Intuit is really pushing QuickBooks Online over the desktop versions of QuickBooks, and many companies are happily jumping on board. But is this really the best move for your business?
It might just be a fantastic idea to switch to QuickBooks Online, but it’s a decision that must be made after considering all of the implications involved.
Intuit encourages customers to get QuickBooks Online by offering limited-time discounts on its monthly fees. But even with the discount, you’ll still find that over the space of several years, you’ll paying more for it than if you had paid an upfront price, as you do with the desktop versions.
This is part of a larger trend. Photoshop, Microsoft Office, and many other popular desktop solutions are moving to a SaaS model, just like QuickBooks Online. You have to decide if it’s more cost efficient to make a one-and-done purchase or pay a monthly fee for as long as you use the software.
Are Its Features Up to Snuff?
QuickBooks Pro has more features than even the most expensive version of QuickBooks Online, according to Fit Small Business. From tracking job costs to generating reports, just about every feature in the desktop version of QuickBooks is superior to QuickBooks Online.
If you’re used to the more advanced features in your current version of QuickBooks, and you would really struggle if you had to give them up, you would probably be better off staying where you are. But if you want to be able to access your company file in more locations and you don’t mind fewer features, QuickBooks Online is certainly a viable option.
Does It Integrate with Your Other Software Solutions?
The QuickBooks desktop solution has hundreds of integrations with other business solutions – and QuickBooks Online has even more. So if your current version of QuickBooks integrates with your e-commerce platform, inventory management software, payroll processor, and point of sale solution, you can safely bet that QuickBooks Online will also integrate with them.
How Much Tech Support Do You Expect You’ll Need?
QuickBooks Pro, Premier, and Enterprise have free 24/7 support in the first 12 months for certain questions, such as installing the software, upgrading it, creating a company file, and setting up multiple users. Other “how to” questions can be answered at a price and only during specific business hours, usually Monday through Friday, but some on weekends as well.
QuickBooks Online’s technical support is free, but it’s only available during limited business hours. So you’ll have to take your pick of which is less inconvenient. More hours but fewer answers at a price or fewer hours but more answers for free.
It’s Your Call
So, is QuickBooks Online worth the switch or are you better off staying with a desktop version of QuickBooks? Only you can answer that question. It depends on the factors discussed above. Over time, QuickBooks Online is sure to improve and most likely overtake all desktop versions. But you must decide when its features, price, integrations, and support options make it worth the effort.
Fishbowl is a fantastic option that integrates with both QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online, so you can keep using its advanced inventory management features, no matter which of these accounting solutions you use. It can also help smooth out the transition. You can continue to use the same inventory management solution even as you move into new territory on the accounting side.
Robert Lockard is a copywriter with Fishbowl. He writes for several blogs about inventory management, manufacturing, QuickBooks, and small business. Fishbowl is the #1-requested manufacturing and warehouse management software for QuickBooks users. Robert enjoys running, reading, writing, spending time with his wife and children, and watching movies.