Quickbooks Desktop versus Online Accounting Software

Comparing and Contrasting Quickbooks Accounting Software

If you’ve already chosen Quickbooks as your accounting software, the next step is to choose between their various offerings. Because these choices can be a bit confusing, we’ve created a quick comparison of their features.

Quickbooks offers two choices for its accounting software: Quickbooks Online and Quickbooks Desktop.

Quickbooks Online


  1. Accessible from anywhere via the internet
  2. Automatic import of bank and credit card transactions
  3. User friendly for beginning bookkeepers
  4. More integrations with other software
  5. Constantly being updated and improving


  1. Restrictive interface, can only view one window at a time.
  2. Not accessible without internet connection. 
  3. Restricted software capabilities depending on what price package you choose.

Quickbooks Desktop


  1. Sophisticated interface, can view multiple windows at one time
  2. More secure as it can only be accessed in one location
  3. All standard software capabilities included in one simple fee
  4. Functions can be utilized without Internet access
  5. An advanced “find” function makes searching for specific transactions easy


  1. Must be manually backed up
  2. Not accessible from multiple locations via the internet
  3. Software eventually becomes outdated

Reviewing the pros and cons of these two Quickbooks options can help determine which option is best for you. For instance, if you’re on the go and want to do your accounting away from home or office, the Online version might be ideal. Online is perfect if your organization is looking for accounting software with strong integrations and mobility. If you only work on your bookkeeping needs at your desktop and want the added security of one physical location, the Desktop version is a great choice, especially if your organization has more complex accounting needs. Either way, you’ve made a smart decision to automate your accounting and are on your way to greater financial accuracy and freedom!


nextSteps | 12.14.20

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Pentacle’s nextSteps is supported, in part, by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Pentacle receives private support for nextSteps from the Booth Ferris Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the New York Community Trust.

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