Update: This article was last updated on 11th Mar 2022 to reflect the accuracy and up-to-date information on the page.

Accountants, CPAs, and small business owners have become more efficient, stable, and productive with the adoption of QuickBooks software for their day-to-day financial tasks such as invoicing, billing, and time tracking. The software can easily integrate with other applications and allow companies to manage their finances. 

However, with the increasing adoption of cloud technology, businesses are actively looking for a cloud-based option for QuickBooks. Presently, there are two modes of using QuickBooks on the cloud – QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Hosting that is widely used by businesses nowadays. 

QuickBooks Online vs QuickBooks Hosting

However, when it comes to implementation, many financial professionals are confused about which one is better for their type of process. We will lay down some of the facts for you. 

QuickBooks Online 

Citing the huge dependency on the cloud among businesses, Intuit developed a cloud-based version of QuickBooks, called QuickBooks Online. It is a cloud-based financial management software system that helps businesses manage their finances. 

QuickBooks Online differs significantly from the desktop version of the software in terms of user interface and feature-set. 

QuickBooks Online is an ideal solution for service-based businesses that do not have complicated invoicing requirements or don’t need inventory tracking options. While QuickBooks has been around for years, it has recently achieved traction with numerous small business owners for its customizable and feasible tools. Intuit has taken many steps to move its customers to QuickBooks Online. Even though it offers many benefits, it’s important to explore all the options to ensure that the decision is right for the company. 

QuickBooks Hosting 

QuickBooks Hosting refers to the installation of the QuickBooks Desktop version on the network, which is hosted by a third-party cloud provider over the internet to provide access to the data or files via a web browser from anywhere. 

In simple terms, all the information, data, and files which are hosted on the cloud can be accessed by authenticated users from any location without the need to install it on a local machine. 

If you want the benefits of a traditional QuickBooks Desktop in a more accessible and robust environment, hosting QuickBooks on the cloud is the way to go. Cloud-based QuickBooks allows you to have access from a computer running Linux, Mac, or Windows. 

QuickBooks Online Vs. QuickBooks Hosting: At a Glance 

QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online are business accounting software that mainly differs in three areas: features, data accessibility, and pricing. Currently, QuickBooks Desktop hosting has more features than QuickBooks Online. 

QuickBooks Online has grown to 2.2 million users and has recently made significant advancements and changes for its users. While QuickBooks Online offers many features, there are a few drawbacks, such as a semi-steep learning curve, navigational issues, and long support waiting time. 

Most cloud providers offer 24*7 customer support – even on weekends and holidays. While QuickBooks Online provides phone support from Monday to Friday.  

While it is essential to recognize how Hosting QuickBooks Desktop on the cloud would mean that the product will get efficient and faster, you still have to ask yourself if QuickBooks cloud Hosting is the right choice for your business. 

Let’s check out the facts. What is the difference between the two, and where do they excel? 

We have done the research for you to settle this debate. The comparison table below provides key differences between the two cloud accounting solutions. 

Features QuickBooks Online QuickBooks Hosting
Accessibility Accessible through the web browser Accessible through desktop icon
Technical support Fixed timing provided by Intuit Always-on support provided by the third-party provider
User interface and customization Features and user experience different than QuickBooks Desktop Same features and user experience as QuickBooks Desktop
Supported versions QuickBooks Online QuickBooks Pro, Premier, Accountant, POS, and Enterprise
Pricing structure Fixed pricing Scalable pricing structure
Additional application hosting Yes Yes
Manage and pay bills Not available with the basic plan Yes
Number of users who can access QuickBooks simultaneously 1 with a basic plan. Maximum 25 users on higher plans Unlimited users (but the maximum number of simultaneous users depends on QB version)
User permission control Not available with the basic plan Yes
Backup and disaster recovery Yes (limited) Yes
Better lead and inventory center No Yes
Create and send a purchase order Not available with the basic plan Yes
Payroll function Available via Add-on Available via Add-on
Inventory management Not available with the basic plan Yes
All QuickBooks Desktop features No Yes
Shipping manager No Yes
Processing speed Slower than QuickBooks Hosting Faster (depending on the server)

Picking the Right Tool 

It is important to choose the right option to meet your client’s needs. If all of your clients were similar, you would have been served with a single option. However, that is usually not the case, as most accounting firms have clients of different sizes. This means that you will need a more versatile option. 

QuickBooks Desktop hosting gives you the option to choose among the various versions such as Pro, Premier, Accountant, or Enterprise Solution that serves the need of different industries of every scale. 

Hosting it on the cloud can offer you the flexibility and mobility benefits of the cloud, along with all the features available in the desktop version. 

On the other hand, while looking at your practice, you may realize that some of your clients don’t have many complexities, and their requirements can be fulfilled by QuickBooks Online. Particularly, if you need remote access and have more than one user, QuickBooks Online can be a less expensive option. 

In Our Opinion 

It is clear that QuickBooks cloud hosting offers more apt solutions for small businesses, CPAs, and accountants who are looking to work out things faster and efficiently. The importance of cloud accounting solutions is constantly growing. While QuickBooks Online is also improving.  

Furthermore, cloud-hosted QuickBooks seems to be an easier pick as it doesn’t need major changes in the existing desktop version and all the benefits of the cloud are easily available. 

Eventually, the deciding factor between QuickBooks Hosting and QuickBooks Online comes down to what your priorities and requirements are as a business owner and an entrepreneur. Check what is the best option for you and your client and help them navigate constantly changing technology trends. 

If you are still confused about what to choose between QuickBooks Hosting and QuickBooks Online, contact our experts for a free consultation: 855-223-4887

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