How to Create and Set Up a New Company in QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop
Since the advent of QuickBooks Online in 2000, business owners have had questions about the differences between QuickBooks Online (QBO) and QuickBooks Desktop (QBD). At the end of the day, they accomplish the same goal: ensuring the accuracy, timeliness, and efficiency of your business’s accounting processes.
But there are differences between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop that all business owners and accounting professionals should be aware of.
Many of these differences are pretty self-explanatory. For example, QuickBooks Desktop cannot sync data between one computer and another, so it should be used on permanent office-based computers. A QuickBooks Online account can be accessed on any computer that has an internet connection, so it should be used for more mobile employee work or personal laptops. Additionally, QBD requires purchase up-front, which is a one-time fee upon installation, whereas QBO allows for a free 30-day trial before switching to a monthly subscription fee.
But there are also differences in the way the user operates each software. From transactions to downloading bank statements, the way one uses QuickBooks may differ between the online version and the desktop version.
One key difference in the operation of these two software’s is the method by which one creates and sets up a new company within each software. Today, we’ll cover the basics on setting up new companies on both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop.
How to Create and Set Up a Company in QuickBooks Online
Setting up a new company in QuickBooks Online is fairly straightforward. Keep in mind, however, that every additional company you set will require another paid subscription.
First, go to the QuickBooks Pricing page, located here. Select the plan you’d like for the new company. Typically, this will bring you to a page asking you to confirm whether or not a given account is the one you’d like to sign into. Sometimes, if you are using a different computer than normal or if its been a while since you have signed into Quickbooks, you’ll see the default page, which prompts you to create an entirely new QuickBooks account. Fear not, as there is a way around this. Towards the bottom of the prompt box, you’ll see text that says “Adding a company to an existing account?”. Just follow the sign-in link next to that text and log in as normal.
After signing in, just fill out the information in the wizard and your new company will be added to your QuickBooks account!
QuickBooks Online makes it pretty easy to manage multiple companies under one account. The key benefit to using QuickBooks Online is the sheer amount of mobility one has with their information. You can log off from a session on your computer in the office and pick it back up from your laptop at home. This is extremely powerful and makes QuickBooks usable from anywhere with an internet connection. It’s no surprise that QuickBooks Online is the more popular version of QuickBooks.
Some users, however, still prefer QuickBooks Desktop.
How to Create and Set Up a Company in QuickBooks Desktop
Adding a company to your QuickBooks Desktop application has one distinct advantage compared to adding one to QuickBooks Online: price. Whereas, with QBO, you must pay an additional subscription fee for each new company, QuickBooks Desktop is paid for only one time, on a per-installation basis. As such, you can add a new company to your QuickBooks Desktop software for noo additional cost.
It is, however, a little less straightforward to create a new company with Desktop. First, you’ll need to create a new company file. To do this, first open up your QuickBooks Desktop software. You’ll see a window titled “No Company Open”. In that window, you’ll see a button labeled “Create a New Company”. Select this, and you will be presented with two options: Express Start and Detailed Start.
Which one you use will depend on your specific needs. As a general guide, Express Start only requires your company’s name, business type, and industry. Detailed Start will require more information.
Use Express Start for fast company creation to get working quickly. Use Detailed Start if you have some time to spare and want to get all the information entry out of the way from the very start.
After completing these steps, you can add information like services, products, and customers, and go on to work with the company as you would any other.
Things to Note with New Companies
QuickBooks makes managing multiple company’s finances very simple. You can switch between companies quickly to make any interfacing as fast as possible. But there are a few things to note when it comes to setting up new companies on either QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop. Let’s dig into those now.
First, when you create a new company with QBO, you can copy lists from an old company over to the one you just created. Things like vendors, inventory, and customers can easily be copied into the new company, which makes any migration of data a breeze. Keep in mind, however, that any changes you make to a list in either the old or the new company will not automatically be reflected in the other company’s data. In other words, you must manually update each company to keep them identical, if that is your goal.
Second, if you’re trying to migrate lists from an old company in QBD to a new company in QBO, you’ll need to do so within 60 days of the creation of the QBO company. After that, you’ll need to wipe the new company to a clean slate before migrating.
Third, when you create a new company in QuickBooks Online, your users will not be able to access it until you add them to that particular company and pay any required fees.
By using the instructions above and keeping in mind a few quirks, you’re sure to have your new company set up in no time! Whether you use QBO, QBD, or both, keeping the books straight for a new company is easier than ever.