QuickBooks Pro vs. Premier: The Ultimate Comparison Guide

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The two versions of QuickBooks Desktop—QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Premier—are both excellent products, but it’s crucial to know the differences between the two to make the right decision for your business. The main differences are their versatility—QuickBooks Premier offers multiple, industry-specific versions, while Pro doesn’t. Premier also boasts more powerful reporting—especially for inventory and contracting purposes.

If you’re trying to choose between QuickBooks Pro vs. Premier, use this ultimate comparison guide to learn the differences between these two accounting software option, so that you make the right decision for your business:

QuickBooks Pro and Premier: How Their Costs Compare

While looking for the perfect business accounting software for their finances, most small business owners will look at one thing first: the cost. So, how do QuickBooks Pro vs. Premier compare when it comes to their price tags?

Different versions of QuickBooks accounting software will be priced differently. For instance, if you’ve looked into QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop before trying to decide between these two versions of QuickBooks Desktop, then you’ll know that QuickBooks Online is priced on a monthly basis, whereas QuickBooks Desktop simply has a one-off cost.

So, while QuickBooks Desktop Pro will cost your business a one-off purchase of $399.99, QuickBooks Desktop Premier will cost $649.99.

Be sure to note while evaluating QuickBooks Pro vs. Premier, though, that Intuit periodically offers discounts to new customers so check their website for details.Save on QuickBooks Desktop Now

QuickBooks Pro vs. Premier: All the Differences

Though QuickBooks Pro and Premier are just two versions of the same software, they have their fair share of differences—hence the need for this comprehensive QuickBooks Pro vs. Premier comparison in the first place.

We’ll outline the defining features of QuickBooks Desktop Pro, then we’ll show you a list of capabilities that QuickBooks Desktop Premier will offer than Pro can’t.

Let’s take a look at the main differences between QuickBooks Pro and Premier:

QuickBooks Pro: The Details

QuickBooks Pro is a simple, deceptively robust, and powerful solution that solves everyday small-business accounting needs.

Many business accountants can lift QuickBooks Pro beyond its fundamental boundaries with plenty of workarounds, and even a mid-market company could use Pro for 80% of its daily needs.

But, even without a dedicated accountant operating it, a QuickBooks Pro account can offer the following capabilities:

  • Three simultaneous users in a data file
  • Receivables and revenue: invoices, credit memos, statements, sales receipts, receive payments, estimate to invoice
  • Payables and expenditures: purchase orders, item receipts, pay bills
  • Job costing
  • Inventory part tracking
  • Time and mileage tracking
  • Banking activities: deposits, checks, credit card charges, credits, bank charges, interest, paychecks, online banking, bank reconciliation
  • Collect and pay sales tax
  • Multiple currencies
  • Price levels as fixed percentages
  • Reports like budgets, operational reporting, and financial reporting
  • Print/e-file 1099s

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QuickBooks Premier: The Details

So, why would anyone decide to pay more and choose QuickBooks Premier over QuickBooks Pro? Be sure to note: The following list of features are key accounting maneuvers that Premier has over Pro. But QuickBooks Premier has several different versions itself—QuickBooks Accountant, Contractor, Manufacturer & Wholesale, and Nonprofit—and they don’t all have the same features. If you’re in one of those specific categories, these versions are worth exploring in more detail.

But for now, to get a better picture of QuickBooks Desktop Pro vs. Premier, we won’t go in-depth regarding how these different Premier versions compare to each other.

Considered as a whole, QuickBooks Premier offers the following features that Pro doesn’t:

  • Five simultaneous users in a data file
  • Sales orders/backorder tracking, current availability tracking, sales order to PO to invoice
  • Unit of measure, build assembly, inventory center
  • Job costing: estimate to PO, change order tracking, view unbilled time and expense from one window, batch invoice time and expense
  • Reporting: balance sheet by class, previous reconciliation reports, forecasting, business planner, industry-specific reporting
  • Per item price levels
  • Billing rate levels
  • Reversing journal entries
  • Filter sales order and purchase order reports based on current availability
  • Closing date exception report

QuickBooks Pro vs. Premier: Why Upgrade?

A simpler way to think about QuickBooks Pro vs. Premier is to consider the most common reasons why business owners choose QuickBooks Premier over QuickBooks Pro despite the bigger investment.

Here are the main reasons why some business owners decide to upgrade to QuickBooks Premier rather than opting for Pro:


Let’s say you need to know what products were invoiced and what is left over, still waiting to be shipped to the customer. QuickBooks Premier allows you to do so, while Pro has no such option.

Sales Orders

QuickBooks Premier offers sales orders, which are non-posting sales transaction to hold the order until you invoice against it. Premier has the sales order fulfillment worksheet and easier sales order workflow management than Pro, as well.

Current Availability Tracking

Unlike QuickBooks Pro, many versions of QuickBooks Premier offer current availability tracking. This feature allows you to know what you can promise to a customer based on the stock you have on hand and haven’t committed to another customer.

Estimate to Purchase Order

For contractors, Premier’s estimate to purchase order capability is a top reason to upgrade—and significant feature to consider while evaluating QuickBooks Pro vs. Enterprise, as well. Imagine an estimate with 30 lines of materials you need to purchase for a given job. QuickBooks Premier allows you to create a purchase order from that estimate.

Previous Reconciliation Reporting

QuickBooks Premier offers previous reconciliation reporting capabilities—one of the main reasons accountants want their clients to use Premier. This QuickBooks Premier capability offers a snapshot of previous reconciliations.

Reverse Journal Entries

Many business owners opt for Premier over Pro because it allows you to perform reverse journal entries in your books. This means you’ll be able to reverse or cancel journal entries you made for previous periods with QuickBooks Premier.

Price Level by Item

QuickBooks Premier also allows you more flexibility with price level. You won’t be limited to a fixed percent price increase or decrease. For manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, retail, price level by item can often be critical. The fixed percent price that QuickBooks Pro offers is nice but not flexible enough for many businesses.Save on QuickBooks Premier Now

QuickBooks Pro vs. Premier: Top Alternatives

QuickBooks Pro vs. Premier is a worthy showdown to consider while searching for your perfect business accounting software. Nonetheless, your search doesn’t have to be an either/or situation. There are countless accounting software options out there for small businesses, and each of them offers their own unique package of features and perks.

Here are some alternatives to consider beyond QuickBooks Pro and Premier:

Wave Accounting Software

QuickBooks Pro vs. Premier is only a choice you’ll be able to make if you have a solid amount of capital set aside for your business accounting software. What if you can’t afford to pay a lot for your business accounting software? What if you can’t afford to pay anything at all for your business accounting software? Your answer is Wave accounting software.

Wave is a completely free accounting software that offers all of the essential capabilities you’ll need to run your small business’s books. Custom invoices, powerful reporting, and bank syncing all come free through Wave.

Plus, if you want to level up your Wave account, you can add on pay-as-you-go features like online payments for easy invoice fulfillment and monthly payroll for simpler HR processes.

All in all, if you’re just starting out, and QuickBooks Pro and Premier are too much of an investment for your business, then Wave is a solid, affordable way to keep your new business’s books in order.

Xero Accounting Software

Alternatively, if you’re looking for an accounting software that resembles QuickBooks Pro and Premier in power and capabilities—but is cloud-based and priced with a subscription system—then we suggest you look into Xero accounting software.

Xero accounting software comes in three versions—Early, Growing, and Established—each with incrementally more features and capabilities. Of course, each version of Xero accounting software will come with its own price, too, but because each of them will be priced on a monthly basis, the cost will be much easier to wrap your head around than the price for QuickBooks Pro and Premier. Xero Early will cost $9 a month, Xero Growing will cost $30 a month, and Xero Established will cost $60.

QuickBooks Online Accounting Software

Last but not least, if you want to stick with the QuickBooks brand—but you want a more accessible accounting software—then consider QuickBooks Online over QuickBooks Desktop Pro and Premier. Just like Xero accounting software, QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based accounting software that is priced on a monthly basis. The versions of QuickBooks Online—Simple Start, Essentials, and Plus—will cost $25 a month, $40 a month, and $70 a month, respectively. That said, QuickBooks currently has an offer for 50% off of your first three months of QuickBooks Online—no matter which version you choose.Buy QuickBooks Online Now for 50% Off

QuickBooks Pro vs. Premier: The Bottom Line

Moral of the story? If you need a desktop version of QuickBooks but don’t need to go as big as QuickBooks Enterprise, we suggest you opt for QuickBooks Premier over Pro. When it comes to QuickBooks Pro vs. Premier, Premier has more functionality that would benefit most small business owners. That said, there is a whole world of accounting software products outside of QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Premier—many of which will be more accessible and easier to afford thanks to their cloud-based, monthly-billing structures.

QuickBooks Pro vs Premier – A Complete Comparison

QuickBooks is a cloud accounting software that efficiently takes care of the accounting needs of small-mid size businesses. Moreover, the software helps businesses to take care of their accounting, bookkeeping, and associated operational processes. QuickBooks provides various versions to its users like QuickBooks for Mac, QuickBooks OnlineQuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks POS, QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Premier, and QuickBooks Enterprise. This blog focuses on two versions of QuickBooks particularly QuickBooks Pro and Premier. And also tells you about the differences between QuickBooks Pro vs Premier.

We will first outline the various features of QuickBooks Pro and Online. We will also cite their key characteristics and their corresponding pros and cons.

About QuickBooks Pro vs Premier

Many things are mandatory during the phase of buying the tool like the software’s featuresfunctionalitysupport optionscostusage and productivity. If you have just started your company and are searching for unique and useful accounting features, then consider QuickBooks Pro or QuickBooks Premier.

QuickBooks Pro:

QuickBooks Pro is an inclusive accounting solution that is designed to take care of small and midsize businesses. You can generate financial reporting and keep a track of sales.

QuickBooks Premier:

QuickBooks Premier is created for an on-premise accounting solution that allows its users to pay bills on time, print checks, and track expenses. We will now talk about QuickBooks Pro and Premier in detail.

What is QuickBooks Pro?

QuickBooks Pro is a leading version of the QuickBooks software. However, it is devised to simplify the financial needs of your business. Pro is meant for a business that requires a user-focused and intuitive accounting system.

Features of QuickBooks Pro:

Here are some of the features of QB Pro that can highlight its usability and flexibility better:

  • Its users can save their time on cash flow management tasks like generating invoices and paying bills.
  • This makes accounting easy from adapting to the learning curve as well as the usage of the program on the working system.
  • You can pay bills, keep track of the expensesmanage payrollcreate invoices, and print checks.
  • It has a great email system that permits multiple attachments and features.
  • In QuickBooks Pro, the document’s center gives you permission to attach and store documents.
  • Calendar view feature in pro permits you to see the billing of the customers, invoices and other necessary tasks.
  • Pro offers easy access to the customers, vendors, and employees’ contact information.
  • It gathers all your bank transactions from various bank accounts so that you can check them out whenever you feel like and organize them for taxation purposes.
  • You get the facility to attach and store documents in the document center.
  • The feature of customer snapshot lets you access all the customer data.
  • Memorized transactions offer a perfect setup for invoices and estimates and recurring billing.
  • You can export the contacts from excel and other email listings via the pro version.
  • The feature of Report Center helps in analyzing and better business decision making.
  • Also, company snapshot permits you to see your business activities in real-time.
  • It helps to create professional forms and invoices for its users.
  • You can easily make and print out deposit slips via QuickBooks Pro.

Moreover, after discovering its features, you need to also know what is missing in the pro variant of QuickBooks.

What is Missing in QuickBooks Pro?

  • The sales forecast feature is not available in pro.
  • Also, you can’t work on multiple company files simultaneously in QB Pro.
  • Creating reports with QuickBooks statement writer is missing in QuickBooks Pro.
  • It’s not possible to create a business plan in pro.
  • The user of pro doesn’t allow its user to automate or customize prices.

Now, let’s discuss in detail what is QuickBooks Premier and its features.

What is QuickBooks Premier?

QuickBooks Premier provides industry-specific tools & reports to its users. In addition, Premier has several versions that are customized for businesses as per the industry they work in. It permits to exchange of files option with clients, presuming they are using a QB program.

Above all, you can learn how the features in premier are helpful in making your business secure, simple, and flexible.

Features of QuickBooks Premier:

QuickBooks Premier is excellent in its own way. Therefore, to discover its optimum features and how they can suit your business’ requirements, follow the points below:

  • The feature provides the option of faster payments by automatically reminding customers with payments that are due.
  • Premier users can use the built-in, easy-to-access report feature to track their financial data. It can be done separately department and location wise.
  • Apart from this, you can simplify customer payment processing by combining multiple invoices into one email.
  • The feature in premier allows you to get paid with the right amount by easily and rapidly setting the different billing rates.
  • You can prioritize the sales order as per your requirements.
  • With the assistance of track sales feature you can track your sales correctly.
  • Along with this, you can effortlessly organize your job costs on a vendor-basis and can check which vendor is still unpaid.
  • It helps to keep track of your money efficiently.
  • Premier offers industry-specific reporting to its users. And also offers more than 150 sales as well as financial tax reports.
  • Last but not least, it also offers the feature of customizing reports, form, and capabilities for respective industry.

After that, the next thing is to find out what features are missing in the premier version.

What is Missing in QuickBooks Premier?

  • QuickBooks Premier doesn’t support subsidiary and parent reporting features.
  • It’s not possible to automate or customize prices within the premier version.
  • Bin Location Tracking in the premier version doesn’t work.
  • You can’t avail the facility of Bar Code Capabilities without the add-on feature in premier.

Before availing the services it is a must for the client to know the difference among both. It is essential to compare QuickBooks pro vs QuickBooks premier to know the suitability of the products according to the business’ accounting needs.

Common Features in QuickBooks Pro vs QuickBooks Premier

  • QuickBooks Pro and premier allows you to track international sales & expenses in multiple currencies.
  • Both versions give you the feasibility to view all your customers’ information in one place.
  • Information of unpaid vendor bills can be seen via pro and premier versions.
  • Pro and premier offer you the facility to track salesmanage taxes & sales, and check customers’ payment.
  • Card payment acceptance feature provides an option to pay via Debit CardCredit Card, and ACH Bank TransferApple Pay.
  • One-click report feature in pro and premier allows you to see key reports in just one click.

Final Thoughts

The fact is that QuickBooks has different variants that can accomplish your accounting needs. So far we have discussed QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Premier versions. We talked of the features of each variant. In case you are looking for basic accounting functions, you can choose pro and save your money. This will help you to organize the accounting, expenses and maximize tax deductions, among others. Additionally, you can invest extra and go for premier, if you forecast business growth in a particular business area. Furthermore, it manages the balance sheets and categorizes the financial data of the company. The choice of choosing one variant among QuickBooks Premier vs Pro is up to you and your business’ requirement.

QuickBooks 2021 Comparison: Pro, Premier, Enterprise, Accountant

Around 30 million small businesses in the United States use QuickBooks as their primary accounting software. As every business has its specific requirements, QuickBooks editions can be categorically put into four categories: QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Premier, QuickBooks Enterprise, QuickBooks Accountant.

What QuickBooks Desktop solution is best for you?

The final selection of the QuickBooks Desktop edition majorly depends on the size of your organization and the number of QuickBooks users. If you have a business turnover less than $1 million/year, opt for QuickBooks Pro or Premier. If you have turnover of more than $1 million/year, opt for QuickBooks Enterprise.

If you are a non-profit or individual contractor, QuickBooks Premier is the right choice for you. QuickBooks Accountant, as name suggests, is perfect for accountants/CPAs/bookkeepers.

Quickbooks Pro vs Premier: Which is the Better Accounting Software For Your Business?

There’s no denying that QuickBooks is one of the leading accounting software for businesses today. But there are so many different types of QuickBooks accounts that it can be hard to figure out which version of QuickBooks is best for your business.

Small business owners probably do not have to worry about QuickBooks Enterprise, which is designed for large companies. But they will probably want something more robust than QuickBooks Online, at least in the long-run.

So, it comes down to which desktop version of QuickBooks will suit your needs and your budget. Which is a difficult enough question on its own. Luckily for you, we’ve worked with many clients who have struggled with this same decision and have put together a comprehensive guide to help businesses choose between QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Premier.

The Cost of the Two QuickBooks Products

As a small business owner, you always have to keep an eye on your bottom line. This means that one of the first considerations that probably comes to mind when it comes to choosing between the two leading QuickBooks products is cost.

Both QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Premier are billed in the same way. For the cloud-based versions, QuickBooks Online, customers can choose between a monthly or annual subscription model. But the desktop version requires that small business owners pay a one-time license fee.

This means that the desktop edition costs more upfront, but it can end up being cheaper than paying the monthly or annual subscription over time. Especially since desktop versions tend to last around three years before becoming outdated. So if you can afford the one-off price, it is often the right business decision to help your financial stability going forward. But neither cost is truly prohibitive. And the annual subscription offers moderate savings compared to the monthly subscription, making it a cost-effective alternative to the desktop version.

Alright, enough about QuickBooks pricing in general: what about QuickBooks Pro vs. Premier?

The truth is that QuickBooks Premier costs significantly more than QuickBooks Pro. A Premier license will set you back $500, while Pro costs just $300. Deciding on price alone, Pro would be the best version of QuickBooks.

But $200 is a reasonable price to pay to upgrade to the right accounting software that will help small business owners run their companies more effectively. And, Premier comes with five licenses to Pro’s three, narrowing the price gap for larger small businesses.

The main question is: is QuickBooks Premier worth the price increase over QuickBooks Pro? To answer this question, let’s take a look at what you get in each version and compare how they help small business owners.

QuickBooks Pro

QuickBooks Pro was the first of Intuit’s QuickBooks products. The brand released QuickBooks Pro in 2000 and it has continued to be one of the leading QuickBooks products providing competitive accounting services ever since. It may not be as robust as bigger siblings Premier and Enterprise, or as flexible as QuickBooks Online, but it is a solid choice that streamlines most basic accounting functions for small business owners. As the base version of QuickBooks, it is more accessible than some of the other versions, making it easier to navigate for small business owners who don’t have their own accounting team.

Key QuickBooks Pro Features

QuickBooks Pro supports up to 3 users, which is sufficient for many small business owners. It also integrates seamlessly with Excel, Quicken, and other programs to centralize your finance data. Best of all, it is extremely simple to set up and use, allowing you to get started managing your finances right away.

QuickBooks Pro also has all of the core functionality that you need from accounting software. It allows you to manage invoices, record bank transactions, and generate financial statements. Payroll is easier as well, as Pro prints and e-files 1099s.

The accounting software streamlines accounts receivable by generating estimates and invoices by customer and job. It processes and records credit card charges and helps automate the billing and invoicing process by coordinating with third-party apps such as PayPal and Square. It even automatically flags invoices that are past-due to help you track and collect debts. But it does not support batch invoicing or sales orders, as Premier does.

Accounts payable are much easier with QuickBooks Pro as well. It allows you to easily manage purchase orders and item receipts and automatically pay your bills.

For product-based businesses, QuickBooks Pro also allows small business owners to track and manage sales tax and inventory to ensure that their business runs smoothly and makes tax compliance a breeze.

Pro also offers robust reporting and automatically generates budgets, operational reports, and financial reports. But its reporting and forecasting features are not nearly as robust as Premier’s.

Overall, QuickBooks Pro covers a lot of bases and does its job extremely well. If you’re looking to get started with accounting software, Pro is a solid choice. But it lacks the depth and flexibility that Premier offers, and particularly the industry-specific Premier configurations.

QuickBooks Premier: Advanced Features

Industry-Specific Reports

One of the key distinguishing features in Premier’s favor when comparing QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Premier is the availability of industry-specific reports. Intuit offers several versions of QuickBooks Premier to meet the unique needs of professionals in different industries, including:

  • Accounting
  • Contracting
  • Manufacturing
  • Wholesale
  • Nonprofit

Each of these options is configured to provide industry-specific reports and processes that make it easier for small business owners in these fields to manage their finances and their businesses. So, the features you ultimately end up within your Premier configuration will be different depending on which version of QuickBooks Premier you choose. But there are several advantages over Pro which are common between each configuration that makes Premier the most comprehensive of all QuickBooks products.

Inventory Management with Premier

While Pro lets you track inventory, Premier provides much more in-depth inventory management and sales order management. That might not matter for all small business owners, but it’s a godsend for retailers and wholesalers.

Backorder tracking is one major improvement over Pro. Premier lets you track which products have been invoiced and what is still waiting to be shipped to the customer. This feature is especially powerful when combined with Premier’s Availability Tracking. Several of the versions of Premier allow you to track your current availability to prevent backorders and give customers an accurate estimate of your inventory that has not been assigned to other clients. And Premier also supports sales orders with sale order fulfillment worksheets and workflow management. These features can be absolute lifesavers for product-based businesses such as retailers and wholesalers.

And wholesalers and retailers will be extremely relieved to see that Premier allows small business owners to set the price level by item. With Pro, you have to increase or decrease all of your prices by the same fixed percentage. But this model simply does not work for most product-based businesses, who need to be able to set prices based on the supply and demand for each item in their inventory.

Job Costing for Manufacturers and Contractors

Manufacturers and contractors can also benefit from upgrading to Premier. The Job Costing feature allows you to take the estimate that you can generate with Pro and use it to generate a purchase order for the entire bill of materials. It also supports managing change orders, tracking unbilled time and expenses, and batch invoicing for both time and expenses. And billing rate levels can be set per employee as flexibly as product-based businesses set prices per item.

Advanced Reports and Chart of Accounts

Beyond these more industry-specific features the differences between QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Premier are the advanced reports and chart of accounts available with Premier.

If you want to use QuickBooks to help plan your business strategy rather than complete basic accounting tasks, Premier’s advanced reports make it the clear choice. The Business Planner creates comprehensive business plans based on the data from your QuickBooks files, minimizing the amount of data entry you have to do and maximizing your ability to think strategically. Premier also generates forecasts to identify trends, challenges, and opportunities which will help small business owners grow their businesses sustainably.

Premier’s customizable chart of accounts also makes it a much more powerful accounting software solution than Pro. It supports up to 10,000 accounts, allowing you to easily navigate your business’s finances and switch between accounts to view current balances and more. The chart of accounts is also searchable, making most accounting tasks significantly easier than with Pro, especially for small business owners whose businesses have expanded.

Alternatives to QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Premier

At this point, we’ve explored most of the differences between QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Premier. We’ll get to our conclusion about who wins in a QuickBooks Pro vs. Premier showdown in a minute, but first, it’s good to keep in mind what other options exist. Accounting software is a booming industry and there are more options than ever before, so you don’t have to be limited to different versions of QuickBooks, let alone the desktop edition. Let’s take a look at some of the leading alternatives.

Free Accounting Software: Wave

Despite the advantages that Premier has over Pro, many small business owners won’t be able to afford the extra $200 for the advanced version. But if the $300 price-tag for Pro seems too much? Well, Wave is one of the few accounting software options that are entirely free.

And Wave is no pushover. It supports many of the same essential accounting functions as QuickBooks Pro, including custom invoices, robust reporting, and bank account syncing. And as your business grows and you find yourself needing more accounting features to keep things running smoothly, Wave lets you pay modest subscriptions for each additional feature such as online invoice fulfillment and payroll management.

Zoho Books

Zoho provides a full-service business software suite that covers a wide range of productivity needs. But its accounting software is an excellent option for most small business owners, even if you don’t use any other Zoho tools. It is extremely accessible and flexible but also contains a surprising amount of depth.

Zoho covers all of the main accounting tasks, including sales, purchases, time-tracking, and inventory management. You can’t customize the reports effectively as with QuickBooks Premier, but Zoho provides a wide enough range of reporting options to satisfy most users. It also comes with a mobile app – which you certainly don’t get with the desktop edition of QuickBooks.

The two main draws that will convince many small business owners to ditch the QuickBooks Pro vs. Premier debate and sign on for Zoho are the product’s price and level of support. Zoho is cheaper than most accounting software options out there, perhaps to encourage users to invest in the entire Zoho suite. Like cloud-based QuickBooks products, Zoho Books offers monthly and annual subscription models with the annual model costing the equivalent of ten month-to-month payments. Zoho is about $4 less per month than QuickBooks Online and $100 less per year than QuickBooks Premier. Zoho also provides more helpful resources and support options than almost any other accounting software out there, including QuickBooks. But it does lack some key features, including a robust payroll feature.

Xero: Cloud-based Accounting Software

Unlike many competitors, including QuickBooks Online, Xero was built for the web from the get-go. It boasts robust double-entry accounting features including sales, purchases, and inventory management. And small business owners in most states, Xero also offers an excellent payroll system.

Xero is also constantly expanding its feature, including one of the first fixed-asset management systems as well as expense management, broader payment processor integration, and a new and improved iOS app. Its pricing model is based on your stage of growth, with “Early”, “Growing”, and “Established” tiers, with each step up adding new features and capabilities.

Ultimately, Xero offers an excellent web-based alternative for small business owners who would opt for Pro over Premier. But it lacks the industry-specific features of Premier as well as sales orders and the customizable chart of accounts.

Hybrid Solution: Sage 50cloud

Sage accounting products have been around as long as QuickBooks products have and 50cloud is the accounting titan’s answer for QuickBooks Online (see below). While the product was released in 2019 and offers a compelling combination of desktop software and cloud computing, it ultimately shows signs of the franchise’s age and is really only the right choice if you’re looking for that unique combination of desktop and cloud.

Sage has been doing this for a long time and so Sage50 is just as feature-rich and deep as you could hope for. It boasts a high level of customization, strong inventory management, integrated payroll, advanced job costing, and seriously in-depth reports. In short, just about everything, an accountant could hope for. Except for a dashboard, that is.

Sage 50cloud’s powerful integration with Office365 is the product’s biggest selling point, allowing the software to share data through the cloud and access the application’s data through a remote computer. That adds much-needed flexibility that desktop QuickBooks products currently lack.

But for all its power, Sage 50cloud is more complicated than most small business owners will want to deal with and lacks important features of modern cloud-based solutions, including a customizable dashboard, integrated time-tracking, and perhaps most significantly, a comprehensive mobile app of the kind featured in QuickBooks Online. 50cloud also has the distinction of being one of the most expensive products on the market, with annual subscriptions ranging from $503.23 to $778.63 per user.

All-in-all, 50cloud is a worthwhile upgrade for current Sage users and a decent way to ease your way into cloud-based accounting. But unless you will take advantage of the software’s more complicated features, you’re better off opting for the cheaper and easier to use QuickBooks products.

QuickBooks Online

Of course, you may want to opt for QuickBooks but take it to the web. While QuickBooks started with the desktop edition, Intuit is increasingly focusing on the online version of QuickBooks.

QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based accounting software solution like Xero but delivers much more powerful features if you opt for the more expensive versions. Intuit has recently added project management and invoicing tools to the online version of QuickBooks, including PayPal invoicing with same-day payments.

The problem with QuickBooks Online is that its cheaper versions are pared down compared to other QuickBooks products, and you will have to shell out $60 per month for the Plus version (not to be confused with the desktop edition Plus version) to get features like inventory tracking and contractor management. That’s a lot more than the $300/year price tag for the desktop version of QuickBooks Premier, let alone the cheaper QuickBooks Pro.

But the highest tier does combine most of the advantages of QuickBooks Pro with the flexibility and accessibility of online accounting software like Xero. Which made QuickBooks Online PC Mag’s editors choice for small business accounting software.

Overall, opt for QuickBooks Online if you want flexibility and don’t need the depth of Premier or the price savings of Pro.

QuickBooks Pro vs. Premier: Who Wins?

Alright, so we’ve explored the features offered by QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Premier in-depth and even taken a quick look at the main alternatives to the desktop edition of QuickBooks. Now it’s time to give a definitive answer to the question of when it comes to QuickBooks Pro vs. Premier, which choice is better for your business?

Both versions allow you to track inventory, manage sales tax, and manage the balance sheet for up to 14500 vendors and clients. But Premier is the clear choice for most small businesses thanks to its industry-specific reports and features, sales order management, batch invoicing, and searchable chart of accounts.

That isn’t to say that Premier is the right choice for your specific business. If you are a service-based business that does not incur expenses and does not need to generate purchase-orders or bill of materials, Pro may well be the better choice. Premier’s industry-specific reports and features are more useful to product-based businesses, such as retailers and wholesalers, and contractors. You may also not need Premier’s advanced reports if you are just starting out as a small business owner. And if you want even more robust accounting software, QuickBooks Enterprise may be the better choice.


QuickBooks accounting software, designed by Intuit, is known for being one of the best accounting software programs on the market. Although it may not be the most important decision for small business owners, it is essential to differentiate between different suites of QuickBooks. Every QuickBooks software program offers different features that suit unique business operations. Rather than spending money on the wrong type, one should wisely compare QuickBooks Pro vs Premier to find out which version is best for their business.

When new to QuickBooks, it is not easy to differentiate between both editions as both have multiple attractive options. This article will help you decide on the best edition for your business. If you are looking for a desktop edition of QuickBooks, you are likely stuck between QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Premier for your small to medium scaled business. Before comparing the features of both editions, you must understand what QuickBooks is and how it can help you in your business operations. QuickBooks is known for being the smartest accounting tool for small business owners. Small to medium sized business owners prefer using QuickBooks for managing their accounting and bookkeeping processes such as paying invoices on time, accepting payments from vendors, and tracking inventory expenses in one single platform. However, before purchasing any product of QuickBooks, one should understand the following points:

  1. The features of QuickBooks products can change. Therefore, research the bookkeeping software just before purchasing any product.
  2. The products in a QuickBooks portfolio have nuances as there are very minor differences between each product.
  3. The products of QuickBooks can be discontinued or replaced with a different product by the developers. Therefore, carefully analyze the product before making any purchases.

 QuickBooks Pro

QuickBooks Pro is a product of Intuit’s QuickBooks accounting software that is designed with an aim to simplify the basic accounting tasks of small business management. Being the oldest product of Intuit in the business accounting range, QuickBooks Pro was created in early 2000. However, to date, QuickBooks Pro has evolved with the ever-changing needs of businesses today.

QuickBooks Pro is a complete software package for businesses who are aiming for a less complicated and more user friendly accounting system. The software does not have additional packages, however, this makes QuickBooks Pro more affordable than the Premier edition.

 Main Features of QuickBooks Pro

QuickBooks Pro has many built-in features to assist businesses in their accounting operations: 

  • Multi-Monitor Support: QuickBooks Pro allows licensed customers to take care of their business faster on three monitors. The program will allow three users of your business to operate with one licensed purchase. With this, a business can manage the list of customers on one screen, while tracking invoices and payments coming from the customer on the other two screens.
  • Past Due Stamp: Another attractive feature is that the program will automatically update a “Past Due” stamp over the invoices that have crossed their due dates. This feature will help in tracking debts and accounts receivables.
  • Search Chart of Accounts: This option enables the bookkeepers of a business to easily track any account or sub-account for speedy accounting.
  • Cash/Accrual Toggle: The software makes it easier to filter results with cash or accruals. This way, a business can compare their performance on a cash and accrual basis.
  • Payroll Liability Reminder: Another great feature is that it reminds a business of their upcoming liabilities.

QuickBooks Premier

QuickBooks Premier has almost every feature of QuickBooks Pro with a few additional, attractive features according to the needs of a business. The software has multiple versions that are tailor-made for a business, according to the industry they operate in. Businesses have the option of 6 industries to choose from, such as:

  1. General Business
  2. General Contracting
  3. Non-Profit
  4. Professional Services
  5. Retail
  6. Wholesale & Manufacturing

Additional Features of QuickBooks Premier

  • Multi-Monitor Support: Up to five users.
  • Inventory Reports: Flexible and customized inventory reports.
  • Search Chart of Accounts: Track any account or sub-account of the business.
  • Cash/Accrual Toggle: Compare performance on a cash and accrual basis.
  • With Pro, a business can easily get a snapshot of their customers.
  • The software allows accountants to use the Income Tracker feature which will show all unpaid dues of the company.
  • By using QuickBooks Pro, you can easily extract important data of your customers in an Excel format.

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QuickBooks Pro vs Premier: Which One is Right for Your Small Business?

Many companies automate their internal processes to 1.) achieve maximum outcomes, while 2.) minimizing the time it traditionally takes to get results. However, when it comes to accounting, many small businesses are not comfortable migrating their operations to the cloud and prefer using QuickBooks Desktop solutions: Pro and Premier.

In this article, we’ll compare QuickBooks Pro vs. Premier to help business owners decide which version best matches their company’s current needs.

What is QuickBooks?

QuickBooks, developed by the software company Intuit, is an accounting tool designed specifically for small- to medium-sized companies. It allows users to manage their invoices, track their cash flows, and pay bills all in one platform.

QuickBooks is particularly beneficial to companies that need help generating month- and year-end financial reports, either for tax purposes or for getting additional funding. The software includes payroll integration and bank transaction management, as well as 24/7 chat support.

The company also launched a cloud-based accounting platform known as QuickBooks Online, which is for organizations and companies that want to run their accounting operations on the cloud.

QuickBooks Pro vs. Premier

Here we’ve broken down both the similarities and the differences between QuickBooks Pro and Premier in terms of features. Let’s start with the ways in which they are similar.

What are the similarities between QuickBooks Pro and Premier?

1. Track income and expenses

With both platforms,small business owners can easily import their existing financial data from Microsoft Excel or other programs supported by QuickBooks Desktop. They can also easily connect their bank to the software to categorize transactions, although corresponding charges apply.

2. Get real-time invoice status

QuickBooks Pro and Premier lets users create personalized professional invoices and payment receipts, as well as set reminders on pending payments.  Both can also bill partners regularly and stay up-to-date on the cash flow with invoice status alerts.

3. Customize sales reports

Through the Pro and Premier platforms, business owners can use filters to customize their company’s sales reports so that the reports focus on the information that’s most important to the business – whether that’s sales from taxable customers, sales by state, daily sales by payment method, or payments linked to open invoices, among other options.

4. Manage unpaid bills

It’s imperative that small businesses stay on top of all their monthly bills or accounts payable. With so many different payments due at different times throughout the month, this can be difficult to manage. QuickBooks Pro and Premier both help track and pay recurring operational expenses by creating a spreadsheet of vendors the business owes, the amount they’re owed and what for.

5. Record employee time-ins and outs

QuickBooks Pro and Premier will both allow human resources to clock employee time, including accruals of vacation and sick leaves. Business owners can also use either platform to track billable hours according to their clients and add them to invoices when needed.

6. Oversee inventory round-the-clock

Managing available products and estimating the total cost of inventory can take time, which could otherwise be used for more critical tasks. QuickBooks Pro and Premier make it possible to track inventory and receive notifications as soon as products run low.

7. Comply with 1099 forms

The IRS Form 1099 requires all businesses to report the following to the Federal government: all taxable incomes paid to vendors, contractors, attorneys, or freelance workers who provided services amounting to more than $600. QuickBooks Pro and Premier both allow companies to track all third-party payments and put them together in the software’s 1099 category. Companies may also file their 1099s straight from QuickBooks with additional charges.

8. Ensure data recovery during downtimes

Companies are assured that their financial information is secure with automated data recovery and backup in place on both platforms.

What is the difference between QuickBooks Pro and Premier?

QuickBooks Premier builds upon the Pro platform to offer a more robust accounting system. The premiere is designed for businesses that require more specialized functions, whereas Pro is designed for those in need of simple accounting.

Here’s a breakdown of the main differences between the two:

1. Reports generation and tracking

Creating financial reports on QuickBooks Pro and Premier is a breeze, except that more industry-specific reports (150 and up) can be generated when small business owners subscribe to Premier.

Both plans allow users to create profit and loss analyses, balance sheets, and expense reporting in one dashboard. Premier, however, makes it possible for business owners to track their profitability according to product, client, or project. This feature is not available in the Pro version.

2. Pricing model

Since Premiere features more functionalities than Pro, it is more expensive. See below for price comparison:Pricing model

Source: Intuit QuickBooks

Both the Pro and Premier Desktop versions are fairly priced, given what they each offer. When evaluating which may be best for your company, it will boil down to the urgent needs of your business. Some small companies may opt for the Pro version initially to try the software out first before getting the Premier or Enterprise plans.

For small business owners who want to hire or outsource an accountant but don’t have the budget, QuickBooks Premier is a good alternative because of its added features.

3. Sales forecasts

One of the best-added features of QuickBooks Premier is its forecasting capabilities. Companies that want to focus on the growth of sales need forecast reports to make better marketing decisions. With the help of Premier, business owners can easily track their forecast progress either via percentage or dollar format.

For example, owners of a small retail business can create a new sales forecast or use existing data to project future sales. Using QuickBooks Premier, they can estimate whether the business is ready for an expansion, or if more informed financial decisions need to be made in order to meet the annual sales targets. These features are not available in Pro.

4. Industry-specific capabilities

QuickBooks Premier features tailor-made in-app solutions that help businesses to better manage and track their inventory, and create reports that fit the following industry-specific niches in particular:

  • General contractors

QuickBooks Premier allows contractors to create reports per vendor to monitor expenses and see which vendors need to be paid. They can also customize job cost reports and modify job orders at a glance.

  • Manufacturing and wholesale

Businesses in this sector can use QuickBooks Premier to track inventory at a more comprehensive level. They can run reports that tell which products are running low on inventory and therefore need re-ordering. You’ll also be able to see which products are performing best in terms of sales so you can remove the ones that aren’t performing well. Furthermore, users can easily prioritize open sales orders and close them at their own pace.

  • Not-for-profit organizations

Through QuickBooks Premier, users can monitor who the biggest donors are and quickly create donation statements by the end of the year. They can also comply with IRS Form 990, which is a requirement for tax-exempt organizations.

  • Retail

QuickBooks Premier offers sales summaries, inventory reports, and profit-and-loss analyses to its users. Users can also bill suppliers and analyze expenses in real-time, using personalized invoices.

  • Professional Services

Freelancers can take advantage of QuickBooks Premier to see which clients need to send their payments, set different billing rates according to client, project, or service provided, and analyze profitability reports.

5. Number of users

QuickBooks Desktop Pro allows up to three users simultaneously using the account, while Premier allows up to 5 users. This means that using Premier guarantees more work done in the same period of time.

It’s worth mentioning that QuickBooks Pro also has a QuickBooks Pro Plus version. The main difference between the QuickBooks Pro vs Pro Plus is that the latter has an annual subscription model, compared with Pro that’s only a software. The QuickBooks Pro Plus also has unlimited chat support and automatic data backup, which are features that Pro users will have to pay for separately.

Can you upgrade from QuickBooks Pro to Premier?

Users who wish to upgrade from QuickBooks Pro to the Premier platform can easily transfer their data to the latter. To do this, you simply need to install QuickBooks Desktop Premier. You’ll be able to access the Premier edition’s added features immediately once the installation is complete. (Make sure you do not uninstall the Pro version before the Premier version is done installing.)

If the version of QuickBooks Premier that you are upgrading to is from the same year as the QuickBooks Pro platform you were previously using, then all the financial data you had entered into the Pro version will automatically transfer over when you upgrade. This means if you’re currently using QuickBooks Pro 2020 and are planning to migrate the files to Premier, you should use the 2020 version of Premier as well.

Can you downgrade from QuickBooks Premier to Pro?

Since QuickBooks Desktop Pro and Premier are interchangeable, users can switch back to the Pro edition. The Premier version does feature added functionalities such as industry-specific reports, sales orders, and forecasts, which are not available in the Pro version. If you revert to Pro from the Premier version, you will not be able to access these added functionalities. There is also a possibility that existing data you had entered into Premier may not be captured into the Pro edition.

All-new features of QuickBooks Desktop Pro and Premier 2021

Intuit recently unveiled the new powerhouse features of QuickBooks Desktop Pro and Premier 2021. The features include:

  • Automatic categorizing of bank transactions using better guidelines and batch editing
  • Automated recurring statements to various customer groups
  • Integration of brand logo as well as custom formatting on invoices and receipts
  • New customer management tools that allow users to automatically update its customer groups according to location, payment balance, or status.

Ready for an Upgrade? You Can Also Try QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise

QuickBooks Enterprise 2021 contains all the robust features of Premier, plus more:

Receipt organization

  1. Priority Circle Loyalty Program. Customers of QuickBooks Enterprise are part of the Priority Circle Loyalty Program, which gives them a dedicated team, complimentary training, and priority support from QuickBooks’ top specialists.
  2. Barcode scanning. Warehouse workers can easily scan product barcodes for real-time updating of inventory and tracking of sales orders.
  3. End-to-end sales workflow. Using QuickBooks Enterprise, business owners can oversee the entire sales workflow from the central dashboard. They can also fill out and print shipping labels, and send items to a picker or packer.
  4. Up to 30 users. Imagine how many reports can be generated when 30 people are using the Enterprise platform simultaneously. This gives business owners more time building the company’s network or getting more clients.
  5. More than 200 pre-set report templates. Users can either choose among hundreds of report templates or generate their own using Enterprise.
  6. Customized access. Since 30 people can access a single Quickbooks Enterprise account, business owners can nominate pre-set user roles and permissions. The access is also customizable, so not all Enterprise users with access to the same account can see the same set of sensitive financial data.

Which version of QuickBooks is the best for the business?

When asking which QuickBooks version is right for your organization, it’s important to assess your current requirements as well as your budget. Smaller companies that are new to managing their financial data using accounting software can start off with the Pro version and then upgrade to Premier or Enterprise if the need arises.

Medium-sized organizations that have industry-specific accounting needs are likely better off purchasing the Premier version since it offers added features that are tailor-fit for more advanced requirements.

Also Read :: How to Downgrade TurboTax Deluxe To Free? – A Complete Guide

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