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QuickBooks Pro, Premier, and Enterprise compared (2014)

I’m writing this article because one of the most common incoming search results for traffic in this site comes from keywords like: “QuickBooks Pro Vs. Premier”, “Differences between Pro and Premier versions of QuickBooks”, and “quickbooks pro premier comparison”… And I have already written a few articles in the subject, but I want to write this one to cover all the feature differences with details.  This article is updated to versions 2014, but 2012 and 2013 should be about the same as well.

I’ll start by clarifying that I will be referring to the Desktop Windows version of QuickBooks, there will be another article where I focus on comparing the Online Versions.  And there is only one option for Mac users, so there is no need to compare different versions… unless we are comparing it to the PC version; also a topic for another article.

The following features are available in the Premier version of QuickBooks and not the Pro version:

  • Sales Orders: I tend to describe this features in the QuickBooks Courses i teach as “a transaction between an estimate and an invoice”.  Estimates are simple to explain, they are non-posting transactions and do not affect any accounting or inventory.  Invoices are transactions used to complete a sale affecting sales and inventory.  So, Sales Orders are used to create an internal control of approved orders or approved estimates, but do not post into sales;  but, the key element of the sales order is the backorder.  A Backorder is a way to reserve or the inventory if it is in stock or commit it so when it gets received.
  • Creating purchase orders straight from estimates or sales orders.  This allows the user to use the item information already found on a “pre-sale” worksheet such as an estimate and sales order to create a purchase order using the preferred vendors assigned to the items
  • Inventory Center, which was introduced in version 2012, found in 2013 and 2014 as well.  This is a center dedicated to help the user quickly analyse or identify all transactions that involve a particular inventory item.  For years the Customer Center and the Vendor center have been very popular features, and finally there is a similar interface dedicated to inventory items.
  • Sales Order Fulfillment Worksheet is a module that allows the user to preview all fullfillable sales orders based on inventory quantities and can batch print pick tickets and/or packing slips.
  • QuickBooks Business Planner is a built-in tool based on Atlas Business Solutions, Inc’s Ultimate Business Planner.   Simple tool that can create very comprehensive Business Plans and it can take the data straight from your QuickBooks file to reduce data entry of financial data.
  • 10 additional Sample files encompassing these industries: non-profit, contractor, manufacturing, wholesale/distribution, consulting, engineering firm, graphic design/advertising, law firm, retail with summary sales from POS system, retail with detailed sales in QuickBooks.  very useful for people learning or wanted to practice in an environment similar to their industry.   QuickBooks Pro includes a general Product and general Service sample file only.
  • Industry Specific Reports specific for these industries: Contractor, Manufacturing and Wholesale, Professional Services, Retail, and Non-Profit.
  • Billing Rate Levels is to have custom service item rates for different employees and vendors, so you you can charge different rates for an employee based on the service rendered, all while using the same sales item in invoices, but performed by different employees or vendors.
  • Forecasts, this adds another dimension to Budgets with their own reports.
  • Per item price levels let you set custom prices for items that are associated with different customers or jobs.  QuickBooks Pro has fixed percentage  price levels only.
  • Inventory Assembly, as defined by Intuit:   is one of the types of line items you can use when you are filling out a sales or purchase form. An assembly item lets you combine inventory part items and other assembly items (subassemblies) into a single item by defining a Bill of Materials, which lists the assembly item’s component parts. You can also include the costs associated with building the assembly item by adding non-inventory part items, service items, and “other charge” items to the Bill of Materials. Creating and adding assembly items to inventory is a two-step process. You first define the Bill of Materials (Also only available in Premier) that specifies what components go into making the assembly item, and then you build a certain quantity of the assembly item so QuickBooks can deduct the component parts from inventory and add new quantities of the assembled item. In other words, as soon as you build an assembly item, its component parts no longer exist as separate parts in inventory because they have become part of a new inventory item called an assembly.
  • Batch Invoicing: create an invoice you want to send to multiple  or even all customers with the same items in a single batch.  Customers can be grouped into Billing Groups.
  • Invoice from Time & Expenses it to let you invoice customers with un-billed time and expenses directly from a single list. You can view subtotals of your unbilled time and expenses for each customer, filter the list by date, sort your results, and select which customers to bill.
  • Balance Sheet by Class Report.  Pro version can do Profit & Loss by Class, but not Balance Sheet
  • Current Availability window is a preview to current availability of inventory (based on quantity on hand, minus quantity on backorder from sales orders)
  • Change Order notes, option thats adds a note with timestamp of changes made to an estimate.
  • Previous Reconciliation Reports, unlimited history of previous reports from reconciliations.  QuickBooks Pro will only have the last report reconciled.
  • Multiple Units of Measure, so you can buy by the dozen and sell by the unit, for example.
  • 1-Click Reverse Jornal Entry, creates a journal entry with opposing debits and credits on the next day of the original Jornal Entry.
  • Job Costing Center, one worksheet to review all Job Costing related functions.   Only available in Contractor Edition.

I hope I am not forgetting any major features, there may be a few small things here and there in additional to my list, but these are the “deal makers”.  It is also important to point out that the database structures of these two versions are identical so you may open a file opened in QuickBooks Pro or QuickBooks Premier Interchangeably.  There are no features in QuickBooks Pro and is not in QuickBooks Premier, so it is not necessary to list the features in QuickBooks Pro, its too many anyway.

There is another version of QuickBooks called: QuickBooks Accountant (used to be called QuickBooks Premier: Accountant Edition, but no the same is simplified).  All features on Pro and Premier are in the Accountant Edition, plus:

  • Batch Enter Transactions: You can add Checks, Credit Card Charges, Deposits, Invoices/Credit Memos, and Bills/Bill Credits from an excel spreadsheet with a quick copy/paste style function.
  • Receive Accountants Copy, make changes and send changes back to client
  • Batch Reclassify Transactions for both used accounts and source bank account
  • Client Collaborator feature allows you to send client notes or questions about specific transactions and clients will receive them in their QuickBooks file.  Accountants and users keep track of all notes.  Will need Need to have an intuit login to update via the “cloud”.
  • Create Period copy, great for time-limited audits.
  • Work with 2 files at once
  • Toggle to any version of QuickBooks (Accountant, Pro, or Premier any of the additions)
  • Client Data Review.  Fast way to write off invoices, fix open balances, fix undeposited funds, fix sales tax, and troubleshoot inventory issues
  • Send Journal Entries to your clients
  • Statement Writer allows you to create custom, compliant, financial reports
  • Fixed Asset Manager to calculate depreciation from Fixed Item List


Finally, QuickBooks Enterprise is the top of the line from Intuit’s QuickBooks products, you will find all features from QuickBooks Premier, plus:

  • Advanced user Permissions and Restrictions (Over 100 individual functions can be toggled for users)
  • Ability to upgrade to 6-30 Simultaneous users.  Number of user licenses has an incremental cost, ranging from 1-user at $999 to 30-user at $8,800
  • More Custom fields, and ability to create drop-down custom fields to restrict user to specific data entry choices.
  • ODBC connector for easy data export into Microsoft Access and other ODBC compliant database systems.
  • Over 100,000 names and items. Pros and Premier are normally limited at 14,500.
  • Designed for larger data file sizes and network.  Works faster over multiple users in a network.
  • First year US-Based Tech support at no extra charge
  • Ability to open 2 company files  simultaneously
  • Ability to consolidate 2 or more company files into one consolidated financial statement
  • Advanced Inventory Module ($1000/year add-on): Bar Code Scanning, FIFO Inventory Costing, Bin Location, Multiple Location Tracking, Enhanced Receiving without Bill.
  • WIP Report and Committed Cost Report (with unpaid wages and open PO values) New in 2014.
  • Sales Rep and Custom Fields to Bills, Checks, and Credit Card Charges.  Which allows a true profit by Rep report. New in 2014.
  • Maximum stock levels in addition to Min (formerly known as re-order point) that allows you to Auto-Create PO up to Max levels. New in 2014.
  • Advanced Pricing Add-on or Pricing Rules (additional $399 per year on top of FSP subscription.  Create Quantity discounts, temporary manufacturer/vendor discount, different pricing based on class, use future/seasonal sale discounts. New in 2014.
  • Adjust Margin and Mark-up per item, also when cost changes, sales price will automatically adjust using the pre-fixed margin or mark-up
  • Assign a Default Class to a Name, Item, or Account
  • Pending Builds Assemblies and easily swap an item that are used in any assemblies


Intuit has a 1-page PDF comparing Mac, Pro, Premir, Enterprise, and Online.

Additionally, if you are looking for a detailed comparison of the MAC version Vs. the Windows versions, try this Intuit article:

Hector Garcia

Hector Garcia

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