Hey Jen, many small business owners like you are contemplating whether or not they should switch from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online since Intuit is committed to moving away from desktop sometime in the near future. You asked a great question regarding what are you losing by switching from desktop to online. That is a difficult question for me to answer because I don’t know anything about your business and what you currently use QuickBooks for. However, I recommend that you check out the article I wrote on QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop. In this article, I highlight the similarities and differences between the two products. Based on that info, you should be able to determine whether or not QBO will work for your business. Here is the link to the article:http://fitsmallbusiness.com/quickbooks-online-vs-desktop/.
If you do decide to move forward with converting to QBO, there is no need for you to transfer all 12 years of your data to QBO. In fact, I would not recommend transferring more than the last year or two. The primary reason is that it is not necessary and can be more of a headache than it’s worth. If you have already filed your tax returns for prior years, then just be sure to keep a copy of your QB desktop file in a place where you can easily access it.
If you sign up for the 30 day free trial and then decide that you don’t want to continue with QBO, you have access to your data for 90 days. You can always transfer it back to desktop as well.
Intuit has made a ton of improvements in the last few years. 5 years ago I would not have recommended QBO to a client and today I do. In addition, I use it to manage my own bookkeeping.
Once last thing I will leave you with is check out our free QuickBooks Course. You can sign up for a free QuickBooks trial and you can watch the video tutorials we have created to show you how to setup QuickBooks. During your trial, use QBO and your Desktop product side by side to see if there is anything you would miss before you actually pull the plug on Desktop.
Here is the link to our QuickBooks Course: http://fitsmallbusiness.com/free-quickbooks-online-tutorials/.
Feel free to reach out if you have any additional questions.
All the Best-