Sunday, June 29, 2008

QuickBooks Online versus QuickBooks Desktop Software

Ahhh, the thought of being able to access your QuickBooks data from anywhere in the world…multiple offices in different locations being able to access one central file…being able to review reports from the comfort of your hotel room…just think of the possibilities.

Now, think of the price of doing this. No, not the monetary price…in fact, the QuickBooks Online Edition only costs approximately $200 more for one year of service than the actual desktop software version (such as QuickBooks Pro or QuickBooks Premier). The price I’m speaking of is in terms of speed, and functionality:

  1. The biggest downside for me and the average business owner is speed. The Online Edition adds a tremendous amount of time to your day-to-day operations…reports that generate in just a few seconds on the desktop edition now take 10-60 seconds depending on the size of your company file and the speed of your internet connection. Limitations on keyboard shortcuts add to the amount of time you will need to spend entering data.


  2. While all users won’t experience a decline in functionality due to their limited use of the program, any business that uses QuickBooks as more than just a “checkbook” program will notice a dropoff in features offered by the Online Edition. One of the features that I find most frustrating is the fact that you can only have one report/screen displayed at a time. On the desktop software, you can have several windows opened at one time and flip back-and-forth between them as needed.

If remote access is your main reason for leaning towards QuickBooks Online, I would suggest that you combine the QuickBooks desktop software with some type of remote access program such as GoToMyPC, WebEx, Citrix, VPN, or some other similar type of remote access software. This way, you have the full functionality of the QuickBooks desktop software and you are still able to access it from remote locations.

Already have QB Online? Don’t worry. QuickBooks has developed a wonderful conversion process where they take your Online Edition company file and convert it to a working company file that can be used with your desktop software. It takes about a 24-48 hour timeframe to complete, during which time you cannot add new data to your file. However, it is well worth that minor inconvenience in order to avoid the ongoing inconveniences of the Online Edition!


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22 comments:

About.com Financial Software said...

This is excellent advice, featured it on my blog:
http://financialsoft.about.com/b/2008/09/16/is-quickbooks-online-too-slow.htm

LessAllan said...

We're not the biggest fans of Quickbooks for many reasons the first being the interface is to confusing. Plus there are way to many features for the average user. We developed our own accounting package for this reason. LessAccounting.com

Aaron said...

I have to disagree with your finding and rating of QBOE. It sounds a lot like the IT department grumbling about the switch to windows Vista. Prepare yourself for the slight learning curve, and in no time the new online system seem like it was meant to be. Our Clients have been very receptive to the new system, considering they are all on a dedicated T1 the speed issue is non existent. This web-service combined with the proper manual controls could easily reduce a 3 person accounting department down to 1 person part time.

Michael Hanley, CPA said...

The speed I refer to isn't affeceted by internet speed...it's the fact that you cannot have multiple windows open that you can flip between and the fact that reports are not generated instantaneously. I have experienced very few internet connection speed-related issues with QuickBooks Online.

Ian L said...

Internet stability can be a problem in some areas.

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Karen said...

You can also try RHUB http://www.rhubcom.com remote access appliance. For one thing, it provides more security than online hosted solutions and you won’t have to pay monthly fees either, as with the latter. TurboMeeting can connect to up to 1000PCs remotely and ensures consistent access without the worry of blockers such as strong firewall settings in the Remote PC or lockdown systems. TM works well even on low bandwidths, and ensures instant remote control, remote reboot, auto-reconnection, file transfer/ sharing, and maximum customization, among others.

Charlotte said...

You actually can have as many windows in QB Online as you like. Simply copy the address line in your browser, open a new tab and paste the address, ENTER. I often have at least 5 tabs running at one time: register, reconcile, Find, reports, customers. This doesn't mitigate the frustration of missing keyboard shortcuts but definitely makes the refresh-screen issue less imposing.

Cynthia G. said...

Thanks, that was exactly the information I was looking for.

Tracy said...

Great blog on the differences between QuickBooks Online and QB Desktop Software. Clients interested in being able to access their data anywhere and still user their same version of QuickBooks should consider Quickbooks Hosting

prettytasty said...

Thank you for your advice - this is just what I was looking for. The difference between the desktop and online versions. Frankly, I dislike the subscription payment method with nothing to show for it (software on my own puter). This is now April 17, 2012 and it's quite pricy per month versus buying the physical package. I used to have GotoMyPC and loved it!!

Phil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil said...

Terrific post - the issue of QB Pro vs QB Online is one that continues to be a heated discussion and debate even today in 2012 (this blog is 4 years old and still relevant!).

At ProOnGo, we get asked "QB Pro or QBO" so many times every week, that we put together a QBO vs QB Pro price comparison calculator.

Ultimately, we think QBO will win out, but that it'll probably take as much as another 5-10 years to do so.

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From where i can download this software with full serial?

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