Is QuickBooks Online Better than QuickBooks Enterprise? – Part 1
Seems like every week, people are asking me – “which is better, QuickBooks Online (QBO) or QuickBooks Enterprise (QBE)?”
Which one is “better” depends a LOT on the specific needs of your business!
Sadly, I see businesses making the switch into QBO for all the wrong reasons (“my accountant said I had to”, “the boss said the guy next to him on the plane was using QBO”, and other misguided reasons…)
KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN QUICKBOOKS ONLINE AND QUICKBOOKS ENTERPRISE
As we explore this topic in more detail, let’s break things down into four (4) key areas of comparison.
Those would be:
- Pricing between QBO and QBE
- 24/7 and remote access availability between QBO and QBE
- Feature set comparison between QBO and QBE
- Add-on ecosystems for QBO and QBE
PRICING COMPARISON OF QUICKBOOKS ONLINE AND QUICKBOOKS ENTERPRISE
Let’s assume for a moment that we’re comparing a 5 user installation of QBO and QBE.
As a QBE reseller, I offer a 5 user QuickBooks Enterprise silver subscription at the discounted price of $2,464 per year (sales taxes are extra, of course). A monthly payment plan is also available for Enterprise, but the cost is higher.
I am able to offer QuickBooks Online Plus (the closest match to Enterprise) at a discounted rate for the first 12 months at $30 per month or $360 per year (sales taxes are extra). Note that this subscription is NOT per user per month. QBO Plus can have up to 5 users.
Remember, both QBE and QBO are subscription-based now, so it is an ongoing fee either way, not a “one and done” like Enterprise used to be before 2016.
QUICK COST RECAP..
QBO: $360 in year one. $720 in year two and beyond.
QBE: $2,464/year. Same in year two, assuming there is no price increase from Intuit
Seems to be a compelling argument in favor of QBO when it comes to the pricing comparison.
However, there is far more to consider here…
24/7 AND REMOTE ACCESS – QUICKBOOKS ENTERPRISE VS. QUICKBOOKS ONLINE
As businesses become more mobile, many prefer their accounting software be mobile too.
That means having it available 24/7, whether in or out of the office.
Let’s see how QBE and QBO compare here…
QBE – 24/7 ACCESS
QBE is designed to install and run on local computers and networks. It is NOT a web-based software product.
QBE is not “cloud-based” software! But it can be set up to run in the cloud.
SETTING UP QBE FOR 24/7 ACCESS…
To allow for 24/7 and remote access to QBE, businesses usually choose one of the following solutions:
- Contract with a QuickBooks Enterprise hosting company
- Hosting can run anywhere from $60 – $100 per user per month or more, depending on the hosting provider, the applications in use, and other factors (quick reminder – when it comes to hosting your critical accounting data, cheapest is NOT always best!!)
- I work with the folks at GoToMyERP for QuickBooks hosting services
- Set up Windows Remote Desktop software on their internal servers
- The cost to acquire Windows Remote Desktop software is typically not too expensive
- There are either internal or external IT costs to setup and maintain Windows Remote Desktop
QBO – 24/7 ACCESS
QBO was built from the ground up to be a web-based solution. It is available through any web browser.
In addition, there is an app for Windows users so they can run it on their desktop computers as well.
There are no extra costs or fees for 24/7 access to QBO – it is part of your subscription price.
Naturally, you need to have an internet connection or access to a mobile device to tap into QBO. Not a problem for most businesses today.
QUICK COST RECAP…
- QBO: Subscription price: $360 year one. $720 in year two and beyond
PLUS – No extra costs for 24/7 access – included in subscription price
- QBE: Subscription price: $2,464/year (assuming there is no price increase from Intuit)
PLUS – Hosting: assume $75 per user per month = $75 * 5 users from our example above) * 12 months) = $4,500 (or, substitute your own cost estimate for the internal/external IT costs to support the Remote Desktop solution)
Seems to be a compelling argument in favor of QBO when it comes to the 24/7 access comparison.
However, there is far more to consider here…
Next time, we’ll pick up with a feature set comparison and add-on ecosystem conversation…
WHAT’S YOUR OPINION ON THIS?
I just know you have an opinion on this topic…
Feel free to share it in the comments box below. Readers will love to hear from those living with either QBE or QBO and how it is impacting their business!
LINKS TO PARTS 2 AND 3 OF THIS SERIES
- Part 2 – QuickBooks Online vs. QuickBooks Enterprise: Feature comparison
- Part 3 – QuickBooks Online vs. QuickBooks Enterprise: Add-on ecosystem comparison