NetSuite vs QuickBooks Online vs QuickBooks Desktop
Modern businesses can’t go at it alone. They must have a robust system in place to maintain efficient operations and a competitive edge.
NetSuite is an ERP cloud-based software platform designed for high-growth companies. It covers all business processes, including accounting.
QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop are accounting software platforms. Small businesses may outgrow QuickBooks and move up to NetSuite or other ERP systems as they gain resources.
This comparison guide helps you decide which software matches your business needs and growth projections.
Owned by Oracle, NetSuite provides cloud-based:
- Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Professional services automation (PSA)
- Human capital management (HCM)
The brand sells multiple software products or “suites” that seamlessly work together in real-time. That means, companies don’t have to use multiple, unrelated software programs for each business process.
NetSuite was designed as cloud software. That gives it an advantage over legacy systems built for on-premise use that are later modified to work in the cloud.
The platform handles tough accounting jobs, including GAAP revenue recognition rules for financial reporting. With NetSuite, you won’t need to supplement software capabilities with error-prone spreadsheets. It will easily handle the financial statement consolidation of multiple global entities.
With integrated financial planning and a CRM, you can use NetSuite to achieve tasks like:
- Forecast sales
- Create budgets
- Determine cash flow
- Meet financing needs
NetSuite is a complete management system. Authorized employees throughout the entire company handle business processes, easily create reports/dashboards, and assess results in real-time to enable better decision-making.
The financial accounting team can close the books quickly, allowing them more time to analyze and support decision-making for profit-enhancing company initiatives. The enhanced efficiency that NetSuite offers may help your company reduce staffing needs, saving money that offsets the higher cost of the software solution.
NetSuite targets companies of nearly any size:
- Large enterprise-size businesses benefiting from features like NetSuite OneWorld with its global multi-subsidiary, multi-legal entity, and multi-currency capabilities.
- Midsize businesses that will benefit from using NetSuite ERP software which provides higher-level functionality, real-time drill-down to transactions and reports, analytical insights from financial data, and other time-saving features.
- Small businesses with at least 20 users ready to scale up beyond standard limitations on the number of users and features offered by accounting software like QuickBooks.
The brand claims that 20% of Fortune 100 companies use NetSuite for enterprises, which include its ERP, CRM, e-commerce, and PSA (professional services automation) for project management software.
NetSuite also offers integrated human capital management (HCM) software. Many of the fastest-growing tech and software companies that have completed or plan an IPO to go public use the program.
The platform works well for growing SaaS companies because it has built-in subscription features. It gives companies visibility on both upselling opportunities and customer churn. Additionally, NetSuite fits and serves many other industries.
NetSuite Pricing and Features
Pricing for NetSuite varies greatly by organization. Contact the company for a custom quote based on your team’s needs and company structure.
On their site, NetSuite compares the features of its platform to QuickBooks Online. The comparison is organized by platform and name. The suites are:
- Supply Chain Management
- Professional Services Automation (PSA)
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Omnichannel Commerce (including e-commerce)
- Human Capital Management (HCM)
The platform features that NetSuite offers include:
- True Cloud
- App Store
- Seamless upgrades
- Single version
- Single data model
QuickBooks Online has only the True Cloud, App Store, and mobile features.
NetSuite Financials handles business accounting, including general ledger and financial reporting. The brand states that QuickBooks Online has “solid capabilities but needs additional add-on or partner integration” in the general ledger software.
According to the comparison table, NetSuite Financials has these superior features that QuickBooks can’t match:
- Financial consolidation of multiple entities
- Globalization/localization, including:
- Revenue recognition to meet GAAP reporting requirements
- Subscription billing
NetSuite Supply Chain Management includes these features:
- Order management
- Production management
- Inventory management
- Warehouse & Fulfillment
The NetSuite comparison chart shows that QuickBooks Online doesn’t include production management and procurement software.
NetSuite Professional Services Automation (PSA) includes project management, resource management, timesheet management, and expense management. QuickBooks Online is missing resource management, according to NetSuite, although it offers time tracking.
NetSuite Customer Relationship Management (CRM) includes these features: Salesforce automation, customer service, marketing automation, and partner relationship management. As mentioned earlier, QuickBooks has no CRM offering.
NetSuite Omnichannel Commerce includes these features: e-commerce, point of sale, commerce marketing, order management, and product content. QuickBooks Online (and QuickBooks Desktop) only have offerings for e-commerce and point of sale. Omnichannel means all channels to reach the customer, including online, through brick-and-mortar stores, using product catalogs, direct mail, etc.
NetSuite Human Capital Management (HCM) includes these features: core HRIS, payroll, and the employee center. Of these features, QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop only offer payroll (as an upgrade).
The Ultimate Guide to NetSuite Modules provides an in-depth look at what’s included in NetSuite.
Intuit owns both QuickBooks accounting software and TurboTax income tax software. QuickBooks is an ideal, low-cost business accounting system for startups. It handles basic bookkeeping and provides online payment services through Intuit.
Most companies will outgrow QuickBooks at some point and switch to a more advanced and higher cost ERP system. QuickBooks typically markets the brand as an alternative to ERP software.
Expect to pay for additional fees and service costs when you use QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop.
QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based software platform offered through a SaaS monthly subscription pricing plan. The QBO App Store also offers add-on software integration that increases its capabilities (including payables automation software). These software add-ons are seamless. The apps work through the standard QuickBooks Online and Online Advanced user interface.
QuickBooks Desktop (QBDT)
QuickBooks Desktop (QBDT) is on-premises software that’s sold as a product at the time of purchase. Through a monthly per-user fee upgrade, QBDT offers add-on monthly subscriptions with optional features like payroll and remote hosting.
This allows you to access the system from anywhere. Users can upgrade Desktop Pro and Premier to Plus to get unlimited customer support, data backups, and upgrades.
QuickBooks Payment Processing
One additional feature of both QBO and QBDT is Payment Processing. Intuit Merchant Services (IMS) provides payment processing for eligible customers through the QuickBooks Payments feature and includes:
- Customer debit card and credit card processing
- Apple Pay (both QBO and QBDT)
- PayPal (QBO only)
- Online invoice payments using eChecks/ACH bank transfers
QuickBooks Online Business Size and Number of Users
QuickBooks Online is used primarily by small businesses and middle-market companies with the type of operations and number of users that the software fits.
QuickBooks Online limits the number of users for each product within the QBO line:
- Self-Employed: 1 user
- Simple Start: 1 user
- Essentials: includes 3 users
- Plus: includes 5 users
- Advanced: includes 25 users
QuickBooks Online Pricing and Features
QuickBooks offers substantial discounts to the standard subscription pricing. Getting a limited-time free trial may prevent you from receiving a subscription discount.
Check the website for QuickBooks Online pricing deals. Remember to budget for the add-on fees and costs (including software upgrades, QuickBooks Payments transaction fees, and possible monthly plan upgrades).
According to the QuickBooks Online pricing (and features) page, All QuickBooks Online software includes these five basic features:
- Track income and expenses
- Capture and organize receipts
- Invoice and accept payments
- Track miles
- Mobile phone app access (from the QB Online vs Desktop comparison link).
Self-Employed additional features are:
- Estimate quarterly taxes
- Run basic reports
- List Pricing: $15 per month
Simple Start additional features beyond the basic five above are:
- Maximize tax deductions
- Run general reports
- Send estimates
- Track sales and sales tax
- Manage 1099 contractors
- List Pricing: $25 per month
Essentials additional features beyond Simple Start are:
- Run enhanced reports
- Manage bills
- Track time
- List Pricing: $40 per month
Plus, the most popular version has these additional features beyond Essentials:
- Run comprehensive reports
- Track project profitability
- Track inventory
- List Pricing: $70 per month
Advanced additional features beyond Plus are:
- Robust reporting
- Manage and pay bills
- Business analytics and insights
- Batch invoices and expenses
- Customize access by role
- Dedicated account manager
- On-demand training
- Restore company data (not available in Desktop)
- Automate workflows
- List Pricing: $150 per month
The QuickBooks Online software product lines include offerings at the basic level to additional functionality at each software level. All plans include customer support and add-on integrated third-party apps available through the App Store.
QuickBooks Online Advanced
QuickBooks Online Advanced is a cloud software product that is similar to the highest level version of QuickBooks Desktop called Enterprise. QBDT Enterprise serves up to 30 users and charges based on the number of users in a company, whereas Advanced includes 25 users.
QuickBooks Desktop Business Size and Number of Users
QuickBooks is used by small businesses, midsize businesses, and enterprise companies. Although the platform has user limits, it’s possible to insert additional code with an open API. This allows a company to go beyond the 30-user maximum number for QuickBooks Enterprise.
Fourlane, Inc., a consulting firm that is the #1 QuickBooks reseller partner, makes these programming code changes. In the blog article, 7 Reasons Your Business Hasn’t Outgrown QuickBooks, Fourlane contends it’s not necessary for some large companies to switch their accounting system from QuickBooks Enterprise to ERP software like NetSuite.
Standard QuickBooks Desktop software has these limits on the number of users by product name:
QuickBooks Pro: up to 3 users
QuickBooks Premier: up to 5 users
QuickBooks Enterprise: up to 30 users, with advanced roles
QuickBooks Desktop Pricing and Features
At times, QuickBooks Desktop offers significant discounts on Enterprise or other products. When evaluating the software, request a customized quote for pricing, per-user fees, and estimated add-on costs (including remote hosting). You may choose to buy QuickBooks Desktop Pro or Premier at a lower price through retailers like Amazon and Costco.
The QuickBooks Desktop features and pricing page lists detailed features for each software product. It provides this link to compare QuickBooks Online to QuickBooks Desktop features.
Some QuickBooks Desktop accounting software products include these features (not available in the online version):
- Calculate and rebill job costs
- Calculate discounts by customer
- Transfer QuickBooks accounting data to TurboTax (can be transferred from QBO using QB Desktop)
All QB Desktop products include these features:
- Automatic customer payment due date reminders
- Customer search for email invoices by purchase order (PO) number
- Consolidate multiple customer invoices into just one email
- Improved navigation through reports with jobs and classes
- Enhanced help context and access to live experts through messaging and callback options (with quarterly support billing for some QBDT products)
- Track income and expenses
- Invoicing – includes accepting payments from the invoice and invoice status
- Run reports (Pro 100+; Premier 150+ industry-specific; Enterprise 150+ advanced reporting)
- Send estimates (Enterprise advanced pricing features)
- Track sales tax
- Manage bills and accounts payable (these features can be upgraded with an add-on third-party integrated SaaS payables automation and global mass payments app)
- Track time
- Track inventory (see Enterprise for advanced inventory features)
- List limits (Pro and Premier up to 14,500 items; Enterprise more than 1 million items)
- Pay 1099 contractors
- QuickBooks Pro List Pricing: $299.95 plus the per-user cost (request QuickBooks Desktop quote)
Additional features included in Premier and higher-level Enterprise software are:
- Industry-specific features
- Track profitability by product or by client and project
- Bill clients progressively by job phase
- Run industry-specific reports for:
- General Business
- General Contractor
- Manufacturing & Wholesale
- Professional services
- QuickBooks Premier List Pricing: $499.95 plus the per-user cost (request QuickBooks Desktop quote)
- Mobile inventory barcode scanning
- Create customer picklists across warehouses and send to the barcode scanner
- Scan inventory and update orders in real-time
- QuickBooks Priority Circle loyalty program
- Dedicated customer success manager to answer your questions
- Complementary product training for your team
- Phone and chat with expert product specialists
- Enhanced Pick, Pack & Ship
- Manage entire workflow from a central dashboard
- Send items to a picker or packer with one click
- Prepare shipping labels for major carriers within QuickBooks
- Combine picker and packer roles with Express Pick-Pack
Add-on features from QuickBooks Desktop at an additional cost include:
- Upgrade to Plus for Pro and Premier (included in Enterprise)includes:
- Unlimited customer support, upgrades, and backups
- Pay employees for Pro and Premier (available in Enterprise Gold and Platinum editions)
- Remote hosting to gain cloud access from anywhere (call QuickBooks Desktop to request a quote)
- Available for $44 to $200 per month per user
- QuickBooks Enterprise List Pricing: $1,213 plus the per-user cost (request QuickBooks Desktop quote)
NetSuite vs QuickBooks Online vs QuickBooks Desktop
In summary, NetSuite offers a cloud-based ERP system that can handle all business processes and scale for rapid growth. It helps your accounting and finance department become more efficient and perform tasks like forecasting better.
QuickBooks is accounting software. Several of the QuickBooks products offer payroll as an add-on option. QuickBooks Online is cloud-based and QuickBooks Desktop is on-premises with a remote hosting option. Standard QuickBooks accounting software is limited to 25 or 30 users. Desktop charges a per-user fee.
NetSuite pricing is substantially higher than QuickBooks (request a customized quote) because it offers more features and it’s a high-level ERP system. The choice of NetSuite vs QuickBooks depends on your business type and growth expectations. Small businesses with high growth prospects often start with QuickBooks and move up to NetSuite or another ERP system when their needs and budget grow. NetSuite works for small businesses, medium-sized businesses, and enterprise companies, including the Fortune 500.