QuickBooks Online vs QuickBooks Desktop Pro: Which Is the Best Fit for Your Business?

For any business, big or small, choosing the right accounting software is a critical decision. Intuit’s popular desktop software, QuickBooks Pro, and its cloud-based solution, QuickBooks Online, put them at the top of the list. They both provide great accounting tools, but it’s important to know what sets them apart in order to make an educated decision. If you are looking to streamline your small business finances and need a comprehensive accounting solution, keep reading! In this article, we will go over the pros and cons of QuickBooks Online vs. Pro so that you can determine which one suits your needs best.

QuickBooks Desktop Pro vs QuickBooks Online: The Key Differences

Let’s now do a QuickBooks Online and Pro comparison to know what sets them apart:


  • QuickBooks Online can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection on PCs, Macs, smartphones, tablets, etc., which gives flexibility for remote teams who may need access while on the go or working from different locations. This accessibility also comes in handy with approving invoices that are time-sensitive or checking account balances when out of town.
  • QuickBooks Pro is desktop-installed software that requires being on-premises. File sharing on a network is needed if there are multiple users, which might result in syncing issues if the network is unreliable. This model works best when all team members operate primarily out of one central location. However, QuickBooks Desktop 2021 software, including all 2021 versions of QuickBooks Desktop Pro, QuickBooks Desktop Premier, QuickBooks Desktop for Mac, and QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions v21, will be discontinued after May 31, 2024, according to the provider, Intuit.


Both versions come with the basic accounting tools (invoicing, expense tracking, reporting, etc.) necessary to manage your company’s finances.

  • QuickBooks Online shines in areas such as automatic backups, multi-user access, seamless integration with third-party apps, etc., whereas QuickBooks Pro lacks these features. Automatic backups ensure data security by providing constant backup copies of files stored within the system, while multi-user access permits giving different levels of permission to employees and accountants, thus saving time spent running between offices or sending reports back and forth over emails. Integrations with popular apps expand your software suite without the need for complex setups.
  • QuickBooks Pro may, however, have an edge over QuickBooks Online when it comes to advanced industry-specific features, deeper reporting capabilities, and inventory management tools. The depth of its reporting tools can be highly beneficial for detailed analysis. If you are in the manufacturing or construction industries with more complex inventory needs, then QuickBooks Pro has got you covered on that one too!


  • QuickBooks Online enables real-time collaboration so that accountants and team members can work together at once. What this means is that different users can simultaneously access financial data, thus making changes to it in real-time, which prevents errors due to working with outdated information and enhances overall efficiency because one’s accountant can provide guidance while they still continue working, thus streamlining processes greatly.
  • On the other hand, QuickBooks Pro allows sharing files on a network but lacks seamless collaboration like its online counterpart. Though file sharing is possible here, conflicts arising from versions created by different people editing the same document may occur, not forgetting live interaction between employees, which might be important for some organizations, especially those with many staff members who need to make frequent simultaneous changes.


  • QuickBooks Online offers scalable subscription plans that can easily accommodate business growth, especially when there is a need for more users or advanced features due to the expansion of teams, etc. As your business grows, you are able to upgrade your QuickBooks Online plan so that it caters to all those additional needs because the accounting software should not limit itself in terms of capabilities since it should evolve alongside enterprises.
  • For QuickBooks Pro, upgrades may be required as the company expands further, depending on how big it becomes over time; if at any point one outgrows their current version, then another higher level will have to be purchased. Apart from this, adding extra users usually demands configuring larger networks, which could end up being costly, IT support might also come into play, thereby making things more complex than necessary.

Which Is Best for You? Things to Think About

Consider the following when deciding whether QuickBooks Online or Pro is a good fit for your business:

  • Need for Remote Access: Is it necessary for you to have access from different places? If yes, then choose QuickBooks Online. Determine the frequency with which your staff needs to use financial data in areas other than the main office.
  • Collaboration: Do you want collaboration? Collaboration is easier for teams when they can work together in real-time online. Consider how much collaboration needs to be done. Is there any likelihood that several members of a team will be working on the same files at once, along with an accountant?
  • Advanced Features: Pro may be more suitable for businesses that require specific industry functions or enhanced reporting capabilities. Are there any unique requirements for inventory management, project costing, or job tracking systems in your organization? These are areas where QuickBooks Pro may have deeper capabilities.
  • Budget: Under certain budgets, subscription-based pricing is a better option. On the other hand, some might opt for a one-time purchase considering their cash flow and preference between recurring costs and a larger upfront investment.
  • Comfort with Cloud-Based Technology: If you are comfortable using locally installed software, then it should be QuickBooks Pro. As much as cloud security is robust, there are certain businesses that still prefer traditional on-premises software for specific reasons known to them alone.

While QuickBooks Pro might be great, its discontinuation, along with all versions of QuickBooks Desktop 2021 software, makes QuickBooks Online a better choice.

How Apps4Rent Can Help?

Apps4Rent is an Authorized QuickBooks Solution Provider, supporting over 10,000 businesses, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations (NPOs), government agencies, and independent certified public accountants (CPAs) in the past decade and counting.

As an Intuit Authorized Hosting Provider, Apps4Rent partners with thousands of businesses and CPAs as their QuickBooks hosting solution provider. We now offer QuickBooks Online with 24/7 support, unbeatable discounts, and free migration assistance from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online, helping businesses make the transition seamlessly. Our services include:

  • 24/7/365 Support (Chat, Call, Email): We understand that accounting problems do not always occur during normal working hours, which is why, unlike other providers, we offer around-the-clock expert assistance that minimizes downtime and frustration.
  • Easy QuickBooks Setup and Configuration: It is important to get your QuickBooks set up and configured correctly from the beginning. This will save you time in the future by preventing costly mistakes when we work together on aligning the system with your business processes.
  • Flexible and Affordable Plans: We offer flexible and affordable pricing. Our plans start at just $30 per month, with additional discounts on any of our QuickBooks Online plans, including Simple Start, Essentials, Plus, and Advanced. Our aim is to help you move towards a streamlined accounting system while making significant savings.

Need an expert to help you choose the right plan for your business needs? Talk to our experts, available 24/7.

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