The idea of transitioning from QuickBooks Desktop (QBD) to QuickBooks Online (QBO) can be daunting. After all, depending on how many years you’ve been using the software, it may contain a lot of data that your business needs. 

While the adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” might seem appropriate for this topic, there are a few key reasons why our team of consultants recommend making the change sooner than later. Not only is QuickBooks encouraging its users to make the conversion as they move away from supporting locally-installed QBD, but cloud-based QBO has some amazing features that could take your financial management to the next level. In this blog post, we share the current limitations of QBD, the benefits and features of QBO, and how we can help your business’s transition.

The Limitations of QuickBooks Desktop

There are notable limitations with QBD that businesses should consider. For one, the collaborative functionality of QBD is limited by its lack of cloud capabilities that QBO provides. QBD users often encounter constraints when attempting to access reports, set up templates, and troubleshoot from remote locations, which heavily impedes team collaboration. Also, your files are stored locally, so if you experience theft or an extreme weather event that damages your computer, your information is gone with no chance of recovery.

Another notable drawback is that QuickBooks discontinues software support and updates after three years. For example, updates for 2021 QuickBooks will end in 2024. To remain current, users must undergo upgrades, which QuickBooks charges annual fees to maintain. QuickBooks has completely stopped making new Desktop versions as of 2023, meaning all support for QuickBooks Desktop will end in 2026.

For those opting to continue with QBD, a recommended strategy is to enable bank feeds or use the upload bank transactions feature on a monthly basis. This practice ensures up-to-date transaction entries, saving considerable time and minimizing errors in manual entry.

The Benefits of Switching to QuickBooks Online

Collaboration and Accessibility

QBO enhances collaboration by allowing multiple users—including staff, accountants, and consultants—to have individual logins with varying levels of permissions. It also provides a time-stamped audit trail so that you can see who made changes and when, which can come in handy when determining the cause of an issue that may arise.

Streamlined Tools for Bookkeeping

QBO offers a suite of tools that streamline bookkeeping tasks. From bank feeds to app-based receipt capture, email invoicing with electronic payment options, and integrations for bill pay and payroll providers, these features increase efficiency and accuracy in financial management.

Real-Time Expense Tracking

Using bank feeds in QBO enables real-time tracking of expenses and income, which can significantly reduce manual input errors. This not only saves time but expedites monthly bookkeeping tasks and facilitates the generation of up-to-date and relevant reports. The bank feed rules functionality in QBO is also more streamlined than the Desktop’s version, making it simple to automatically categorize online banking transactions. 

Quicker Bank Reconciliation

The bank reconciliation feature in QBO is notably quicker and smoother compared to QBD.

Efficient Invoicing

With QBO, invoicing customers can efficiently be done through email, with options for ACH or electronic payments. Unlike Desktop, you can then see when a customer has opened and looked at a sent invoice. 

Strategic Shift Pushed by QuickBooks

QuickBooks is actively encouraging users to transition to QBO, as annual payments for updates to the desktop version will become mandatory. Continuing with an outdated QBD subscription may lead to more complications when converting to an online account in the future.

Extensive App Integrations

QBO offers more than 750 app integrations, compared to QBD’s limited integration options. This versatility enhances QBO’s ability to meet a variety of business needs.

Data Security and Auto-Saving

In an extreme case with QBD, a computer crash without external backups could result in data loss! QBO, on the other hand, continually backs up data to the cloud, and changes are auto-saved. This ensures the security of years of bookkeeping data, making data loss highly unlikely.

“I am still navigating the many benefits of transitioning from Quickbooks Desktop to Quickbooks Online…. It’s great from the sense that it’s easily accessible by everyone, and can lead to increased accuracy and accountability. Lindsey has been incredibly patient and kind, and has been doing this so long and has so many helpful Google Drive docs to help me learn, and remember, and relearn. Because obviously this part of the business shouldn’t take you away from the most important stuff you do every day!”

Amy Brickner

Destiny Dairy Bar

Reasons to Make the Switch with KTC’s Support

While it’s possible to convert from QBD to QBO on your own, it is a significant transition that you may consider getting help with. Our team of consultants can guide you in setting up, understanding, and using QBO. Drawing from our experience with numerous clients, we can recommend which features will best fit your business to help you save time and use the platform effectively.

Our team can also take on the heavy lifting of the technical conversion from QBD to QBO, and train you on how to use its interface. We have done dozens of conversions for and with our clients, making us well-equipped to verify the success of the process and troubleshoot any potential issues.

To empower your team, we provide comprehensive training sessions, documenting each step to create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). This ensures that your staff can efficiently navigate QBO and seamlessly integrate it into your business’s daily operations.

And finally: opting for our group membership when setting up your new QBO account gives you access to our bulk pricing discount! Click here to learn more.

If you’d like to connect with our team about converting from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online, click here to contact us.