QuickBooks Self-Employed vs QuickBooks Online Premier

Intuit QuickBooks is the leading small business accounting software. There are many versions of the product available and even more previously available versions still in use. I support only two versions: QuickBooks Self-Employed and QuickBooks Online Premier and I recommend that most businesses move to one of these two versions.

Both cost $5 per month as the basic wholesale price through a ProAdvisor (additional services are extra). Both offer a mobile phone app, connect to a bank account and export to tax software. In short, both are exceptional products with great support. I’m based, of course, but it makes sense to connect either version with a ProAdvisor’s account that opens the door to even more services and support if needed.

The Self-Employed version is for proprietorships that report taxes on a Schedule C. The QuickBooks Online is for any type of entity including for-profit,  nonprofit entity or trust.

Features only in QuickBooks Self-Employed

  • Track miles automatically with phone GPS
  • Calculates home office deduction

Features only in QuickBooks Online

  • Send estimates
  • Track sales tax
  • Manage bills
  • Allows multiple users
  • Track time
  • Track inventory
  • Track 1099 payments
  • Payroll (extra fee option)
  • Check printing
  • Accepts direct online payment of invoices
  • Accounts receivable tracking
  • Allows multiple “classes” of transactions
  • Multiple users
  • Allows accrual based accounting


From an initial setup perspective, the QuickBooks Online product offers more flexibility in importing past data from various formats. QuickBooks Self-Employed is best started manually as a “fresh start”.

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