QuickBooks Desktop vs. QuickBooks Online, Users and Revenue, Part 1 of many

Filed in Accounting, Business, Intuit QuickBooks, QuickBooks Online by on January 22, 2018
Professional accountants have long debated using QuickBooks Desktop vs. QuickBooks Online. Here are Users and Revenue

I will soon show you the most authoritative INSIDER way to decide between QuickBooks Desktop vs. QuickBooks Online, but Users and Revenue, from official quarterly Intuit Fact Sheets below, conclusively show Intuit’s direction to date.

There were 1,201 thousand QuickBooks Desktop users in October 2017 (Q1 FY 2018). There were once 4.8 million (4,800 thousand) QuickBooks Desktop users. They dropped sharply from their peak and dropped from 1,450 to 1,237 thousand from Intuit fiscal July 2014 to 2017. They then lost around 36 thousand more in the next (October) quarter. QuickBooks Online users grew at around 50% a year, from 683 to 2,373 thousand, from fiscal 2014 to 2017. There were 2,552 thousand QuickBooks Online users in October 2017, so there were probably more than 3 million by mid-January 2018. I will update this quarterly, but remember, this is where you first learned that QuickBooks Online had more than 3 million users.

Some QuickBooks Desktop supporters point to the extra revenue Intuit gets from QuickBooks Desktop vs. QuickBooks Online. True, but the dropped from $936 million to $537 million, from fiscal 2014 to 2017.  Only price increases, exceeding inflation, slowed the dollar loss from many less QuickBooks Desktop users.

Fiscal QuickBooks Desktop QuickBooks Over
Year Sold Subscribe Total Online (Short)
Users – thousands
2014 1,124 326 1,450 683 -767
2015 882 318 1,200 1,075 -125
2016 956 326 1,282 1,573 291
2017 881 356 1,237 2,383 1,146
Q1
2015 149 321 470 739 269
2016 238 316 554 1,257 703
2017 183 332 515 2,383 1,638
2018 120 359 479 2,552 2,073
Revenue (millions)
Desktop Less supplies, Desktop QuickBooks Desktop
Total acccounting, advisors* Net Online Over
2014 1,675 324 1,351 415 936
2015 1,500 296 1,204 527 677
2016 1,564 296 1,268 657 611
2017 1,686 296 1,390 853 537
FY18 Q1
2015 382 75 307 119 188
2016 378 68 310 152 158
2017 402 68 334 151 183
2018 436 68 368 258 110
* Estimate FY 2016-17, Q1 17-18

Data extracted from Intuit Fact Sheet 2015 and Intuit Fact Sheet 2017, QuickBooks Online users in October .

Intuit still gets a very substantial revenue from QuickBooks Desktop users. However, I doubt it will add each of the many extra QuickBooks Online features (see later posts) to QuickBooks Desktop. I also will soon discuss what Intuit and others now have said about QuickBooks Desktop vs QuickBooks Online and the many compelling reasons why most computer programs will go online. Therefore, QuickBooks Online should gradually get many more QuickBooks Desktop features, with quite a few in a new Advanced version, until Desktop disappears.

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