Update: This article was last updated on 6th Jan 2020 to reflect the accuracy and up-to-date information on the page.
QuickBooks, one of the most preferred accounting software in the world, is an efficient solution for the accounting needs of businesses, be it startups, SMBs, or enterprises. The desktop versions of QuickBooks can be installed on the on-premise setup, just like any other software.
However, with the cloud technology taking the accounting market by storm, Intuit also introduced the cloud-based version of QuickBooks – QuickBooks Online (QBO). QuickBooks Online can be accessed through the web browser with the help of Internet-connected devices like smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
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.
One of the primary reasons that keep QuickBooks desktop in the leading position is the availability of a specific 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 a 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.
Moreover, Intuit released its latest version – QuickBooks Premier 2020 that added some new features and updates to the existing software. Some of which include Automatic Payment Reminders, better interface for reports, and file search option, among others.
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|
|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|
|Payroll & Employees||Yes|
|Free Updates||Certain updates||Yes|
|Free Support from Intuit||3 Years||Yes|
|Integrate with QB Point of Sale||Yes|
|Balance Sheet By Class & Location||Yes|
|Automatic Report Emailing||Yes|
|Pricing||Starts from $22.50/user/month||Starts from $14/user/month|
If you are confused between QB Premier and QBO, then your accounting department probably demands 5 users with the access to the 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:
- QuickBooks Online is a clear winner where different users need to have access to the accounting software from different locations, but features requirements are limited. QuickBooks Online is pocket-friendly as well.
- 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.
- 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 complex 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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