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Comparing QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise with Online Advanced

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Comparing QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise with Online Advanced

If you’re wondering, “Is QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise or QuickBooks Online Advanced best for my business?” then this is the article for you!

Needs change over time as businesses grow and scale. Therefore, solutions must adapt and/or change to continue to support expanding essential business functions. One of the hardest decisions you will need to continually reassess and make is which accounting system is best for your operation. There are many considerations involved, and one of the most important considerations is if you are ready to upgrade or switch. Another important consideration is which accounting solution configuration will be the best fit for your industry.

We recommend QuickBooks because we:

  1. Know its vast array of functional capabilities, and
  2. Understand its high flexibility in accommodating wide ranges of varying solution configurations.

This allows us to design a custom-tailored solution configuration to meet and exceed your business needs. But, which solution will ultimately be best for your business; QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise or QuickBooks Online Advanced? This brings us to why we wrote this article. Our intent behind the article was to answer the two-part “Big Kahuna” of client questions we receive.

Article Contents

This is a great article, jam-packed with terrific information, but there’s a lot, we know. To make your life easier so you do not have to sift through information that is irrelevant to you, we made this table of contents to skip to the good stuff! clicking on any of the below links will take you straight to that section.

Do I need to upgrade my QuickBooks software?

Some of the most common questions we receive at Out of the Box Technology are “How do I know when I’m ready to upgrade my QuickBooks?” and “how do I know which to choose, based on what’s best for my business and industry?”

There’s much to consider like any decision to convert over to a QuickBooks solution or upgrade your current subscription. Many intelligent business minds have wrestled with this decision, and most have resulted in coming to us for guidance. We are the experts who specialize in Anything + Everything QuickBooks! As one of the very few Elite QuickBooks Solution Providers in Intuit’s QSP Program, we live up to our distinction of being one of the best QuickBooks Solution Providers out there. Our intention is not to toot our own horns, (well, maybe a little…) but to assure you that we know exactly when it’s time for an upgrade or switch.

Upgrade Identifier: Are You Ready For Enterprise or Online Advanced?

When is the right time to upgrade? Our experts have simplified this for you so you can easily identify when the appropriate time is. Below we have the top 10 scenarios that indicate it’s time to move on up. So, should you ever experience any of the following scenarios, it is definitely time for you to consider an upgrade. Have you encountered any of the following?

  1. Having to keep on implementing workarounds as solutions for challenges that can be easily solved using features included in Enterprise or Online Advanced.
  2. Expand reporting capabilities to produce a greater quantity of higher quality actionable insights, and reign in tighter financial control.
  3. A robust, customizable inventory management system capable of handling your complex inventory needs is required.
  4. Tracking and reporting are MUSTs in order to run your business effectively.
  5. You need industry-specific features and workflows for your industry-specific processes.
  6. Control over restricted user access is required to safeguard certain information and/or areas of your accounting software
  7. More robust product pricing capabilities are required for your many different products.
  8. Based on your business needs and budget, there is an opportunity for cost savings by adjusting your solution package.
  9. Room to grow is desired because you are close to reaching your various list limits.
  10. When your file size is too large and your accounting software begins lagging and running slowly.

Industry-Specific Accounting Solutions

Occasionally, we have clients that ask us about Industry-specific accounting software. There is some great industry-specific software available, nevertheless, it tends to be inadequate in different areas for different businesses. This is because industry-specific accounting software is designed as a one-size-fits-all solution for a specific industry. And we all know that businesses can vary greatly in their accounting and operational processes, even within industries! That’s not to say that an industry-specific solution isn’t necessarily right for you. Nevertheless, we will say that our clients who pondered over this and chose QuickBooks are extremely satisfied with their decisions.

Looping back to the industry-specific one-size-fits-all solution, it is important to note that software can be tweaked some. Customization options are present to address the issue of the one-size-fits-all solution. Some businesses find the customization options present in industry-specific software sufficient for their current needs. However, the challenges begin to surface as the business continues to evolve and scale. The boundaries of the one-size-fits-all solution are tested, and the software’s rigidity becomes apparent. Many of our clients who initially chose an industry-specific one-size-fits-all solution have come back to us. After experiencing the limitations, they find themselves requiring a more versatile solution. Importantly, the consequences of initially choosing the wrong software come at a hefty price.

The switching costs include:

And keep in mind these costs are double (sometimes more); 1st expense for the conversion to the industry-specific product, and 2nd expense for the conversion from the industry-specific product to the right-fit solution.

    • The cost of the software itself:
      • plus any upgrades and/or additional products/services
    • Service charges from IT/providers for:
      • The conversion of accounting data from the previous solution to the industry-specific solution
    • Shared costs of resources deployed and utilized for:
      • Data compilation, formatting, backups, and conversion/migration preparation
      • Employee adoption and training
    • Employee salary/wage for time spent on:
      • New product training

Without digging deep into details, you can see that the costs of a wrong software decision can be enormous!

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Upgrade To Enterprise or Online Advanced Today!

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Our exclusive discounts on QuickBooks products can’t be beaten, we guarantee it.

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Why Upgrade to Enterprise or Online Advanced?

Without a shred of doubt, QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise and QuickBooks Online Advanced are by far the most powerful QuickBooks solutions. With QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise leading the way in capabilities and reporting power, QuickBooks Online Advanced is a close second. None of the lower-tiered products in either desktop or online platforms can do what these two products can. Therefore, we recommend these products to growing businesses that can reap the most Return on Investment (ROI) from them. The greatest source of ROI from these solutions tends to come in the form of time savings and costly-mistake avoidance. Enterprise and Online Advanced deliver indisputable results through streamlined workflows and processes, paired with improved security and tighter financial controls.

It’s without question that QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise is the most powerful solution currently available, even more so than Online Advanced. However, that’s not to say that the decision is as easy as choosing the most powerful product. Making the best decision is about selecting the product that most empowers your business to succeed. With our clients, we see a strong positive correlation between success empowerment and versatile (non-one-size-fits-all) software solutions with industry-focused features.

Because of this strong correlation, and our desire for our clients to succeed, we have broken down our product decision analysis on industry and business type. So buckle up, buttercup! And prepare for an in-depth product analysis between Enterprise and Online Advanced!

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QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise Overview

Enterprise is best suited for certain industries based on its industry-focused features and editions. Based on specific client needs, Enterprise Diamond can be a great way to bundle required additional products and services to save money. Ultimately, the correlation of business success empowerment and product choice comes down to industry, followed by financial considerations. Here are the industries that are best for the Enterprise solution:

These industry editions come as part of the Enterprise software and can be easily enabled/switched/disabled in-product without repercussion. This means that you do not need to worry about negatively affecting your QuickBooks data when enabling/switching/disabling the edition in-product.

By switching to an Enterprise edition made for your industry, you will be enabling a few industry-specific features only available in that edition. These few features are geared towards making Enterprise work even more for your business. We’ll touch on these few edition-specific features in each Enterprise industry breakdown.

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Enterprise for Accounting

With Enterprise for accounting, you’ll be able to do more tasks for your clients in less time than ever before! QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise Accountant Edition is jam-packed with tools that make dealing with customers more efficient for both you and them.

You will be able to:

  • Reclassify hundreds of transactions at once, correct wrongly recorded sales tax payments, identify modifications made to list items from a single window, clear the un-deposited money account from a single page, and more by swiftly reviewing your client data.
  • Access the QuickBooks File Manager – Make working with your clients’ QuickBooks files faster and easier. You will gain version control, keep client passwords, organize QuickBooks files by client, and upgrade QuickBooks clients’ files in batches with QuickBooks File Manager.
  • Send journal entries to your clients quickly and easily  for any required modifications in their files. 
    To deliver the best experience for their clients, many top accounting consultants choose Enterprise Accountant Edition.
  • Use the Accountant Center to streamline your reconciliations. All of your accountant tools are conveniently located in the Accountant Center, allowing you to start reconciling right immediately.

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Enterprise for Construction and Contractors

With Enterprise for Construction and Contractors, you’ll keep track of all of your tasks and projects. With advanced task cost tracking and increased visibility into each project, you will be able to increase profitability. You can quickly control your costs and track your bottom line with the Enterprise Contractor Edition’s capabilities.

You will have access to:

  • The Job Costing Center An overview of all your projects on a single screen. Advanced task costing capabilities allow you to see all profit and loss on all of your projects right away.
  • Change order capability – Allows you to finish estimates, make modifications, and reduce financial surprises for your company and clients.
  • Flexible billing rates  Assigning various prices to different clients allows you to produce more precise predictions.
  • 18 more industry-specific reports  Providing you with vital information on jobs and costs, expenses, hours, and purchase orders.
  • A pre-designed chart of accounts for contracting organizations, created by industry professionals.

Finally, you will get built-in guidance and recommendations from industry professionals, all tailored to the use of contractor-specific features and functionalities.

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Enterprise for Manufacturing and Wholesale

With Enterprise for Manufacturing and Wholesale, you will be able to keep track of your construction assembly and inventories right from QuickBooks. Enterprise for Manufacturing & Wholesale includes all of the tools you will need to stay on top of your inventory management and sales fulfillment.

You will be able to:

  • Keep costs low and earnings high – Use landed cost and bill of materials to track costs from raw materials to final goods, including labor and transportation. Your total product cost updates automatically as component costs vary.
  • Increase the efficiency of your builds – Automate your manufacturing operations by creating purchase orders for all subassemblies and components needed for a final assembly. Produce production forecasts and allocate workers accordingly.
  • Use mobile barcode scanning (only available in Enterprise Platinum)  For picking, receiving, and cycle count inventory updates, you can automate more inventory procedures. Across warehouses and trucks, track inventory down to the bin or pallet level to simply handle warranties, returns, and recalls. You can also track by lot, serial numbers, and RMAs! Check out this resource to verify mobile barcode scanning device compatibility.
  • Streamline order management – From a single dashboard, manage the complete pick-pack-and-ship workflow. Send pick instructions to your team’s mobile devices, and complete orders in numerous locations. Directly from QuickBooks, you can print shipping labels and track shipments.

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Enterprise for Non-profits

With Enterprise for Non-profits, you will be able to keep organized and compliant while supporting your passion and the organization’s mission.

You will have access to:

  • User Flexibility – Allow up to 30 people to log in at the same time, work in two organization files at the same time, and aggregate reports from various files for deeper insights.Secure Donor Information Storage – Increase the size of your donor, vendor, and item lists without slowing down processing. Easily adjust volunteer access levels so that they only see the information they require.
  • Quick and effortless insights – Easily keep your Board and the CRA up to date. You can find everything you need to handle donations, fundraising campaigns, volunteers, and staff in one location.
  • The support you need – You do not need to be a software specialist to operate Enterprise smoothly. During weekday hours, you receive limitless technical assistance and training over the phone.

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Enterprise for Professional Services

With Enterprise for Professional Services, you will be able to keep earnings on track while keeping customers pleased. You can manage job costing, cash flow, and client tracking. QuickBooks Enterprise gives service firms like yours an easy method to handle project estimates, billing, payments, and accounting operations since your unique business models necessitate distinctive solutions.

You will be able to:

  • Boost profits with precise project costing – Enterprise has project-costing capabilities that are particularly designed to assist professional service businesses in tracking estimates to real outcomes. You can keep track of costs in real-time and respond swiftly if they exceed your expectations. Accurate data will aid in the maintenance and enhancement of project profitability.Obtain valuable business insights – Customize reports for professional services or create your own using Advanced Reporting to get the information you need. Analyze lost income possibilities and discover your most lucrative clients and team members by drilling down into account specifics.

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Enterprise for Retail and eCommerce

With Enterprise for Retail and eCommerce, you will be able to run your whole retail operation from one location. From within QuickBooks Enterprise, you can manage pricing, cash, inventory, and orders. QuickBooks Enterprise is the right choice for your business since it has features that help you simplify pricing, enhance order and inventory management, and sell online.

You will have access to:

  • Advanced Pricing This allows you to set up and implement configurable, automatic price rules to help you maintain your margins, save time, eliminate mistakes, and better serve your customers. And you always have the option of implementing exceptions as needed.Inventory management (only available in Enterprise Platinum) – No more time-consuming workarounds! Advanced Inventory integrates with QuickBooks to help you keep track of your inventory and guarantee that every transaction is recorded. You will be able to simply keep track of your greatest sellers and know when to restock.
  • eCommerce integration – With Shopify, Amazon, and WooCommerce connections, you can reach your consumers wherever they are. Your inventory levels in Enterprise are immediately updated with each sale, return, or item added to your stock.

Back to Enterprise Table of Contents

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QuickBooks Online Advanced Overview

QuickBooks Online Advanced has some powerful features geared for specific industries, such as

Overall, QuickBooks Online Advanced is best suited for:

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Online Advanced for Non-profits

With Online Advanced for Non-profits, you will be able to stay on track with your nonprofit while being compliant. QuickBooks Online Advanced also allows you to maintain track of your cash flow so you know where you are at all times. You can produce sharper insights and enhance decision-making with smarter reporting.

You will be able to:

  • Work toward what matters with clear financial insights – From particular project financing to just keeping the lights on, Advanced makes it easy to understand where your donations are going. With the Cash Flow Dashboard, you can easily monitor how much money is coming in and leaving out. You will save time by having a single location to check on your financing. Compare and contrast your cash flow over time.
  • Put the right info in the right hands –Configure unique user roles to govern access to your nonprofit’s sensitive data and put the appropriate information in the right hands. Delegate tasks and grant access to funds or sensitive data to a few people. Make sure volunteers do not have access to QuickBooks at the same level as you. Permissions are the most versatile of any QuickBooks Online product.
  • Enable your company to focus on its mission with clear financial data – Smart Reporting powered by Fathom can help you make smarter decisions. Analyze the most important key performance indicators for your company. In minutes, you can create board-ready and foundation-ready graphic presentations. You can also write grant submissions easily with all your important data at your fingertips.
  • Nurture relationships to maximize impact – With customer-relationship management (CRM), concentrate on what counts most. Customized, Advanced integrations between QuickBooks and Salesforce and HubSpot (3rd-party apps not included) can be used to remain in touch with donors throughout the year for campaigns and events. With data-driven donor personas, you can create and automate acquisition and retention tactics. Improve productivity by using high-quality data derived from predefined criteria to ensure precise segmentation and audience targeting.

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Online Advanced for Professional Services

With Online Advanced for Professional Services, you will be able to maintain a steady profit stream and a satisfied client base. QuickBooks Online Advanced gives your professional services firm real-time analytics, project profitability, and automated workflows.

Consulting Firms

From IT to Human Resources, QuickBooks Advanced helps consulting firms keep costs in line and increase profits. You can use the fund hub where consultants can track every dollar with powerful general ledger functionality and end-to-end project management from estimation to payment. Better visibility into billable hours, availability, and project resource usage. Costs and work invoicing can be customized for complex contract conditions. Follow the beats of your top monetization engines and spot trends with the revenue stream dashboard. Get paid faster with bulk billing and manage your expenses faster with bulk billing.

Service Businesses

From construction services to landscaping services, Advanced saves you time with reduced data entry with bulk actions, real-time reporting, and fast checkout. Efficiently track time and costs to reduce administrative workloads for highly paid professionals. Seamless integration with field service applications such as Intuit Field Service Management and ServiceM8. Quickly track your business performance and make better business decisions with intelligent reporting powered by Fathom. Save time and eliminate repetitive tasks by entering hundreds of invoices at once with bulk invoicing. Tightly manage expenses by easily tracking and paying for each task. Improve time tracking and scheduling for your mobile workforce through seamless integration with QuickBooks Time.

Architecture, Engineering & Other Professional Consulting Firms

Advanced provides more detailed information on a project-by-project basis, allowing you to assess profitability, save expenses, and expand your firm. Reduce administrative costs by tracking time and expenses effectively, even while employees are on the road. Get a clearer picture of specific projects so you can change resources as needed to keep costs low and profits high. Fathom’s financial analyses and real-time insights can help you make better decisions.

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Online Advanced for Real Estate Property Management

With Online Advanced for Real Estate Property Management, you will be able to streamline your operations with customized tools. As your company’s financial core, QuickBooks Online Advanced enables you to work smarter and grow faster.

You will have access to:

  • Custom Fields – A custom field is a one-of-a-kind data input that helps you organize and categorize your contacts into lists and groups. For example, a company might create a custom feature in their contact management software to keep track of a customer’s most recent purchase, a service update, or new phone numbers.
  • Multiple Invoices – You may create and send numerous invoices at once with QuickBooks Online Advanced. Sending the same invoice to several customers saves time. In a single window, you can also work on many invoices at the same time. Then, with a single click, send all of your bills.
  • Unlimited Accounts, Classes, Locations & Tag Groups – Usage limits are the maximum number of things, like accounts or users, you can have at one time in QuickBooks. Depending on your subscription, you have a specific usage limit. These limits apply to how many billable users, chart of accounts, classes, locations, and tags you can add to QuickBooks.

Back to Online Advanced Table of Contents

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Other Considerations

Some businesses in certain industries can thrive on either QuickBooks platform. Since each platform has its own advantages, there are other considerations for you to make if this is the case for your business.

Accessibility & Connectivity

The most important consideration for you, if your business will prosper on either platform, is accessibility and connectivity. Think from where you will need to have access and connectivity to your QuickBooks. Will you only require access from a single location (or multiple locations where remote access is an option)? Or, will you need to access and connect with your QuickBooks on the go, wherever you have an internet connection?

QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise is desktop-based by nature and will require hosting from a cloud hosting service provider in order to be accessed on the cloud. If you only connect with QuickBooks on your main terminal or through your server and remoting into your desktop is an option, then Enterprise will be your best choice. This is because Enterprise is generally regarded as a more robust platform. So, if accessibility and connectivity limitations do not prevent you from getting your job done well, then consider Enterprise.

However, if you require on-the-go access and connectivity then QuickBooks Online may be a better fit for you. QuickBooks Online is cloud-based by nature, and accessible by login on the QuickBooks Online portal. You can connect to your highly secured QuickBooks data from anywhere with an internet connection. So if your style is processing payroll while sunbathing and sipping Mai Tai’s on a tropical beach in paradise – you can do it! Since QuickBooks Online only requires an internet connection for you to access it, you do not need to pay extra to cloud host a desktop-based application. If you absolutely require an on-the-go solution, consider QuickBooks Online Advanced.

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Quick Reference Comparison Chart


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About Us


Out of the Box Technology is an Elite QuickBooks Solution Provider (QSP). We provide our clients with QuickBooks products and end-to-end Business services and Data services through our talented team of in-house ProAdvisor Advanced Consultants, possessing over 500 years of combined QuickBooks experience. Armed with our “SauceBox ApproachTM,” Out of the Box Technology’s Advanced Consultants live up to our motto, “Anything + Everything QuickBooks.” Contact us and let us show you the best possible client experience, every single time! And don’t forget to check out our Company Blog for Free Resources, valuable How-To’s, and TONS of frequently added QuickBooks content!


What is Our SauceBox™ Approach?

Our SauceBox ApproachTM is the internal process that we developed specifically to better serve our clients.  This is essentially a five-step secret-sauce recipe to client success.  We start by listening to the client and walking through a methodical approach to finding a solution that fits the client’s pain points.  Our goal is to provide the best possible client experience, every single time!

Upgrade To Enterprise or Online Advanced Today!

Get the best versions of QuickBooks at the best price, guaranteed!

Our exclusive discounts on QuickBooks products can’t be beaten, we guarantee it.

Talk with an expert
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