Why QuickBooks Online Edition is Slower than QuickBooks Desktop (All Versions)

Sometimes a business has a compelling reason to use QuickBooks Online. The most compelling reason is remote access. If you have internet access, you have QuickBooks. 

But for most businesses, QuickBooks Desktop is the better choice, because it's much faster for anyone entering data, especially a power user like myself. Plus, it's cheaper, and has a richer feature set. 

"Desktop" QuickBooks includes all other versions: QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Premier, QuickBooks Accountant, QuickBooks Enterprise, QuickBooks Mac, and all special Editions like contractor's edition, manufacturing edition, retail edition, non-profit edition, etc.

Here are some specific examples of differences in speed.

Function: Add a New Account

o). In online edition, you have to select what account type you want to add, such as Expense Account, and then a secondary type of expense account, for example General & Administrative Expense. Sub accounts must match this secondary level type. Why bother? It's a useless designation. So for ease-of-use, chose one secondary type of expense account, and make them all the same.

d). In desktop edition, you can just add a new account with account type, such as Expense.

Function: Delete an Account

o). In online edition, you can delete accounts with balances in them. Before you delete an account you have to check and make sure it doesn't contain any transactions. The Quick Report comes up with "this month", so you have to select "all" to see if there are any transactions from the past.

d). In desktop edition, you can just say delete, and QB will protect you from deleting an account with a transaction.

Function: Select an Account to post the transaction to:

o). Online edition shows you EVERY account in the chart of accounts, with it's parent account. It's a long list so it's very time consuming to find the exact account you want. Usually you want an expense account, which is at the bottom of the list.

d). Desktop version shows you just the expense accounts, so you're looking at a much shorter list of accounts. And you can set Preferences to select, "see the lower account".

Function: Accept a Transactions

o). Online Edition makes you find the "okay" button to save a transaction.

d). Desktop version saves automatically.

Function: Editing a List

o). Online edition you have to find the "edit" or "new" button. Type ahead does work but not very well.

d). Desktop editions let you use
keyboard shortcuts, like “ctrl-E” for "edit" or “ctrl-N” for "new". I can edit a list lightening fast with two hands. Type ahead works perfectly.

Function: Salestax

This isn't a speed issue, it's a feature issue. You can only have one salestax rate in Online Edition. Desktop allows unlimited salestax rates.

Other differences? What do you think?

Success Stories

At some point along my path, I realized I had a gift for helping people make their dreams come true. Here are a couple of my more unusual success stories with friends and clients:
  • A plumber with hurt knees remembers he was attracted to computers in the army but never had a chance to pursue it. He follows my recommendations for what computer to buy first, and then continually asks advice about what to do next so he doesn't waste his time. A few years later he is earning a high hourly rate and being flown all over the country for his expertise.

  • A welfare mother cries on my shoulder that she can't get off welfare because she has no time to work at a job. I look around her apartment and suggest she start off just focusing on clearing out her place so she'll become more efficient time-wise. This ignites her spirit. She sells off clothes, books, movies, as well as eliminating junk and clearing out projects. As her place starts looking cleaner, her ex-husband pitches in by buying new bookshelves. Finally her life is efficient enough whereby she finds time to work at a part-time job. This eventually pays well enough to get the family off of welfare.
  • A successful older blue-collar business owner hires me to help him with current bookkeeping and to prepare financial reports so that he can pay back taxes. Since he was functionally illiterate, everyone else had frauded him which is how he got into this mess. I help him get his accounting into perfect order. With that, over the next couple of years, he became financially secure. Once a system is in place, it takes no time at all to maintain, so I asked him what he wanted to do next? He decided to retire and pursue a hobby. I helped him collect money owed, and created a list of assets he could liquidate and their current appraisal value. A year later he dies suddenly. He received the precious gift of a year of freedom. 

The broader picture is that we don’t always need more; sometimes we need to manage what we already have in a way that helps us to accomplish our true goals in life.