QuickBooks Online vs QuickBooks Self Employed?

In today's digital world, there are numerous accounting software available for small business owners. Two of the most popular ones are QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Self-Employed. Both are products of Intuit and are specifically designed to meet the accounting needs of small businesses. In this article, we will be comparing QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Self-Employed, to help you decide which one is the best for your business.


QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Self-Employed are distinct versions of the popular accounting software developed by Intuit. The primary difference between the two programs is that QuickBooks Self-Employed is specifically designed for independent contractors, while Simple Start is geared towards small businesses.

If you are an independent contractor and need to keep your business and personal expenses separate, then QuickBooks Self-Employed would be a suitable choice for you. However, if you have a small business with employees, vendors, and inventory to manage, then QuickBooks Online Plus, Essentials or Simple Start would be more appropriate.

To compare the features and functionalities of these different versions, Intuit provides a useful chart. This chart allows users to quickly and easily compare the various versions of QuickBooks, so they can select the one that is best suited for their business needs.

What's the difference between QuickBooks Online and Self-Employed?

QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Self-Employed are both Intuit products, but they serve different purposes. QuickBooks Online is a more comprehensive accounting software that is designed for small businesses that have employees, vendors, and inventory. On the other hand, QuickBooks Self-Employed is designed for self-employed individuals who have a single business and do not have employees or inventory.

One of the main differences between the two is that QuickBooks Online offers features like invoicing, expense tracking, and inventory management, while QuickBooks Self-Employed focuses on income and expense tracking, mileage tracking, and tax deductions. QuickBooks Online also offers more advanced reporting and analytics, as well as integrations with other software and apps, whereas QuickBooks Self-Employed is a more streamlined and simple option.

Can I use QuickBooks Online for Self-Employed?

Yes, you can use QuickBooks Online for self-employed purposes. QuickBooks Online has a "self-employed" version that is specifically designed for individuals who are self-employed. The self-employed version has a simpler interface that allows you to track your income and expenses, create invoices, and manage your tax deductions.

Is QuickBooks Online being phased out?

No, QuickBooks Online is not being phased out. QuickBooks Online is a popular accounting software that has a large user base and Intuit is continuously improving the software with new features and integrations. QuickBooks Online is a reliable and efficient accounting solution that can help small business owners manage their finances.

What are the disadvantages of QuickBooks Online?

QuickBooks Online has several advantages, but it also has some disadvantages. One of the main drawbacks of QuickBooks Online is that it can be more expensive than other accounting software options. Additionally, QuickBooks Online can be complicated to set up and use, especially for users who are not familiar with accounting. The software also requires a stable internet connection, which can be an issue in areas with poor connectivity.

What are the cons of QuickBooks Self-Employed?

QuickBooks Self-Employed is a great option for individuals who are self-employed, but it does have some drawbacks. One of the main limitations of QuickBooks Self-Employed is that it is not designed for businesses with employees or inventory. Additionally, QuickBooks Self-Employed lacks some of the advanced features that are available in QuickBooks Online, such as inventory management and project tracking.

Do I need an accountant if I use QuickBooks?

No, you do not necessarily need an accountant if you use QuickBooks. QuickBooks is designed to be user-friendly and easy to use, even for individuals who do not have an accounting background. However, having an accountant or bookkeeper can help you make the most of the software and ensure that your finances are managed properly. An accountant can help you set up your accounts, manage your finances, and provide financial advice to help you make informed business decisions.


Choosing the right accounting software is crucial for the success of your business. QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Self-Employed are both excellent options for small business owners, but they serve different purposes. QuickBooks Online is ideal for businesses with employees and inventory, while QuickBooks Self-Employed is designed for self-employed individuals. By considering the advantages and disadvantages of each software, you can choose the one that best meets their business needs. QuickBooks Online offers more advanced features and integrations, while QuickBooks Self-Employed is a simpler and more affordable option. It is important to evaluate your business needs and budget before deciding which software to use. Regardless of which software you choose, both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Self-Employed can help you manage your finances and simplify your accounting processes.

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