop doesn’t bother me too much, if they’re 1-3 people, put it on the main person’s desktop and we secure/protect it like a server, fixed IP, hourly imaged backups, etc, etc. Let the other 1-2 connect to it, VPN in to the office with MFA and RDP to the desktop if needed from home now and then.

      Which QuickBooks is Right for Your Business: Online or Desktop?

        Choose QuickBooks Online if:

        • Your business requires access to accounting data from multiple locations or by multiple users simultaneously.
        • You prefer automatic updates and cloud-based backups to minimize IT maintenance.
        • You need extensive third-party integrations to enhance functionality.
        • You have a small to medium-sized business with a modern, mobile workforce.

        Choose QuickBooks Desktop if:

        • Your business operates in a location with unreliable internet access or you prefer offline access.
        • You manage multiple business entities and need a cost-effective solution without per-entity charges.
        • You require advanced features like detailed inventory management and job costing.
        • You have a dedicated IT team or resources to handle manual updates, backups, and security configurations.

        Ultimately, the choice between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop depends on your specific business needs, operational preferences, and budget. Both versions offer robust accounting features, but their strengths lie in different areas, making them suitable for different types of businesses. Consider your long-term goals, scalability, and the specific requirements of your accounting processes when making your decision.

        Table of Contents

        Ready to integrate and automate at scale ?

        Learn how HexaSync lets you build enterprise-grade integrations and automations without having to code.

        Receive Exclusive Productivity Tips Directly in Your Inbox

        We’ll email you 1-3 times per week—and never share your information.

        Get started for free

        You can’t add more hours to the day. Beehexa is the next best thing.