That is the question. And there is no simple answer. Ten years ago, I would have said “Desktop! Don’t even consider that nasty Online version of QuickBooks!” But things have changed dramatically. So which one should you choose?
Here are some thoughts:
Convenience – QBO is accessible anywhere you have an Internet connection. You can use it on your tablet. You can use it on your phone. You’ve seen that commercial on TV in which the guy is dragging himself through the crawl space of a house creating an invoice on his tablet while he does it? Yes, you really can do that. Although, honestly – do you need to?
Robust Reporting – Desktop still wins in this category. There are more sophisticated reporting options available in Desktop. However, the reports available in QBO are pretty good. And getting better.
Security – This is the question many people ask me regarding the online version. Is it secure? Intuit says it is and talks about the various levels of security which I don’t know enough about to address. However, I do trust my own accounting information to it. I feel safe.
Price – Yes, you only pay for Desktop one time. You pay for Online every month. However, Desktop versions “sunset” after three years. That means if you use any connected services (like payroll), you will have to upgrade. That kind of evens out the pricing. And if you have the multiuser version of Desktop, it gets even closer.
So which one should you use? That really does depend on your own situation. If you need help figuring it out, call us. We’ll be glad to answer your questions.