The Difference Between QuickBooks Pro & QuickBooks Academic

QuickBooks Academic can teach basic organizational skills.
QuickBooks Academic can teach basic organizational skills. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

QuickBooks is a popular accounting software application that enables consumers and small business owners to monitor and maintain their financial records. The program is designed to be useful to those without major experience or training in an accounting field; however, some training is recommended for new QuickBooks users. For accountants and bookkeepers on a tight schedule, QuickBooks Academic allows new users to develop their skills with a learning advantage beyond the standard edition of QuickBooks Pro.


The primary advantage of QuickBooks Academic, a special edition of QuickBooks Accountant, is the significantly reduced price. Because it is intended for students to train with the program at home, QuickBooks Academic is available for a discounted price, specialized for a student budget. The latest version of QuickBooks Pro has fewer features than QuickBooks Accountant, so it is not as expensive as the non-Academic version of QuickBooks Accountant.


Students will have to provide proof of their enrollment status to qualify for the QuickBooks Academic discount. While the program is a fully functioning version of QuickBooks Accountant, Intuit recommends for students to eventually upgrade to a valid, non-academic version QuickBooks Accountant. QuickBooks Pro operates with three-user licenses, which determine how many individuals can use the company file at the same time.

Installation and Support

QuickBooks Academic is limited to three installations, which includes reinstalls, while QuickBooks Pro allows more flexibility with installations. Additionally, QuickBooks Academic does not offer the courtesy period of 30 days of free technical support.

Software Features

There are not many fundamental differences between the functionality of the two programs. QuickBooks Academic is a special edition of QuickBooks Accountant, which is designed for professional accountants working with several larger businesses. Up to five users can update the same company in QB Accountant. QuickBooks Pro is designed to assist small business owners and bookkeepers with payroll, tax forms and other financial records. It does not provide as wide of a scope in terms of users and reports.

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