QuickBooks Versions - which one is best for you?


QuickBooks Online


This option is best for:

  • Owners that travel frequently and want access to their bookkeeping wherever they are.

  • Owners, Bookkeepers and Accountants that do not want to hassle with updating their desktop version every 1-3 years.

  • Companies that want 1-5 people using QuickBooks simultaneously.

  • Companies who do not have complicated inventory.

  • Anytime, anywhere access.

  • Those that do not perform their own daily backups

  • Businesses that DO NOT need a lead center, fixed asset manager, mileage tracking, multiple ship-to addresses for vendors, various price levels, sales orders or Units of Measure.


There are 4 QuickBooks Online Programs* to choose from:


Self-Employed - a single user system for self-employed individuals who file a Schedule C. Perfect for connecting bank accounts and helping with basic deductions. It also estimates Quarterly taxes. Click here for more information.


Simple Start - very basic, one user access, for new and small businesses that need access anywhere, anytime.  Automatic data backup.  No vendor bills.   No inventory. No contract.  Can add payroll. Can accept credit cards.  Any system, any browser.


Essentials - anytime, anywhere access for up to 3 users.  Includes online banking download, estimates, bills, automated invoicing.  Can import data from desktop versions.


Plus - for more established businesses that need purchase orders, inventory tracking, class tracking, multiple warehousing, budgeting and planning, delayed billing and time tracking.


Click here to see a comparison of these online versions.


QuickBooks Desktop


This option is best for companies that have:

  • Fewer than 20 employees & less than $1 million dollars in sales (QuickBooks Pro & Premier)

  • Larger businesses of 20-250 employees and more than $1MM in sales (QuickBooks Enterprise)

  • Need Inventory tracking

  • Companies that track jobs & job costing

  • Companies that do not want a SaaS solution (Software as a Service payment)


These are the QuickBooks Desktop versions*:   QuickBooks ProQuickBooks Premier, QuickBooks Enterprise, and QuickBooks for Mac.


*There are also accountant editions for both QBO (QuickBooks Online) and QBD (Desktop) 


QuickBooks Desktop hosted on the Cloud


There is another option for where QuickBooks can be located.  You can purchase one of the robust QuickBooks versions, and host it on the cloud so that you can access it from anywhere, and also share the same company file with multiple users (QuickBooks licensing needs to equal the number of uses).


There are many hosting companies offering this solution.   The average is roughly $50+ per user per month so this option does require an investment - but one that is well worth it, depending on your needs.  For a complete list of hosting options, ask for My Master Software Overview List.


Sharing QuickBooks Desktop through Qbox


A less expensive alternative for sharing the same QuickBooks desktop company file is to use Qbox, a file sharing application for Windows users that is easy and inexpensive. This is best for those who do not need to work simultaneously in QuickBooks. Click on the image for more information.














QuickBooks Maintenance should also be considered when deciding on which version is best

for your business.



Backing up your data should be done after every time you enter data into your QuickBooks.  Your company depends on it.


QuickBooks Online and Hosted QuickBooks on the Cloud perform the maintenance for you and backup your data so you don’t have to worry about it.  Both will schedule maintenance at times when most users are not online. 



If you have QuickBooks Desktop versions, you need to use the program inside of QuickBooks, to back-up your data (not just rely on an automatic backup system).   For additional information ask for our free e-guide on QuickBooks Maintenance for Desktop Versions or look for it in your Coaches Console (my consulting clients).


One of the first things to consider when selecting the best QuickBooks version is where do you want the program to be based. QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop versions are very different and you should understand your bookkeeping needs before selecting the solution that's best for you. 




How often should you upgrade your QuickBooks Desktop version?


Unless you have outgrown your current version of QuickBooks and need

to upgrade to a higher version, or if your needs change,  you can safely upgrade your QuickBooks version every 2-3 years. QuickBooks does add new features each year however, so if you are one that likes to have the latest and greatest… you'll want to upgrade every year.


After you purchase the best QuickBooks version, make sure you learn how to use it properly.  Smart business decisions start with accurate and up-to-date bookkeeping.