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Innovation, such as QuickBooks, has revolutionized traditional accounting procedures. The greater emphasis on automation of the various processes has enabled a real-time exchange of information, increased mobility via remote accessibility to information, and greater autonomy to business owners who are now less dependent on their financial advisors. This is primarily because automation has made information easier to comprehend. The plain and boring manual bookkeeping is now more interactive and fun following the advent of accounting software like QuickBooks.

Why Not QuickBooks Desktop?

Initially, QuickBooks Desktop was introduced during the 1990’s and was welcomed by many businesses in order to simplify their accounting procedures. Despite its various features allowing for greater customization in terms of tracking expenses, sales as well as generation of budgets and reports, this desktop version has been outdone in terms of performance by QuickBooks Online. The reasons that led to a decline in its popularity and necessary upgrade to a newer version are as follows:

  • The single user mode has been an obstacle for many businesses that require multiple user scenarios within the company. This obstructed the access to the desktop system by a user at all times. Single user mode only allows one individual to log into the system and work on it. Multiple user mode is a necessity for businesses today, owing to their virtual transcendence and the need to have real time access to data remotely.
  • Another issue that was faced by businesses using QuickBooks Desktop was the disruption caused due to the annual upgrade. This not only cost additional money to the business but also led to system disruptions and hanging.
  • In addition to the previous point, any and all disruptions caused by the system upgrade had to be managed through paid support. This version of QuickBooks does not come with free support, rather it must be paid for.
  • Furthermore, the installation of an upfront software onto the server has been boisterous for businesses. The 21st century is marked by cloud-based tools to share resources and information in real time. The use of an installed system seems obsolete in the present era. This is most likely to entice the movement from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online.

Why QuickBooks Online?

With the introduction of a newer version, businesses have switched to this online version of the software. The additional benefits derived from this upgraded version are as follows:

  • Allows for a multiple login mode whereby up to 5 users can have access to the interface from any remote location via an internet enabled device – PC, Mac Book or Tablet.
  • Another benefit of switching over to this version has been the increased automation. Invoice scheduling, connecting to online applications, and online hosting phone support have all become available with this newer version.
  • Moreover, QuickBooks Online allows for automatic downloading of all business transactions, a feature that was missing in QuickBooks Desktop.
  • The cloud-based online presence of information and resources has allowed businesses to move over to this version, thereby enabling virtual transcendence across the globe.
  • Any and all software upgrades are provided free of cost, unlike the desktop version of QuickBooks. The latest updates on products and features are also inbuilt into the system, requiring no additional cost.
  • Lastly, another important reason for this upgrade has been the cost savings through the QuickBooks Online version, which demands a monthly subscription, relative to the annual payment that was required for the desktop version. In addition to this, no software installation is required, an internet connection is all that you need to start its 30-day free trial.

As a result of the upgrade in its various features, QuickBooks Online has captivated attention of most businesses that are now switching over to the more flexible and mobile version of QuickBooks.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

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QuickBooks accounting software has acquired acclaim owing to its several benefits that have made business accounting and bookkeeping tasks such as invoicing, tracking cash flows, and creating accounting reports agile and effortless. QuickBooks provides small businesses with the ability to manage accounting transactions adeptly,without the need to maintain day-to-day accounting information in manual books of accounting. Manual tasking has, thus, been reduced and this has yielded a paperless and efficient work environment.

Features of QuickBooks Online

The online version of QuickBooks, originated in the 2000s, has been embraced by small businesses ever since it’s introduction. This online version has the following eminent features that differ from those of the desktop version:

  • Requires internet connectivity. It offers a free 30-day trial to all users.
  • Entails automated features for processing invoices and receipts, generating and emailing reports, and downloading business transactions.
  • Since QuickBooks Online is cloud-based, it may be accessed remotely on an internet enabled device from anywhere around the world. Multiple device access is also one of its features. 
  • Phone support feature that comes free of cost as part of the package.
  • Allows for automated data-encrypted back-ups as an inbuilt functionality.
  • Enables access to the latest product and feature updates as well as cloud access (hosting) free of cost. It also offers access for up to 5 users.
  • Requires a monthly subscription and allows for only limited customization relative to the Desktop version.

Features of QuickBooks Desktop

QuickBooks Desktop has been around since the 1990s. Its various features that differ from the online version have been listed below:

  • Requires an upfront software installation process onto the system. It can be accessed from one’s computer system regardless of internet connectivity.
  • Unlike the automated features available in QuickBooks Online, invoicing, billing, emailing and report generation must be processed manually.
  • Installed on a computer and can only be accessed through it. Remote access is not a possibility in this version.
  • Does not allow for free support functionality, but phone support may be purchased for $89 for 90-days.
  • Automated data-encrypted backups can be purchased for $9.99 on a monthly basis.
  • Allows up-gradation for accessing product/feature updates. This annual upgrade costs $299. Cloud Hosting may also be purchased for each user on a monthly basis.
  • Comes with additional features such as calculation and re-billing of job costs and discount calculation for customers.
  • Has a customization feature available that may be used by any and all businesses per their specific needs.
  • Does not require monthly payments, but a single annual payment must be made.

Which Version is Right for your Business?

Given the available options, small businesses are often confused about which version of QuickBooks to choose for their newly set up business. Below, a distinction has been made for the choice of the version that may fit well with your diverse business needs.

When QuickBooks Online is the Best Choice

  1. Your business requirement is such that employees need to access the accounting records remotely. Moreover, if multiple access is required by different people simultaneously, the online version is best suited for your business.
  2. Your business requires consistent and additional support.
  3. Your business believes in the virtual reality of shared resources and coordination through a cloud-based system.
  4. Your business believes in automation that comes at an affordable monthly charge.

When QuickBooks Desktop is the Best Choice

  1. Your business has a single location.
  2. Your business has poor internet connectivity available in the area of location.
  3. Your business does not require remote access by multiple users; all data must only be accessed within the office premises.
  4. Your business requires customization for features such as budget tracking and expense monitoring.
  5. Your business believes in safeguarding its data on the desktop to avoid sharing critical information on the web.

The distinction between the various features of QuickBooks Online and the Desktop version can assist businesses with the decision to choose either one for their specific business requirements.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.