QuickBooks Desktop vs Online

iPoint synchronizes with both the Desktop and Online versions of QuickBooks. We have done our best to make sure that data and transactions sync seamlessly to create a simple yet powerful connection. Which of the platforms should you use to interface with iPoint. We really don’t have a preference as it depends largely on how you run your business.

It is important to understand, however, that the two flavors of QuickBooks are, in fact, two separate programs. Yes, they are both created by Intuit software. Yes, they both track your finances and do many of the same functions. But they are two distinctly different applications written from the ground up by different development teams. Before choosing which flavor of the software you want to use, you should consider these differences.

This article is designed to highlight the differences between the two platforms. If a function is available in both, we won’t talk about it here.

Unique to QuickBooks Desktop

  • Apply a customer payment to multiple jobs
  • Average Cost inventory valuation
  • Balance Sheet by Class
  • Batch Invoicing
  • Batch Timesheet Entry
  • Billable Time and Expense preferences
  • Billing rate level
  • Business Planner
  • Forecasting
  • Calendar
  • Change orders on Estimates
  • Collections center
  • Available Quantity in Inventory
  • Customer Snapshot
  • Convert estimate to a purchase order or sales order
  • Advanced Excel export that can update existing exported reports
  • Industry specific reporting (lots and lots of industry specific reports here)
  • Inventory assembly items, Bills of Material, the ability to build assemblies
  • Inventory Center
  • Lead Center
  • Fixed Asset Manager
  • Mileage tracking
  • Multiple currencies
  • Multiple ship to addresses for Vendors
  • One click transactions (pay a bill from bill, create credit memo from invoice, etc.)
  • Price Levels
  • Progress Invoicing/billing
  • Receive partially against a purchase order
  • Report Favorites
  • Report – collapse rows
  • Share report templates with Intuit community
  • Inventory – reorder/rebuild points
  • Shipping Manager
  • Sales Orders
  • Sales Order Fulfillment Worksheet
  • Transaction History Panel
  • Units of Measure

Unique to QuickBooks Online

  • Remote access – you can do this with QuickBooks Desktop but you need an additional software product or use QuickBooks Hosting
  • Auto Send Reports – reports or report groups can be scheduled to send automatically
  • Automatic upgrades – with QuickBooks Online you are almost always running the most up to date version
  • Company Scorecard
  • Delayed charges/billing – enter charges to be billed later
  • Income list/transaction center
  • Invoice automation – automatically create invoice from unbilled activity
  • More than one A/R or A/P account per journal entry
  • Payments for a job must be entered on the job itself and not applied through a parent customer
    Location tracking, a secondary level of class tracking (QB Online Plus only)
  • FIFO Inventory valuation

The Fine Print

Now for the fine print stuff.

  1. This list is not all-inclusive. While we have done our best to describe what’s different, both platforms are constantly evolving. So this list may be out of date as Intuit adjusts both of their options.
  2. Secondly, we must give a shout-out to Woody Adams of Radio Free QuickBooks and Charlie Russell from AcccountEX. Much of our information has come from their work and contributions.
Last modified: 28 May 2019

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