Which QuickBooks is right for me?

Panna Kemenes

QuickBooks (QB) is a leading tool for tracking business income and expenses. There are several different types of QuickBooks applications. These include several online based plans, as well as different desktop versions.

Each version of QuickBooks works best for different types of users or businesses. This guide looks at all the options, and will help you answer the question: ‘Which QuickBooks is right for me?’.

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Are there different types of QuickBooks?

QuickBooks from Intuit is available in several different versions. These offer much of the same functionalities, and ways of working. There are differences, though, in both features and access methods.

QuickBooks Online and Self-Employed are cloud-based and user-friendly solutions. QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Mac Plus are traditional software options. Most of these options are offered with different pricing plans.

The following list is a summary of the main QuickBooks products and plans available:

VersionPlans
    QuickBooks Online
  • Simple Start
  • Essentials
  • Plus
  • Advanced
QuickBooks Self-Employed
  • Tax bundle
  • Live tax bundle
QuickBooks desktop
  • QuickBooks Pro Plus
  • QuickBooks Premier Plus
  • QuickBooks Enterprise
QuickBooks Mac Plus
  • QuickBooks Mac Plus 2022
  • Which QuickBooks do I need? QuickBooks versions compared

    QuickBooks Online¹QuickBooks Self-Employed²QuickBooks desktop³QuickBooks Mac Plus⁴
    Number of usersUp to 25 users1 user, plus 1 accountant user3 users for Pro Plus; 5 users for Premier Plus; 40 users for EnterpriseUp to 3 users
    Suitable forSmall and medium sized businessesFreelancers and contractorsLarge businesses, or small and medium sized businesses with advanced accounting needsBusinesses that want locally installed Mac software
    Price
    • Simple Start: $25/month
    • Essentials: $50/month
    • Plus: $80/month
    • Advanced: $180/month
    • QuickBooks Self-Employed: $15/month
    • Tax bundle: $25/month
    • Live tax bundle: $35/month
    • QuickBooks Pro Plus $349.99/year
    • QuickBooks Premier Plus $549.99/year
    • QuickBooks Enterprise From $1340.99/year
  • QuickBooks Mac Plus 2022 $749.99/year
  • 💡 There may be discounts and offers available on the QuickBooks site, it's worth checking what the current best prices are for your business.

    Which version of QuickBooks is right for me?

    QuickBooks Online

    • QuickBooks Online is the main online, subscription-based product from QuickBook. It is very popular with small and medium sized businesses.

    • It offers a simple and easy to use interface. Functionality includes most accounting features that these businesses need.

    • QuickBooks Online is available in four different versions. Simple Start and Essentials are perfect for the smaller company. They are lower priced but still offer full accounting functionality.

    • The Plus and Advanced versions offer additional features. These include inventory management, job costing, profitability calculations, and enhanced reporting. They also allow more user access - up to 25 users in total.

    • QuickBooks Online can be connected to Wise Business to automatically sync bills, and save time on reconciliation.

    • Pricing starts at $25/month for the Simple Start package and $50/month for the Essentials package. The more advanced Plus and Advanced subscriptions are $80/month and $180/month.

    ProsCons
    • Offers most features a typical medium sized business will need.
    • Can support up to 25 users, and multiple accountants if needed.
    • Versions allow cost-effective scaling. This is useful as businesses grow or need access to advanced features.
    • Excellent integration options with other tools.
    • To access some features, you will need to upgrade.
    • Top tier subscriptions cost more.
    💡 Top tips from QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Esther Friedberg Karp
      If you have the QuickBooks Online Essentials, Plus, or Advanced plan, you can use the mulicurrency feature. With multicurrency turned on and with customers assigned a specific currency, there is no doubt on the invoice as to the expected amount and currency of payment.
      For example, US customers will see an invoice indicating "USD" before the total due. Canadian customers will see an invoice indicating "CAD" before the total due.
      It’s worth using the app as a tool alongside your full subscription, so you can make the most of the features.


    QuickBooks Self-Employed

    • QuickBooks Self Employed is a simpler online QuickBooks product. It is specifically designed for the self-employed worker, consultant or freelancer.

    • It lacks many of the advanced accounting features that larger businesses may need. There is no inventory management, advanced reporting, or chart of accounts.

    • It does include simple invoice features and useful tools for expense, receipt, and mileage tracking.

    • There are two upgraded plans offering tax filing features. This includes US tax filings and support from a CPA.

    • The standard QuickBooks Self Employed subscription is $15/month. The Tax Bundle is $25/month or $35/month with CPA live support.

    ProsCons
    • Low cost.
    • Specifically designed for self-employed with useful features.
    • Can add access for an accountant.
    • Upgraded versions available with enhanced tax features.
    • Only one user (plus an invited accountant).
    • No advanced accounting features (including invoicing, reporting, chart of accounts).

    QuickBooks Desktop

    • QuickBooks Desktop versions are aimed at larger companies that prefer locally installed software. They can also be useful for smaller companies that need specific advanced features.

    • The three different versions offer increased features and numbers of users.

    • QuickBooks Pro Plus offers invoicing, inventory tracking, reporting, billing, and expense tracking.

    • Premier Plus adds advanced features. These include full inventory management, job costing, project profitably, and various industry specific tools.

    • The top level Enterprise version offers more advanced inventory, reporting and pricing capabilities. It allows up to 40 users (but at increased cost). It also has a separate Desktop Enterprise Accountant version for easier accountant integration.

    • The simplest QuickBooks Pro Plus version costs $349.99/month. The more advanced QuickBooks Premium Plus version is $549.99/month. And the high end QuickBooks Enterprise costs from $1340.00. This increases to $4200 for the top level option with 40 users.⁵

    ProsCons
    • Simpler versions very affordable and offer solid range of features.
    • Premier Plus and Enterprise versions offer advanced features.
    • Industry-specific features are available and useful for some sectors.
    • Can only be used on PCs.
    • Enterprise version is expensive, especially for higher numbers of users.
    • Mobile add-ons (including expense and receipt tracking) are not available.
    • It's not easy to switch between the versions.

    QuickBooks Mac Plus

    • QuickBooks Mac Plus is a desktop version of QuickBooks for Mac systems. There is only one version.

    • It offers a good level of accounting features. These are similar to the QuickBooks Pro Plus Desktop offering. There are no options to add advanced features or upgrades.

    • QuickBooks Mac Plus costs $749/month, with just one version option.

    ProsCons
    • Designed for use on Macs.
    • Solid set of accounting features including invoicing, billing, inventory tracking and reporting.
    • Easy to set up and use.
    • No mobile apps are available.
    • No access to advanced features (such as those offered by the Premier Plus or Enterprise PC versions).
    • Supports only three users.
    • Limited third party integration options.
    • More expensive than comparable PC version.

    How do I know which version of QuickBooks I need?

    The different versions of QuickBooks may at first seem confusing. If you think about your type of business and what features you need, the best option is usually clear.

    For a single self-employed worker or contractor, QuickBooks Self-Employed can be the best option. It is low cost and easy to use. Users can handle basic invoicing and accounts, and have access to mobile apps.

    With more advanced features, and multiple users, QuickBooks Online is very popular. This will suit the accounting needs of most small and medium sized businesses. It is also very flexible to change levels as the business grows. QuickBooks Online features useful mobile tools. It also offers integration with a wide range of third-party solutions - including Wise Business.

    The QuickBooks Desktop versions suit companies that prefer software installations to cloud solutions. Those using Mac solutions only are limited to the one choice of QuickBooks Mac Plus.

    Companies with standard accounting needs can often choose either Online or Desktop solutions. Some advanced features are only available on higher-priced Desktop solutions. Useful industry specific options are also available with these packages. These can make sense if the features are useful or time-saving.

    Use QuickBooks Online with Wise and save time on reconciliation

    When asking ‘which QuickBooks is right for me?’ one factor to consider is wether you have international bills to manage.

    With the Wise Business account, you can effortlessly pay international bills, vendors, and employees at the real mid-market exchange rate, in over 80 countries. Wise Business is even up to 19x cheaper than PayPal.

    When you connect QB and Wise, you can see your unpaid bills in real time and pay them seamlessly from your ‘Bills’ page on Wise. Your bill payments and any other Wise transactions will be synced, matched and categorised in QuickBooks for simple reconciliation.

    You can save time and money in one blow.

    Get a Wise Business account today


    Sources:
    1. QuickBooks Self-Employed Pricing & Free Trial
    2. QuickBooks® Online Pricing & Free Trial | Official Site
    3. QuickBooks Desktop, Compare QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise
    4. QuickBooks Desktop Mac Plus Accounting Software
    5. Buy QuickBooks Enterprise, Purchase Enterprise Online

    All sources checked June 22, 2022.


    Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

    This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

    We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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