Of course, the best option will be defined by what your business needs.
QuickBooks Desktop (Pro, Premier, Accountant, Enterprise) has the advantage of having the longest and deepest track record. QuickBooks Desktop editions have have been installed millions of times since they were initially released in the early 1990s. Some people need the extra horsepower that Enterprise has, especially in inventory reporting. Or some people need an industry-specific sub-version that isn’t available in QuickBooks Online.
The main disadvantages of Desktop editions: You’re in charge of the IT necessary to make QuickBooks run on your network (hardware, networking, security, backups). And, if your users are distributed across different locations, that is a challenge.
QuickBooks Online has been growing in its userbase much faster than Desktop editions over the last few years. QuickBooks Online has also been gobbling up some of the Desktop userbase as desktop users migrate to the online edition.
The advantages of QuickBooks Online are the exact opposite of QuickBooks Desktop’s disadvantages: Intuit does the IT work for you, and you are free from geographical limitations in your user team. The main disadvantage? The software currently doesn’t have some features that are only found in Desktop.
Some people also take philosophical exception to having their accounting data reside in the cloud, on someone else’s computer (on Intuit’s server).
Hosted QuickBooks is, in a way, having your cake and eating it too. Companies like Right Networks offer a subscription service where you run QuickBooks Desktop that is hosted on their servers.
So you don’t lose any functionality associated with QuickBooks Desktop, but you are freed from the demands of running QuickBooks across your own local network, and you can run QuickBooks Desktop from anywhere that has fast internet access.
What about you? Are you planning on making a change of QuickBooks platform this year?