While the basic data file format is the same for both QuickBooks Pro and Premier, there are a number of features included with Premier that are missing from the less-expensive Pro. The introduction of QuickBooks 2011 further changed the list of differences between Pro and Premier.
For new features introduced with the 2011 version, QuickBooks Pro does not:
- allow more than 3 users in a multi-user configuration
- track balance sheet by class
- allow multiple company files from the same version to be open at the same time
QuickBooks Pro versions prior to 2011 allowed up to 5 users to access a company file in a multi-user configuration. This has been reduced to 3 users for 2011.
The Balance Sheet By Class report is available in QuickBooks Premier 2011 and Enterprise Solutions 11.0. The ability to open multiple company files from the same version is only available in the industry-specific QuickBooks Premier Accountant 2011 or QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 11.0.
In general QuickBooks Pro does not:
- record sales orders, which provides for product availability (backorder) tracking
- support inventory assemblies
- support unit of measure
- support price levels by item
- support billing rate levels
- provide the ability to view unbilled time and expenses on 1 screen
- support converting items on an estimate or sales order to a purchase order
- provide a list of already recorded general journal entries while recording a new journal entry
- identify general journal entries as adjusting
- support creating a forecast
- support creating a business plan
- provide access to previous bank reconciliation reports
- include industry-specific reports
All of these features are included in QuickBooks Premier.
Many of these features apply primarily to inventory-based businesses, organizations that want to easily track purchases with Customers:Jobs, or easily track time and reimbursable expenses with Customers:Jobs. For example, the screenshot below of QuickBooks Pro 2012 illustrates that QuickBooks Pro does not have the ability to set the Create invoices from a list of time and expenses preference, which is the first step in setting up easy invoicing for time and reimbursable expenses.
However, several important general accounting features are missing from Pro and may make the extra cost of Premier a worthwhile investment. One of these features is a list of already recorded general journal entries, shown below.
Another feature is the ability to view previous reconciliation reports. For the sample company file below, no reconciliations have been completed. But if they had been completed, each prior reconciliation (such as a monthly bank reconciliation) would be available. In Pro, only the most recent reconciliation report is available.