QuickBooks, an Intuit product, is a popular accounting software mainly marketed to accountants and SMBs. Launched in 2002, it is one of the biggest names in the accounting industry. After about two years later QuickBooks Online (QBO) was launched by Intuit.
Since its inception, the number of QuickBooks Online users has grown to 2.2 million with many significant advancements and changes. Although seemingly easy to use, it’s important to explore all the options before reaching a decision.
Let’s explore some of the differences between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop Hosting to help you determine what would be best for your business.
QBO: Although you wouldn’t need to pay for upgraded versions separately and purchase multiple licenses with QuickBooks Online, it can cost you more than just paying for the software. There is a monthly subscription cost with QuickBooks Online instead of a one-time payment. Therefore, if you have only one user using the software and don’t intend to do the regular upgrades, purchasing the software outright could be less expensive.
QuickBooks Hosting: For small and medium businesses looking for ways to cut down their business costs, hosting QuickBooks on the cloud is a more suitable option. With hosted QuickBooks, you have to purchase the software once and can work on it for as much time without paying any additional sum. Moreover, the cloud service providers offer you the option to pay as per the server resources you need.
2. Control Over Data
QBO: While moving from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online, you have to give up some control over the data. This is due to the fact that QBO is a SaaS model under which you can access the data and software through the web browser. However, the ownership of the platform goes to Intuit itself.
Although, your data is safe and secure with Intuit, generally, there is a sense of loss of data control with QuickBooks Online as the data is now located ‘elsewhere’ and there is no option to make a local backup of QBO data.
QuickBooks Hosting: Unlike QBO, hosted QuickBooks is an IaaS model under which you utilize the infrastructure of a third-party cloud service provider. However, the QuickBooks Desktop software is purchased by you, and you have full control of the data. You can download the data anytime you want and even make a local backup. This gives users a sense of extra security.
QBO: Like any other web app, you might face speed and performance issues with QuickBooks Online, although Intuit take appropriate measures to ensure a seamless experience while working on QBO, Some users have reported the crashes while working on QuickBooks Online. However, this could happen due to a number of factors including the local system configuration and network connectivity.
QuickBooks Hosting: Service outages are always an unfortunate possibility and can occur even with QuickBooks hosting. However, the likelihood is relatively low as good cloud providers ensure an SLA guaranteed uptime of at least 99.99% which means a downtime of fewer than 6 minutes in a year.
4. Customer Service
QBO: Intuit phone support is available from Monday to Friday from 6 am – 6 pm PST. They also reserve the right to limit the length of the call of their users. Intuit offers technical support with options such as help feature in the software, live chat, email, community forum, and knowledge base.
QuickBooks Hosting: Cloud providers have a dedicated support team which is available round-the-clock (even on weekends and holidays), with no additional charges. Users get full IT support from professionals having years of experience to resolve their issues in the least possible time.
5. No Training Required for QuickBooks Hosting
QBO: The UI of QuickBooks Online is different from the desktop version. Hence, the professionals using the desktop version for many years find it difficult to adapt to the QBO. Although Intuit has made efforts to include user-friendly graphics in QBO, the professionals that have become habitual of desktop version need training to work on it.
QuickBooks Hosting: One of the noteworthy benefits of hosting QuickBooks on the cloud is that it allows you to take the same software you are working on and move it to the cloud. Therefore, you don’t need any training to work on QuickBooks.
Selecting The Right Tool For Your Business
It’s important for accounting firms to select the right tool to meet their client’s requirements. The comparison above provides an overall indication of the difference between QuickBooks Hosting and QuickBooks Online.
Whether you decide to go with QuickBooks Hosting for its ease-of-use or QuickBooks Online for its superior reporting ability depends on the size, nature, and the requirement of your business.
If you want to have a first-hand experience of QuickBooks hosting and the features it offers, connect with our Solutions Consultant now at