Reliance on traditional on-premises QuickBooks Desktop is often detrimental to businesses. Instances occur when you need to access the accounting application remotely using your preferred devices and assist clients during non-business hours. The inability to cater to the clients could not only question the trustworthiness of a business but also put its reputation at stake.
Although QuickBooks is one of the most widely used accounting software, businesses find certain things lacking. One of these is QuickBooks’ remote access. The desktop version of QuickBooks can’t grant users remote access to it.
However, businesses can circumvent this problem using some simple techniques. Let’s first understand the requirements and then explore them as we discuss easy and secure ways to get remote access QuickBooks.
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Table of Contents
Understanding Remote Access to QuickBooks Desktop
Remote access to QuickBooks Desktop refers to using the QuickBooks software and its features from a location other than where it is physically installed. It allows users to access and manage their own/client’s financial data, transactions, reports, and other accounting tasks from a remote location using the internet.
Concept and Significance for Businesses
Businesses and professionals can access QuickBooks Desktop and work on their financial tasks from anywhere, whether it’s their home, office, or while traveling. Flexibility is directly responsible for enhancing productivity and work-life balance.
Remote access facilitates collaboration among team members, accountants, and other stakeholders. Multiple users can access and update the same QuickBooks data simultaneously, improving teamwork and communication.
Businesses can access real-time company files, financial data, and reports remotely, enabling quick decision-making even when not physically present at the office.
Remote access ensures business continuity in natural disasters or emergencies that prevent physical access to the office. Critical financial operations can continue without disruptions.
Businesses can reduce infrastructure costs by allowing employees to work remotely. It eliminates the need for physical office spaces and hardware setup for each employee.
Scenarios Where Remote Access is Valuable
Remote access is particularly valuable in the following scenarios:
With the rise of remote work arrangements, employees can access QuickBooks Desktop from home and maintain their accounting tasks seamlessly from their homes.
Business owners, accountants, and executives who travel frequently can access their or their client’s financial data and perform tasks on the go.
Businesses with multiple locations can access and manage data centrally, ensuring consistency and accurate reporting.
Data Security and Backup
Data security is one of the foremost priorities when moving to the cloud. By hosting QuickBooks on a secure remote server, businesses can safeguard their financial data from physical damage or loss.
Seasonal or Temporary Staff
Sometimes, small and mid-businesses hire seasonal or temporary staff on contract. They can set up QuickBooks remotely for these employees. Once the contract is over, access can be revoked easily.
Consultants, financial advisors, and accountants can use remote QuickBooks setup to offer consulting services to their clients. They can review financial data and provide insights without being physically present.
How to Access QuickBooks Desktop Remotely?
Transitioning your setup to work from home needs reliable support and techniques that allow you to get remote access to QuickBooks from PC. Several methods are available for accessing QuickBooks Desktop remotely. Intuit itself has recognized some options to support its users with QB desktop remote access:
- Cloud Hosting Services
- QuickBooks Online
- Remote Desktop Services (RDS)
- Virtual Private Network (VPN)
- Remote Access Software
- Hosted Virtual Desktop (HVD)
- QB Data on the Cloud
Each method offers its advantages and considerations, catering to different business needs and preferences. Businesses can choose the method that aligns with their operational requirements and security considerations.
Here are Top Ways to Access QuickBooks Remotely
Cloud Hosting Services
Hosting QuickBooks Desktop on cloud server, allows users to access it from any device with an internet connection. This method provides flexibility, scalability, and secure access.
Intuit allows authorized hosting of QuickBooks Desktop on third-party servers. Hosting enables authenticated users to access software from anywhere, provided a stable internet connection is available.
Application Hosting services can support all the QB Desktop versions and offer a similar user interface. This makes it easier for the users to adapt to the cloud environment. Additionally, the users can use the device of their choice (desktop computer, smartphone, laptop, etc.).
Hosting providers also look after the management of the cloud servers. This reduces the burden on the IT team and helps businesses focus on their core objectives.
In addition to reduced IT workload, QuickBooks hosting offers multi-user collaboration and easier integration of QuickBooks add-ons for better productivity.
Companies can integrate hosted QuickBooks applications with over 200+ add-ons to simplify billing, sales, time tracking, and monitoring workflow.
Most importantly, reliable QuickBooks hosting providers manage these elements by deploying multiple security mechanisms. These include:
- End-to-End Data Encryption
- Latest Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware Systems
- Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems
- Multi-Level Firewall System
- Multi-Factor Authentication
- Automated Data Backup and more
Reputable Cloud Hosting Providers
Here are top QuickBooks cloud hosting providers:
With over 15 years of unwavering dedication, Ace Cloud Hosting has established itself as a trailblazer in providing top-notch QuickBooks hosting services. Our commitment to excellence and innovation has made us a trusted partner for businesses seeking streamlined and efficient accounting solutions.
At the heart of our success lies our team of over 250+ seasoned experts with unparalleled expertise. Their in-depth knowledge and proactive approach enable our clients to harness the true potential of QuickBooks in the cloud. From seamless migration to continuous support, our experts are dedicated to propelling our clients towards their goals.
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Specializes in hosting QuickBooks Desktop and other accounting software, providing a reliable and secure environment. Experience the Full Spectrum of Accounting Firm Technology Management with Right Networks Cloud Premier.
Their solutions offer an all-encompassing strategy to seamlessly manage every aspect of your accounting firm’s technology ecosystem. Whether providing a secure and user-friendly cloud portal for your team members to access applications or efficiently overseeing the workstations at every desk, our acclaimed offering encapsulates it all.
Swizznet is known for offering cloud hosting for QuickBooks Desktop and other applications, focusing on security and user-friendly interfaces. Swizznet specializes in Sage Software hosting and all your business applications in the cloud for ultimate ease of access, security, flexibility, and business growth.
QuickBooks Online is a solution from Intuit that works entirely on the cloud. You can access QuickBooks remotely from any compatible device anytime and start working on your accounting tasks. The number of users collaborating over it depends on your chosen plan.
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 QB Online is that it only provides some of the features of the QuickBooks Desktop. QuickBooks Online is entirely different from QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Hosting. Additionally, the user interface varies compared to QB Desktop, which can impact user experience.
Remote Desktop Services (RDS)
RDS allows users to access QuickBooks Desktop installed on a remote server using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). Users can connect to the server using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and work within the QuickBooks application as if it were installed locally.
Remote Desktop Services (RDS), formerly Terminal Services, is a technology provided by Microsoft that enables users to access and use applications or an entire desktop environment on a remote server from a different location or device.
Steps to Set Up RDS for QuickBooks Access
- Server Configuration: Set up a server (either on-premises or in the cloud) to host the QuickBooks application. Ensure that the server meets the system requirements for QuickBooks Desktop.
- Install RDS Role: Install the Remote Desktop Services role on the server. This role enables multiple users to access the server simultaneously.
- Install QuickBooks: Install QuickBooks Desktop on the server, just like you would on a regular computer.
- User Access Configuration: Configure user accounts with access to QuickBooks through RDS. Assign appropriate permissions to ensure security.
- Firewall and Network Settings: Configure firewalls and network settings to allow RDP connections to the server. Ensure the server’s public IP or domain is reachable.
- Accessing QuickBooks: Once connected, users will see a virtual desktop environment or a specific application window (depending on configuration). They can open and use QuickBooks Desktop as if it were on their local computer.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Businesses can set up a VPN to securely connect to their office network and access QuickBooks Desktop installed on an office computer. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a secure and encrypted connection that allows you to access a private network, such as your office network, over the Internet.
It acts as a tunnel between your device and the web, ensuring your data remains encrypted and protected while traversing potentially insecure public networks. VPNs are commonly used to securely access office resources, including QuickBooks Desktop, from remote locations.
Secure Connection to Office Network and QuickBooks Desktop:
A VPN establishes a secure connection to your office network, regardless of your physical location. This secure tunnel ensures that your communication with the network, including accessing QuickBooks Desktop, is encrypted and shielded from potential threats, such as data interception or unauthorized access.
Security Measures when Using a VPN:
- Choose Strong Passwords: Set strong and unique passwords for your VPN account to prevent unauthorized access.
- Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): If your VPN provider offers MFA, enable it for an additional layer of security.
- Regularly Update Software: Keep your device’s operating system and VPN software updated with the latest security patches.
- Enable Firewall: Activate your device’s firewall to block unwanted incoming connections.
- Avoid Public Wi-Fi: While a VPN enhances security, avoid connecting to unsecured public Wi-Fi networks, which can pose risks.
- Trustworthy VPN Providers: Only use reputable VPN providers prioritizing security and privacy.
In summary, a VPN offers a secure and encrypted way to remotely access your office network and QuickBooks Desktop. By following proper set-up and security practices, you can ensure that your client’s financial data remains protected while you work from different locations.
Using the QuickBooks Remote Access Tool
The QuickBooks Remote Access tool is an Intuit add-on that enables users to access the accounting application from different computers. It is available in two versions – QuickBooks Access and Full Desktop Access. Businesses can purchase the tool directly from Intuit’s website to access QuickBooks remotely using their preferred devices.
Integration of the add-on with QuickBooks enables users to perform basic tasks. These include:
- 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.
Various third-party add-ons are available in the market that offer similar services. Businesses can use them to access QuickBooks remotely. However, there are some challenges, such as network connectivity between both devices, permissions setup, etc., which may hinder the smooth functioning of the accounting software.
Hosted Virtual Desktop (HVD)
A Hosted Virtual Desktop (HVD), also known as a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), is a cloud-based solution that provides users with virtualized desktop environments accessible from various devices. In an HVD setup, the entire desktop environment, including the operating system and applications like QuickBooks Desktop, is hosted on remote servers in a data center. Users access their virtual desktops over the Internet, experiencing the same functionalities as a physical computer.
Concept and Benefits of Hosted Virtual Desktops:
An HVD operates on the principle of delivering a virtualized desktop experience to users, regardless of location. The benefits include:
- Centralized Management: All desktops are hosted on servers, making management and updates more efficient.
- Device Flexibility: Users can access virtual desktops from various devices, promoting remote work.
- Data Security: Sensitive data remains on servers, reducing the risk of loss or breaches from local devices.
- Resource Efficiency: Users share server resources, leading to optimized resource utilization.
- Quick Scalability: It’s easy to scale up or down based on user needs, accommodating changes in demand.
Company data on the cloud
Syncing QuickBooks data with cloud storage is another process that can be used to access QuickBooks Remotely. Several renowned players, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, and more, offer cloud storage on monthly and yearly subscription plans. These storage services can be leveraged to take a regular cloud backup of QuickBooks Company files at regular or manual intervals.
This synchronization enables your QuickBooks data, including financial transactions, reports, and company information, to be stored and accessed from a remote cloud server. This approach offers several benefits, such as improved accessibility, data backup, and collaboration, while maintaining the security and integrity of your financial records.
Note: To remotely access the cloud-stored company files, you must ensure that the devices have installed QuickBooks software and a stable internet connection.
How Syncing QuickBooks Files with Cloud Storage Works
- Choose a Cloud Storage Service: Select a reputable cloud storage provider that offers compatibility with QuickBooks files. Popular options include Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and others.
- Install Syncing Software: Some cloud storage services offer specialized software that helps you sync your QuickBooks files seamlessly. Install the software on your computer.
- Select Files to Sync: Identify the QuickBooks company files you want to sync with the cloud storage. These files contain your financial data and transactions.
- Configure Sync Settings: Set up the syncing parameters, including the frequency of updates and any specific folders you want to sync.
- Automatic Updates: As you work on your QuickBooks files, changes will be automatically updated and synchronized with the cloud storage.
This model is secure and more prominent for single QuickBooks users. It allows users to access data regardless of their location. However, multiple users working on the same company file in real time is not permitted. Hence, it creates a vortex of multi-user collaboration within an organization.
Does Remotely Accessing QuickBooks Mitigate Security Concerns?
QuickBooks remote access can give birth to security concerns, depending on the specific circumstances and precautions taken. Implementing robust security measures is crucial to safeguarding your sensitive data and maintaining the integrity of your financial records.
Strong Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication
Utilize strong, unique passwords for all your accounts, including QuickBooks. Consider enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) wherever possible. 2FA adds an extra layer of security by requiring an additional verification step, enhancing protection against unauthorized access.
Secure Networks and Encryption
Prioritize secure networks, especially when accessing QuickBooks remotely. Public Wi-Fi can be risky, so opt for virtual private networks (VPNs) to encrypt your connection and prevent data interception by potential attackers.
Regular Security Audits
Conduct routine security audits to identify vulnerabilities and address them promptly. Regular assessments help prevent potential breaches and protect your financial data from evolving threats.
It is important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as security concerns can vary depending on the specific circumstances and implementation of security measures. It is better to consult a security professional to determine the best approach for your situation.
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In conclusion, exploring remote access to QuickBooks Desktop opens new avenues for convenience, flexibility, and efficient financial management. Throughout this blog, we’ve delved into essential aspects to consider when accessing QuickBooks remotely, ensuring your financial operations remain secure and streamlined.
The benefits of remote access to QuickBooks Desktop are undeniable. It offers increased accessibility, enhanced collaboration, and improved efficiency for managing your financial tasks anywhere, anytime. Embracing remote access can elevate your business operations and allow you to adapt to the dynamic demands of modern work environments.
Choosing the Right Method
As you embark on your remote QuickBooks journey, consider your business’s specific needs and resources. Whether it’s through Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), Hosted Virtual Desktops (HVDs), Remote Desktop Services (RDS), or Cloud Hosting Services, there’s a method tailored to suit your unique requirements. Evaluate your business’s size, IT infrastructure, security needs, and budget to make an informed decision.
Ultimately, remote access to QuickBooks Desktop is rife with opportunities. By following the best practices outlined in this blog and selecting the appropriate access method, you can harness the full potential of remote financial management and thrive in a digitally connected business landscape.