Is QuickBooks Desktop being phased out?

March 28th, 2024 6 minute read
This is Laura Timberg.

Laura Timberg


March 28th, 2024 6 minute read
Is QuickBooks discontinuing desktop version?

You’ve probably already heard that QuickBooks Desktop wants to take a break. And we all know what that means — a breakup is inevitable. From here on, you have two choices: curl up on your couch, dive into a tub of ice cream, and binge on Sandra Bullock movies. Or find yourself a rebound, get back on that QuickBooks horse and ride off into the sunset with QuickBooks Online. 

Is QuickBooks discontinuing Desktop version? 

Many users have been wondering if QuickBooks Desktop is going away forever.  

The short answer: no.  

The long answer: Intuit are sunsetting some versions of QuickBooks Desktop (QBD), and it might be possible for some users to keep accessing it —though it is not recommended.

From May 31st, 2023, Intuit will stop supporting these QuickBooks Desktop 2020 versions: 

  • QuickBooks Desktop Pro 2020 
  • QuickBooks Desktop Premier 2020 
  • QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 20 
  • QuickBooks Premier Accountant Edition 2020 
  • QuickBooks Enterprise Accountant 20.0 

That means you will lose all add-ons, including the popular Payroll Service, and there will be no more updates or critical fixes.  

Intuit has stated that QuickBooks Desktop is being phased out gradually, and they eventually want to move entirely to QuickBooks Online (QBO). It’s easier to maintain one web-based platform that all users can utilize instead of building different products to fit specific requirements. 

Important: Another aspect to keep in mind is that QuickBooks Desktop will be discontinued for the UK as of June 30th, 2023. This is caused by the changes in tax and accounting regulations, which will continue to change in the future.

Can you still buy a desktop version of QuickBooks? 

The recent news of QBD 2020 losing support has left users questioning — will there be a QuickBooks Desktop 2023? The good news is yes — QuickBooks Desktop Premier Plus 2023 was released in September 2022. There are changes in the subscription policy and prices, but the main thing is that there is a new version available, and for those who still don’t want to move to the Online software, QBD 2023 is an option.  

There are also those who have been curious whether there is a QuickBooks Desktop 2022. QBD 2022 was indeed released in September 2021, introducing subscription-only pricing. If you’re on a budget and don’t necessarily need all the new features that QBD 2023 offers, then the 2022 version is an alternative.  

In comparison, QBO yearly plans start from $180, whereas QBD yearly prices start from $549. Taking into account also the extra features that the Online version offers, it’s safe to say that Intuit really wants you to move over to QBO sooner rather than later.  

How to move over to QuickBooks Online? 

Once you’ve weighed the pros and cons and decided that QBO is a better fit for your business, there are just a few simple steps to convert to QuickBooks Online.

  • Export the data 
  • Plan the migration 
  • Choose a payment plan 

Export the data 

While QBD and QBO are compatible and should be able to sync all the data accordingly, some features or reports are unavailable either in QBO or the plan you select. Payroll, Online Banking, and Merchant Services are just a few examples of what you will lose. 

Plan the migration 

Moving your data from one place to the other may take some time, and both platforms will be unavailable at that time. It’s highly recommended to plan the migration for an evening or a slower time when it won’t disrupt your work too much.  

Choose a payment plan 

Perhaps the most essential thing to consider is which subscription plan works for you. Depending on your business needs and the types of documents you handle, select the plan that will benefit you the most and has all the features you need daily.  

Of course, there’s also the budget element and figuring out which plan is the most affordable. However, if you opt for the cheapest package, you might have to replace the features you cut out and eventually end up paying more than you initially were afraid to.  

An accountant looking into finances

If you’re struggling to move your data from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online or are looking for the easiest way to do it, the “QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online Conversion” tool is a very common method used by other users.  

These are the general steps to migrate your data: 

  1. Backup your QuickBooks Desktop company file 
  2. Sign in to QuickBooks Online and go to Settings (gear icon) 
  3. Select “Import data”  
  4. Select “From QuickBooks Desktop”  
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to convert your company file and import it into QuickBooks Online

Note that this process converts the data, not the customizations, like reports, forms, and memorized transactions. So, go over your files just in case and double-check your settings.  

For more detailed instructions or in case of issues, seek advice from Intuit via the website or their support team.

The fear of transitioning over to QBO is real!

Moving to QBO and worried about missing manufacturing features? Watch Katana and Intuit's joint webinar that covers the transition, why you should do it, and how Katana bridges the gaps for manufacturers.

What if QuickBooks Online doesn’t meet all my needs?

QuickBooks Desktop offers many features and add-ons that manufacturers use to bridge the gap between accounting and manufacturing systems. For example, QBD has inventory management and barcode scanning, or you could install the QuickBooks Time add-on for production scheduling and time tracking.

On QBO you either lose these features or have to buy additional plans like QuickBooks Payroll, which starts from $37/month. Now that add-ons will no longer be supported for QBD 2020, users will have to find an alternative to tie manufacturing management and accounting together.

Luckily, there is another solution — Katana. Katana is a cloud manufacturing platform that manufacturers use to take control of many business processes like production scheduling, inventory management, and manufacturing operations.

Katana also has a native integration with QuickBooks Online, which means you can take care of accounting as well as everything else a manufacturing business has to deal with.

Katana also offers other integrations to handle all your business needs.

  • Sales — Katana has native integrations with e-commerce tools such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce to automate your sales and sync payments.
  • Shipping — Send and track deliveries with shipping partners like 2Ship, Outvio, ShippyPro, and Shiptheory.
  • Customer Relations — Manage your customers and prospects with tools like Pipedrive, HubSpot, Prospect CRM, and Salesforce.
  • Other essential tools — Feel free to create a custom workflow using Katana’s open API to build in any desired features.

QuickBooks Desktop 2020 versions may be moving on with their lives, so it’s time you do the same. When one door closes, another one opens. There are plenty more fish in the sea. Things happen for a reason. Regardless of how many clichés we add here, remember: this change may have left you feeling down, but Katana + QBO are here to lift you back up again.

This is Laura Timberg.

Laura Timberg


Laura is a Copywriter who loves to find the fun and beauty in every topic she writes about.

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