Big changes are coming for QuickBooks desktop users. Starting in 2022, QuickBooks Desktop will only be sold as an annual subscription in either the Pro Plus, Premier Plus, or Mac Plus versions. That’s not all; once the subscription is activated, it must be renewed annually or the user will be locked out of their company files. Businesses that still use QuickBooks Desktop will need to make decisions about how they want to continue using the software – and soon.

QuickBooks Desktop v. QuickBooks Online

Though both versions of the software do the job of basic accounting and bookkeeping, there are a few key differences. Other than the cost – a relatively low annual license purchase with Desktop versus a monthly subscription fee with Online – the Desktop version is installed on a local computer. Online is a cloud-based software that can be accessed anywhere. QuickBooks Online also has a reputation of being more user friendly and easier to learn for new users, and it offers several integrations and plug-ins that make it scalable for even large businesses. It builds in more automations and the monthly price varies according to needs.

So why use Desktop?

It’s sometimes preferred for more complex accounting needs, like job costing, budgeting, and expense tracking. Users can run advanced reports and there are more features. Plus, because it’s locally installed, it doesn’t need an internet connection to run and thus tends to be more secure. PBMares clients with advanced accounting needs like inventory and job costing usually prefer the Desktop version with its annual license.

Historically, the Desktop version has three products: Pro, Premier, and Enterprise. Pro was the best option for businesses that only required one license; Premier unlocked more features, more users, and a higher price tag. Both licenses were valid for three years. Enterprise was the flagship product aimed at the most complex accounting clients or larger businesses, with a price tag about three times as much as Pro – and a one-year license compared to three.

Pro Plus and Premier Plus are available for extra fees but offer data backups, remote access, and other upgrades. Before, there was the option to add these features – and the subscription along with them. Beginning in 2022, opting into a yearly subscription won’t be optional.

QuickBooks in 2022

Beginning in 2022, small businesses and other organizations still on the QuickBooks Desktop Pro or Premier will need to decide if they want to upgrade to the annual subscription. The new subscriptions were made available in mid-October.

The 2021 Desktop version will be supported through May 2024 but must be purchased by December 10, 2021 from a ProAdvisor, like PBMares, or an Intuit representative.

In 2022, pricing for the new Desktop subscriptions begins at:

  • $349/year for Pro Plus and Mac Plus or
  • $549/year for Premier Plus.

Other QuickBooks 2022 Changes

Users must run at least a 64-bit Windows operating system to install QuickBooks Desktop in 2022. This change will help the Desktop version to be quicker and better maintain third-party integrations. Microsoft has more information on how to tell if a computer is running 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows. Certain e-commerce integrations will be available for an extra fee. Other changes include the ability to:

  • Schedule online vendor payments from within an integration called Melio.
  • Customize vendor bill payment stubs with company logo and payment details, and email vendors in the same step.
  • Take pictures of receipts and other documents with a smart phone and upload to the software.
  • Add multiple email addresses to directly email invoices from within QuickBooks.
  • Accept pre-payments for services not yet rendered, instant deposits from other QuickBooks account users, and next day direct deposit for certain subscribers.
  • Backup and recover data.

Additionally, there will be a new subscription for Mac users called QuickBooks Desktop Mac Plus.

What To Do Next

PBMares clients still using QuickBooks Desktop will need to decide by December 10, 2021 how to move forward with their QuickBooks software. Options are to either:

  • Upgrade to Pro Plus or Premier Plus now;
  • Buy the 2021 edition by December 10, 2021 and use it until May 2024; or
  • Switch to QuickBooks Online.

Depending on when the last license was purchased, clients can also elect to do nothing and continue using their existing Desktop license until it expires. Note that QuickBooks will not be offering product upgrades to discontinued software, so while this option could give businesses more time to evaluate their options, it’s not a long-term solution.

Contact your PBMares representative for more information and guidance on what the best QuickBooks option is for your situation.