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 earlier 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 am biased, of course, based on my practice and experience but I think 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 sole proprietors who 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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