Which Quickbooks version should I use, Online or Software one?
March 18, 2010 11:44 AM   Subscribe

Which version of Quickbooks I should use, online or software?

I just started an language service agency, and since Quickbooks is the de facto standard for small businesses I am wondering which version I should go with, the online or software one?

Both versions have pretty much everything I need such as invoicing, bookkeeping, 1099s, payroll and direct banking.

However which one is more convenient and reliable? Also I'm using a Mac, and I am not sure if the Mac version is as robust as the PC version.

Any experience and/or recommendations?
posted by pakoothefakoo to Work & Money (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've used Quickbooks for years. but even with that history, and the fact that I'll probably have to go to some trouble and possibly expense to extract my data, I'm considering changing to Peachtree Accounting.

There's a learning curve with any accounting software, which is another reason it's difficult to switch, but Quickbooks is so annoying that it's just about worth it for me.

It looks like there's a "basic" version that's free; I don't know whether it includes payroll functionality.

Although Peachtree isn't as famous as Quickbooks, plenty of professional accountants can work with it.
posted by amtho at 12:47 PM on March 18, 2010

Last I checked (about two months ago), the Mac version of Quickbooks does not have the payroll function that the Windows version does. So if you want to use that, you'll need the online version.

(I don't use payroll with my Windows version of Quickbooks, so I can't comment on how vital it is, but I've been looking into this recently. I cut paychecks from Quickbooks, but our accountant handles all of the tax-related stuff, so I'm not really "doing payroll" in Quickbooks.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 1:50 PM on March 18, 2010

The Mac version of QuickBooks is a mess -- it's missing a bunch of features from the Windows version, it's crashy, and there are big compatibility problems with the Windows version (which your bookkeeper will be using if you get busy and have to hire a bookkeeper).

The online version is . . . online. Annoying interface, slow transactions.

Can't you just get a $400 Windows laptop for running your business?
posted by gum at 4:46 PM on March 18, 2010

I've taken a look at Mac Quickbooks and wasn't all that impressed. It seems to be a few years behind Windows QB in terms of usability. Yet I doubt that's reflected in the pricing...

I am intimately familiar with QuickBooks Online. It's a product that is currently in a major state of transition and I think the trend is positive. Its most obvious strengths remain the same as they've always been: you can access it from anywhere, you can log in on multiple computers without buying a whole bunch of seats, you don't have to use any space on your hard drive to store the data file, they back things up for you, and you don't buy upgrades because your subscription pays for them and you get them automatically once every couple months. Also, some kind of support is included with every subscription, and I know that at the top levels at least, their support organization is really solid.

That being said, the shortcomings are the same as any online product - sometimes things are slow, sometimes they have downtimes that make it impossible for you to get your data, their online banking will make you nuts (I would be very surprised if it was much worse than you'd see on the desktop version).

I'm memailing you a link with a bit more info.

amtho, what makes you think you'll like Peachtree better? Honestly curious. My dad just ditched Peachtree for QB after ten years.
posted by little light-giver at 6:52 PM on March 18, 2010

Thank you all for the useful answers.
posted by pakoothefakoo at 2:12 PM on March 19, 2010

I work at an Apple store, and some of my co-workers who had experience with such things sometimes reccomended a piece of software called MYOB instead of Mac QuickBooks. Apparently MYOB has recently changed its name to AccountEdge. I've never tried it myself, but it looks like it's a much more Mac-like application, and probably worth a look!
posted by raygan at 10:40 AM on March 22, 2010

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