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QuickBooks Versions

QuickBooks Pro Plus (Desktop) vs. QuickBooks Online Essentials

We discussed QuickBooks Pro in a post last week. In today’s article, we will describe what the Plus means for QuickBooks Pro and how that desktop versions compares to QuickBooks Online.

QuickBooks Pro Plus is QuickBooks Pro on a subscription basis with some added benefits. By subscription basis, we mean the software cost is a yearly fee (that can be paid monthly), rather than a one-time purchase.

QuickBooks Pro will cost $249.95 on the QuickBooks web site as of this writing. That purchase will last you at least three years, unless some new feature in a new version appears worth the price of upgrading.


QuickBooks Pro Plus is a yearly fee of $299.95, again, as of the day this post is written. For that yearly subscription fee you get:

  • The latest version of QuickBooks Pro updated to the new version each year.
  • 24/7 technical support.
  • Data backups. Up to 100 GB online and will be able to recover lost data from these backups for forty-five days.
  • Ongoing feature enhancements through the normal maintenance releases that occur throughout the year. In other words, some of the features being created for the next major yearly upgrade, will be released to QuickBooks Pro Plus subscribers.

How do these versions of desktop QuickBooks Pro compare to the online version?

The first thing to remember about QuickBooks Online is that it is very different software.

qbo home

The appearance and features are different. That said, a person familiar with procedures in the desktop versions of QuickBooks will, over time, learn to find their way around QBO (QuickBooks Online).

For instance, in QuickBooks Pro we invoice a customer, receive a payment, and then create a deposit.

In QBO we invoice a customer, receive a payment, and then create a deposit. Same sequence. But with different-looking screens different enhancements to the functions.

In QBO, bank transactions feed into the software automatically, landin in a special list that waits for the user to tell QuickBooks what should be done with them. The deposit could be created from the bank transaction by telling QBO which payments should be included in that bank deposit.

QuickBooks Pro will allow three simultaneous users if three software licenses have been purchased. QBO Essentials allows three simultaneous users for its subscription price of $26.95 per month (the prices changes as Intuit runs various promotions).

In addition to the three users, two accountant users can be added to the subscription for no extra charge.

Care should be taken in making the decision to switch. Some industries like contracting and those that are inventory-based will find that currently, the features in QBO do not meet the sme level as those in desktop versions.

But, many industries will find the capability to access from anywhere, collaborate with their accountant with live data without exchanging files, and to have a safe and secure environment for their data to be compelling reasons to make the switch.

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Hector Garcia, CPA
Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor
12401 Orange Drive #136
Davie, FL 33330

Hector Garcia

Hector Garcia

Hector Garcia is a CPA and QuickBooks Consultant.

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