I'm Jamie — Profit Strategist and Financial Literacy Coach.

tell me more...

Reading suggestions

Affordable Tech

Profit First: My Love/Hate Relationship

Hobby Loss Rule - Side Hustlers Beware

Accounting Software

Looking for a Quickbooks Desktop Alternative ASAP? Let’s go!

April 4, 2023

What happened to Quickbooks desktop? And what are some alternatives if you don't like the changes? Jamie weighs in on the changes to desk top quickbooks and suggest the best quick book alternative.

Many business owners find themselves looking for a Quickbooks alternative for the desktop program in 2023.

Understandably, this kind of big switch makes many of us nervous.

It can be hard to keep up with the ever-changing world of accounting, especially if you’re using QuickBooks Desktop.

So what’s happening?

QuickBooks Desktop is slowly being phased out.

While it’s still available, there are some limitations and you’ll have to pay an annual fee to keep it.

Many of us are wondering, will there be a QuickBooks clone to replace it? One for Windows? Alternatives to quickbooks for Mac?

Let’s dive in!

The Quickbooks change that is upsetting small business owners

First things first, let’s clear up the confusion about QuickBooks Desktop standalone.

It’s not an online program, but rather a software you can download onto your computer.

Many business owners have used this for years and have extensive records on it.

And one of the things that stinks the most about making the switch from desktop to online: you can’t just switch from one to the other with a click of a button.

But don’t fret! And before you say, “I hate QuickBooks!” let us guide you on the best option for your business to replace Quickbooks Desktop.

Spoiler alert: it’s not necessarily a QuickBooks competitor!

The tech world is moving to the cloud, wondering if you should do the same? 

If you’re not ready to make the leap to the cloud, there are still options for a Quickbooks Desktop replacement, but they tend to be a bit pricier. 

QuickBooks Online may be your best option if you’re looking for a cloud-based accounting solution.

However, getting the best price for QuickBooks Online can be tricky.

Has the thought of Quickbooks alternatives crossed your mind lately?

If you prefer to look for a desktop-based accounting software, there are certainly other alternatives worth exploring – QuickBooks replacement options like Sage business cloud accounting, Zoho Books, or AccountEdge.

Don’t just take my word for it, though, when it comes to an alternate to QuickBooks.

Ultimately, it’s essential to choose the best QuickBooks alternatives for your specific needs.

Do some research and find the perfect tool to streamline your finances.

So, what should you do if you’re a QuickBooks Desktop user?

While there are some non-cloud based softwares out there, the ones with features comparable to Quickbooks Desktop equivalent tend to be on the pricier side.

It may be time to bite the bullet and go with a cloud-based solution.

We think cloud-based is best because of the added functionality around user access, collaboration, and ability to access on the go. 

If you’re considering moving to QuickBooks Online, you’re not alone.

In fact, for previous Desktop users, it may be your best of the other options besides QuickBooks.

What is the best non-cloud based alternative to Quickbooks Desktop?

Sage 50 is a solid contender when it comes to non-cloud based alternatives that are most similar to Quickbooks Desktop.

The Sage 50 program includes characteristics that are most similar to Quickbooks Desktop for the following reasons:

  • Scalability: Sage 50 provides many software versions to meet the requirements of various business sizes. It is appropriate for larger or more complicated enterprises because it provides more sophisticated capabilities than some of the other non-cloud based solutions.
  • Sage 50 provides a high level of customization, enabling customers to design unique recurring invoices, purchase orders, and other forms. It also has a customer relationship management component that goes beyond accounting.
  • Reporting: Sage 50, like Quickbooks Desktop, includes a vast library of built-in reports and the ability to tweak and create custom reports.
  • Integration: Sage 50 may be easily included in a wide range of external programs, such as point-of-sale systems, payment processors, and other business management programs.
  • Multi-user functionality: Sage 50’s multi-user functionality makes it possible for several users to access the same file at once, which is crucial for team collaboration.

Sage 50 has a broad range of capabilities, most of which are comparable to Quickbooks Desktop.

The Sage 50 program might be the best alternative for companies that require a more extensive feature set, like inventory management and inventory tracking capabilities.

Even so, some of the other non-cloud based options on the list are also fantastic choices.

Like any powerful software, QuickBooks Online can come with a bit of a learning curve. 

Learning curves await you in a dark winding road with "curves ahead" text on it. Quickbooks Online. But if you are looking for cheap quickbooks software, the online options might be a pleasant surprise.

Transitioning from Desktop to QuickBooks Online can feel like a significant learning curve, but don’t let that discourage you.

Although it may be different at first, embracing this new software will only enhance your financial management system.

Don’t get stuck in old habits and miss out on an emerging double entry accounting system only because it feels unfamiliar.

If you’re hesitant, consider outsourcing the transition or taking the time to learn and adapt.

The future is moving towards cloud-based programs, so it’s worth taking the leap towards QuickBooks Online and taking advantage of learning with other users.

Get the best price AND service from your accounting software company

In the past, you could purchase QuickBooks Desktop once and not have to worry about paying for upgrades each year.

Unfortunately, a recent change to the pricing methodology means that you will have to pay for upgrades annually to maintain access to necessary integrations and support.

This means that if you haven’t upgraded to one of the new plans, the support for your QuickBooks Desktop 2020 will end in May of 2023.

While QuickBooks is technically still usable after the service discontinuation, users will need to brace themselves for a slew of missing functions.

Without live support, customer assistance and vital online banking features, the software is losing its efficiency and attractiveness as a reliable accounting tool.

It begs the question of why QuickBooks is cutting ties with such practical resources.

Why is Quickbooks moving everything to a subscription?

Subscription models are giving companies like Intuit the opportunity to update the software more regularly - a feature they can't control on desktop. This picture of a post it note with "attention" moving online also has the impact of making room for Quickbooks competitors who are ready to serve competitors used to using quickbooks offline.

For quite some time, it has been clear that QuickBooks Online has been the primary focus of the company’s resources.

It’s no wonder, given that QuickBooks Online brings in more reliable revenue over time.

With Quickbooks Desktop, the company would sell the software once, and have to support it for many years, which meant revenues and costs were mismatched.

Many business owners would buy the software once and wouldn’t upgrade for several years in order to save money on an accounting platform. 

In order to capture that lost revenue, Quickbooks Desktop is now moving to a subscription-based model as well, where you’ll have to upgrade each year to keep the features. 

Thus, many people are looking to move to Quickbooks Online in order to save some money, and because of the added collaboration functionality.

However, it’s worth noting that many users believe that it not only competes with but also surpasses the desktop version in terms of features and functionality.

New features like QuickBooks Projects have incorporated project management capabilities into QuickBooks Online, which levels up the small business accounting software.

The world of small business accounting is evolving.

Most business software is moving to the cloud, including accounting software software compatible with quickbooks.

It’s clear that the trend is moving towards cloud-based solutions.

QuickBooks is just one of many software companies jumping on board, and it’s easy to understand why.

It just makes sense, when you think about it from their perspective and particularly, their perspective as business owners.

While a few years ago some people were hesitant to make the move to online accounting, the fact is that Desktop software just isn’t superior anymore.

In fact, online solutions like QuickBooks are becoming faster, more reliable, and feature-rich.

Are they discontinuing Quickbooks desktop?

While they aren’t exactly discontinuing Quickbooks Desktop, they are changing the pricing model behind to make sure users pay for it each year.

The folks at QuickBooks are on a mission to get people on board with QuickBooks Online, although it feels like an internet-age shakedown, it’s not just about making a quick buck.

They’ve realized that a subscription-based model provides more reliable revenue in the long run, which means they can continue to support their users and make constant improvements.

Plus, let’s face it, the world is moving towards the cloud and mobile devices, so it’s time to embrace the future!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by business accounting, don’t worry – you’re not alone.

But guess what?

There are actually people out there who love this stuff and are super good at it.

So don’t stress yourself out trying to figure it all out on your own – let the experts handle it.

Trust me, it’ll be a huge weight off your shoulders.

Quickbooks Online vs Quickbooks Desktop?

Generally, Quickbooks Online is going to be cheaper for similar features to Quickbooks Desktop, especially now that Quickbooks Desktop must be upgraded every year.

  • Quickbooks Online allows for collaboration without worrying about version-control issues, no more sending exports to your accountant or losing some of your work! 
  • Cloud-based applications are accessible from anywhere, including your phone! You can access your information when traveling, and you don’t have to worry about sitting at your computer.
  • Cloud-based can also be more secure, because you don’t have to worry about losing your records if something happens to your computer. 
  • Quickbooks Online is the best-in-class cloud-based accounting system and offers different features at different package levels to meet a wide variety of small business needs.

When it first deployed, Quickbooks Online meant limited capabilities. 

And many users who tried it years ago despised it, maintaining strong emotions towards the online accounting software version.

Nevertheless, a lot has changed since then, and QuickBooks Online has significantly improved, offering more advanced features that cater to different business needs.

Despite the initial mixed reception, most small business owners can now find the functionality that they need within QuickBooks Online, even when moving from the powerful Quickbooks Desktop.

If you’re a business owner looking for the best accounting software, QuickBooks Online has you covered.

Get the best price for Quickbooks Online by using our link! Use this chart to find the best fit for your business! Plus it's part of the Intuit family, and integrates with their tax preparation software.

While QuickBooks Simple Start might be a tad too basic, Desktop Pro and Premier users can opt for either Essentials or Plus.

And the best part?

You can always upgrade or downgrade at any point without any hassle.

If you are wondering about QuickBooks Self-Employed, it is technically a separate product from Quickbooks Online.

While Quickbooks Self-Employed is the least expensive of the Quickbooks options, it has incredibly simple functionality and likely wouldn’t be adequate for most QuickBooks Desktop users.

Just be aware that upgrading and downgrading from QB Self-Employed isn’t quite as seamless, which is one reason I don’t recommend it (and you can watch my video or read the blog on why I don’t recommend Quickbooks Self-Employed.)

Ultimately, choose the business accounting software that works best for you.

Graphic that says "Do what's best for your small business!" Consider all of your needs for mileage tracking or bill management.

If QuickBooks Online doesn’t suit your needs, do more research to find Quickbooks alternatives.

(If your need are simple, check out this article comparing the best Quick book alternatives here!)

If you are looking for a simple profit and loss tool to manage expense tracking, I would recommend our P&L spreadsheet. You buy it once.

Our P&L spreadsheet is better than the free accounting software options. When compared to more expensive subscription tools, you do not pay for unneccessary extra features.

Makes sense for expense management!

But if you’ve been hesitant to give it a try simply because of the online interface vs. traditional desktop accounting software, don’t write it off completely.

Invest the time to learn it yourself and see if it works for your business! Or go ahead and outsource it to a qualified accountant! 

After all, personal experience is the best way to make an informed decision.

Feeling bogged down by all of these small business accounting and bookkeeping decisions?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

In fact, you might be better off outsourcing this task to a professional who specializes in QuickBooks Online.

That’s definitely an alternative to Quickbooks Online – you won’t have to worry about learning everything yourself!

In addition to delegating to someone who has more experience with Quickbooks Online, you’ll free up your time from tedious number-crunching.

This can allow you to focus on growing your business.

Worried about expenses? Don’t sweat it.

With so many qualified professionals available, you’re sure to find a cost-effective solution that works for you.

Make sure you get the best deal on Quickbooks Online (MY deal!)

Jamie Trull Quickbooks Deals, best QBO deals online!

Nobody wants to experience buyer’s remorse with their accounting software.

There’s nothing worse than getting forced to buy a Quickbooks alternative and then find out you overpaid!

As a certified QuickBooks retailer, I can offer you exclusive discounts that blow their typical promotions out of the water.

Forget settling for a measly 30% off your first few months or a basic free trial- I’ve got better options.

With my negotiated deals, you can snag incredible discounts and extended trial periods that are worth jumping on.

So why settle for a basic deal when you could get more bang for your buck with my special offers?

Unlock savings on your online accounting software from Quickbooks

By using my partner affiliate link, you can unlock some amazing savings on QuickBooks packages.

I’ve created a visual representation that shows you the regular price of each package and what you’d ultimately pay after the discount rolls off.

Currently, the QuickBooks website has a 50% discount for the first three months, but my discount is even better – 30% off for a full 12 months plus a free trial!*

I’ve done the math and calculated the cost for each plan for the first 13 months, so you can see just how much you’d be saving with my link.

*Deals are subject to change, so click the link here to get the current best pricing available on Quickbooks Online!

Which level of Quickbooks Online will you choose as a Quickbooks Desktop alternative?

Choosing the perfect subscription level for your QuickBooks experience can be a bit of a head-scratcher.

It’s important to take a closer look at what each tier offers and compare it with your current plan on QuickBooks Desktop.

This will ensure that you get the most bang for your buck.

In my opinion, if you operate using Quickbooks Enterprise and rely heavily on QuickBooks features, we suggest going straight for Quickbooks Online Advanced.

This will give you access to all the top-notch features that you require for a smooth QuickBooks experience.

Bottom line: if you’re a business owner looking for the perfect accounting software for your needs, QuickBooks Online has got you covered.

While QuickBooks Simple Start might be a tad too basic, Desktop Pro and Premier users can opt for either Essentials or Plus.

And the best part?

You can always upgrade or downgrade at any point without any hassle.

If you are wondering about QuickBooks Self-Employed, it is technically a separate product from Quickbooks Online.

While Quickbooks Self-Employed is the least expensive of the Quickbooks options, it has incredibly simple functionality and likely wouldn’t be adequate for most QuickBooks Desktop users.

Just be aware that upgrading and downgrading from QB Self-Employed isn’t quite as seamless, which is one reason I don’t recommend it (and you can watch my video why I don’t recommend Quickbooks Self-Employed.)

This transcript has been edited for readability.

Hi everyone!

Jamie Trull here, your favorite CPA and profit strategist.

And today we’re gonna be talking about what’s going on with QuickBooks, specifically QuickBooks Desktop, and what you should do if you are a QuickBooks Desktop user.

So are they phasing out QuickBooks Desktop? What’s good QuickBooks alternatives to use if you are a current desktop user?

Should you move to QuickBooks Online?

And if you decide to move to QuickBooks Online, how do you get the best price for QuickBooks Online?

Okay, so we’re gonna talk about all of that here, so definitely, definitely stick around.

So first and foremost, let’s clarify what is going on with QuickBooks Desktop.

Get the best deal on quickbooks online with Jamie Trull's deal.

That is the software program that you actually will download onto your computer and use.

It’s not an online program, it’s not cloud-based. It is fully computer-based, and a lot of people have used that for a lot of years.

For a long time, that was the only QuickBooks that was available.

So there are business owners that have 20-plus years of records within QuickBooks Desktop and are super used to the program, and I totally, totally get it.

So previously you could buy QuickBooks Desktop and you wouldn’t have to pay for a new program each and every year.

Well, now the new QuickBooks Desktop has said, actually, we are gonna make you pay to upgrade each and every year to keep your support in all your integrations and everything else that you need to be able to use desktop effectively.

So what that means is people who are still using QuickBooks Desktop 2020 are no longer going to be supported.

Okay? Those were people who bought it back then.

They have not upgraded to one of the annual plans, and they’ve been using it this whole time. But now support is going to be gone as of the end of May 2023.

What does this accounting service discontinuation mean?

Can you still use it?

Well, technically I guess you can still use the desktop software, but there’s not gonna be any live support.

If you need customer support at all, they’re not gonna have online backup.

There’s gonna be no more online bank reconciliation, and you’re not gonna be able to utilize payroll service through desktop.

So really, a lot of the functions are just plain gone.

And you might be wondering why QuickBooks is getting rid of desktop in the first place.

Why is everything moving to QuickBooks Online?

Well, they’ve been doing this for a while.

The writing has been on the wall where most of their resources have gone into QuickBooks Online.

Quickbooks has been making changes to its standard desktop program. Jamie points to the text "writing on the wall" because intuit payroll alternatives and intuit payroll competitors will be popping up to ease the frustration of QB desktop users.

It also just happens to be a much bigger money maker for them. But in my opinion, I also think it’s actually, if not quite a superior product, it has superior functionality.

So why are they doing this? Why are they discontinuing desktop? Why are they trying to move people over to QuickBooks Online?

Well, they really, for a while now have been prioritizing getting people onto QuickBooks Online.

First of all, it’s subscription based, so that means recurring revenue for them, which is more sustainable than a one-time purchase that QuickBooks then has to support forever (with mobile apps and other app integration needs on desktop.)

So it makes more sense for there to be ongoing revenue coming and managing expenses to offset the cost of supporting those subscriptions at different pricing tiers.

And let’s be honest, the small and growing businesses are just moving cloud based as more and more people have solid access to internet.

Our accounting needs continue to move away from the computer base to more mobile in terms of this world that we’re living in today.

We manage our bank accounts as much from our phones as from a computer.

It honestly just makes sense.

And you’ll notice that QuickBooks is not the only popular accounting software doing that.

A lot of Quickbooks alternative software do not actually have desktop-type versions that you actually install anymore.

Instead, doing things fully cloud-based, and honestly, I expect that trend to continue, I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t.

Now. Years ago when I first got into the small business accounting world, there was a lot of talk about the fact that Quickbooks desktop was superior. A lot of people did not want to move online.

And honestly, they were pretty right. They, there was a lot of credibility to what people used to say about QuickBooks Online. It was slow, it was unreliable.

QBO didn’t have a lot of the features that desktop did.

The program was maybe only good for the smallest of businesses, but more complex businesses really couldn’t run fully on QuickBooks Online.

And a lot of people even tried QuickBooks Online years and years ago and hated it.

Do not fear, Jamie Trull will break down the Quickbooks online changes to you :)

So I get it because there are a lot of strong feelings about QuickBooks Online now. But I will say, and this is gonna be my defense, the defense I will give them is it’s gotten a lot, a lot, a lot better.

There are way more features, especially if you pick the right subscription for you, it should have the features that you need.

The vast majority of small business owners will be able to find the functionality that they need within QuickBooks Online.

It just takes a little bit of a learning curve. That is the truth. There is a learning curve involved.

Quickbooks Online is very, very different from dealing with Quickbooks desktop.

It is not at all the same product. And so the accounting features don’t feel familiar.

I think a lot of people really don’t like that, and they can’t easily get around something that they have learned and change is hard.

They are looking for a Quickbooks alternative!

So I absolutely get it.

So if that’s you, and if you’re like, I really wanted to stay with desktop, but it doesn’t make sense anymore cuz now I’m gonna have to pay a subscription fee anyway and it’s super high and it looks like everything’s moving cloud-based, what do I do?

Well, my recommendation is to just bite the bullet and jump onto QuickBooks online and either just take that learning curve in stride or even better, go ahead and just outsource it.

Most small business owners, I don’t think you need to be doing your own accounting and bookkeeping anyway.

Use this as the time to say, you know what?

I’m gonna offload this to someone else who can do this.

Most accountants and CPAs and bookkeepers are really well versed in QuickBooks Online.

That is the number one cloud-based solution that is used by accountants.

And so you’re gonna very easily be able to find somebody who can do this for you. Or, at least work towards that.

So you might be feeling like QuickBooks is getting really expensive.

You might be trying to figure out how you can save the most money on your QuickBooks Online subscription.

And I have that affordable price for you.

I happen to be an authorized retailer for QuickBooks. I have special discounts that I’ve negotiated with QuickBooks that I can offer to you. They are way better than any of the deals that you will ever see on their website.

So depending on when you check the QuickBooks website, you’re probably gonna see somewhere between a 30% off or a 50% off deal for the first three months or a free trial.

Usually, it’s, one or the other, you don’t get both discounts.

So if you do the free trial, that means when the trial is up, you’re gonna need to subscribe at the regular rate.

Or you can do the three months at 30% off or 50% off whatever it is at the time.

But you’re not gonna get that free trial.

However, if you use my small business partner affiliate link, you are going to be able to save even more than that on Quickbooks Online.

Get the best deal on Quickbooks online from JamieTrull.com.

So I have a little graphical depiction cuz I love numbers.

So you can see the different QuickBooks packages, and what the regular price is. After that discount rolls off, that’s what you’re gonna have to pay.

And then you can compare what the QuickBooks website says versus what I can give. So right now when I just checked,

it was 50% off on the QuickBooks website for the first three months or a free trial.

In this case, I’m just looking at the 50% off for the first three months and comparing it to my discount, which is 30% off for 12 months and a free trial.

So I’ve basically figured out what the cost is under each of these different plans for the first 13 months that you would be under QuickBooks and compared them against my deal.

You can see that in every single situation, my Quickbooks deal wins out.

No matter which one you need to be on, you’ll be able to get the best deal possible by using my link, JamieTrull.com/QuickBooks.

Now, a super important thing to say here is that this is only for new users of QuickBooks Online.

If you already have created a QuickBooks Online account, it’s not gonna work.

You would have to create a brand new one. And start from scratch over there in order for this custom pricing discount to apply.

So don’t go clicking and creating this account through any emails or directly through the QuickBooks website.

You’ve got to go through my link in order to get this special offer of the Quickbooks Online accounting software.

And the other thing you need to make sure is that before the end of that 30 day trial, before that is up, you need to put your credit card on file.

If that trial lapses and you haven’t put that credit card on file, the custom pricing will go away too. And I do not want that to happen to you.

So make sure, make sure, make sure you pay attention and you set a reminder for when you need to put that credit card on file so that you can lock in that 12 month discount.

Now, if you’re wondering which of these different subscription levels to choose, definitely compare what the features are for each.

Then, compare that to what you’re currently getting in QuickBooks Desktop if you’re using that and decide what makes the most sense for you.

But I generally recommend that if you are working in enterprise and using a lot of the features of QuickBooks Enterprise, then you’re gonna wanna go straight to advanced.

And if you’re using Pro or Premier, you might be wanting to try either E-Essentials or Plus.

Now, if you have a super simple small business, you could go straight to simple start. For most desktop users, that’s gonna be a little light in terms of functionality for you.

So usually I would recommend at least starting with Quickbooks Essentials.

However, the really great thing is you can always upgrade or downgrade very, very seamlessly between these products.

So you can pick one. If it doesn’t have what you need, you can always upgrade.

Or if it has too much, you can always downgrade.

Now, you might also be wondering about QuickBooks Self-Employed, which is not specifically a QuickBooks online product.

It is a separate product.

Again, it is much more difficult to be able to upgrade and downgrade from that because it’s a different platform.

So it’s not as seamless, and I generally don’t recommend it.

I have a whole video on why I don’t recommend it. EXCEPT for if you are the most simple, maybe freelance business out there. THEN, that is something that you could do.

But definitely check out that video and once you’ve gone and created that QuickBooks online account using my link. Then I want you to go watch a video that my friend Hector Garcia put out recently.

It was all about how to effectively be able to make the transfer from desktop into QuickBooks Online.

It’s super seamless.

He lays it out very easy, how to make sure that everything has moved over correctly.

So you definitely wanna check that video out. I will link it at the end of this video.

Now, if you’re arguing with me in your head and you’re still saying, “look, I don’t wanna move online. I don’t want cloud-based. I’m not into it.”

Isn’t there anything else that’s desktop-based?

Yeah, there are some other Quickbooks alternatives.

Honestly, I don’t know a whole heck of a lot about it because I advocate for QuickBooks.

I think it’s best in class and it’s what I use. But I absolutely think people should use what’s best for them. So go check out some other Quickbooks alternatives, maybe Sage or sap accounting software.

Those are gonna be generally probably more expensive and Sage business cloud accounting is more for complex types of businesses.

But absolutely, you need to find what will work best for you.

So, keep doing that research if QuickBooks Online isn’t for you.

But if maybe you’ve just been a little bit hesitant about it because you’ve heard some things about it. Or you’ve heard people who didn’t like it.

Give it a chance for it yourself! Make sure to invest in either learning it yourself or having someone help you.

Or, do it entirely for you, even better! Because there are lots of people who are really good at this stuff and they love it.

So take it off your plate and give it to them.

So hopefully you found this video helpful. I wanted to make sure that I got this out there while people were asking this question. It’s the end of May, 2023 that this transition will be happening.

However, this is probably a question that people are still gonna be looking into as they continue through the year. As well as into 2024 trying to figure out what to do with accounting.

So let me know if you have other questions! Things you want me to cover with regards to QuickBooks or accounting software in general, and I’m happy to help!

See you next time.

Looking for my special QBO offer? Click here to check it out.

Looking for more financial resources and tools for your small business? Check out what I have to offer here.

I'm Jamie — Profit Strategist and Financial Literacy Coach.

tell me more...

Reading suggestions

Affordable Tech

Profit First: My Love/Hate Relationship

Hobby Loss Rule - Side Hustlers Beware