QuickBooks Review

Intuit’s popular QuickBooks suite is one of the biggest names in payroll software. Since it offers a long list of customizable and upgradable payroll plans, it’s become popular with small and midsize businesses. While QuickBooks built its reputation by appealing to small businesses, it also offers appealing services for larger companies.

Intuit’s QuickBooks payroll products can be separated into two categories: QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop. Let’s take a closer look at both options to explain the differences and see which could be right for you.

Pros and Cons of QuickBooks

QuickBooks Online Pros:

QuickBooks Online Cons:

QuickBooks Desktop Pros:

QuickBooks Desktop Cons:

What Does QuickBooks Offer?

Since QuickBooks offers two products, we’ve dug into the specifics of both options. QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online are similar, but the former runs on a user’s actual computer instead of through the cloud.

QuickBooks Online: Plans and Features

Here’s what you’ll get if you go with the Core plan:

The Premium plan offers all the Core features, but it also adds:

With Elite, you get all the Premium capabilities, in addition to :

QuickBooks Desktop: Plans and Features

Payroll software options include:

Like the QuickBooks Online suite of cloud-based services, each option builds off existing features. So, each plan adds more bells and whistles as you move up the ladder.

Basic Payroll delivers the following features:

If you chose Enhanced Payroll, you get the following upgrades:

Assisted Payroll delivers all of the above features along with these premium additions:


If you chose QuickBooks Online, standard pricing runs as follows:

But if you select QuickBooks Desktop, pricing breaks down as follows:

The Bottom Line

QuickBooks Online is a great solution for small businesses seeking to optimize the payroll process with cloud-based solutions. It offers a strong list of powerful features that compare favorably to competitors, especially at the Premium and Elite levels. However, the Core service is also more than capable of handling basic needs for businesses.

On the other hand, QuickBooks Desktop is a solid offline option. It features a smooth, easy-to-use interface. The only real knocks against it are a lack of free tech support for Basic Payroll customers, and its limited ability to integrate with some mobile apps. However, these are relatively minor drawbacks compared to its many strengths.

Our take: QuickBooks offers a very strong lineup of affordable options for small businesses. For this reason, QuickBooks is worth checking out as you compare the best payroll software.