QuickBooks Desktop transitions to QuickBooks Online

By: Saundra Uy, CPA, CVA, CGMA

You may have received an email notifying you that your QuickBooks Desktop 2021 software will be discontinued on May 31, 2024. This notification is accurate but misleading and there are some important exceptions to consider. Recognizing the potential confusion surrounding this software transition, we are committed to clarifying any uncertainties. By conducting thorough research and engaging in conversation, our aim is to offer a comprehensive understanding to all those receiving this email notification from QuickBooks who may be impacted so that you can make an informed decision.

First, we must explain the services that will be discontinued from QuickBooks Desktop 2021. Please understand that at this time, it applies to the 2021 version only. If you are using QuickBooks Desktop version 2022, 2023, or 2024, then you do not need to be concerned with the following discussion.

Discontinued Services:

  • Desktop Payroll, Payments, and Support
  • Updates for security patches that help protect your data
  • Online bank feeds, which reduce manual data entry

You can see the full list of discontinued services here:


Current QuickBooks Desktop 2021 Users:

Second, we want you to understand that you have multiple options. QuickBooks is recommending customers using QuickBooks Desktop 2021 make the transition to QuickBooks Online. However, that is not your only option. It is our understanding the following are possible:

  • You can upgrade to the 2024 QuickBooks Desktop version and continue to pay the upgrades on the renewal basis. This is necessary if you are currently using QuickBooks Desktop 2021 for payroll.
  • You can choose not to upgrade and let it lapse and continue to use the same version of QuickBooks Desktop that you are currently using. However, if you choose this option, if you ever have need to upgrade to a newer QuickBooks Desktop version, you will not be able to and will be required to transition to QuickBooks Online. This option is only available if you do not use QuickBooks for payroll or online bank feeds.
  • Switch to QuickBooks Online. This transition will require conversion and re-learning because it is a different platform than QuickBooks Desktop. A strong and reliable internet connection is needed for this option to be viable.

Following the May 31, 2024, deadline, only existing QuickBooks users will be able to renew their QuickBooks Desktop subscription annually. Users who have not subscribed to QuickBooks prior to the deadline will be prompted to migrate to QuickBooks Online. The decision to transition to QuickBooks Online rests entirely with the user; however, it is crucial to note that adapting to the Online platform may entail a learning curve as it differs significantly from the Desktop version.

Suttle & Stalnaker, PLLC is ready to help. If you would like more information on how this applies to you, contact Saundra Uy, CPA, CVA, CGMA at suy@suttlecpas.com or (304) 343-4126.