My small church is looking to purchase a payroll/accounting software and we noticed the Intuit software is being offered if an organization qualifies for $75 Admin fee w/1 year subscription. Is the subscription renewed with the annual admin fee renewal?

Hi, Aroberson!

Thanks for your message. The QBO products are subscription products that are annually renewed, that admin fee will be paid each year. The QBs desktop products are one-time costs, that do not need to be renewed.

Hope this helps!
Baily Maples, Senior Program Manager, TechSoup

Please clarify if he QB desktop one-time fee gives us the same functionalities as the QBO $75 annual fee (with subscription included with the annual fee).

Thank you

Hi Aroberson,

The desktop version is a one-time fee. The QBO and QBs desktop products are different in their interface, so you may want to look into that to see which may work best for you. For longtime QuickBooks users, desktop seems to be a preference because of the reporting features. QBO seems to be better for brand new QBs users, as it is more user friendly, and a bit more simplified in it’s design. The core features are the same, but it seems as though folks still feel the desktop version is more robust for more complicated needs.

Here is a blog post that may help.

Hope this helps!
Baily Maples, Senior Program Manager, TechSoup

Hi Bailey,

QBO is an annual fee/subscription of $75 and QB Desktop version is a one time fee with a subscription renewal direct with Intuit?

Hi Aroberson,

QBO is an annual subscription fee starting at $75, and that is paid to TechSoup annually. QBs desktop starts at $60, and the Mac starts at $50. The desktop fee is paid once directly to TechSoup. There are no secondary fees to Intuit unless you pay for add ons, like their Payroll product.

Hope this helps!
-Baily Maples, Senior Program Manager, TechSoup

Completely agree- QB desktop has much better report writing functions, and ability to make it ‘pixel perfect’.

It’s really hard to have the same design tools (even for a company as large as Intuit) in an all Web application where the end user could literally have one of a dozen+ different web browsers (and expect it to work on all of them!)

And it’s true- for new users to accounting, the web version is easier and you can do about 85% of what the desktop version does. But if your users are used to the desktop version… get the desktop version… (for the same reason I always use the desktop version of Intuit’s Turbo Tax… I am so used to it year after year, it really makes filing taxes (even complicated taxes by nonprofits or trusts) easier, at least for me.



Thank you for your great insights on the comparison of the QB desktop and QBO.

Can you access your file in the online platform or is it saved in the desktop?

I think I’m answering my own question.

Yes you can, but you can’t use it “off line”. So you always need access to the internet.

Good online softwares will always allow you to download a ‘static’ version of your data, primarily for back up reasons but also in case you really, really need access locally and you have no Internet (a perfect example is an airplane with no Wifi… But is it really that critical?)


Ps- the other reason to periodically download data is if the online provider’s own backup systems fail… It has happened before.