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QuickBooks Premier vs. QuickBooks Pro Comparison

During our training courses we quite often get the question “Why should we choose QuickBooks Premier over QuickBooks Pro?”

We could have spent the entire QuickBooks Training Class discussing the differences between all QuickBooks versions, even Enterprise, Mac, and Online… But In this article I will focus on the features that QuickBooks Premier has that QuickBooks Pro does not.  It is also important to acknowledge that on top of these features, QuickBooks Premier can do everything the Pro version can do as well.

The short answer to the question is, generally QuickBooks Premier will have more powerful features for any company dealing with Inventory.  Also specific industries that we will mention bellow will take advantage of specialized features for them.  Also there are specific reports only found on the Premier version.

We will start discussing the reports that are not available in QuickBooks Pro, but available in QuickBooks Premier:

  • Profitability by Product: keep track of most profitable products in a simple to read report
  • Balance Sheet by Class: easily track balance sheet items such as fixed assets, accounts receivables and accounts payable by class (department or cost center)
  • Cost to Complete Report:  compare estimated vs. actual cost progress report.  Similar to Work-in-progress reports, great to contractors and construction companies
  • Jobs by Vendor: Keep track of your vendors to see what jobs each vendor is working on.
  • Expenses not Assigned to Jobs: Identify expenses that have not been job costed and to easily assign them to correct jobs.
  • Inventory Reorder Point by Vendor: Track inventory and set optimal inventory levels. Run a report showing items that need reordering.
  • Unbilled expenses by Job: easy find all expenses that have been marked as billable to your clients or jobs, but have not been invoiced yet.
  • Forecast Sales and Expenses: In addition to doing budgets and tracking budget vs. actual reports, you may also create forecasts with forecasted vs. actual reports.



Also, there are quite a few additional features:

  • Inventory Center: Easier to find inventory activities by accessing your inventory items and inventory related reports from one place with QuickBooks Inventory Center. Quickly add notes to each item for faster identification.
  • Change Orders: document and track changes to the estimates.  Change orders are tracked separately to track your bottom line and to have no surprises with your client.
  • Up to simultaneous 5 Users: compared to limited 3-user capability of QuickBooks Pro.  Requires the purchase one license per user.
  • Industry Customization: allows for customized reporting and features for the following industries: Non-Profit, Contracting, Wholesale & Manufacturing, Professional Services, and Retail.
  • Inventory Assemblies: Allow you to build assembled items that may be composed of inventory, non-inventory, and other costs to create better tracking for manufacturers.  Assembled items will have a printable Bill of Materials (BOM). Inventory assemblies have the ability to take any individual items in the Item List, and convert them into a unique Item called Inventory Assembly. For example, you run a local gift shop and want to create gift baskets with individual items (inventory or non-inventory) in your Item List. Items you have: caramel hearts, white chocolate flowers, gold stickers, coffee mugs, and popcorn that you want to include in the basket, plus as the basket itself it’s an inventory item. Using Assemblies in QuickBooks you can take each of these individual items and combine them into a brand new item in the Item List. After the assembly is built, this new item can be used on other sales forms in QuickBooks, such as the Invoice form. Also, you can ‘build’ as many of these as you wish in QuickBooks and during an item build it will calculates how many total you could build using your current stock.
  • Invoice directly from Billable Time and Expenses: per customer or in batch, to speed up your invoicing.  See all Billable Time and Expenses within the same window.
  • Sales Orders: create sales and backorders as a one step before creating invoices; these are requests for goods or services in a “PRE-INVOICE” format that you receive from a customers. It will  not post to the General Ledger or effect any accounting reports (like the Balance Sheet or Profit & Loss). It shows the exact all details that normally go on an invoices, such as: all quantities of specific goods to be sold, sales price, shipping costs, and sales tax. If you scroll through the Chart of Accounts and locate Sales Orders and Purchase Orders, this type of account is Non Posting, which means that it does not affect accounting.  QuickBooks Pro does not have the Sales order feature
  • Multiple Units of Measure: Set multiple units of measure for each inventory item to track the amounts used and available. Easily convert from cases to pallets or other units you can define. Correct unit of measure are printed on invoices, purchase & sales orders, pick lists, and packing slips. QuickBooks Pro only does single unit of measure.
  • Price Levels per item: Set custom price tables for individual items for different customers or jobs.  QuickBooks Pro can only do a global discount on Price Levels feature.
  • Billing Rates: Set different billing rates by employee, client, and service. Pay and get paid the right amount by quickly and easily setting individual different billing rates.
  • Sales Order Fulfillment Worksheet: Track which sales orders are ready to ship. Review all pending sales orders and quickly see which ones are fulfillable
  • Create Purchase Orders Automatically: Faster PO data entry directly from Estimates or Sales Orders with a single click.
  • Business Plan Tool: Powerful built-in feature
  • More Sample files: with chart of accounts and menus tailored by industry
  • Job Costing Center: Check the Job Costing Center for an instant reading of how you’re doing on your current jobs. Summary key information for all your jobs including which jobs are most and least profitable, in a single window.
  • Unlimited Archive of Bank Reconciliation: QuickBooks Pro allows you to reprint the last reconciled report only, Premier can go back to any, no matter how old.
  • Reversing Journal Entry: fast way to create journal entries



You do not have to take a QuickBooks class to know the difference between these two versions, but it is good to have this list handy before making the decision.


Hector Garcia, RTRP
QuickBooks ProAdvisor & Registered Tax Return Preparer
QuickBooks Training Courses, South Florida


Hector Garcia

Hector Garcia

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