Often believed as a game-changer, QuickBooks by Intuit is a feature-rich financial management solution. It comes with various in-built tools for different business operations like inventory management, payroll processing, accounting tools, expense reporting, accounts receivable, accounts payable, invoice generation, tax filing, sales transactions, and much more. QB is a perfect combination of quality and robustness and empowers you to handle all your business needs for effective financial management.
QuickBooks Desktop remains to be the most sought-after solution and is widely used by different industries. However, using QuickBooks on traditional systems carries several limitations like limited accessibility, inferior security system, poor administrative control, etc. In this fast-paced world where QuickBooks strives to fulfill all your business needs, these conventional limitations undermine its overall potential and affect your business performance.
However, moving your QuickBooks to the cloud allows you to overcome these restrictions and fully realize the potential of your QB solution. With the cloud, you can enjoy remote accessibility, get superior security service, and have better administrative control. In the end, it revolutionizes your entire accounting experience.
Let’s have a more detailed look at QuickBooks cloud:
Table of Contents
How Quickbooks cloud works
QuickBooks cloud provider installs the software on their data servers. Then, they use hypervisor software for virtualization in which software and hardware components are separated out. After that, the server admin authenticates the incoming login credentials and directs you to a virtual copy of your QB using another software known as the connection broker.
Every virtual copy of the user’s access is based upon the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), which allows you to access your QB via the Internet and use it as if you were using a locally installed desktop application.
For a quality end-user experience, you must buy QuickBooks cloud from a reputed CSP, which deploys Tier-III/IV data centers and provide at least 99.99% SLA-backed uptime availability.
How QuickBooks hosting is different from QuickBooks Desktop
One significant difference between the QuickBooks cloud and QuickBooks Desktop is accessibility. QuickBooks Desktop can only be accessed through that one particular device on which it has been installed. This means, if your office desktops are installed with QuickBooks desktop, then your employees must be physically present in the office to access them.
Another main difference is hardware dependency. Since a locally installed QuickBooks can only be accessed through the device it has been installed on. It makes your accounting software and its associated data hardware-dependent. So, even if you provide portable devices like laptops for improving accessibility, it will remain hardware-dependent and can even lead to permanent data loss if that particular device malfunctions or gets lost.
QuickBooks cloud is free from both of these constraints. It can be accessed remotely via the Internet. Your employees can use any thin client device like their personal laptops/desktops or smartphones to remotely access their QB from anywhere, anytime. This way, they don’t need to be present in their office space to access their QB solution. They can also work from the comfort of their homes.
Also, since the QuickBooks cloud solution is installed on remote data servers, it makes the solution hardware independent. So, even if your end-user devices get damaged or lost, as long you have valid login credentials and good internet connectivity, you can use another device to log into your QB solution and keep working.
How is it cost-effective?
A locally deployed QuickBooks environment calls for considerable capital investment. Firstly, you must spend significantly on procuring the necessary hardware components like desktops, CPUs, etc., and the required number of software licenses. Since your QB solution can be accessed locally, you must buy/rent an office space to house your IT infrastructure and provide working space to your employees. The IT infrastructure is the heart of your organization. So, the physical area housing your IT infrastructure must have a modern smoke/fire detection system with proper physical surveillance for timely detecting such mishaps and preventing any unauthorized access. Also, with the working environment playing an essential role in employee productivity, your office space must be well-maintained with necessities like regular sanitation, access to clean drinking water, and proper ventilation.
However, while much of it may seem like a one-time investment, things are entirely different on the ground level. To ensure the smooth functioning of your IT infrastructure, you must regularly update your software, bring in hardware upgrades, and manage every repair/replacement of components—everything from your pockets! Also, every time a problem occurs, you must either invest considerable time on it (leading to project delays) or spend considerably to hire an IT team.
QuickBooks cloud allows you to enhance your resource utilization and make things more cost-effective. With QB cloud, your service provider develops, maintains, and regulates the necessary IT infrastructure. They are responsible for every upgrade, update, and repair/replacement. You are responsible for the end-point devices that you use as a medium for remotely accessing QB. Reputed providers also deploy top-notch physical security measures like constant CCTV surveillance, armed guards, biometric authentication for personnel entry, and a smoke/fire alarm system. Also, they have a team of seasoned IT personnel who are available round the clock for rapid issue management. In the end, all you need is to pay an economical monthly subscription fee. And since you can remotely access your QB, you can comfortably avoid spending much on having office space and save up on your resources. Instead, you can implement WFH within your organization and have your employees use their own devices to work from home and be 77% more productive!
Benefits of QuickBooks cloud
1. Increased business outreach
With QB cloud hosting, you can efficiently operate multiple branches of your organization and expand your business without worrying about any geographical restrictions. Unlike locally installed QB, which requires physical presence, hosted QB can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. This way, instead of physically provisioning devices or office space for your employees, they can use their devices and transform their own homes into workplaces.
Your clients too can upload their data remotely and avail of your services without having to visit your office premises. So, if you want to cater to more clients or hire more employees from the next city or even overseas, all you need is to provide them with a valid login authorization, and they can start working remotely right away.
2. Quality security assurance
With cyber-attacks growing in both range and frequency, it is necessary to have a modern cybersecurity architecture, mainly when handling sensitive financial data. However, the traditional QB Desktop setup lacks the latest advancements and can be compromised easily. Also, even if you deploy quality security measures, they are expensive to maintain and require significant technical expertise.
A reputed QB cloud hosting provider deploys multiple top-notch security measures like software/hardware-based firewalls, modern IDPS technology, AI surveillance, multi-factor authentication, latest antivirus/anti-malware technology, and TLS 1.3 encryption. Also, their IT experts regularly monitor the security system and bring in necessary updates timely to strengthen it against advanced hacking attacks. This way, your data is safe, and there is no illicit access.
3. Credible business continuity
Most business owners now actively use data analytics to analyze their financial data and make better business decisions. This has made data vital for any organization and plays a crucial role in its everyday operations. However, most organizations use local QB desktops that can be easily damaged due to various human-made and environmental factors like accidental/intentional human activities, earthquakes, and even hurricanes. This may lead to permanent loss of data leading to severe consequences.
A reputed CSP deploys several data centers which are interconnected and strategically placed with regular data backups to minimize environmental/human-made damage. So, even if a data center goes down, your CSP can immediately link you to another one and ensure continuous data availability.
4. Simpler IT management
Managing and regulating an in-house QB environment is a challenging task. Apart from timely license renewal, you have to work on all the replacements and repairs yourself. Also, as hardware can become obsolete after a few years, scaling up your existing IT infrastructure becomes difficult as newer components may not be compatible with the pre-existing ones. This ultimately may require you to remodel your entire setup, a task that requires both resources and time.
Moving to cloud QB simplifies your IT management as it is your service provider responsible for the entire IT management. Also, scalability is much more straightforward with cloud QB. All you need for additional QB desktops is to intimate your service provider, and they will rapidly provide you with the necessary resources.
5. Smoother third-party integrations
QuickBooks Desktop comes with various in-built robust functionalities and tools. Sometimes, integration with add-ons is necessary to maximize your QB usage. However, a traditional QB Desktop setup offers limited integration support. Most of them use conventional processors, which may give the desired output in the beginning. But, they tend to get slower with continuous usage. Ultimately, this hinders your capability to integrate add-ons and limits your end-user experience.
A reputed QuickBooks provider deploys high-performance computing servers that can easily handle the processing load needed to integrate the add-ons smoothly. Also, they continuously upgrade their servers with the latest components, which allows you to combine as many add-ons as you want without suffering from any dip in operational efficiency.
6. Easier work collaboration
Handling complex financial data requires skills and expertise but also may call for collaboration with your co-workers. However, many businesses still follow conventional intra-organizational collaboration methods that are pretty time-consuming and inefficient. It usually involves an ‘edit and send’ approach, in which one user edits the required data then sends it to his fellow collaborators. They again follow the same process until the work is complete. While this may get the job done, it usually leaves many redundant copies on your system, which may get quite confusing while collaborating and slow down your performance.
With the QuickBooks cloud, everything is centralized, with any changes made getting reflected immediately. All you need is to share common access to that data file with your fellow collaborators, and you can collaborate with them without even having to send the files back and forth.
QuickBooks Cloud vs. QuickBooks Online
QuickBooks Online is Intuit’s product that they rolled out after realizing the importance of cloud computing for businesses. However, it differs considerably from the desktop version and doesn’t have the same user interface, tools, and features. Unlike QB Desktop, it is not a one-time purchase and has four pricing plans (Simple Start, Essentials, Plus, and Advanced) which must be subscribed monthly. Also, since it is meant for small business and B2B-based businesses, it lacks the advanced job costing, shipping manager, inventory management, reporting tools, etc., that come with QB Desktop.
On the other hand, using QuickBooks cloud provides you with the same UI as QB Desktop. All the features and tools which get with a locally installed desktop version can be used with QB cloud. Also, just like QB Online, all you need is to pay a monthly subscription fee and can be accessed freely as per your needs. Also, QuickBooks cloud hosting offers a faster processing speed than QB Online. This way, you can easily enjoy using a desktop version from anywhere, anytime, with further added benefits of the cloud.