Last updated on August 3rd, 2022

QuickBooks is a premium accounting application that is widely used across multiple industries. Many businesses have been using it traditionally for the past few years through on-premise desktops. But, the growth of cloud hosting has paved the way for a new change in the accounting industry.

QuickBooks Cloud VS Desktop: Which one to Choose?

Instead of setting up their own in-house QB Desktop setup or on-premise IT infrastructure, many business owners now opt for a third-party QuickBooks Cloud solution for its simplicity, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness to work with.

So, if you are looking to move to QB Cloud but are confused about how it fares against the traditional QB Desktop, here is a detailed analysis of QuickBooks Cloud vs. Desktop. It will broaden your understanding and help you choose the right solution for you:

1. Accessibility

Both QB Desktop and Cloud vary significantly in terms of accessibility. While the former can only be accessed from the particular device in which it is installed, the QuickBooks Cloud can be accessed from anywhere, anytime, using any device with the help of an internet connection and valid authorization. It allows you to access your QB datA and work remotely freely.

2. Data security

Most organizations use conventional desktops with outdated security systems and lack the modern anti-hacking tools to secure your financial data effectively. However, with QB hosting, a reputed QuickBooks provider deploys high-quality security measures such as IDPS software, 256-bit bank-grade encryption, MFA, AI monitoring, antivirus software, malware scans, and other security measures.

3. User collaboration

Collaborating using a traditional QB Desktop involves repeatedly exchanging the edited data files back and forth via email. This process is tedious, time-consuming, and creates confusion with numerous copies of the same file. QB cloud hosting has a centralized database and instantly reflects any changes. All you need is to share common access, and you can easily collaborate with others in real-time and work simultaneously.

4. Infrastructure scalability

You need to plan considerably for Quickbooks Desktop and invest significant time and resources. QuickBooks Cloud has a flexible scaling-up option. All you need is to contact your QuickBooks cloud hosting provider, and they can rapidly provision additional computational resources within a few hours. If required, you can quickly scale down by once again contacting your provider.

5. IT maintenance

Having a Quickbooks Desktop infrastructure means bearing all the maintenance liabilities yourself, which ultimately requires you to allocate substantial resources for hiring IT professionals and procuring necessary components during each repair/replacement cycle. However, with QuickBooks hosting, the entire IT maintenance is provided by your cloud provider. They take care of the IT infrastructure while solely focusing on managing the end-point devices used for accessing QB. This way, you can concentrate on your accounting tasks rather than addressing the IT infrastructure.

6. Disaster recovery

Since traditional desktops are maintained in-house, they carry a greater risk of permanent data loss due to various artificial and environmental disasters. A reputed QuickBooks provider backs up your data on several data centers while setting up your QB Cloud solution. Each data center is interconnected and placed strategically to minimize the impact. So, even if one of them gets destroyed, you can still access your data without facing any losses.

7. Add-on integrations

QB is a powerful financial solution. However, it requires third-party integrations or add-ons for completing additional tasks. However, a QB Desktop can only support a limited number of add-ons and begins to slow down with different integrations. A quality QuickBooks hosting provider uses High-Performance Computing (HPC) servers for setting up your QB Cloud. This allows you to integrate as many add-ons as you want without experiencing any system latency. Eventually, you can process large data sets in less time.

8. Cost-effectiveness

QB Desktop requires significant financial resources for procuring necessary components, hiring IT professionals, renting/buying an office space, and regular IT maintenance. However, with QB Cloud, all you need is to pay a monthly subscription fee. You don’t have to invest in setting up the IT infrastructure and only manage the end-user devices. Also, as it is remotely accessible, you can shift to being completely remote-serviced and save on workplace-related costs as well.

9. Device portability

QB Desktop is solely locally accessible and can only be accessed from the device on which it is installed. This leads to serious financial and security repercussions if that particular device gets lost or damaged. However, since the QuickBooks Cloud is installed on remote servers, you can simply switch to another thin-client device and use it to access your QB data from anywhere, anytime. If the particular device gets lost/stolen, you can remove its access and prevent unauthorized access to your QB data.

10. Business development

Expanding your business to another city or a country is difficult with the conventional QuickBooks Desktop setup. Since it must be maintained on-premise, you must invest considerably for the initial setup. However, with QB Cloud, you can offset these costs and provide your services remotely. Since everything is remotely accessible, you can hire remote workers for outsourcing your work and efficiently manage clients without worrying about any geographical or time-zone limitations.

11. Uptime availability

QuickBooks, whether on-premise desktop setup or cloud, is liable to face downtime. However, you can significantly cut down on your downtime with QB cloud and work with greater uptime availability. Quickbooks hosting providers have seasoned IT experts and deploy high-quality IT components for providing up to 99.999% SLA-backed uptime availability, something you will not find in an on-premise QB Desktop setup.

12. Tech support

It is necessary to have consistent support for mitigating IT issues within your organization. However, many business owners lack the resources for deploying round-the-clock IT support, leading to prolonged operational incapability during any disruption with QB Desktop. However, a quality QuickBooks provider offers you round-the-clock IT support that can be easily contacted for fixing your IT issues rapidly.


Looking at the points above, QuickBooks Cloud vs. Desktop seems to have an obvious winner. In short, the QuickBooks Cloud offers better collaboration and uptime with lesser costs. It provides better means for businesses to grow and experience a new way to complete accounting tasks.

Wish to know how QuickBooks Cloud can help your business? Get in touch with our Solutions Consultant at 855-270-6252.

Chat With A Solutions Consultant