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Creating Reports in QuickBooks Online and Desktop: The Differences

Reports in the desktop versions of QuickBooks are more flexible than in QuickBo0oks Online.

QuickBooks reports are the reward you get for all of your hard work conscientiously creating records and transactions. Because of them, you can get a clear picture of your company’s historical financials. You know where you stand today, and you’ll be able to make better business decisions for your future.

If you’re not familiar with financial reporting, it would be worth taking a QuickBooks training class that deals solely with that topic. It’s that important.

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Learning how to use QuickBooks reports isn’t an option. Your company’s success depends on your ability to create and analyze them (QuickBooks 2013 pictured).

QuickBooks Online has grown tremendously over the past decade, but there are still some areas where it’s playing catch-up with the desktop versions. Reporting is one of them.

We’ll take a look at the differences and similarities here.

The desktop versions of QuickBooks are real powerhouses when it comes to the volume of report templates built in. Where QuickBooks Online Plus only offers roughly 65 report templates, QuickBooks Premier, for example, includes over 150.

Both cover much of the same territory. There are the standard reports you’d expect in areas like:

  • Company and Financial
  • Customers and Receivables
  • Vendors and Payables
  • Sales
  • Inventory, and
  • Payroll.

QuickBooks Online and desktop both let you alter the physical layout of the reports. You can design your own headers and footers, specify a date range and add or remove column labels.

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QuickBooks Online’s customization box

There are other similarities. Using either version, you can email reports and export them to Excel for additional formatting, formulas and content. Both let you memorize modified report templates for use in the future, and they each let you shape reports based on the type of data being displayed. You can sort data in various ways; select accounts, customers, products and services, etc. to be included and control how numbers are displayed.

If the aesthetics of an accounting solution are important to you, you’ll be more pleased with the look and navigational tools found in QuickBooks Online. Although Intuit revamped the user interface in its desktop versions starting with QuickBooks 2013, it looks a bit dated compared to QuickBooks Online.

But if you want the most comprehensive, customizable reports possible, you should learn how to use QuickBooks desktop templates. It’s not just that there are many more of them – many businesses would do just fine with what QuickBooks Online offers. But even a basic QuickBooks tutorial would illustrate how the voluminous filters and column options in the desktop versions make it a more competent, thorough report-generator.

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QuickBooks desktop’s feature set is still more complete than QuickBooks Online’s, so it makes sense that its reports would be more powerful.

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