QuickBooks Desktop Pro Plus vs. Premier Plus 2022

QuickBooks Premier Plus has a robust set of features for specific industries, but the Pro Plus plan is more affordable.
Mar 15, 2022

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QuickBooks Desktop Pro Plus and Premier Plus are both powerful accounting software solutions that you purchase annually and install locally. Premier Plus has industry-specific features that make it the overall winner, but Pro Plus is the better deal if you don’t need that level of specialization.

Deciding factors

QuickBooks Pro Plus

QuickBooks Premier Plus

Price

$349.99 per year for one user. Annual subscription prices rise as you add on more users.

$549.99 per year for one user. Annual subscription prices rise as you add on more users.

Better for

Businesses that don’t need industry-specific features and prefer desktop software over cloud-based software.

Businesses that would significantly benefit from industry-specific features or forecasting tools.

Maximum number of users

3.

5.

Ease of sharing with accountants

Average. Users can create and share an Accountant’s Copy. After the accountant makes their changes, the user must import the file.

Average. Users can create and share an Accountant’s Copy. After the accountant makes their changes, the user must import the file.

Scalability 

Good. Users can upgrade to Premier Plus for industry-specific features or Enterprise to access more than 200 reports, advanced inventory and the ability to add up to 40 users.

Good. Users can upgrade to Enterprise to access more than 200 reports, advanced inventory and the ability to add up to 40 users.

Ease of use

Good. Users need basic accounting knowledge to get the most out of the product.

Good. Users need basic accounting knowledge to get the most out of the product.

Why QuickBooks Desktop Premier Plus wins

Premier Plus’s level of specialization is hard to compete with, especially if you’re part of one of the following industries it’s built for:

  • General contracting.

  • Retail.

  • Manufacturing and wholesale.

  • Nonprofit.

  • Professional services.

Here’s where the product pulls ahead.

Reporting

Premier Plus gives you access to over 150 reports, compared to more than 100 with Pro Plus. Although both solutions include automatic reporting for profit and loss statements, expenses and balance sheets, Premier Plus offers industry-specific reports, such as the following:

  • Donor contributions.

  • Sales summaries.

  • Job costing evaluations.

  • Profitability by product.

Job costing and project profitability

Premier Plus includes job costing and project profitability features that exceed what Pro Plus offers. Again, many of these capabilities are designed to accommodate the needs of businesses within individual industries.

With QuickBooks Premier, you can:

  • Track profitability either by product or by project and client.

  • Organize job costs by vendor and identify which vendors need to be paid.

  • Enter job changes within an estimate and track how they affect your bottom line.

  • Bill clients progressively by job phase.

Forecasting

Forecasting helps businesses predict their future cash flow so they can make informed financial decisions and develop smarter business strategies. Unlike Pro Plus, Premier Plus gives you the option to create a forecast from scratch or use information from previous years. You can customize your forecast by customer job, class and other specifications, as well as track and view its progress in dollars and percentages.

User access

Premier Plus can accommodate up to five users, while Pro Plus can only accommodate three or less. However, both allow far fewer users than some of their cloud-based competitors. For example, Xero lets you add an unlimited number of user accounts with all plans.

The price of Pro Plus and Premier Plus also increases with each additional user. Pro Plus costs $349.99 per year for one user and increases to $749.99 per year for three users. In comparison, Premier Plus costs $549.99 per year for one user and $1,149.99 per year for three users (maxing out at $1,749.99 per year for five users).

When to choose QuickBooks Desktop Pro Plus instead

Pricing

For businesses that might not need industry-specific reports and more than three users, Pro Plus is significantly less expensive and worth trying. And, users can always upgrade to Premier Plus from within the software later. According to QuickBooks, the transition only takes a few minutes.

Alternatives

Compared to cloud-based competitors, Pro Plus and Premier Plus are less mobile, more difficult to share with accountants or other business partners and not as user-friendly — especially for those without prior accounting knowledge.

Here are some popular cloud-based options.

QuickBooks Online

Pricing: $25 per month and up.

Pros: If you want to stick with a solution in the QuickBooks suite of products, QuickBooks Online is often considered the industry standard for small-business accounting software. QuickBooks Online offers four different plans — each of which includes access to QuickBooks mobile apps, customer support and third-party app integrations — among a range of core accounting features.

Cons: While QuickBooks Online includes strong reporting capabilities, it doesn’t have as many industry-specific tools as Premier Plus. Additionally, inventory tracking is only included with the Plus and Advanced plans, which cost $80 per month and $180 per month, respectively.

Xero

Pricing: $12 per month and up.

Pros: A close competitor to QuickBooks Online, Xero is another cloud-based alternative that offers robust accounting and bookkeeping features. It has three plan options and lower price points than QuickBooks Online.

All plan options include unlimited users, inventory management and reporting. The product is easy to use, has an intuitive setup and design and offers 24/7 online customer support.

Cons: With Xero’s Early plan, you can only send or approve 20 invoices and enter five bills. Additionally, the product includes certain features — time tracking, expense claims and project profitability tracking — only in its top-tier Established plan, which costs $65 per month.

While it may not be difficult to find an accounting or bookkeeping professional who is familiar with Xero, it's not as commonly used as QuickBooks.