How To Host A QuickBooks Company File – A Comprehensive Guide

Looking for instructions on hosting a QuickBooks Desktop company file? This is the place for you.

QuickBooks Desktop is a powerful accounting software widely implemented by businesses to manage their financial transactions and records. While QuickBooks is powerful on its own, hosting the company file (.qbw) on servers improves the software functionality, bringing the benefits of collaboration and making it easier to access the same files.

QuickBooks Desktop offers a feature called Multi-User Mode, which enables multiple users to access the same company file simultaneously. Multi-user mode is generally useful when accounting teams or multiple users need to work on financial data simultaneously.

Moving QuickBooks Company File to Cloud

As there are multiple methods to host QuickBooks company files, let’s explore each one in detail:

#1. QuickBooks Hosting on Cloud

Cloud hosting for QuickBooks is a service that allows businesses to access their QuickBooks files from anywhere in the world using an internet connection using a third-party hosting service. QuickBooks cloud hosting enables businesses to eliminate the need for on-premise servers and software installation. Further, it allows them to:

  • Collaborate on QuickBooks files with other employees or accountants
  • Protect their QuickBooks files from data loss or theft
  • Scale their QuickBooks file storage as their business grows

Recommended Reading: What Is QuickBooks Hosting? How does QuickBooks on Cloud Benefits your Business?

How to get started with QuickBooks Desktop file?

  • Sign up for an account with the chosen hosting provider, which involves selecting a hosting plan based on your business requirements.
  • Provide the hosting provider with your QuickBooks company file, and they will set it up on their servers. Their team will migrate your data to cloud.
  • Once set up, users can access QuickBooks remotely using the credentials provided by the hosting provider.
  • Collaborate with team members in real time and manage user access permissions through the hosting provider’s interface.
  • Take advantage of the hosting provider’s support services and security measures to ensure the safety and reliability of your QuickBooks data.

Ace Cloud as Your Reliable QuickBooks Hosting Solution

Ace Cloud, an Intuit Authorized Hosting Provider, is an industry leader with more than 14 years of experience in providing cloud-based solutions that redefine how businesses operate. With an impressive track record, we have earned recognition as an Award-Winning Application Hosting Provider.

We have partnered with data centers boasting SSAE-16 Type-II (SOC-2) certification and PCI DSS compliance, ensuring an uptime of 99.99%. Trusted globally by businesses, accountants, and CPAs alike, Ace Cloud’s pricing plans are structured to align with the client’s strategic goals.

Ready to Host QuickBooks on Cloud?

#2. QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based accounting solution that operates differently from QuickBooks Desktop. If you want to move your QuickBooks company files from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online, you must follow a migration process rather than a traditional hosting method.

Steps To Host Your QuickBooks Files On QuickBooks Online

  • Visit the QuickBooks website and sign up for a QuickBooks Online account.
  • Open QuickBooks Desktop and ensure your company file is up-to-date.
  • Back up your QuickBooks Desktop company file as a precaution.
  • Confirm that your QuickBooks Desktop version is compatible with QuickBooks Online.
  • Download and install the QuickBooks Desktop Company File Tool from the QuickBooks website.
  • Run the tool to prepare your company file for migration.
  • Sign in to your QuickBooks Online account.
  • Go to “Settings” and select “Import Data.”
  • Choose “QuickBooks Desktop” as the data source and follow the prompts to upload your data.
  • Review the summary of the data to be imported.
  • Confirm and initiate the import process.
  • Log in to QuickBooks Online and confirm that your data has been transferred correctly.
  • Reconcile bank and credit card accounts in QuickBooks Online.
  • Review and adjust settings and preferences as needed.
  • Inform multiple users about the transition to QuickBooks Online.
  • Provide necessary training on using QuickBooks Online.

Recommended Reading: QuickBooks Online Vs. QuickBooks Hosting: Learn Which One is Better?

#3. QuickBooks Database Server Manager

QuickBooks Database Server Manager is a tool that lets you share your QuickBooks company files with other computers over your network. It creates a network data file (.ND) for the company file, which allows QuickBooks Desktop to communicate with the server.

Hosting QuickBooks File With QuickBooks Database Server Manager

  • Insert the QuickBooks installation CD or download the installer from the official Intuit website.
  • Run the installer and choose the option to install Database Server Manager.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

After installing QuickBooks Database Server Manager, you need to scan the folder containing your company file:

  • Open QuickBooks Database Server Manager from the Start menu.
  • Navigate to the “Scan Folders” tab.
  • Locate the folder that contains your company file and click “Scan.”

The scan may take some time, depending on the size of your company file. Monitor the progress, and you’re ready to proceed once it’s complete.

Now, open QuickBooks on the computer where your company file is located:

  • Choose “File”> “Utilities”> “Host Multi-User Access.
  • Follow the prompts to enable multi-user mode. Select the ‘Allow other network users to change my files’ option. Then click ‘Next’.

Ensure that the folder containing your company file has the appropriate Windows permissions for all users who need access. With the hosting set up, other users on the network can access the company file in multi-user mode. They can open QuickBooks on their respective computers and connect to the hosted file.

#4. Remote Desktop Services (RDS)

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.

Hosting QuickBooks company files on Remote Desktop Services (RDS) includes setting up a Windows Server with RDS installed and configuring QuickBooks to run on the server.

Step-by-step Guide to Help You Host QuickBooks File

  • Use Server Manager to set up Remote Desktop Services on the Windows Server.
  • Install QuickBooks Desktop on the server.
  • Open QuickBooks on the server and switch to Multi-User Mode.
  • Install and configure QuickBooks Database Server Manager to scan company file folders.
  • Adjust Firewall Settings by opening ports 8019 and 56728 on the server’s firewall for QuickBooks.
  • Set up user profiles, grant necessary permissions, and allow users to connect via Remote Desktop to open and work on QuickBooks.
  • Test multi-user access with multiple users working simultaneously.

#5. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

When using a VPN to host QuickBooks files, a secure connection is established between the client computer and the server hosting the company file.

Using VPN To Host QuickBooks File

Here’s a simplified guide:

  • Implement a VPN solution on your company network, ensuring it’s configured securely.
  • Install QuickBooks Desktop on a server within your network.
  • Open QuickBooks on the server and enable Multi-User Mode.
  • Install and use QuickBooks Database Server Manager to scan company file folders on the server.
  • Open necessary ports on your network firewall for QuickBooks communication.
  • Provide remote users with VPN credentials and instructions on connecting to the company network.
  • Grant Permissions to users for QuickBooks files and folders.
  • Users connect to the company network using a VPN from their local machines.
  • Users open QuickBooks on their local machines connected to the server via VPN.
  • Test multi-user access by having multiple users log in and work on QuickBooks simultaneously.

Potential Issues with Hosting QuickBooks over VPN

While it is technically possible to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to host QuickBooks files, it is generally not recommended by Intuit, the developer of QuickBooks, because VPNs can introduce several issues and risks when used with QuickBooks.

  • Performance: VPNs can introduce latency and performance issues, making it difficult to work efficiently in QuickBooks. This is especially true for tasks that require a lot of data transfer, such as opening large company files or exporting reports.
  • Data Corruption: VPNs’ fluctuating latency and performance can increase the risk of data corruption in QuickBooks files. This is because QuickBooks is designed to operate in a stable network environment, and intermittent or slow connections can cause the software to malfunction.
  • Security Concerns: While VPNs provide a secure connection, they are not foolproof. If a VPN server is compromised, it could expose sensitive QuickBooks data to unauthorized access.

#6. Syncing QuickBooks Data on cloud

There are some methods for syncing QuickBooks data on the cloud to a hosted QuickBooks file:

Using Cloud Storage Service

You must establish a connection between the QuickBooks Desktop application and the QuickBooks file hosted on cloud to sync data. It allows for seamless data transfer between the two environments, ensuring that the hosted file always reflects the latest changes made in real-time.

Cloud storage to host QuickBooks files is a good option for individuals who need to access their QuickBooks files from multiple locations or share them with others. There are several cloud storage providers that offer QuickBooks hosting, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive.

To host your QuickBooks files in the cloud, you will need to create an account with a cloud storage provider and then upload your QuickBooks files to your account. Once your files are uploaded, you can access them from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. You can also share your files with others by giving them access to your cloud storage account.

However, cloud storage can corrupt your QuickBooks file, after which it ends up in a conflicted state, resulting in date loss.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind when considering cloud storage for QuickBooks:

  • Make sure that your cloud storage provider is compatible with QuickBooks.
  • Choose a cloud storage provider with a plan large enough to store your QuickBooks files.
  • Back up your QuickBooks files regularly, even if you are storing them in the cloud.
  • Be aware of the security risks associated with cloud storage and take steps to protect your data.

Using Manual Data Export and Import

If you prefer a more hands-on approach, you can manually export data from QuickBooks Online and import it into the hosted QuickBooks file. It requires exporting the data to a file format compatible with QuickBooks Desktop, such as an IIF (Intuit Interchange Format) file.

Using QuickBooks Data Transfer Service

Intuit offers the QuickBooks Data Transfer Service, a subscription-based service that automates the synchronization process between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop. It eliminates the need for manual data transfers, reducing the risk of errors and inconsistencies.

Remember that the synchronization process may take some time, depending on the amount of data transferred. Additionally, ensure that both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop are running during synchronization.

Regardless of the method chosen, ensure that the hosted QuickBooks file is properly configured to receive the incoming data. It may involve setting up user permissions, establishing data mapping, and ensuring that the file is accessible to the synchronization process.

Choosing the Right Method to Host Your QuickBooks Company Files

Move Your Accounting Software To The Cloud With Us Today!

Hosting a QuickBooks Desktop company file can greatly benefit businesses in terms of collaboration and efficiency in managing financial data.

Whether using QuickBooks Hosting, QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Database Server Manager, or VPN, the key is to follow the steps and ensure all users have the necessary access and permissions. By implementing multi-user mode and proper hosting, businesses can streamline their accounting processes, reduce the risk of errors, and promote a collaborative environment for their financial teams.

To host your QuickBooks company file and accounting data, get started with a 7-day free trial from Ace Cloud and enhance your accounting experience.

About Julie Watson

Julie is a dynamic professional with over 16 years of rich experience as a VDI and Application Hosting expert. At Ace Cloud Hosting, she humanizes disruptive and emerging remote working trends to help leaders discover new and better possibilities for digital transformation and innovation by using cloud solutions with an enterprise-class security approach. Beyond work, Julie is a passionate surfer.
On the weekend, you will find her hanging out with her family or surfing around the North Shore of Oahu.

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