The QuickBooks brand is very familiar to the business world. No matter the size of the company, QuickBooks is probably the first brand that comes to mind when trying to find the right financial management software.
But, when company owners search for the version of QuickBooks that suits their needs, they discover just how extensive the options are. There’s a QuickBooks that’s easy for a sole proprietor with their smartphone in hand, and at the other end of the spectrum, there’s QuickBooks for enterprise-level companies.
We’ve put together this guide for the two most prevalent versions of QuickBooks you need to know about—comparing Quickbooks Online Advanced vs. Enterprise—so you can decide which path is the right one for your company.
About QuickBooks Online Advanced
The words online and advanced are the best descriptors for this version of QuickBooks. It’s powerful financial management software with the main aim of making important accounting processes easy to access and use. As the name suggests, it is a cloud-based platform that can be accessed from virtually any device.
QuickBooks Online Advanced is designed to meet the needs of companies at multiple levels of growth. While it targets small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs), it can continue to scale with a company until it’s time to migrate to an enterprise-level solution.
About QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise
QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise is commonly referred to as Enterprise. It is a comprehensive business management solution designed for scaling businesses and larger, established companies. It offers advanced tools for accounting, inventory management, reporting, pricing rules, job costing, payroll, and the list goes on.
Enterprise is a comprehensive solution installed on your company’s computers, but it also provides extensive and scalable cloud-based features where needed.
Key Target Audiences for QuickBooks Online Advanced and Enterprise
QuickBooks Online Advanced is designed to make it easy for SMBs to manage complex accounting and to do so routinely at any stage of growth. From the sole proprietor just starting out to medium-sized companies seeing major growth. It is focused on ease of use and accessibility for the widest range of SMBs.
QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise is designed to place financial management control in the hands of more complex operations. Its features allow for scaling the number of users, accounts, inventory, and control over data—features that speak to the needs of larger corporations but are familiar enough for companies that are outgrowing their version of Online Advanced.
Comparing Key Features
The more complex and feature-rich the software is, the more important it is to consider the target user’s use of different tools, automation, integrations, and add-ons. We present the following data about Quickbooks Enterprise vs. Online Advanced to illuminate what you get with the two versions.
The QuickBooks Online Advanced user interface (UI) is designed to be user-friendly. You can easily access your QuickBooks account via the app or on any device, so the UI is easy to view and navigate across the board. You can customize how you view your data to match your needs.
Enterprise is designed to help analyze large amounts of data with clarity and simplicity in mind. You can display process flowcharts, view process-specific tasks, and assign and control user roles.
Cloud-Based Access in QuickBooks Online Advanced vs. Enterprise
QuickBooks Online Advanced and Enterprise provide two different approaches to online cloud-based use. While both online platforms are considered Software as a Service (SaaS), Desktop Enterprise is installed on the user’s desktop from the cloud and QuickBooks Online Advanced exists entirely in the cloud.
QuickBooks Online Advanced is designed for easy online accessibility, appealing to a wide range of small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs). It can be used in a browser, on mobile devices, and on virtually any device that can securely access the internet.
Enterprise allows users to add cloud services to their desktop version, with extensive cloud-hosting options that can scale with the company’s needs.
There are three hosting plans for Enterprise available.
This version allows easy online access to your data, multi-factor authentication, 5GB of storage space, and integrations for Microsoft Office Suite, Google Chrome, and billing apps.
Classic includes all of Core’s features plus 10GB of storage space.
The Deluxe cloud hosting option provides all of the above, plus it connects to 200+ additional apps and provides 50GB of storage space.
Core Accounting Features
When comparing the accounting features of QuickBooks Online Advanced vs. Enterprise, both options are designed to provide a wide range of tools and customization.
QuickBooks Online Advanced
Advanced Online focuses on helping small and growing businesses juggle complex accounting with the flexibility to add to their plan as their needs change.
QuickBooks Online Advanced core accounting features include:
- Customizable business analytics
- Cash flow and revenue dashboards
- Batch invoicing and transactions
- Customized reporting
- Fast automatic payment acceptance and recording
- QuickBooks Payroll and QuickBooks Time integration
- QuickBooks Priority Circle support
Desktop Enterprise is considered a best-in-class accounting solution for medium-sized businesses up to enterprise-level corporations, with:
- Built-in payroll
- Integrated payments
- Advanced reporting customization
- Budget planning and forecasting
- Advanced inventory management
- Job costing
- Inventory control
- Order management
- Supply-chain tracking
Scalability and Business Size Suitability
QuickBooks Online Advanced is designed to scale along with the needs of growing SMBs while providing them with powerful analytics, customization, and resource management. While it is possible for a company’s needs to eventually outgrow the add-ons and integrations that are possible with Online Advanced, its feature set is robust enough to continue scaling as needs advance. With Online Advanced, companies can add as many as 25 users.
Like SMBs that use Online Advanced, QuickBooks Enterprise users enjoy customization, add-ons, tiered feature upgrades, and numerous integration options. Companies with more complex inventory needs and more advanced payroll and time-tracking will find they can continue to grow while benefiting from advanced features tailored to large companies.
Desktop Enterprise lets companies install the program remotely, but they can also scale online hosting options for cloud-based use as needed. As companies expand, they can add as many as 40 users.
QuickBooks Enterprise is best for businesses that require in-depth inventory features, and QuickBooks Online Advanced is best for SMBs that need more basic logistical inventory information.
The following are just some of the key features the two versions offer for inventory management.
QuickBooks Online Advanced
- Track inventory in real-time.
- Receive instant notifications for low-stock alerts.
- Receive inventory insights on best-selling items, sales, and taxes.
- Track inventory products by bin location, serial numbers, or lot numbers.
- Manage your end-to-end workflow from a single dashboard.
- Automate inventory management.
- Categorize inventory in a multi-level view.
- Assign expiration dates to inventory.
The following is a brief look at the advanced reporting features you’ll find in Online Advanced and Enterprise.
QuickBooks Online Advanced
- Monitor business performance at multiple stages.
- Uncover real-time insights.
- Analyze data on income and balance sheets.
- Create custom metrics dashboards.
- Customize any unique reporting you need.
- Customize how you view reports.
- Create templates based on your custom reports.
- Choose from more than 200 built-in reports, including 70 industry-specific reports.
Automation and Integration Capabilities
QuickBooks Online Advanced allows you to automate common workflow tasks like invoicing, sending payment reminders, and other processes that save you time from manual transactional communications.
Enterprise offers these automation capabilities and other, more extensive automation features, like filling sales orders and aligning pick/pack instructions with orders via barcode.
Both versions of QuickBooks offer extensive integration options, but Enterprise’s are the most numerous and advanced.
There are integrations for everything from connecting your eCommerce sales and inventory to linking your Excel spreadsheets to QuickBooks Enterprise. Some of Enterprise’s integrations include:
Zapier allows you to connect apps and automate workflows between them.
This platform lets you create applets to automate actions from one program to another.
Kissflow helps you create forms, notifications, and reports to integrate with Enterprise.
With Integrify, you can sync data with Salesforce, HubSpot, Mailchimp, and others.
Enterprise also offers an extensive range of industry-specific accounting integration solutions, with reporting tools and other features. Industries include:
- Wholesale and distribution
Data migration is no small task, but it’s an important scenario to consider when determining the software that works for you. There are two major migration scenarios to consider.
1. Migrating from Other Financial Management Platforms to QuickBooks
If you’re ready to migrate from your current platform to QuickBooks, it is highly recommended to either consult with a QuickBooks professional like our experts at Fourlane or have them manage the entire migration for you.
2. Migrating from QuickBooks Online Advanced to QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise
While the length of time it takes to migrate depends on how much data is involved and how long you have been using QuickBooks, it’s best to let an expert manage the process. If you feel confident in your abilities, QuickBooks offers built-in migration tools, but they are not comprehensive.
The good news is that migrating from Online Advanced to Enterprise is much smoother than migrating from another platform, and all of your data is already stored, backed up, protected, and automatically compatible with the Enterprise system.
Data Security and Compliance
Both Desktop Enterprise and Online Advanced take online security and regulatory compliance seriously. The biggest difference between the two versions is how data is managed, accessed, and stored.
With Enterprise, companies share some of the responsibility of managing security since the main program is installed on their system. But QuickBooks provides all the necessary tools to help users maintain proper safety and compliance.
With Online Advanced, every user interaction is online, which places just as much responsibility on how Intuit provides extra layers of security on the user’s behalf. This is also true when Enterprise users choose to add cloud hosting options to their accounts.
The following are important aspects of security both QuickBooks versions help you manage.
A major aspect of security is protecting who has access to sensitive account information. QuickBooks lets users set detailed account administration privileges so only specific individuals can access specific data.
Online Data Storage
For Enterprise users that add cloud servers to their plan and all Online Advanced users, Intuit follows all laws that regulate data storage, specific to the user’s country.
Online data is stored in the cloud using Amazon Web Services (AWS), with multiple layers of security at the network level, as it is stored, and in its physical locations.
Online Advanced provides automatic backup and restore, so you don’t have to worry about data loss. Data is backed up in redundancy to prevent data loss.
Advanced Security Processes
Password protection, firewalls, and encrypted data protect accounts from cyberattacks.
Secure Bank Connections
QuickBooks establishes one-way connections to bank accounts with read-only access, meaning that all transactions are managed by your bank, with reporting sent to your software.
Pricing Models for QuickBooks Online Advanced vs. Enterprise
The QuickBooks price model is designed to provide the right measure of features for every business.
Because accounting and financial management can become so broad and complex depending on your business model, Intuit has taken great care to provide primary plans that resonate with your needs while also providing numerous tiered upgrades, add-ons, and integrations to fill in the details that meet your specific business activity.
Pricing Model for QuickBooks Online Advanced
Prices are subject to change, but currently, QuickBooks Online Advanced is available starting at $200 per month. To add payroll to Online Advanced, there are three main options:
- Payroll Core at $45/month + $6/employee per month, which includes full-service payroll, automated taxes and forms, auto payroll, health benefits, 401(k) plans, 1099 E-File and pay, expert product support, and next-day direct deposit.
- Payroll Premium at $80/month + $8/employee per month, which includes the above with an upgrade to same-day direct deposit and the addition of workers’ comp administration, an HR support center, 24/7 expert product support, expert review, and the ability to track time on the go.
- Payroll Elite at $125/month + $10/employee per month. This includes every feature from Payroll Premium. However, it adds expert setup, the ability to track time and projects on the go, tax penalty protection, and a personal HR advisor.
*Prices subject to change.
Pricing Model for QuickBooks Enterprise
QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise is available in three main versions:
- QuickBooks Enterprise Gold pricing starts at $1830 per year for either 1–10 or 1–30 users. It includes payroll built-in cloud access (for an added, tiered fee), online backup data storage, advanced reporting, and QuickBooks Priority Circle service.
- QuickBooks Enterprise Platinum pricing starts at $2250 per year for either 1–10 or 1–30 users. In addition to all of the features of Gold, QuickBooks Enterprise Platinum includes advanced inventory, advanced pricing, and bill and PO workflow approvals.
- QuickBooks Enterprise Diamond starts at $4400 per year for either 1-10 or up to 40 users. In addition to all of the features of Platinum, it includes QuickBooks Time Elite at $5/employee per month and Salesforce CRM Connector at $150 per month per company file.
*Prices subject to change.
Making the Right QuickBooks Choice for Your Company
As you can see, Intuit has thought out the needs of its customers. Both paths for QuickBooks are perfectly designed around the pain points of specific users, from easy online access to endless customization and integration.
Which option is right for you? Fourlane knows there’s so much to explore, so we created a great resource to help you ask the right questions and start using the best QuickBooks option for your business.
Still not sure which is best for your business? Take the Fourlane quiz to discover which QuickBooks to choose.