In just more than a decade in the market, QuickBooks Online has made its mark in the accounting application industry. There has been consistent growth in the popularity of cloud-based applications and Intuit’s statistics for QuickBooks Online subscribers, second that trend. That being said, QuickBooks Online has not taken over the desktop version completely. QuickBooks desktop still remains the leader among all the accounting applications with the most number of users in the US.


QB Premier VS. QB Online: Which One Offers the Features You NeedOne of the major reasons that keep QuickBooks desktop in the leading position is the availability of a special version for different sized accounting needs – QuickBooks Enterprise, QuickBooks Premier, QuickBooks Pro, and QuickBooks Accountant. In this article, we are comparing QuickBooks Premier and QuickBooks Online to find the better fit for the accounting needs.

QuickBooks Online Vs. QuickBooks Premier

QuickBooks Premier (QB Premier) is a desktop-based software that can perform complex accounting operations, such as – maintaining payrolls, auto-fill accounting forms, job costing, etc. One software license can support up to 5 users and offers a quality solution for accounting files that range between 150 MB and 200 MB. With plenty of built-in forms, it takes quite a bit a load off the accountants, by automating several accounting processes.

QuickBooks Online (QBO) is a cloud-based accounting software from Intuit that offers modern-day accounting solutions, such as – anytime and anywhere access to accounting data, and simultaneous collaboration between multiple users. With such automation, integration with bank accounts, and payment cards of QBO, most of the transaction tracking tasks are automated. Another major advantage of opting for QBO is that all the updates from Intuit are installed automatically.

Features QuickBooks Premier QuickBooks Online
File Size 150-200 MB No Limit
Create Business Plan Yes No
Sales Forecast Yes No
Smart Search (Personalized auto-filling and personalized suggestion) Yes No
Automated online banking Yes
Banking data synchronization Yes
Language Supported USA, UK, Canada, International USA
Tax Payment Yes
Payment Method Monthly/Annual Monthly/Semi-annual
Payroll & Employees Yes
Free Updates Certain updates Yes
Free Support from Intuit 3 Years Yes
Integrate with QB Point of Sale Yes
Job Costing Yes
Balance sheet by class & location Yes
Automatic report emailing Yes
Pricing Starts from $75.99/user/month Starts from $14/user/month

Editor’s Recommendation

If you are confused between QB Premier and QBO then your accounting department probably demands 5 users with the access to software. So, we are going to consider cases for businesses with 5 accountant needs. There is no clear pick between the two as the choices can vary depending on the specific accounting requirements that your business demands. Here are some pointers that can help you make the right choice:

  1. QB Online is a clear winner where different users need to have access to the accounting software from different locations but features requirements are limited. QB Online is pocket-friendly as well.
  2. QB Premier is a fine suite for businesses where accounting features are the prime concern and users can work from the same location and on similar devices.
  3. QB Premier Hosting is pretty much a combination of QB Premier and QBO. It hosts the desktop application on the cloud and hence, packs the benefits of the cloud with features of QB Premier. Compared to the other two solutions, hosting of QB Premier is costly but it is the best suitable option for heavy accounting needs, with multiple authorized users from different locations.

You may also like to read: QB Online or QB Enterprise: What’s the Right Choice For You?

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