QuickBooks Cost: Is This Product Right for You?

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Businesses both large and small rely on QuickBooks to handle their accounting needs. Trained accountants and newcomers to accounting can use QuickBooks to accomplish most major tasks, including tracking expenses, making reports, sending invoices, and more. However, it can be tough to know which version of QuickBooks you should use, as well as which version you can afford! QuickBooks comes in several different options nowadays, each with distinct pricing points (and unique features or functions that can make one or another better for your company). This page will break down QuickBooks’s varying pricing points so you can determine whether this accounting software will be an affordable and effective choice for your business.

QuickBooks Online vs Desktop License vs Desktop Subscription

These days, there are three ways you can use QuickBooks for your company, whether you have a massive enterprise or a small home business you run from your personal computer. These are: QuickBooks Online and two versions of QuickBooks for desktops — a licensed version where you purchase a single license to be used for up to three years or an annual subscription version that allows more licenses but which requires an annual payment. Each type of QuickBooks can be beneficial or most advantageous depending on what you need and what works best for your company. Each type of QuickBooks also comes with different pricing points, which can affect whether a given pricing model will suit your budget.

QuickBooks Online Pricing Tiers

QuickBooks Online is the newest version of QuickBooks and takes advantage of cloud connectivity. In a nutshell, QuickBooks Online doesn’t require you to physically download or install the software to a computer or mobile device. Instead, you can access your QuickBooks account from anywhere you can connect to the Internet. Despite the lack of installation, QuickBooks Online has almost all of the same powerful features that QuickBooks' desktop counterparts include, as well as a simplistic and intuitive user interface. Even better, QuickBooks Online includes a mobile app that allows you to perform your key accounting functions on the go without having to break out your desktop or laptop. Recently, QuickBooks Online added a host of e-commerce features and different integrations, making this a top choice for online store owners.

QuickBooks Online Pricing and Features

One big thing to note is that QuickBooks charges a discounted fee for the first three months of most online software subscriptions. After the first three months, your price goes up. Our list below includes the standard monthly prices rather than the discounted prices so you can more accurately predict the impact QuickBooks will have on your budget.

  • QuickBooks Self-Employed: $12 per month. This software comes with a few basic features but is ideal for small businesses owned and operated by one person. It’s mostly useful for estimating quarterly income taxes.
  • QuickBooks Simple Start: $12.50 per month. This is an expansion of the above software and allows you to send up to 20 reports, manage sales tax, access payroll services and online payments for additional fees, and more.
  • QuickBooks Essentials: $20 per month. Three users can access this software and generate up to 40 different reports and use all the functions mentioned above. You’ll also be able to track and input unpaid bills, record multicurrency transactions, and more.
  • QuickBooks Plus: $35 per month. Up to five users can access the software, send over 65 reports, and utilize other features like tracking job profitability, creating and managing budgets, creating purchase orders to place orders with your suppliers, and more.
  • QuickBooks Advanced: $75 per month. You can have up to 25 users accessing this software at once and send more than 100 different types of reports. Practically all of QuickBooks’s major features are included in this expensive subscription purchase, including automated workflow management, key performance indicators set across a stylish dashboard, and custom user permission settings. A dedicated success manager rounds out this pick’s features.

In many cases, QuickBooks Online will be the best choice for many small business owners due to its overall affordability. Additionally, you can pick up and end your suspension with QuickBooks at any time since you aren’t necessarily locked into an annual contract (though you can do this if you want a slightly discounted monthly rate). More importantly, QuickBooks Online offers the same features that QuickBooks's desktop versions do but with the convenience of cloud access.

QuickBooks Desktop License Pricing Tiers

QuickBooks Desktop is the original version of the software. You can find this version of QuickBooks in-store or purchase it from the QuickBooks website. If you purchase one of these licenses, you’ll enjoy full access to QuickBooks’ top-tier accounting software for up to three years. After this point, Intuit no longer supports the product, so you won’t get any more updates or technical support. You’ll have to buy another license if you want to keep getting newly implemented features or fixes. The fact that you can keep using your QuickBooks software after three years pass is a nice touch. Note, however, that the license only supports a single user. You can install the QuickBooks product on up to three computers, but each installation creates a separate company file, and you can’t sync the files’ data from computer to computer. Overall, QuickBooks’s licensed desktop version is best for small business owners who don’t need to share QuickBooks with their employees or a dedicated accountant . There’s only one pricing option if you want QuickBooks on your desktop without having to pay a subscription. A QuickBooks Pro license costs $399.99 . This price remains the same if you ever choose to renew the license and enjoy QuickBooks support for another three years. This core version of the software has most of QuickBooks’s major features and aspects, including:

  • Invoice and estimate management and tracking
  • Expense tracking
  • Journal entries
  • Charts of accounts and accounts payable
  • Inventory and project management
  • And more

QuickBooks Desktop Subscription Pricing Tiers

You can also purchase QuickBooks for desktop use through a subscription plan. This is a little more expensive in the long run if you only use QuickBooks on a single computer or account, but it can be more beneficial if you need to share QuickBooks between multiple employees. The QuickBooks desktop subscription options come in three varieties , each with different features or customization options. Unfortunately, the subscriptions are also annual, so you have to renew your subscription every 12 months if you want to continue getting QuickBooks support. QuickBooks Pro Plus costs $299.99 per year, although Intuit usually offers 33% off the first year through regular promotions. With this version of QuickBooks, you can bring up to three users into the account, track income and expenses, run reports, send estimates, track time, track inventory, and more. You’ll also gain access to unlimited customer support as well as data backups and upgrades. The next price point for QuickBooks’s desktop subscription choices is Premier Plus, which costs $499.99 per year (but is often lowered to around $300 per year with special offers and regular discounts). With this version of the software, up to five people can use the software concurrently. You’ll be able to run over 150 industry-specific reports, enjoy all the features mentioned above, and benefit from additional forecasting features. The last QuickBooks desktop subscription option is called Enterprise 21.0. It’s very pricey at $1275 per year. However, up to 40 people can use the software concurrently, and QuickBooks provides advanced roles for managers and executives. You’ll enjoy additional advanced reporting options, advanced pricing features, advanced inventory features, and a host of other special functions that the other versions don’t get. All three versions of this QuickBooks software offer fully integrated add-on services, though additional fees usually apply. You can also use remote access via hosting across the Internet, but keep in mind that fees will apply for these features as well.


In the end, only you can decide whether QuickBooks is an affordable and smart choice for your business's accounting software. Fortunately, there’s a lot of flexibility in terms of price – most business owners are able to get access to QuickBooks Online at a bare minimum due to its monthly affordability. However, QuickBooks’s desktop versions can serve as long-term or flexible options for larger businesses that need access to more workhorse accounting features or unlimited license access for most of their employees.  Consider your options carefully before choosing. Don’t hesitate to contact Seek Capital today, as well – we can help your business get the financial space it needs to expand, downsize, or attain long-term profitability. We also may be able to help you find money to pay for QuickBooks or other software solutions that might be necessary for your company. Contact us today and see how we can help you! Sources: QuickBooks® Online Pricing & Free Trial | QuickBooks Official Site QuickBooks Desktop, Compare QuickBooks Pro, Premier, and Enterprise | QuickBooks QuickBooks Desktop Pro 2021 Accounting Software | QuickBooks

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