A Complete Guide to QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online Guide

For many businesses, QuickBooks has become a part of their daily workflows. The software has been designed with impressive features – from invoicing and financial tracking to accounting/tax preparation. If you have also been using it for a prolonged period, the chances are that you have become accustomed to using its functionalities daily. However, being a part of the massive QuickBooks user base, you might have also heard of QuickBooks Online, which has already attracted millions of users across the globe.

  • Is QuickBooks Online the same as QuickBooks desktop software?
  • Is QuickBooks Online suitable for your business needs?
  • Should you switch from QuickBooks desktop to QB Online or any other alternative?

Let’s find out more in this detailed post.

What is QuickBooks Online?

QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based version of QuickBooks software offered by Intuit. It has been designed to help business owners like you manage their finances without purchasing a desktop software license. It is also considered an ideal solution for many service-based businesses that do not need inventory tracking features, complex invoicing features, and many others. 

QuickBooks Online has achieved significant traction among small business owners and offers many benefits to users. Let’s explore the advantages you can avail of by migrating to QuickBooks Online. 

Benefits of Using QuickBooks Online

  1. No need to install QuickBooks software on a local computer system
  2. No need to purchase a QuickBooks license
  3. Remotely accessible software features
  4. Data security backed by Intuit servers
  5. Robust support assistance 
  6. Simplified inventory management
  7. Multiple plans to choose from 

However, QuickBooks Online is not limitation-free. Compared to QuickBooks desktop software, it lacks various features you might want to consider. Let’s dive deeper.

Limitations of QuickBooks Online You Must Know

  • QuickBooks Online has different features and user interface than QuickBooks desktop software. Many accountants are used to QuickBooks desktop so this is an unwanted change.
  • QuickBooks Online customer support is available only during fixed business hours, not round-the-clock.
  • Switching to QuickBooks Online does not mean you will get QB desktop features in a cloud-hosted environment. Instead, you must select one of the QBO plans ranging from Simple Start, Essentials, Plus, and Advanced.
  • You can host different versions of QuickBooks software such as QuickBooks Pro, Premier, Enterprise, etc. If you already have the license, it won’t be of any use after switching to QBO.

Recommended Read: QuickBooks Online Vs. Desktop: Which is Right for Your Business?

More About QuickBooks Online Pricing

QuickBooks Online costs are based on a monthly subscription fee – based on the plan you select. For instance, the Simple Start plan is priced at $15 monthly. For more details about its pricing, click here

QB Online Vs. QuickBooks Hosting – Comparison

QuickBooks hosting is another way to host your licensed QB software on a third-party cloud server. The following table covers the differences between QB hosting and QuickBooks Online:

Features QB Hosting QuickBooks Online
Pricing Scalable, affordable pricing structure suitable to different types of businesses Fixed pricing
Data security Since data is stored on dedicated servers, it ensures maximum data security. It may make you lose control over the security of your data. Also, you cannot upload data to QBO servers.
Speed & performance Faster and better than QBO May lead to affected performance
Customer support 24×7 hosting assistance Limited support only
Uptime guarantee Depend on the cloud service provider you select. For instance, Verito Technologies offer a high server uptime of 99.995% May lead to significant downtime
Extent of customization possible Wider scope Limited scope


Can I use QuickBooks Online for free?

To use QBO, you must buy a suitable plan based on its features and your business needs. 

What is QB Online used for?

QB Online is a cloud-based alternative to QuickBooks desktop software that you can access remotely without buying the software license for local installation. 

What is the difference between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks desktop?

QuickBooks desktop is traditional software that needs to be installed on a local computer after buying its license. On the other hand, QB Online is cloud-based and is readily available at a monthly/annual subscription plan. 

Why do accountants not like using QB Online?

It can be because of its features, interface, support, and other limitations. 

Is QuickBooks Online expensive?

The total cost of QB Online depends on the plan you select and then the paid add-ons you integrate further. Whether it is expensive can’t be said until the business use cases are considered.


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