As a small business owner, you will no doubt need extra help with your business accounting. You can choose to use desktop accounting software or online accounting software.


Small business owners use desktop accounting software to manage the accounts of their businesses without the necessity of an internet connection. However, this means that, for you to access the software, you need to be seated in front of your computer and not any other device.


But recently, since our world is getting electronically advanced by the day, online accounting software emerged. The online accounting software also called the free online accounting software or business accounting software is a platform, with some similar functions to the desktop accounting software, but it can be used anywhere, anytime, and on any device with an internet connection.


Perhaps this is enough reason for businesses to change the accounting software they use. Business owners ought to make the move from desktop accounting software to online accounting software.


Similarities of Desktop accounting Software and Cloud Accounting Software

Most core desktop accounting software and cloud accounting software offering looks similar. In general, most accounting software is considered a good option for basic accounting and bookkeeping requirements. It includes – invoicing, sales tracking, and much more. Small businesses who share their business information with their accountants for their reports and analysis will don’t face any trouble with both software.

Some of the Common Features of Cloud and desktop accounting software

Here are some of the most common features that most accounting system holds between desktop Vs. cloud accounting system.


Invoicing & billing, Journal entries, payment processing, banking, expense tracking, fully modifiable COA, depreciation, fixed asset management, contact management, budgeting, inventory reports, tracking categories, multi-currency, sales tax, and accounts payable.


Differences – Desktop accounting Software and Cloud Accounting Software

The company will tend to choose either desktop accounting software or cloud accounting software, only based on their requirements. There are lots of small and mid-sized companies who choose cloud accounting based on their needs. Similarly, some companies choose desktop accounting software since their requirements are different. 

Cloud Vs. Desktop Accounting Software

Explore the difference between desktop accounting and cloud accounting systems here with the below tabulation.

Components Cloud-Based Accounting Desktop-based Accounting

No.of users

Cloud accounting software can be accessed by more than one person at a time.

Desktop accounting software can be accessed by only one person at a time.


Bundled with a monthly subscription. Can be reduced based on your feature need.

Desktop accounting and bookkeeping software is typically expensive upfront.


All you required is an internet connection and mobile/laptop/computer. Can work remotely, in case of necessity.

You need to purchase a license for each computer. But you need to carry that license machine wherever you go with your desktop. Not facilitative for remote work environments.


As your business grows, the application can be expanded by purchasing the enhanced package, as per your business needs.

The desktop accounting software must have physical access to install the computer software.

Backup data

Online accounting software has guaranteed data backup. And, your data will never be lost.

Desktop accounting application has also data backup. But once the app gets crashed, all your data will be wiped out.


The cloud-based accounting system is portable accounting software. You can carry your business data anywhere and anytime. So your data is a fingertip.

On other hand, it is hard and most of the time impossible to carry your desktop everywhere. So desktop accounting software is not a portable accounting system.

Data Sharing 

Every employee or CPA can log in to their user account and can see the real-time business status. They can share the historical data, trends, and flops in a few clicks and can discuss it in a simple phone call.

Sharing data is a manual and time-consuming process. You need to export the information for the chosen time frame. After saving they need to upload them on the portal securely, and either print or save them to the flash drive. And, finally, you can share them. So it is time-consuming


In cloud-based accounting software, most of the process is automated to make your business flow easy and efficient

In a desktop-based accounting system, all you need to do the process manually. So, it sucks your business time.

Updates & Frequency

In cloud-based, the software is updated frequently. So you will always be in trend and updated. Any tax change or bugs in the software can be fixed as soon as in the next new version. This might not take so much long duration

In desktop accounting software, it can be updated annually. For bugs and updates, a new version has to be purchased and installed


One of the reasons that people go for cloud accounting is data security. Your business data is encrypted and protected at all times.

Desktop financial software requires regular maintenance on any servers.

Accounting Knowledge

The current accounting system is designed in a way, which is easy to access for both accountants and non-accountants.

Most desktop accounting software has complicated accounting, which cannot be accessed without accounting knowledge

Why move to online accounting software | Making the big move

The only reason anyone would want to change the kind of accounting software they use is that of the advantages they stand to obtain.


In order to make you understand the ‘goodies’ of the free online accounting software, therefore, we have put together some ideas that show you why you should move from desktop accounting software to cloud computing software. Let’s explore the reason, why move to online accounting software?


Why move to online accounting software | Benefits and Reason

  • Portability of the software

The online accounting software has the ability to execute its functions properly on multiple devices. This means you can operate the software with any device that has an internet connection. Thus, you can take it along with you anywhere at all. Now, isn’t that awesome? After you have subscribed to , suitable online accounting software like myBooks, a QuickBooks alternative, you can carry your accounts with you as you move along in your day, unlike the desktop accounting software which requires you to stay glued to your desktop.

  • Not necessarily need a Power supply to function

While the desktop accounting software requires a stable power supply, with the online accounting software, you only need to have a working battery either on your laptop, on your smartphone, or on your tablet. This saves you the stress and the cost of setting up a stable power supply, especially if you are in a region where this is a privilege.

  • Enhances better collaboration with different partners

Multi-user access is available on the free online accounting software programs like myBooks, a QuickBooks alternative. This means that data stored on the software can, with your authority, be reviewed by an internal team and also by external advisors such as an accountant or a tax specialist thereby improving collaboration with them.

  • Enables optimal use of time

The ability to easily access financial data, even when traveling, allows you to work smarter and faster. Online accounting software offers a clear view of a company’s financial situation in real-time, thereby enabling timely business decisions, unlike what is obtainable with desktop accounting software.


For instance, if a very urgent decision has to be made concerning the finances of the business, but you, as the small business owner is in another state, online accounting software allows you to log in to your portable device (acting as the portable accounting software)and affect the decision from where you are. This is not possible with the desktop accounting software where you probably have to run back to where your desktop is which may be too late already.

  • Low Cost

When the business tends to run their accounting software on the desktop, they need a certain amount of capital and operational expenses, as it is a local system. Purchasing the local system or server and installing them is expensive.


The expense does not stop here! There are the power requirement, space requirements, and maintenance costs. It cannot be afforded for small businesses and cannot be carried anywhere you want.

But in cloud accounting software, this does not happen. Once you purchase the software, you pay for renewals and upgrades. But their cost is considerably lower when the company to the desktop accounting software maintenance. 

  • Backup Facility

In desktop accounting software, it is hard for businesses to back up. It is time-consuming and allows lots of space on your server. We sometimes are busy with the work and fail to take some important data backups, which lead to the severe business effect.

When you decide to handle all your data backups with the IT team, do they really be safe and secure? Sometimes might be no!


When it comes to the cloud, just no worries! All your data will be safe, secured, and automatic data backup. 

  • Installation and updation made easy

When it comes to desktop accounting software, people should choose a capable computer with a large number of hardware requirements. When you update the desktop accounting software, it is not possible to run the software in case of any emergency.


In the case of online accounting software, this does not happen. You operate your accounting software on any of the devices you want! Additionally, you can run your cloud accounting software, even when you update the software. Since it is cloud accounting, your software updation will be on the backend server, and you can proceed with your important task without any delay.


The bottom line

Finally, it is always better to choose cloud accounting software, instead of desktop accounting software. The benefits of cloud accounting software can never be measured when compared to desktop accounting software. Hope you found the reasons, why move to online accounting software for your business.


Just build your business marketing strategy to grow your audience by choosing the right accounting software. Just stop focusing more on your accounting software! Feel free to work

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