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The Hanover Homeowners Insurance Review 2021

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The Hanover offers three homeowners insurance packages and more than a dozen ways to customize coverage, which means most homeowners are likely to find a policy that works for them. The company receives fewer consumer complaints than expected and has a useful app to help manage policies. However, The Hanover home insurance is available in 19 states only.

The Hanover home insurance pros and cons

How The Hanover home insurance rates

4.5
NerdWallet rating

The Hanover homeowners insurance earned 4.5 out of 5 stars for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The homeowners insurance scoring formula takes into account policy coverage options and discounts, ease of filing a claim, website transparency, the financial strength of the company, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and more.

Based on these ratings, The Hanover is among NerdWallet’s Best Home Insurance Companies for 2021.

The Hanover home insurance state availability

The Hanover offers homeowners insurance in 19 states.

The Hanover home insurance coverage

You can customize your homeowners policy with numerous add-ons, but below are the types of coverage that generally come standard:

For more details, see Homeowners Insurance: What It Is and What It Covers.

The Hanover offers these standard types of coverage as part of three packages:

  • Connections, for those who want homeowners insurance only and aren’t interested in bundling it with an auto policy.
  • Platinum, for those who wish to buy both homeowners and car insurance from The Hanover.
  • Prestige, offering higher-limit coverage designed for those with homes worth at least $750,000.

Coverage options vary depending on where you live and which package you choose, but may include:

Extended dwelling replacement cost. If the amount of insurance on your house isn’t enough to cover the cost of rebuilding, this option helps make up the difference, up to a given limit.

Guaranteed dwelling replacement cost. This coverage goes a step further than extended dwelling replacement, paying whatever is necessary to rebuild your home with similar materials. You may also be able to opt for a cash-out option if you don’t wish to rebuild.

Personal property replacement cost. This coverage ensures you’ll receive enough money to buy new replacements for personal belongings that are stolen or destroyed, rather than having your payout reduced for depreciation.

Coverage for refrigerated products. This pays for spoiled food after a power loss.

Lock replacement. This coverage pays to install new locks if your keys are stolen.

Water backup coverage. This pays for damage if your sump pump fails or water backs up through a sewer or drain.

Identity protection. If your identity is stolen, this coverage helps pay for legal fees and other expenses.

Deductible waiver for large loss. This option waives your deductible if a claim is at least $50,000.

Deductible waiver for loss involving multiple policies. If you have a Platinum package and a disaster affects both your home and car or boat, you’ll need to pay one of the two applicable deductibles only.

Special personal property coverage. This offers extra coverage for valuable items such as jewelry or firearms.

Ordinance or law coverage. This pays to bring your home up to the latest building codes.

Debris removal coverage. This option pays to remove debris after a covered disaster.

Siding and roof restoration. If repairs wouldn’t match your existing roof or siding because the materials aren’t available, this coverage will pay to replace undamaged areas as well.

Fire extinguisher coverage. This option pays to recharge or replace an extinguisher used against a fire in your home.

Service line coverage. This pays to repair or replace damaged power lines, water pipes and other utility lines on your property.

Personal injury coverage. With this endorsement, your liability coverage will extend to expenses associated with slander, libel, false arrest, wrongful eviction, imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

Unlimited loss of use coverage. If you can’t live in your home after a covered disaster, this option pays for you to live elsewhere, including assistance with hotel stays or restaurant meals, with no time or money limit.

Loss mitigation expense. After a claim of at least $10,000, this coverage helps pay for actions to prevent similar damage in the future.

» MORE: 10 kinds of damage home insurance won’t cover

The Hanover home insurance discounts

Depending on your state, you may be offered discounts for:

  • Insuring both your home and auto with The Hanover.
  • Insuring a newly built home.
  • Being a nonsmoker.
  • Having devices such as smoke detectors or an alarm system.
  • Membership in certain organizations.

The Hanover home insurance complaints

The Hanover received fewer than the expected number of home insurance complaints to state regulators relative to its size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (NAIC home insurance complaints also cover other home policy types, including mobile home, renters and condo insurance.)

» MORE: The best cheap homeowners insurance

The Hanover consumer experience

Website: The Hanover’s site offers some self-service options, including bill pay, claims reporting and access to policy details. However, you can’t get an online quote and have to use the agent search feature to find someone to speak with. The site includes a library of articles on insurance basics.

App: The Hanover’s app lets you file and track claims, view policy information, pay bills and get in touch with your agent. It’s available for iOS and Android.

Homeowners insurance buying guide

Before you start comparing quotes, identify how much home insurance coverage you need. Is a standard policy sufficient, or do you want to add extra insurance for situations like identity theft or sewer backups? Check whether each company you’re considering has the options you need.

To ensure you have sufficient personal property coverage, take a quick inventory of your belongings. How much would it cost you to replace them? Include all furniture, electronic devices, clothing, jewelry and household items. This total is the minimum amount of personal property insurance you should have.

When comparing rates between insurers, make sure they’re offering the same limits and deductibles. Although it may seem tempting simply to choose the cheapest option, consider looking at how many consumer complaints each insurer has before choosing a policy. Poor customer service could have a significant impact on your experience if you ever need to file a claim.

You can get home insurance quotes online, over the phone or through an agent.

The Hanover home insurance FAQ

What other types of insurance does The Hanover offer?

The Hanover sells auto, condo, renters, motorcycle and umbrella insurance, among other policies. You can learn more in NerdWallet’s Hanover auto insurance review.

Does The Hanover insure mobile or manufactured homes?

No, The Hanover doesn’t cover this type of property. For other options, see our guide to manufactured and mobile home insurance.

Does The Hanover have dog breed restrictions on its homeowners policies?

Yes, The Hanover may restrict coverage for breeds such as pit bulls, German shepherds, Presa canarios, Rottweilers and Doberman pinschers.

Homeowners insurance ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s homeowners insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, consumer complaints, coverages, discounts, online experience and more. These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

Insurer complaints methodology

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-2020. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

Gusto vs. Paychex: Gusto Wins

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Gusto and Paychex both offer cloud-based payroll products that have payroll processing, benefits administration services and human resources support. How do they stack up against each other? Gusto is the clear winner when it comes to providing the fundamental features a typical small business needs at an affordable price.

Paychex stands out for taking benefits to the level of a professional employer organization, or PEO, which offers a more comprehensive level of HR and payroll services, while Gusto partners with brokers to offer employee benefits. However, small businesses with just a few employees generally won’t need the amount of HR expertise presented by Paychex PEO.

Deciding factors

Pricing tiers:

Core: $39/month plus $6 per person.

Complete: $39/month plus $12 per person.

Concierge: $149/month plus $12 per person.

Pricing tiers:

Go: $39/month plus $5 per person.

Flex Select: Custom quote required.

Flex Enterprise: Custom quote required.

Tax filing and payments

Yes. With each payroll run, taxes are calculated and paid to government agencies at no additional cost.

Yes. Federal, state and local taxes are calculated, filed and paid on your behalf. Extra fees for end-of-year filings.

Ability to manage employee benefits

Good. You can manage medical insurance, health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts, 401(k)s and more, with payments automatically deducted from payroll. (Health benefits not available in all states.)

Excellent. For an additional cost, Paychex PEO offers in-house retirement plans, health insurance, health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts and other benefits.

Employee access to portal

Excellent. Employees have lifetime access to their own account to view pay stubs, obtain W-2 forms and change personal information.

Good. Through the portal, employees can view their pay stubs and tax documents and get paid by direct deposit, check or prepaid card.

Live support

Good. Offers live customer support by phone, email or chat at all plan levels. Support isn’t available on weekends.

Excellent. Support is available by phone, chat or email 24/7 for all plans. Flex Select and Enterprise include a dedicated payroll specialist.

Ease of use

Good. Has a user-friendly interface with simple step-by-step tools, checklists and tutorials.

Good. Payroll setup can be time-consuming. Payroll dashboard is customizable and relatively easy to navigate.

Why Gusto is a better choice

The combination of key features and affordability was the deciding factor in selecting Gusto as the winner. Solid benefits administration and employee access were secondary considerations that also helped to edge Gusto ahead of Paychex.

Key features at an affordable price

The features that most small businesses need are available with the lowest-tier Core plan at Gusto. At a monthly cost of $39 plus $6 per person, you get unlimited payroll runs in all 50 states and can also pay employees working in multiple states. Tax filings, health benefits administration and lifetime employee access to an online portal are also provided at this level. While the lowest-tier Paychex Go plan is priced at $39 per month plus $5 per person, there are additional costs related to payroll tax administration, W-2 and 1099 forms, time tracking and other features.

Gusto pricing is transparent with few extra fees or add-ons. A business can move up to Gusto’s second-tier Complete plan for features like next-day direct deposit, time tracking and more team management tools. The per-person fee increases to $12 a month, but the monthly base price remains $39.

Solid benefits administration

Gusto offers health benefits administration on all three plans at no additional cost. It’s not at the PEO level that Paychex has available, but Gusto has licensed brokers to help you find medical, dental and vision plans within your budget. Your employees can enroll online with advisors ready to assist and answer questions about coverage, prescriptions, etc. Gusto handles payroll deductions automatically, too.

Employee access for life

Even with Gusto’s lowest-tier plan, employees have lifetime access to pay stubs and W-2s, as long as there’s an email address associated with the account. Plus, a self-onboarding feature allows new employees to enter their own personal information and bank details. W-2 employees can download a free app called Gusto Wallet. It has financial tools to assist them and an emergency cash feature called Gusto Cashout to access money between paydays.

Why you might want Paychex instead

HR and benefits expertise

Paychex has HR professionals who can be assigned to your business when you want the service level offered by a PEO. Services such as payroll processing, time and attendance, employee benefits administration, recruiting and hiring, workers’ compensation and more can be handled by these professionals. They’re also available to assist with employee relations, accommodations, terminations and other related issues.

Personalized support for setup and after

If you’re looking for personalized help, Paychex may be a better option. You can get dedicated onboarding help and assistance in setting up payroll. This includes a team that will help gather the necessary company information and employee data and then process the first payrolls. You’ll also be assigned a payroll specialist after onboarding. Customer support is available 24/7 by phone, chat or email.

Other payroll products to consider

QuickBooks Payroll

QuickBooks Payroll is an alternative to think about if you’re already using QuickBooks Online. It’s quick and easy to use QuickBooks to run payroll, and the software offers similar features to what’s available with Gusto and Paychex. Starting at $45 per month plus $4 per employee, QuickBooks Payroll could cost less than Gusto depending on the number of employees.

Square Payroll

Square Payroll is another affordable option for payroll services. It costs less than Gusto with a lower monthly base fee of $29 and $5 per employee. While it doesn’t have as many useful features, Square Payroll does offer the option of adding benefits for additional monthly fees, like Gusto.

How to Be a Frugal Traveler and Still Have Fun

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That first post-vaccine vacation is finally a possibility for many, but after more than a year without travel, the sticker shock is no joke. In general, travel prices are increasing to reflect higher demand. According to the U.S. Travel Association Travel Price Index for May 2021, airfare is up 24.1% and lodging prices are up 10% year over year.

Nothing will stamp out that after-travel sense of bliss like getting a credit card bill full of vacation splurges. With some creativity and advanced planning, your trip can be budget-friendly without feeling cheap.

Use credit card perks

Airline and hotel credit cards can provide valuable VIP treatments for those with good credit. Some offer free checked bags on flights, which can be worth around $60 each round trip you fly with the airline. Other cards offer discounts on in-flight food and beverage purchases, complimentary airport lounge access and hotel room upgrades that can enhance your trip at no extra cost. These cards usually come with an annual fee, but the value they offer can be worth the cost for many travelers.

Think outside the big brands

If you’re not loyal to a well-known hotel chain, co-branded credit cards aren’t as helpful. Instead, look for deals on rates at independent hotels. Becky Pokora, founder of the travel blog SightDoing, finds that independent hotels can be 20%-30% cheaper than equivalent chain brands.

“In past years, everybody kind of had to play on the same level to attract travelers, but this year there’s so much demand,” she says. “The obvious answers get booked up fast, leaving these independent places having to compete more.”

Save money on getting around

Ground transportation is increasingly expensive. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the consumer price index for car and truck rentals increased 109.8% from May 2020 to May 2021. Because of COVID-19, the number of drivers working for ride-sharing services is down, affecting availability and pricing. To save time and money, consider other ways to navigate your destination:

  • Walk and take public transit: If you’re able to walk longer distances and use public transit, you can save a lot on transportation costs. Unique transit options like ferries, cable cars and gondola lifts double as fun tourist experiences. In cities like New York and San Francisco, you can walk on world-famous bridges for free.

  • Stay close to the action: It can cost more to stay in the heart of a city, but a hotel in a far-flung location means you have to spend time and money getting into town every day. You may also need to rent a car to get into the city, which adds to the expense. It can be worth it to spend a bit more (or tap into travel credit card rewards that you’ve earned) to book a stay at a well-located hotel, or at least a hotel near public transit that can whisk you into the city quickly.

  • Be strategic when renting a car: There’s no need to book a rental car from the moment you arrive until the day you leave if it’s just going to sit in the hotel parking lot and rack up parking fees for half the trip. Arrange your travel itinerary so you can manage a few days without a car, then rent one for the part of the trip where you need to drive. A car rental location within the city may also be more cost-effective than renting a car at the airport. For example, at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport near Washington, D.C., fees, including a concession recovery fee and customer facility charge, drive up rental prices. At a rental car location in downtown D.C., the base price for a similar car is higher, but with fewer fees, you may end up spending less overall.

Save money on souvenirs

Bringing home souvenirs and gifts can get expensive, and your minimalist friends may not want another trinket that will just collect dust. This is where grocery stores come in handy. They’re great places to find local foods and snacks for a reasonable price (and consumable gifts don’t take up space for long).

Pokora offers a creative way to spend less: Instead of buying food and drink items for all your friends, buy a few things, then host a tasting when you get home. You’ll bring people together for a cost-effective shared experience.

This article was written by NerdWallet and was originally published by The Associated Press. 

Paycom’s HR and Payroll Competitors 2021

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Paycom offers combined payroll and human resources software that is well-suited for the needs of medium-sized businesses. But its drawbacks include a lack of direct integrations with accounting and other types of business software, only one software package and a user interface that online reviews say can be hard to navigate.

These competitors to Paycom address some of those shortcomings. Most of them do not offer pricing information, like Paycom, so you have to talk to a sales representative to get a quote. They also offer tax filing services, employee self-service portals, onboarding and other common payroll and HR features.

Rippling: Best overall competitor

Price: Quote-based, starting at $8 per person per month. 

  • Over 500 integrations, including with popular accounting software.

  • Ease of use.

  • Offers custom packages for your business.

  • Customizable reports.

  • Offers professional employer organization, or PEO, option.

  • Ability to pay employees and contractors located overseas.

  • Mixed reviews of customer support.

Why we like it: Rippling stands out because its software allows you to manage HR, payroll and IT for your business. But Rippling allows you to customize your plan, which means you don’t have to get everything it offers. The core plan includes employee management features, such as automatic onboarding and offboarding. Rippling also integrates with more than 500 business software providers and offers deep integrations with many, such as with accounting software Sage Intacct. To manage your benefits, Rippling lets you add an existing employee benefits broker or recommends one. It can also serve as a PEO for your business. One drawback noted on online review sites is that Rippling makes it hard to reach a human being for customer support.

Paylocity: Good for employee engagement

Price: Quote-based.

  • Offers uncommon employee benefit: access to earned wages before payday.

  • Social collaboration tool.

  • Employee recognition feature.

  • Only one plan.

  • No direct integrations with accounting software.

  • Not intuitive, according to online reviews.

  • Customer support can be slow, according to online reviews.

Why we like it: Paylocity stands apart for its employee engagement features, such as a tool for employees to connect called Community and a feature where employees can show each other appreciation for good work. However, its drawbacks make it similar to Paycom, such as one all-inclusive plan and no integration with popular accounting software. It does have integrations with other types of software for managing benefits, time and attendance and onboarding.

Namely: Good for customization

Price: Quote-based.

  • Interface is easy to use.

  • No direct integrations with accounting software.

  • Can be expensive.

Why we like it: Namely offers three pricing plans to scale with your business. Its mid-tier option, called HR Complete, includes payroll, benefits administration and time and attendance features. Online reviews call out its customizability: You can design several levels of user access and customize the look of your dashboard. Namely also shows a social media news feed of HR announcements. Although pricing information isn’t available on its site, online reviews say Namely can be more expensive than other companies.

Paycor: Good for scalability

Price: Payroll plans start at $99 per month for fewer than 40 employees; quote-based for businesses with 40 or more employees.

  • Transparent pricing.

  • No direct integration with popular accounting software.

  • Bad customer support reviews.

Why we like it: Paycor offers many levels of scalability: it has three payroll pricing plans for companies with fewer than 40 employees and customizable plans for those with 40 or more employees. It’s also the only one on this list that shares some pricing information on its website. A key drawback is Paycor’s customer support, which does not have good reviews on online websites.

ADP Workforce Now and Paychex Flex: Good for integration

ADP Workforce Now

Price: Quote-based.

  • Integrates with other types of business software.

  • Customizable reports.

  • Not intuitive.

  • Add-ons can be expensive.

Why we like it: ADP Workforce Now is ADP’s combined HR and payroll software for businesses with 50 or more employees. It has four plans to choose from, starting with Payroll Essentials, which does not include any HR features, to Performance Plus, which includes benefits administration and enhanced analytics reports. ADP Workforce Now is similar to Paycom in terms of features and online ratings, but like others on this list, it offers more flexibility in its custom plans and allows for direct integration with accounting software such as QuickBooks Online. Reviewers note that while its platform is easier to navigate than Paycom, it is still hard to understand.

Paychex Flex

Price: Quote-based.

  • Integrates with popular accounting software.

  • Offers in-house benefits and PEO option.

  • Setup can be time-consuming.

Why we like it: Paychex is a well-known brand in payroll and its Flex platform includes payroll and HR features. Paychex has two tiers of Flex: Select and Enterprise, which are geared toward companies with fewer than 49 employees and with 50 or more employees, respectively. (Paychex also has a lower payroll tier called Go, aimed at very small businesses.) Paychex Flex offers direct integrations with accounting software, unlike Paycom. Paychex Flex also has in-house benefits for retirement plans, health savings accounts and more. One drawback is that payroll setup can be time consuming, ranging from a few days to a few weeks.

QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop: Which Is Right for Your Business?

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Known as the industry standard for small-business accounting software, QuickBooks offers two core branches within its product suite — the cloud-based QuickBooks Online and the locally-hosted QuickBooks Desktop.

With four plans, robust features and a user-friendly interface, QuickBooks Online will be the ideal choice for most small businesses. QuickBooks Desktop, on the other hand, is best for businesses that prefer a desktop solution, or those that need its advanced inventory tracking, job costing or reporting tools.

Here’s a breakdown of QuickBooks Online versus QuickBooks Desktop, including how they compare on accounting software features.

Nerdy tip: Although the phrase “QuickBooks Desktop” is sometimes used synonymously with QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks offers three different products under the Desktop umbrella: Pro, Premier and Enterprise.

QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop comparison

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Desktop

  • Simple Start: $25 per month.

  • Essentials: $50 per month.

  • Plus: $80 per month.

  • Advanced: $180 per month.

  • Pro: Starts at $399.99 for one license (valid for 3 years).

  • Premier: Starts at $649.99 for one license (valid for 3 years).

  • Enterprise: Starts at $1,275 per year for one license.

Maximum number of users

Up to 25 users and 3 accounting firms with Advanced plan.

Up to 40 users with QuickBooks Enterprise.

Maximum number of financial accounts

250 accounts for Simple Start, Essentials and Plus; unlimited for Advanced.

10,000 accounts for Pro and Premier; 100,000 for Enterprise.

Accessibility

Cloud-based; mobile apps available for iOS and Android.

Locally hosted on PC.* Enterprise offers the option to purchase remote access add-on for associated costs.

Sharing with accountants

Excellent. You can invite your accountant via email at no additional cost. Your accountant will have access to your account and all its features from any device that has an internet connection.

Fair. You can work with an accountant at no additional cost. Unless you have the remote access add-on, however, you cannot work with your accountant in real-time. Instead, you must create an “Accountant’s Copy” of your file, send it to your accountant to work on and then later import the changes into your file.

Scalability

Excellent. You can easily upgrade to any of the QuickBooks Online plans as your business grows. You also can add on other Intuit products like QuickBooks Time or QuickBooks Point of Sale to expand your functionality.

Good. You can upgrade to any of the versions of QuickBooks Desktop as your needs change. To upgrade, however, you will have to convert your data from one software solution to another — which can be a complex process.

Ease of use

Excellent with an 8.4 usability rating from TrustRadius.

Excellent with an average 8.8 usability rating across the three Desktop products from TrustRadius.

How are QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop different?

Accessibility

QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based software that can be accessed anywhere you have an internet connection. This software includes access to all product and feature updates, automatic data backups, as well as the ability to restore company data from backups.

Additionally, because QuickBooks Online is web-based, you can automatically download bank transactions and work with your accountant in real-time. You also can download the QuickBooks mobile app for free to manage your account on the go.

With QuickBooks Desktop, on the other hand, you have to download the software to your computer and can use it on that computer only. To use QuickBooks Desktop on multiple computers, you have to purchase additional licenses.

A standard QuickBooks Desktop license is valid for three years, during which time you can download bank transactions and receive product updates. After your license expires, however, you will have to purchase a new one to continue to use these features.

QuickBooks Pro and Premier don’t include automatic data backup and recovery, remote access via hosting or mobile receipt management. To use these features, you’ll need to purchase Pro Plus or Premier Plus with an annual subscription and/or pay additional fees.

For QuickBooks Enterprise, you receive mobile receipt management with the subscription, however, other web-enabled features — data backups, automatic upgrades, remote access — require additional fees.

Pricing

QuickBooks Online is available in four different plans and each plan is priced as a monthly subscription. QuickBooks Online doesn’t require a contract and you can cancel the account at any time.

Each plan option includes a list of features — the more features you need, the more expensive the plan. All plans, however, give you access to receipt capture with the QuickBooks mobile app, integration with third-party tools through the QuickBooks app marketplace and customer support by phone or live chat.

You can sign up for QuickBooks Online quickly and easily from the Intuit website — and start setting up your account immediately.

The pricing for QuickBooks Desktop is more complex. First, the pricing varies based on the version of QuickBooks Desktop — Pro, Premier or Enterprise. Pro and Premier are available as one-time purchases, with the price based on the number of user accounts.

For example, QuickBooks Pro costs:

  • $399.99 for one license.

  • $649.99 for two users.

  • $899.99 for three users.

In addition to the standard versions, Pro and Premier are also available as Pro Plus and Premier Plus, which require an annual subscription. These are still priced based on the number of users, however, they also include data backups and upgrades, as well as the option to add-on remote access via hosting (for fees).

QuickBooks Enterprise, on the other hand, is available in multiple plan options — Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond — with local-only and remote access versions. All Enterprise plans require an annual subscription, but are still priced based on the number of users.

Although some versions of QuickBooks Desktop can be more affordable compared with QuickBooks Online — a one-time purchase of a single license of QuickBooks Pro, for example, is cheaper than one year of the Plus plan — Desktop lacks the accessibility of QuickBooks Online, and quickly grows in price if you need multiple users (or want to add that accessibility).

Mileage tracking

Automatic mileage tracking is included with all versions of QuickBooks Online, but isn’t offered with any versions of QuickBooks Desktop. With QuickBooks Online, you can use your smartphone’s GPS to track mileage and transfer the trip to your QuickBooks account.

Then, you can categorize trips as “business” or “personal” to help maximize your tax deductions. You also can add trips to your account manually, as well as run mileage reports and share them with your accountant. Mileage tracking is included in all versions of QuickBooks Self-Employed as well.

QuickBooks Desktop allows you to add mileage manually to your account, or integrate with a third-party service for mileage tracking — this software doesn’t, however, offer automatic tracking within its system.

Inventory management

Both QuickBooks Online Plus and Advanced include inventory tracking, however, QuickBooks Desktop can offer more in-depth tools — especially with Premier and Enterprise. QuickBooks Online Plus and Advanced and QuickBooks Desktop Pro have many of the same inventory features:

  • Track stock levels and receive notifications when inventory is low.

  • Create purchase orders and convert them into bills.

  • Generate inventory reports to identify top selling items, total sales and taxes.

With QuickBooks Premier and QuickBooks Enterprise, however, you have access to industry-specific inventory capabilities that are designed for businesses like manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers.

These versions of QuickBooks Desktop allow you to create sales orders and track items promised to customers, change and control price levels based on the customer and track inventory reorder points by vendor.

If you opt for QuickBooks Enterprise with Advanced Inventory (available with the Platinum and Diamond plans), you’ll receive detailed warehouse management tools, automated order management functionality, as well as barcode scanning and cost tracking.

Job costing

Similar to inventory management, the job costing features available in QuickBooks Desktop are more detailed compared with QuickBooks Online.

QuickBooks Online offers job costing and project profitability with its Plus and Advanced plans, including the ability to track labor costs, payroll and expenses. You also can assess costs using a tracking calculator or view profitability through project dashboards.

With QuickBooks Desktop, you can get more granular. QuickBooks Pro Plus allows you to create rule-based customer groups to better manage customers and QuickBooks Premier allows you to track profitability by product or by project and client.

Premier also gives you the ability to enter job changes within an estimate and track the impact on your bottom line. With Enterprise, you have additional job costing features designed specifically for construction businesses and contractors, as well as professional service companies.

If you’re managing a smaller operation, the job costing features within QuickBooks Online, or QuickBooks Pro will likely suffice. For industry-specific tools for larger businesses, however, QuickBooks Premier or QuickBooks Enterprise have more to offer.

Ease of use

QuickBooks Online and all three versions of QuickBooks Desktop have excellent ratings for usability on TrustRadius.

In general, the popularity of QuickBooks means there are a variety of helpful resources and community forums available online to guide you through setting up your account and navigating the software — whichever version you may choose. Additionally, QuickBooks has a wide network of ProAdvisors, accountants who are certified in the software, who you can work with for professional assistance.

If you’re unfamiliar with the basics of accounting, or accounting software overall, however, it’s likely going to be more difficult to get started with QuickBooks Desktop — especially Premier or Enterprise — compared with QuickBooks Online.

With these versions of QuickBooks Desktop, you’re getting a more powerful and detailed software, but a less approachable one if you’re new to accounting.

A closer look at QuickBooks Online vs. QuickBooks Desktop

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Desktop

Simple Start

Essentials

Enterprise

Up to three users.

Up to five users.

Up to 25 users.

Up to three users.

Up to five users.

Up to 40 users.

Mileage tracking

Must be input manually.

Must be input manually.

Must be input manually.

Mobile app

Receipt management app only available for Pro Plus.

Receipt management app only available for Premier Plus.

Receipt management app included with subscription.

Time tracking

Bill management and accounts payable

Inventory tracking

Advanced inventory.

Project profitability

Job costing

Sales orders

Forecasting

Industry-specific features

Premium customer support

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