QuickBooks Online 2022 Quickbooks online versus QuickBooks Desktop, get ready, because it’s go time with QuickBooks Online 2022. Before we dive too deep into the workings of QuickBooks Online, we want to take a step back and think about the different types of software packages. And this case software packages related to accounting software just offered by QuickBooks, which is owned by Intuit, you can take these concepts and then take them even a step further back and think about the differences in general from different software packages.
And which users those differences would apply best to, you might ask, Well, why does this matter to us in terms of learning QuickBooks Online, it will be dependent on your viewpoint in terms of why you’re learning QuickBooks Online. So for example, if you happen to be an accountant that’s working in the job market working for an employer, it’s generally a good idea to have an idea of what the differences are between software packages, because that will generally make you more marketable in the job market.
And you could take the skills that you’re learning in the software that you’re applied to, and see which of those skills will apply across over to different software packages, and which types of things you might have to pick up. If you were to go from one place to another in the job market. If you’re a business owner, and you’re trying to pick up the software for your own business, then clearly that initial decision to pick up the best software that’s going to be applied to your business is going to be critical at the front end.
So that you can make things as easy as possible and not have to switch software in the middle, which can be a little bit of a burden to do. And then if you’re a professional bookkeeper, meaning you do bookkeeping as your business, you have multiple clients that you do bookkeeping for, then you want to think about what is your niche in terms of bookkeeping, and which software is the one that’s going to be the best focus for you to fit your particular niche, what it is that you do.
Now, note, if you just look at the number of products, this isn’t on the Intuit webpage for their software, but just on the QuickBooks web page, which is owned by Intuit, it could be a little bit overwhelming just to look at the list of items which are kind of like accounting software related. We’ve got the QuickBooks Online QuickBooks self employed QuickBooks Online, advanced QuickBooks live bookkeeping, QuickBooks commerce.
And then we got the QuickBooks Desktop for Mac QuickBooks pros plus QuickBooks Desktop Premier Plus QuickBooks Enterprise, medium sized business and then payroll in this other stuff, that’s going to be added as well. So that’s a bit overwhelming. The first thing you want to think about is the breakout between is it an online based software? Or is it a desktop based software? And that’s going to be a major distinction. So are you working in a business that’s an online software that wants to use it in an online platform setting? Or do you want to be using it in a desktop type of platform setting?
In that case, you can first think about breaking these out into two main categories, we, of course, are focusing over here in this course, on the online side of things. So that’s the first kind of breakout you want to get into. Once you think about those two options, then you can get into the more details, well, what are my options within, say, an online type of software, or what are my options within a desktop type of software.
And we’re, of course going to start to branch out to the online but right now, we just want to focus on the difference, mainly between these two options and online software versus the desktop software.
So if you think about the desktop software, it used to be that users really liked it, because you got this one time purchase, and you actually purchased the software it was on your computer, and and then you get you had it basically forever, they might not May, they might stop servicing it, or updating it and so on after a certain point.
But the software was pretty standard or pretty static in terms of its general needs. And so you can you can purchase it and you own it, like with many applications, including, say Microsoft Office applications, which were in a similar kind of nature, we used to download Microsoft Word Microsoft Excel,
they have now moved to a subscription model in some way. So up through I believe 2021, you may still be able to purchase and get a subscription, not a subscription model and just purchase it outright. And that can be useful because then that software, depending on the needs for your software could last you multiple different years. And you can be making multiple different clients with that one software, as opposed to you know, paying for the software every year, updating it every year in terms of a subscription model.
So that’s one thing but they’ve moved to a subscription model even on the desktop version, I believe starting in 2022. So you might still be able to get a 2021 You know, static version, and then it’s going to be subscription going forward. The QuickBooks Online, of course, is a subscription model as most online type of application software’s are. So you got to make sure that you’re up to date on the payments in order to make sure that your software is still is still going to be available to you.
If you stop making the payments, then it generally they’re not going to go away they’re not gonna Just delete the data at that point in time you can, you generally have a timeframe in which you can re subscribe and so on and get back access to the data can have multiple company files with one purchase of QuickBooks. Now, this is a huge difference. Now again, you’re going to be on a subscription model here. So if you’re in 2022, or after, so you’re still paying on a subscription model, but you’re not paying per account that you’re setting up.
So if you have the software, it’s kind of more like, when you’re thinking about Microsoft Office products like Microsoft Word, or Microsoft Excel. Once you have access to the software, in a Microsoft Word document, I can create multiple documents with that one software and be able to open those multiple documents with the use of that one software.
With the QuickBooks Desktop version. It’s similar in that nature, except that now you’re talking about a database program, which is a lot larger of a file, and it’s housing an entire business, you know, data transactions, but like with the Microsoft Word document, you can create multiple different database files and open them with the one QuickBooks Desktop program.
So how does this difference applied to our three types of users, if we’re working as an employee, he, then the decision as to which software we’re going to be using is going to be the employers decision, what we want to be able to do is understand that if we’re using a desktop version, we’re going to have the file on the desktop, I want to be able to know where the file is. And I might have to be able to backup the information and be able to organize the backup files like I would with Word documents on if I was using Microsoft Word, I want to know that it’s actually on the hard drive.
Whereas if you’re in the online version, it could be a little bit easier in that everything’s housed online, it’s going to be backed up automatically. So you don’t got to really deal with the backup files. And you don’t have to deal with knowing really where the data file is. So that can be actually a little bit easier when you’re working as an employee. If you’re going to be doing your own business, and you have one company file, which is your company file, then it might not matter so much whether you’re on the desktop or online, because you’re going to be paying for basically one company file.
In general, however, the desktop version can be easier, in that you can make multiple company files, backup those company files and test things out with the backup files. Whereas if you’re in the online system, then you can’t really backup your data and restore it as easily, which can make it a little bit more difficult to make, you know test transactions within your own system.
However, the online version does have the Test Drive file that you can use to practice with as well practice data input and do things of that nature. If you’re a bookkeeping, or in an accounting firm, like a CPA firm or tax firm, then the question is, what is my particular business style? Am I a bookkeeper that does all bookkeeping.
And then I work with a CPA firm to do the tax preparation, and do any financial statement, compilation and so on. If that is the case, then the desktop version is often a good tool, because you can actually maximize the number of clients that you’re picking up, you’re going to pick up particular types of clients that wants you to do all of their bookkeeping, possibly more on a cash basis type of system. And you can have multiple company files with the one with the one subscription model.
Whereas if you’re in the online version, you’re going to have to you got usually pays per company that you’re going to be setting up. So that’s a major difference with the type of bookkeeping business that you’re in. Now, if you’re in an accounting firm, where you do more than just possibly the bookkeeping, and and you’re actually in more of a supportive type of role, meaning the client is doing some of the bookkeeping, if not a lot of the bookkeeping, and you want to have more interaction where the client is going to be able to do stuff to the file, and you’re going to be able to do stuff to the file, then the online version can be a benefit, because it’s online.
And it’s easier for multiple people to get access to the file, you can kind of get multiple people access to the desktop version, but it’s a little bit more difficult. So again, if you’re in a bookkeeping type of system, where you’re saying, Hey, I make multiple bookkeeping files, I’m going to basically do all the bookkeeping and and then I’m going to work with your CPA firm and your tax professional in that sense and provide you say reports at the end of the time period,
I’ll give you backup files if you would like them. So you always have access to the data. But you know, I’m basically going to do the bookkeeping for you here. The the desktop version might be a cheaper option, because you can do multiple files with one subscription model, if you’re in a system where you’re sharing the data.
And actually having both people be able to input data, meaning the company side and the business, which is often a model that you might be doing in more of a like a firm that does more things like a CPA firm or a tax preparation firm or something like that. Then it’s kind of easier to have the online access because both people can then Get access through the online axis.
The next big difference is that the QuickBooks Desktop version has the static backup files, whereas the QuickBooks Online version has the data stored on the Intuit servers. So in essence, it’s going to be backed up automatically by intuit the owners of QuickBooks. To think about the differences between these two and the pros and the cons, we have to understand what are the uses for the backup file, and there could be multiple different uses for the backup files, the traditional use of the backup files is so that you just don’t lose your data. I don’t want to have inter data today.
And then tomorrow, it’s going to be going to disappear because something happened to the file traditionally, with traditional software, then you’ve got the program and you’ve got the actual data file on your computer in a similar way, as you would have a Microsoft Word program on your computer and the data file being a Word document. And then if something happens, your your hard drive crashed, for whatever reason, it’s not a difficult problem to get the software back up and running, you could just reinstall the software, but the data file,
which would be similar to the Word document, in this case, is not something that you could just re installed, you need the backup of it. So traditionally, you would want to make the backup somewhere other than where your data file is, possibly to an external hard drive or possibly to an online type of storage, which is quite common these days. Now, the backup process and the restoration process with QuickBooks Desktop is pretty good. So it’s pretty easy to back things up and restore, you have a pretty high level, I have a high level of confidence, backing up and restoring on it.
With the online version, everything is stored on the Intuit servers. So the idea there being that the Intuit is making the claim that, hey, we’re a huge company, we know how to backup our files, we’re backing up our information on the actual server and doing double backup of the server. So it’s not likely that the Intuit whole server is going to crash, and that they will not be able to recover your data file. So it’s unlikely that just from an ongoing standpoint, with the online version, that you’re actually going to just simply lose data that you’ve been inputting into the system.
So from the traditional perspective, the QuickBooks Online is probably more secure from just losing your data than the desktop version, no matter what kind of backup system you have on the desktop version, although you can come up with a really secure backup version on the desktop versus just backing up to another area, like an online so that you have a backup, you have the actual file on your computer, and you have your backup somewhere other than your computer, like in these days online, or possibly to an external hard drive. But there’s other uses for the backup files as well.
So you might use the backup file. For example, if you want to test something out, like you want to look at another app to put on your to put into your system, or if you want to enter a transaction that you’re a little skeptical of or if you want to upload data, then it would be nice if you can make a backup and then have a test file, just like if you had a mock Word document that you’re just going to try to copy and paste something in and you would like to delete it after, after if it doesn’t work, then it’s nice to be able to use the backups in those ways as well.
And that’s when the the static backup is great on the desktop version. It’s also really nice if you want to if you want to transfer data or if you’re like working in a school setting that I’m that I’m used to working in that you want to restore data up to a certain point to put together kind of a practice problem. And you can restore the data basically, up to that point, you can also provide the backup files, of course to an extra another user like your CPA firm without actually giving them access to your your data file.
Whereas the online version, you have some options for that as well to provide the information you can obviously provided online and have different types of restrictions with regards to what they can do with the data file. But those static backup files have other uses that could be quite useful. Outside of just losing the data, the QuickBooks Online, you have a lot less capacity to do that.
So if you wanted to just test something out and say, hey, I want to test this out and then be able to revert my data back to before I did the new thing, then it’s a lot more difficult to do that with the QuickBooks Online. There’s other there’s constantly trying to think about people putting other apps that might be able to backup the file and so on. But it’s nowhere near you know how easy it is to do with the desktop version. So if we think about our three users, if you’re going to be someone that works as an employee, for a company, the desktop versions probably a bit more tedious for you in the most part,
because you’re going to have to make the backups and you’re going to have to know that you’re backing them up periodically and know where the backup files are. And make sure that you’re backing up the backup files to some area other than the actual hard drive. So if the hard drive went down, you’ve got the backup files. But again on the plus side, if you want to experiment with something thing that that you’ve never done before, the backups could be quite useful there.
If you’re if you are on the online version, you really don’t have to worry about the backups because everything supposedly is backed up with the Intuit website, you don’t have to worry about losing the data. But again, if you’re doing something experimental, then you can’t really as easily go back to before you did the experimental thing. And you can’t plan for that event like you can with a with a static backup.
If you’re working in your own company files, you’ve got the same kind of thing, if you have your backup files that are on your computer, then you want to make sure that you’re backing them up in a different area, then the hard drive, you can use the backup files then to give to your accountant at the end of the year for tax bookkeeping needs. And for possibly financial needs, it becomes a little bit more difficult for them the accountant to take that information and put it back into your system without overwriting the current data.
So that interchange, if you want your accountant, to then put information back into your system can be a little bit more difficult. Whereas if you’re in the online system, you can just give your accountant access to your software, which can be a little bit easier. And then if you’re if you’re working as a bookkeeper, then it could be a little bit more difficult to kind of manage the multiple backup files for your multiple different companies.
So again, you got to kind of manage your backup files for multiple different companies and multiple different company files. So you got to offset that can be a little bit more tedious. With the benefits of if you’re, if you’re working with the desktop version, you can do multiple files with the one with the one subscription model, which might be a little bit cheaper. If you’re doing basically all the bookkeeping, you have kind of that system that would be set up.
Okay, so next, the next one is to look and feel is different, the homepage and the flowchart is going to be different. So you know that these are both QuickBooks software’s. So you would think that if you could go from the desktop version to the online version, or from the online version to the desktop version, that it would be very easy. But just in terms of the layout, it’s quite different. And it’s quite different between navigating the desktop version and the online version, because just the format of how you navigate a website is different than an application.
However, the usage is just simply the double entry accounting system. And they’re using this general the same forms. So if you understand the accounting, the forms that you’re going to be using, then that stuff will basically be the same. But where do you find that stuff will change, the desktop version is much more static, so they have a lot less capacity to go into the desktop version, and change the way the look and feel of it is. So it’s been looking quite the same for a long time, the online version, they change the layout all the time, which is one of the reasons we’re going to update the course on a periodic basis.
Because, you know, they, you could just go into it the next day, and they’ve, they’ve moved a button, or they’ve put an icon where they had text before or something like that. And that can be great. Because on the one hand, they’re trying to get the best layout, and they keep on testing the best layout to improve it. But it can also be really frustrating if, because you’re going into something and you got to say I don’t know where they put the new thing. And then you got to figure it out.
So if you’d like something to be static, and you’re and you say, hey, I really don’t need I don’t want things to be completely different every time I go into it. The desktop version is definitely more static. If you’re saying hey, you know, QuickBooks do whatever you’re going to do. If you mess up a few times, and I don’t like the layout, the I’m sure you’ll you’ll fix it, you know, you have no control over it. But hopefully they’re going to make a layout. That’s, that’s really neat. And hopefully, they’ll be able to make them layout as as modern and up to date as possible.
And they’re certainly kind of experimenting all the time. To do that. The next big difference has to do with the bank feeds, both the desktop version and the online version have the capacity to connect to the bank, getting the bank feed getting the bank data directly from the bank into your system and or uploading transactions that you can get from your financial institutions into the accounting system.
And then once you have the bank feeds into the accounting system, which are in essence, the increases and decreases to the checking account, you can use them to either create your financial statements and or to help verify the data input that you have put into the financial statements. Now the online version seems to be a bit more seamless here. And obviously that might be of course, because you’re online. So the connection might be a little bit easier if you’re doing the automatic type of bank feeds. But you can connect with the desktop version as well.
And the online version also seems to be a little bit better with more institutions at this point. For example, I believe at this point in time, you can connect to financial institutions like a Pay Pal, which is still something I don’t believe you can do a direct connection with with the desktop version. Although there are workarounds, you can download the file and then make it into a QB o or data file that you could then up load into the system as well.
So but in general, the online version seems to be a little bit more seamless with regards to the bank feed type of transactions, although both software’s do have the capacity to do them. And then it’s more difficult to work from different locations. So clearly, this is going to be a benefit for the online version.
So if you want to be working from from different locations, you can set up the desktop version to do that. But the online version, of course, is online. So it’s going to be a little bit easier to do that as you work from different locations, though, you do want to make sure that you’re careful in terms of what your internet connection is, and so on, and so forth. With regards to the connection online, it’s also useful than as well, if you’re working with your accounting firm, to think about how they’re going to connect as well.
So in the online version, you might be able to ask questions to your accountant and actually have them access your online accounts a lot more seamlessly than if you’re in the desktop version. And you have a question you can’t really have, you can’t really work as much between the two components. So let’s think about our three people here. If you work from as an employee, he, then you probably if you want to work out of the office would like the online version to allow you and the employee or if you’re the employee, or in that situation, you might be saying,
Hey, I would like to have all my data kind of in one area and have people accessing it from one source. If you’re doing your own bookkeeping system, then then again, it could be easier to do the bookkeeping system, where you can move around, if you’re a bookkeeper, professional bookkeeper, it’ll be a little bit easier to manage stuff if you’re moving with the online version, typically.
And if you do all of your work basically from one location, then it’s in, that’s your, you know, your office location, it can be a little bit easier, some people still feel a little bit more secure, to have to be able to work offline, for example, with the desktop version, you may still be able to although you still need to kind of verify your online connection sometimes because the subscription model these days is going to require you to verify your subscription. But generally, you can work more offline, as well without needing an online connection, or possibly at least not as fast of an online connection.
And that can actually make things some more mobile to that degree as well. On the bookkeeping side. Remember, the pros of the desktop version, if you’re a bookkeeper is generally that you can make multiple company files with the one subscription, which for certain types of models of bookkeeping can be really good. And you can offset that against some of the cons, which is that it’s a little bit more difficult to to have multiple people like the client, and you going into the accounting software. At the same time, certain types of industries. bookkeepers, don’t want their clients going into the accounting software however, because they want because they might mess it up, right.
So they’re going to control the accounting software, and then give the reports to to the clients. And it can also be a little bit more difficult than to take your data in and give it to the accountant at the end of the period for tax preparation of financial statement needs, you can give them a backup.
But again, if you want the accountant to enter the data back into your system to have that connection for so they can access your actual data file as opposed to a backup file, then that can be a little bit a little bit more difficult. So then, and the inventory tracking is also another one where the desktop version is actually better. Generally, if you have more advanced needs for inventory.
So if you’re for example, if your main goal is to connect to the bank feeds and create your books back basically from the bank feeds. Generally the online version is quite good at that that online connection on the desktop version. If you have more complexity with your inventory needs and your inventory tracking needs, then oftentimes that might that might be one area where you’re saying I want to be more on the desktop version because it might have some more capacities to handle some of the more advanced needs with regards to inventory tracking