Update: This article was last updated on 22nd Jan 2020 to reflect the accuracy and up-to-date information on the page.
QuickBooks thrives aptly with features to simplify and automate the accounting operations for businesses. The software by Intuit carries many built-in forms that can help in maintaining a complete track of the financial transactions and tax filing.
One of the significant benefits of QuickBooks is that it does not require in-depth knowledge of accounting to use the software. Because of which the software has ruled the accounting industry among SMBs for decades.
One of the other reasons that kept QuickBooks among favorite accounting tools for businesses is that it has been able to keep up with the futuristic innovations. Among the recent changes with QuickBooks, its cloud adaptability is the one.
Since cloud computing has been helping SMBs considerably in various ways, QuickBooks too followed the path. Currently, there are two ways in which QuickBooks on the cloud is accessible – QuickBooks Hosting and QuickBooks Online.
QuickBooks Hosting – How It Works
QuickBooks, in its traditional form, was installed on the desktop or the local machine and was accessible only from that machine. Cloud-based hosting of QuickBooks Desktop allows it to install on the third-party server, and with the internet connection, it can be accessed by the authorized user from any device.
Relying on Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), all the features and functionalities remain similar to QuickBooks desktop version.
The third-party servers host QuickBooks for the version of your choice, which can be Premier, Pro, Enterprise, POS, or Accountant. For hosting of QuickBooks, you will have to pay a fee to the service provider. The fee usually depends on the number of users, resources of the servers, and other such factors.
Admin of the account holds the right to create/remove users and edit the access permissions allowed to them. The access to the hosted QuickBooks is secured using the login credential authentications.
To access the hosted QuickBooks, the user either needs a remote access tool or web browser on the local device. A stable internet connection allows real-time access to QuickBooks for multiple users and that too on the different devices and OS. Access can be attained from anywhere, anytime.
As accounting processes will be executed and saved on the hosting server, your accounting data will remain completely safe and secured, even in the case of local machine failures.
Since the features and functionalities of hosted QuickBooks are almost similar to the desktop version, switching to it does not disturb the user experience. It only enhances the accessibility and productivity.
All the benefits of cloud computing, such as – anytime & anywhere access, multi-user collaboration, device independence, automated backup, disaster recovery, and more are available.
Choosing Hosting Provider For QuickBooks
QuickBooks hosting offers the independence of switching between the service providers at will. It is recommended to go for an Intuit Authorized Hosting Provider for QuickBooks.
Here are some of the factors that you should consider to choose the hosting provider:
- IT infrastructure and data center practices (Suggested: Tier 3+ and IV)
- Availability of customer support (Suggested: 24×7 over phone, chat, and email)
- QuickBooks version supported (Suggested: Version you are using to the latest QuickBooks version available)
- Uptime guarantee (Suggested: 99.995% or more)
QuickBooks Online – How It Works
QuickBooks Online is SaaS-based accounting software by Intuit. Though it aims to replicate most of the features of QuickBooks, certain features are not similar to the desktop version. The usual benefits of cloud computing, such as – cross-device compatibility, remote accessibility, etc. are available in this version.
However, the user interface and feature set are pretty different from the desktop version. Hence, user experience is also not like the desktop version. Existing users of QuickBooks desktop, who have grown accustomed to functionalities, may not find switching to QuickBooks Online a smooth change.
Apart from the variation in features, another challenge that most users face with QuickBooks Online is slower processing. For the accounting professionals with a long task-list, working on QuickBooks Online isn’t a recommended option, particularly for firms that need multi-user compatibility.
Updates to QuickBooks Online are mostly applied instantly, and you are availed with the latest features. QB files of the desktop or hosted version are readable with the version as well and vice versa.
QuickBooks Online works entirely online on the servers of Intuit, and the user cannot choose the hosting service in this case, which may restrict QuickBooks add-ons compatibility in some cases.
Cloud-based QuickBooks (both online and hosted) offers flexibility, mobility, and scalability benefits. Both of the QuickBooks versions help unlock the full power of the cloud.
QuickBooks Online is used by professionals that are more inclined to acquire benefits of cloud such as, remote access to the accounting data rather than requiring the whole feature-set of QB desktop.
In contrast to the above, QuickBooks Hosting is mostly opted by professionals who require all the features of QuickBooks desktop clubbed with the benefits of the cloud.
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