3 min read

QBD 2021 Discontinued: What it means, and why it’s an opportunity


Intuit recently announced discontinuation of QuickBooks 2021 (full announcement here). If you use the product, the affected titles will include, according to Intuit:

  • QuickBooks Desktop Pro 2021

  • QuickBooks Desktop Premier 2021 (General Business, Contractor, Manufacturing & Wholesale, Nonprofit, Professional Services, and Retail)

  • QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 21

  • QuickBooks Premier Accountant Edition 2021

  • QuickBooks Enterprise Accountant 21

  • QuickBooks Desktop for Mac 2021



As to what that means, Intuit specifies “Your access to QuickBooks Desktop Payroll, Desktop Payments, live technical support, Online Backup, Online Banking, and other services through QuickBooks Desktop 2021 software will be discontinued after May 31, 2024. This also means you won't receive critical security updates protecting your data starting June 1, 2024.”

You might be out there right now thinking about one of your two options: upgrading to QBD 2024 and calling it a day. But is that really the best solution for you and your firm? By now, you’re well-aware of the term “cloud advantage,” and might even be able to rattle off a few benefits. But step back and take a look at the bigger picture: the era of the desktop software solution is quickly drawing to a close. Yes, you can stay with it for now, but the move to the cloud is inevitable, and taking the plunge now can pay big dividends.



Choosing the right tools for your workflow can make a significant impact on your productivity and success. As firms seek streamlined solutions, the debate between cloud-based apps and traditional desktop software continues. On the one hand, there is SO much convenience in cloud-based apps like the QuickBooks Online juggernaut. On the other, restructuring your tech stack and processes can seem like a daunting (and potentially expensive) undertaking.

But most tech experts agree that the benefits of cloud-based apps far outweigh the few drawbacks. Let’s take a look at just a few.



Accessibility, Collaboration, Ease of Maintenance

One of the primary advantages of cloud-based apps is accessibility. With cloud apps, your work is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection — something desktop apps can’t offer. This not only promotes flexibility in remote work scenarios but also facilitates seamless collaboration among team members. Everyone authorized has access to the same files and, if someone doesn’t, you can authorize them on the fly, even if you’re sitting in a lovely sidewalk café in Vienna feeding the pigeons.

And maintenance? No installations, drive space concerns, etc. Your platform generally self-updates when you open it up the day after a platform upgrade. No patches to install. In short — it just works, with the latest up-to-date functionality.



The scalability of cloud-based applications is a huge “yes” for businesses of all sizes. Web-based apps adapt to your evolving needs, effortlessly accommodating growth or fluctuations in workload. Add modules or services, enable more storage — many cloud apps provide you with ways to adopt more services or add-ons as your needs change, saving you immense time and frustration trying to install, download, or integrate disparate software pieces.



Cost- and Hassle-Savings

The subscription-based model of cloud applications can result in significant savings compared to the upfront costs and maintenance associated with desktop solutions. Cloud-based apps offer reduced IT overhead and infrastructure expenses, and have free or modestly priced support options that can keep you up and running even when you encounter a problem.

It’s true that implementing a cloud strategy will definitely require an initial investment, but your firm can save a great deal of money in the long run with no need to maintain your own hardware or a local data storage solution. Without any upfront costs to use cloud-based apps, your firm can test them out before taking the plunge. 



Cloud-based apps offer a comprehensive and robust approach to security, providing enormous advantages for firms. With dedicated teams of cybersecurity experts, reputable cloud service providers stay abreast of known threats, continuously updating and adjusting their measures to prevent breaches. Advanced encryption protocols, multi-factor authentication, regular penetration testing, and consistently implemented prevention measures are all handled for you.

These measures are very likely far more comprehensive than what your firm can afford to implement on its own, enhancing security not only for you, but also for your clients.

Additionally, cloud providers invest in secure data centers with redundancies and disaster recovery mechanisms, ensuring data integrity and availability. Regular software updates and patches are applied automatically, promptly addressing any known or discovered threats. Desktop apps on the other hand… eh. Not so much.




As emerging technologies continue to shape the business landscape, cloud-based apps serve as a dynamic foundation, ready to integrate with new tools and services, ensuring that your workflow remains agile, efficient, and capable of meeting the challenges of the future head-on. (This does not include sentient robots — our lawyers made us put that in).

If you’ve ever dug up an old file from the early days of computing and struggled to find some modern platform to open it, you’re beginning to see part of the value to cloud-based apps. As the cloud software advances, file recognition and conversion advance alongside it, ensuring no loss of data even years later.


QBD to QBO and Beyond

So as Intuit discontinues its QuickBooks 2021 products, take the opportunity not only to take a hard look at QuickBooks Online, but also at updating any other desktop apps you might have to the cloud. There are plenty of great reasons to do so.

And don’t forget, Botkeeper works hand-in-hand with QBO, automating your bookkeeping and making life even easier. And we’re talking iced-tea-hammock-at-sunset kind of easy.


Check out Botkeeper Today!