QuickBooks Desktop has been an undisputed champion among the accounting software for personal, small and medium businesses since decades. However, in the recent years, the rise of cloud computing has lead to a massive debate over its future.
Sales report of every desktop application in different industry is presenting a depressing dive. Cloud, on the other hand, shows a sparkling sight of significant profit. Same is the story for QuickBooks Desktop. But another interesting thing about the accounting application from Intuit is its immense fan following.
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A large number of accounting professionals have been managing accounts since long on the application; they are accustomed to its user interface and familiar with the features. Moreover, QuickBooks Desktop is able to solve more accounting operations than its so-called cloud version, QuickBooks Online.
Since cloud has a number of other benefits, such as – device independence, multi-user collaboration, and anytime, anywhere access, which cannot be ignored for a progressive accounting aim. So, hosting of QuickBooks Desktop was picked as the solution.
But a looming question is with Intuit willing to promote QuickBooks Online, how long is QuickBooks hosting going to serve. Let’s review various perspectives to see the future of QuickBooks Hosting.
Intuit’s Take On QuickBooks Hosting
Intuit has a strong belief that QuickBooks Online is the future. They have examples of cloud services, like – Azure and AWS that are the substantial contributor in profits for respective owners. However, they also accept that QuickBooks Desktop is going to stay for years.
Intuit also acknowledges QuickBooks hosting is important for a smoother transmission of the desktop user to the cloud. Thus, they have given authorized commercial hosting provider status to selected ones.
Coming to its cloud strategy, Intuit does not go public with most of its future plans and mostly prefers announcing its decisions but things are pretty much clear with QuickBooks. QuickBooks Online has been active since long and Intuit has made its effort at promoting it among desktop users. It did not work that well.
Intuit also has a forgettable experience with Quicken in the back of its mind. Quicken that was launched as a desktop application was later delivered in a cloud version as well.
The product did not work out as they wanted it to. Cloud version was discontinued in 2010 and desktop version was sold to H.I.G. Capital this year. They would never want a similar situation with QuickBooks. So, it is expected that they are going to keep the QuickBooks Desktop hosting clients comfortable.
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What Users Want
QuickBooks Desktop has served the accounting professionals amazingly. Graced with plenty of features, it has been a real game-changer in business accounting. Currently, after using it over the years, users are accustomed to UX and UI while QuickBooks Online is entirely a new experience. Since not all accounting experts are not tech experts, expecting them to accept the changes comfortably is not easy.
Moreover, shifting entire accounting operations to a new platform is a big challenge, especially for enterprises. Even though QuickBooks Online can read QuickBooks Desktop files and data migration is not herculean issues, guiding staff with the changes remains a major concern. Reliability, the speed of operations, and the limit on the number of users are other factors that do not add support for QuickBooks Online.
The explosion of smartphones, tablet devices, etc. that can deliver computing operations has invited the attention of accounting world and well. This creates space for cloud in the industry, but that must be a part of improving productivity rather than hampering it.
So, the most achievable solution is hosting QuickBooks desktop on the cloud. It brings all the features of the cloud, along with the trust because of hosting provider’s expertise. As most of the hosting providers provide complete setup, installation, and maintenance support, clients do not have to worry about the transitional hassles.
Where Are We Heading
On reviewing three QuickBooks variations, – Online, Desktop, and Hosting, on the basis of features, the hosted version has an upper hand. It won’t be an overstatement to say that Intuit does not see any competition with desktop software applications. If the users had to switch, the cloud would be the most attractive solution. But it could be an interesting story when the client decides to go on the cloud.
When they are sure that the accustomed and familiarity factors of QuickBooks Desktop are gone, accounting professionals will like to explore all the choice they have. Intuit is aware of that and there is some healthy competition in the arena for QuickBooks Online.
Xero, Sage, and several others are up there. Thus, Intuit must be at peace if they can deliver a gradual shift. Instead of a forced switch from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online, a comfortable intermediate step to QuickBooks Hosting is a win-win situation for both – clients as well as Intuit.
Once QuickBooks Online is able to outclass the abilities of desktop applications (which is likely to take some years), hosting is a great way of enhancing accounting operations. All the amazing utilities of QuickBooks desktop (such as – reporting, job costing, etc.) are merged into the benefits of QuickBooks Online (such as – real-time multi-user collaboration, device independence, etc.) when you switch to QuickBooks Hosting.
Even though a perfect solution may vary because of certain idiosyncrasies of your business, with such strong advantage on its end, QuickBooks hosting is going to ably fit the most accounting requirement for the years to come.