Last updated: February 3, 2023

One of the first decisions you need to make when starting a business is what accounting software to use. QuickBooks is one of the most widespread options, and there are four different versions available:

  • QuickBooks Online
  • QuickBooks Self Employed
  • QuickBooks Desktop
  • QuickBooks Mac.

In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of each version so that you can decide which is best for your LLC.

1. QuickBooks Online

A person writing on paper while looking up what is QuickBooks all about

QuickBooks Online is cloud-based accounting software for small businesses that organize financial information all in one place.

Everything is easy to find, and the interface makes accounting tasks simple. QuickBooks Online can also present the information you need exactly how you need it.

One of the most enticing features of QuickBooks Online is how quickly it can be scaled.

QuickBooks Online can grow with your small business with three plan options and hundreds of third-party integrations.

Quickbooks online can help you with inventory management, custom invoices, business and personal expenses tracking, income and expense tracking, etc.

However, QuickBooks Online does have some disadvantages. One downside is that you need to be connected to the internet to use it.

Internet connectivity can be a problem if you do not have a reliable internet connection or if you are traveling and do not have access to Wi-Fi.

QuickBooks Online also requires a monthly subscription, which can be expensive for some small businesses.

The three QuickBooks online plans are:

  • Simple Start
  • Essentials
  • Plus.

Pricing: $11-$33 a month. Keep an eye out for various offers they have from time to time. You might get a different price than stated. They also offer a nice discount if you subscribe for 3 or 6 months.

2. QuickBooks Self-Employed

A woman holding a notebook with the quickbooks logo

QuickBooks Self-Employed is designed for independent contractors and freelancers. It can assist with transaction tracking and sending invoices to customers.

It can categorize business income, make expense reports, take images of bills, and track travel for Schedule C forms, among other things.

One of the advantages of QuickBooks Self-Employed is that it is much cheaper than the other versions of QuickBooks.

It starts at $7.50 per month, and you can get a discount if you pay three or six months in advance.

QuickBooks Self-Employed is also very easy to use, and it can be a good option if you are not familiar with accounting software.

However, QuickBooks Self-Employed has some limitations.

For example, it does not have as many features as the other versions of QuickBooks. It also cannot track inventory or handle payroll tasks.

Pricing: $7.50 -$17 per month. Be on the lookout, as QuickBooks Self-Employed package sometimes has a limited offer of 50% off for three months.

3. QuickBooks Desktop

A close up shot of someone's fingers on a laptop

QuickBooks Desktop is software that you download and install on your computer.

Quick Books Desktop is also more customizable than QuickBooks Online, so you can tailor it to fit the specific needs of your small business.

One of the QuickBooks Desktop advantages is that you can use it offline.

Offline access is a significant advantage if you do not have a reliable internet connection or if you are traveling and do not have internet access.

QuickBooks Desktop is also more customizable than QuickBooks Online, so you can tailor it to fit the specific needs of your business.

However, QuickBooks Desktop has some disadvantages. One disadvantage is that it can be challenging to set up and use if you are unfamiliar with accounting software.

Another downside is that QuickBooks Desktop requires a one-time payment, which can be expensive for some small businesses.

In addition, QuickBooks Desktop is not as easily scalable as QuickBooks Online.

Quickbooks Desktop plans are:

  • QuickBooks Pro Plus
  • Quickbooks Premier Plus
  • Quickbooks Enterprise.

Pricing: $350-$1340 per year (depending on the edition)

So, which QuickBooks is best for your LLC? It depends on your specific needs and preferences.

If you need accounting software that is easy to use and scalable, QuickBooks Online might be a good option.

However, if you are looking for more customizable software or one that you can use offline, QuickBooks Desktop might be a better fit.

Whichever you choose, make sure to do your research to find the best QuickBooks for your LLC.

4. QuickBooks Mac Plus

QuickBooks Mac Plus is the only desktop version of QuickBooks that runs on Macs. In many aspects, it's comparable to QuickBooks Pro Plus(Desktop version).

This version of the QuickBooks software includes invoicing, billing, inventory tracking, reporting, budget creation, and sales and customer management.

One of the advantages of QuickBooks Mac Plus is that it is straightforward to use. Ease of use is a significant advantage if you are unacquainted with accounting software.

Another downside is that QuickBooks Mac Plus is not as widely used as other Quickbooks products.

Pricing: $350 per year for one user.

Purchasing Advice for QuickBooks

A person using a laptop

1. Start Small

If you are a new small business owner and are starting now, it is good to buy a basic package.

Remember that it is much easier to scale up and upgrade than to downgrade a package after realizing you are not using all its features.

2. Choose the Appropriate Product for Your Company's Size

Quickbooks Online and self-employed options are meant for small business owners.

If you are running an enterprise or your small business is transitioning and growing to become an enterprise, the online version might not suit you.

In that case, it is recommended to get a QuickBooks Enterprise, desktop software that gives access to up to 40 people and is intended for big companies.

3. Number of People Using the Software

Don't try to save money by having multiple employees share one account. The most basic QuickBooks versions are Simple Start ($12.50) and QuickBooks Self-Employed ($7.50), which only support one user.

It may be tempting to stay at that level and share a single account among multiple team members, but you will come to regret your decision.

Allowing many persons to operate one QuickBooks account removes accountability and transparency and increases the risk of errors.

4. Talk to a Certified Public Accountant

QuickBooks data may quickly become difficult, and while accounting tools might be helpful, they are no substitute for an educated and professional data analyst.

Figures don't lie, but focusing on a few numbers (such as averages) over others can be highly misleading.

If you don't have a background in mathematics, statistical analysis, data, or small business intelligence, the conclusions you draw from your QuickBooks reports may not be correct or mathematically sound. Therefore hiring a CPA would be a good idea in this scenario.

5. Make Sure You Use Compatible Apps

QuickBooks' parent firm, Intuit, sells a variety of tools and apps. It's a good idea to look at a software company's entire ecosystem of goods before deciding to choose one of its products.

Because it's often practical to use several items from the same firm because they all operate together, so choose your plan cautiously.


Is QuickBooks Suitable for the Self-Employed?

You can use Quickbooks Self-Employed to manage mileage, compute quarterly estimated taxes, issue and track invoices, separate business and personal costs, and maximize your Schedule C deductions automatically.

It's aimed chiefly at freelancers, contractors, and service-based small businesses. Quickbooks Online can be the wisest option if you have a sole proprietorship with no workers.

Is Quickbooks Online or Offline?

It's a web-based application that may be accessed via the internet. We automatically back up your data using high-level, industry-recognized security protections to protect your financial data.

There is also a Quickbooks Desktop version. Once you install it on your PC, all the data is stored there.

Is QuickBooks a One-Time Purchase?

QuickBooks Desktop can be purchased as a yearly subscription with a per-user fee. One-time purchase packages for QuickBooks Desktop are no longer available.

How Do I Ask a Question to the QBO Community?

After logging in, go to the Community tab and hover over it. To see all of the product sections available, go to the QuickBooks Q&A board. Chose a topic you are interested in. click on the green Start a discussion button. Fill in the subject line, ask your question, and click Post.

Is QuickBooks Being Discontinued?

QuickBooks Desktop 2019 software users will lose access to QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Services, Live Support, Online Backup, Online Banking, and other services after May 31, 2022.

Starting June 1, 2022, you will no longer get essential security updates.

The Quickbooks online version will still be getting regular security updates.

Do You Have to Update QuickBooks Every Year?

No, you are not required to "upgrade" every year; some people still use the 2007 version! If you upgrade your computer's operating system, you'll discover that your old software no longer works.

However, if a new service update is released, you should "upgrade" your old version.

How to Set up a Sole Proprietorship in QuickBooks?

  1. Open QuickBooks, then go to "File" > "New Company." The Setup window for QuickBooks appears.
  2. Select "Express Start" and input your company name and industry in the "Company Name" and "Industry" fields.
  3. Select "Sole Proprietorship" from the "Company Type" drop-down box.
  4. In the "Tax ID #" area, enter your Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Social Security number. In QuickBooks, the number is utilized in tax forms. When asked what the company's business structure is, select the tax structure you have chosen (or plan to choose) for your LLC to be treated as.
  5. Click "Continue," then "Create Company File" after entering your company's contact information. QuickBooks opens the "Add Info" window after creating the company file.
  6. To add the information to your account, click the "Add" button next to the "People," "Products," and "Bank Accounts" sections. Click "Start Working" after you're finished, or if you wish to skip this step and enter the information as you go.

Which QuickBooks Is Best For an LLC...

If you are thinking to start an LLC or are a small business owner looking for affordable and feature-rich accounting software, QuickBooks Online should be your top choice.

It offers more features than the desktop version of QuickBooks Pro, which is more expensive.

Additionally, there is a version of QuickBooks designed explicitly for self-employed individuals. So if you are looking for a quality accounting program that will meet your needs without breaking the bank, look no further than QuickBooks Online.

Our #1 Recommendation


A woman holding a notebook with the quickbooks logo
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Excellent privacy protection
  • Useful integrated tools
  • Great value for money
  • Simplified tax management
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of May
  • Lack of business-specific features

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