Update: This article was last updated on 27th September 2021 to reflect the accuracy and up-to-date information on the page. You can read this blog in infographic version here.
QuickBooks is one of the most popular accounting and finance management software among professionals and businesses. Packed with several features that serve the unique accounting needs of different users, QuickBooks adds more to its value with a simple UI to make accounting easier for even not-so-accounting-savvy users.
For these reasons, QuickBooks commands more than 56.9% of the accounting market for small and mid-sized businesses in the USA.
Even with so many excellencies, there are certain things that one can find lacking with QuickBooks. One of these can be accessing QuickBooks files remotely. With businesses going global and a majority of the workforce willing to work from their homes (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), the demand to access QuickBooks remotely is growing. However, this feature does not come naturally with QuickBooks Desktop.
Benefits of Accessing QuickBooks Remotely
When you access QuickBooks remotely, you gain several positives that add value to their business operations and help break the chain of the coronavirus, such as –
- Saves the time of travel and cost of office infrastructure for accountants.
- Service providers manage cloud servers.
- Accounting professionals can have up-to-date access to QuickBooks data all the time, even when they are not at the office.
- It encourages the employees to stay indoors, decreasing the chances of them getting infected.
- Different users can collaborate on the same QuickBooks file.
- Business owners or managers can track the activities of the accountants.
- All the changes are reflected in real-time.
- Firms use less paper.
Intuit Supported Ways to Access QuickBooks Remotely
To support its users with QuickBooks remote access functionality, Intuit offers the following options:
- Hosting QuickBooks Desktop on the cloud
- Switching to QuickBooks Online
- Using QuickBooks Remote Access tool
Here is an illustration that gives you a brief about the above 3 options:
1. Hosting QuickBooks Desktop on the cloud
Intuit allows authorized hosting of QuickBooks Desktop on third-party servers. QuickBooks can be easily accessed by the authenticated users from anywhere over the Internet when installed on the servers of the hosting provider. QuickBooks hosting supports all the desktop version’s features and offers the exact UI. This way, it is easier for the users to adapt to the cloud environment. Additionally, the users have the option to use the device of their choice (desktop, smartphone, laptop, and others).
QuickBooks providers also look after the management of the cloud servers. This reduces the burden on the IT team and helps you focus on your core tasks. Along with reduced IT workload, QuickBooks hosting also offers multi-user collaboration and easier integration of QuickBooks add-ons for better productivity.
Most importantly, data security is a must in these digital times. QuickBooks hosting providers take care of these concerns by offering end-to-end encryption, the latest anti-virus and anti-malware systems, intrusion detection and prevention, multiple firewalls, multi-user authentication, automated backups, 256-bit data encryption, and more.
2. QuickBooks Online
QuickBooks Online is a solution from Intuit that works entirely on the cloud. You can access QuickBooks remotely from any internet device anytime and start working on your accounting tasks. The number of users who collaborate over it will depend on the plan you choose.
QuickBooks Online also safeguards data from unauthorized users, viruses and malware attacks, accidental data loss, etc., by offering various security measures and storing data in remote servers.
However, a serious concern with the service is that it does not offer all the features of the QuickBooks Desktop. In fact, QuickBooks Online is entirely different from QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Hosting. Moreover, there are some changes to the user interface as well, which can affect the experience of QuickBooks Desktop users.
Some users also reported crashes while working with QuickBooks Online, which could be due to network connectivity and system configuration.
3. Using QuickBooks Remote Access tool
QuickBooks Remote Access tool can connect to the remote machine on which the QuickBooks desktop is installed. It can perform basic tasks such as copying files between local and remote computers, print files on the remote server using the local printer, access QuickBooks data folders and files remotely, etc.
This software works on the Cisco WebEx tool that supports online meetings and communication services. QuickBooks Remote Access is an add-on for QuickBooks accounting software, available in two versions – QuickBooks Access and Full Desktop Access. You can purchase the tool directly from Intuit’s website.
Several other remote access software from third parties are available in the market that offer almost similar services. You can use them to use QuickBooks remotely, just like using a local desktop. However, there are some challenges, such as – network connectivity between both devices, permissions setup, etc., which may trouble the smooth operations.
- QuickBooks hosting – For professionals and businesses that require QuickBooks remote access frequently and need an improved collaboration system between different users.
Try QuickBooks Hosting for Free for 10 days to get first-hand experience.
- QuickBooks Online – For professionals and businesses that frequently require remote access to QuickBooks, but the need for QuickBooks features is not intense.
- QuickBooks Remote Access tool – For individual users who do not require frequent remote access to the application.
Check out this video to watch an explanation of the 3 ways:
Does Remotely Accessing QuickBooks Mitigate Security Concerns?
Accounting activities always require a security check as everything around us is becoming digital.
If you are going with solutions, such as QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Hosting, the security is reliable. Intuit authorized commercial hosts are screened to ensure that client’s data is safe. Most of the providers offer 256-bit encryption. The encryption level with QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Remote Access tool is more or less the same.
Additionally, reputed QuickBooks hosting providers offer multiple firewalls, the latest antivirus and antimalware, data recovery, AI data monitoring, Intrusion Detection and Prevention (IDP) system, regular support, and more.
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