You've decided to use QuickBooks: Now what?

June 6, 2019

QuickBooks is well known as a valuable tool for managing your company’s bookkeeping. While many are generally familiar with QuickBooks, distinct advantages exist to the desktop platform (QBDT) and the online platform (QBO) depending on your needs. Understanding which platform is right for you can be an overwhelming task. But, in Honkamp Krueger’s webinar, You’ve decided to use QuickBooks: Now What?, partner Shannon Hunter breaks down the similarities, differences, challenges and advantages to each platform to help you make an informed decision.

Hunter explains that both QBDT and QBO offer the basic software functionality you would expect from an accounting platform, but distinct differences exist when you go beyond checks and reconciliations. Infrastructure, user access, subscription levels, bank and credit card connections, and more all play different roles and integrate uniquely depending on which platform you use.

Subscription levels and pricing can be driving factors on which platform companies choose. When it comes to QBDT, for example, there are three PC subscription levels and one Mac subscription option. Pricing is per user and updates are encouraged and eventually required.

Hunter explains that, for QBDT, it’s not a set it and forget it platform. “We recommend you update your QuickBooks every year. There are new versions released with new functionality and new security features. So, think of things like EMV compliance if you’re processing credit card transactions and other security measures that are really critical to update every year. Intuit does not support versions over three years old, and most third parties and accounting firms follow that policy… It’s very critical to update every year and, at a very minimum, three years.”

QBO also offers several subscription levels containing different features. Pricing is per company, per month, and HK offers some wholesale pricing options. But Hunter reminds us that there’s more to choosing your platform than just your subscription costs.

How QBDT and QBO integrate with third parties, for example, can be vastly different. “Each application has a different way that they integrate with QBDT or QBO. You may have full integrations, or you may have partial integrations,” Hunter clarifies. “What’s important to understand about that is… you may not have a two-way sync of data. So, it’s very critical to evaluate that and understand that fully before embarking on that journey… Overall, integrations can be done with great success.”

Likewise, how your data gets into your platform and how often you need to backup or upgrade are critical components to consider when deciding between QBDT and QBO. Your company’s needs and workflow should help determine which is right for you.

Each platform excels in its own area and, depending on your industry, one can stand out as a clear choice over the other. Hunter explains that manufacturing and inventory-focused businesses do well with QBDT because of its specific capabilities for job costing and other functions. Whereas, companies looking for collaboration, real-time tracking across multiple locations, and more features for banking/credit card connections and apps will gravitate more toward QBO. Think your retailers and service providers. But it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.

QuickBooks is a powerful tool for any business and choosing the right platform can make all the difference in the effectiveness of the tool for your organization. To learn more about the two platforms in greater detail, watch the webinar on demand:

For help with QuickBooks, email us at, call us at 888.556.0123 or fill out our form.


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