QuickBooks Online Vs. QuickBooks Hosting: Learn Which One is Better?

QuickBooks has established itself as a leading player in the accounting world by offering a variety of versions tailored to meet different business requirements. One is QuickBooks Online (QBO), a cloud accounting software system developed by Intuit to help businesses manage their finances more efficiently. QuickBooks Online has emerged as a leading cloud-based accounting software solution, providing businesses with anytime, anywhere access to their financial data. QBO is particularly well-suited for service-based businesses that do not require complex invoicing features or inventory tracking options.

Another option is QuickBooks Hosting, which is a desktop version of QuickBooks Software hosted on the cloud. It is a cloud-based accounting solution that allows businesses to run their QuickBooks Desktop software on remote servers accessed through the Internet. It involves hosting the QuickBooks desktop version on a third-party provider’s servers and accessing it remotely from anywhere, anytime.

Ultimately, the choice between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Hosting depends on the specific needs of your business.

QuickBooks Online Vs. Hosted QuickBooks: Key Factors To Compare

To determine the better option between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Hosting, businesses need to compare their features to make a smart decision.

To guide you, Ace Cloud interviewed Doug Sleeter, a member of its leadership board, who shared valuable insights on the current state of accounting solutions for firms.

His expertise lends a powerful endorsement to any accounting solution that earns his approval, making it a compelling choice for firms looking to optimize their financial management systems.

If more details are needed, here is an in-depth comparison between both cloud accounting solutions: QuickBooks Online vs. Hosted QuickBooks:


QuickBooks Hosting offers a fortified layer of security to safeguard your valuable financial data, making it ideal for businesses that comply with industry-specific regulations, such as HIPAA for healthcare or PCI DSS for payment card processing. Additionally, Ace Hosted QuickBooks comes with advanced security features, such as two-factor authentication, to ensure that data is always protected.

Advanced encryption safeguards the information, making it uninterpretable to prohibited eyes. Firewalls stand tall, preventing external threats from breaching the fortress walls. Stringent access controls regulate entry, allowing only authorized individuals to access the domain of financial data.

Undoubtedly, QuickBooks Online provides standard data security measures, including encryption and regular data backups. But businesses still depend on security implemented by Intuit, the parent company. QuickBooks Online operates in a shared cloud environment, which may make it more difficult for businesses to comply with industry-specific regulations. While QuickBooks Online offers inbuilt security measures to protect data, companies may be limited in compliance requirements due to the shared cloud environment.

Don’t limit yourself. Get access to QuickBooks Anywhere, Anytime with Hosted QuickBooks.


QuickBooks Hosting offers the same level of accessibility as QuickBooks Online. Yet, there is a difference in how they provide this accessibility. QuickBooks Hosting provides remote access to the desktop version of QuickBooks. It means that users can work with the familiar interface of the desktop software rather than a web-based interface.

With its cloud-based nature, QuickBooks Online provides accessibility from any device with an internet connection, offering flexibility for businesses on the go. Users can conveniently access their financial data from anywhere, anytime.

User Experience

Users who have embraced the desktop version can find solace in the fact that QuickBooks Hosting offers the exact same experience. The essence of the classic desktop interface remains intact, providing a seamless continuation of their established workflow from anytime, anywhere.

QuickBooks Hosting doesn’t just maintain the recognizable interface; it extends the convenience of offline mode by offering remote access with a stable network connection wherein users can work without the constant requirement to be restricted to their desks.

While QuickBooks Online offers remote accessibility and collaboration advantages, accountants who are to the offline desktop version might need time to adapt to the online workflow. QuickBooks Online has a different interface, and some functionalities might be organized differently compared to the desktop version, thus introducing a learning curve for the team.


QuickBooks Hosting brings you all the features of Desktop version along with enhanced customization options. For instance, in the desktop version, you can create highly customized reports using the built-in report customization tools.

Besides customization within the software, with hosting you get to choose to customize your cloud server with other business applications necessary for operations. All applications and add-ons can be hosted in the same cloud to have the whole ecosystem created in cloud. This way one will have higher efficiency and productivity without having to switch between cloud and desktop views.

QuickBooks Online offers a wide range of features, including invoicing, expense tracking, and financial reporting. It provides a user-friendly interface and easy setup, making it suitable for small businesses and entrepreneurs. You can gain immediate insights into the performance of your business by utilizing customizable reports and dynamic dashboards that provide a comprehensive overview.

Total Cost of Ownership

The pricing of QuickBooks Hosting and QuickBooks Online depends on different factors. Moving QuickBooks to cloud with hosting may seem expensive initially, however, it can be more cost-effective in the long run. Hosting providers typically offer flexible pricing plans that allow businesses to pay only for the features and users they need.

Also, they offer support and maintenance services as part of their pricing plans, eliminating businesses needing additional IT staff. QuickBooks Hosting’s cost-effective structure, coupled with savings in hardware, IT maintenance, and disaster recovery, contributes to a lower total cost of ownership compared to maintaining in-house server infrastructure.

QuickBooks Online can be a more affordable option for small businesses with basic accounting needs, but the cost can quickly add up as companies require additional features or users.

Although QuickBooks Online’s monthly subscription package is available, its price may differ significantly based on additional services such as full-scale payroll and charges for multiple company profiles.

Seamless Integration Capabilities

Both the products offer seamless integration with third-party applications as per business needs.

QuickBooks Hosting enables integration with other business tools like CRM systems and ERP software, giving businesses a centralized workspace for managing their finances, making tracking financial transactions, and generating reports easier.

QuickBooks Online offers hundreds of free add-on options along with premium integration capabilities, including DocuSign, Bill.com, HubSpot, and Salesforce, that may require additional costs or third-party software.

Disaster Recovery

Both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Hosting offer automatic data backups and disaster recovery, ensuring businesses do not lose financial data during a hardware failure or other disaster.

In the case of QuickBooks Hosting, the cloud hosting providers usually use advanced backup technologies, such as incremental backups, to ensure data is backed up efficiently and securely. They offer disaster recovery plans to ensure businesses can quickly recover from any potential disaster. Users have more control over their data, including access to backups and the ability to restore data. Generally, hosting providers offer features that allow users to take snapshots or backups of their hosted QuickBooks environment. Users can usually request to restore data from a specific backup point in case of data loss or other issues.

In QuickBooks Online, users typically do not have direct access to old backups. Intuit manages the backups behind the scenes, and users don’t usually have the option to restore from specific backup points. If you need to restore your data to a previous state, you will typically contact QuickBooks Online support to request a data restoration who would assist you in recovering your data based on their backup processes.

Maintenance and Upgrades

In QuickBooks Hosting, the cloud hosting provider handles all maintenance and upgrades for the software, ensuring that businesses always have access to the updated version of QuickBooks. They eliminate the need for companies to worry about upgrading or maintaining their software, which can be time-consuming and costly. Additionally, they provide technical support and troubleshooting services to help businesses resolve any issues that may arise.

In QuickBooks Online, Intuit takes care of maintenance and upgrades, ensuring a seamless experience. While businesses may not have direct control over update timing, this approach minimizes disruptions and any potential concerns associated with new updates.


QuickBooks Hosting leverages the power of remote servers designed specifically for hosting desktop applications, resulting in faster processing times and improved performance. The solution promises high-performance servers with advanced processors, memory, and storage to ensure that QuickBooks runs smoothly and efficiently. Furthermore, it offers dedicated resources for each user, which provides that resources are not shared among other users, leading to better performance.

QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based solution that relies heavily on internet connectivity. Furthermore, QBO is a shared cloud environment, which means that system resources are shared among all users, leading to potential performance issues during peak usage times.


QuickBooks Hosting can offer greater scalability in terms of the ability to add and reduce users, as well as potentially accommodating larger workloads and more complex accounting needs.

While QuickBooks Online offers scalability up to a certain extent within the available plans, it might have limitations on the number of users or advanced features based on the pricing tier. This is in contrast to QuickBooks Hosting, which could potentially provide greater scalability by leveraging hosting providers’ infrastructure.

Customer Support

QuickBooks Hosting is managed by third-party hosting providers. Thus, they offer different levels of coverage time and support types, which can vary as per their service. For instance, Ace Cloud extends 24/7 connectivity support, even on weekends and holidays, accessible via online chat or call.

For QuickBooks Online users (Simple Start, Essentials, and Plus Users), live chat is available from Monday to Friday, spanning 6 am to 6 pm IST.

Differences Between QuickBooks Hosting and QuickBooks Online

Features QuickBooks Online QuickBooks Hosting 
Accessibility Accessible through the web browser with stable network connection Accessible through cloud servers with stable network connection 
Advanced Functionality Offers a wide range of features, including invoicing, expense tracking, and reporting Offers all the features of QuickBooks Desktop with enhanced functionality and customization options  
User Interface and Customization Features and user experience different than QuickBooks Desktop Same features and user experience as QuickBooks Desktop, along with some hosting features 
Versions Simple Start, Essentials, and Plus QuickBooks Pro, Premier, Accountant, POS, and Enterprise 
Pricing Structure Subscription based model Flexible pricing structure, Eliminates the need for expensive on-premises server infrastructure, resulting in cost savings 
Additional Application Hosting No, Does not allow for hosting additional applications within its platform.  Yes, supports any application. Also allows hosting different year-versions of the same QuickBooks Desktop software. 
Third-party Integrations Yes,  offers integration with third-party applications through its App Store to extend its functionality. Yes, no limits on third-party add-ons integration 
Software Installation No software installation required Does not require installation on local devices once it is done on cloud 
Manage And Pay Bills Not available with the basic plan Yes 
Multi User Access Yes Yes 
Backup And Disaster Recovery Yes  Yes 
Better Lead and Inventory Center No Yes 
Invoices in Batches No Yes 
Payroll Function Available via Add-on Available via Add-on 
Inventory Management Available only in Plus Plans Yes 
All QuickBooks Desktop Features No Yes 
Shipping Manager No Yes 
Processing Speed Slower than QuickBooks Hosting Faster (depending on the server) 

Which Cloud Accounting Solution Should You Choose?

To conclude, both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Hosting have their own set advantages, and deciding which one to choose depends on your business needs.

While QuickBooks Online offers convenience and scalability, QuickBooks Hosting emerges as the smarter choice for businesses seeking cost savings. QuickBooks Hosting is a powerful solution catering to businesses of all sizes and industries, empowering you with unrivaled convenience, top-notch security, and unparalleled flexibility.

QuickBooks Online has been widely praised for its accessibility and user-friendly interface, which has made it a popular choice among small and medium tier businesses that require limited features. However, for those looking to take their accounting capabilities to the next level, QuickBooks Hosting provides an unparalleled level of excellence. With advanced features and increased accessibility, QuickBooks Hosting offers a more comprehensive and streamlined approach to accounting that can help businesses of all kinds achieve their financial goals.

By eliminating upfront hardware costs, reducing IT infrastructure maintenance expenses, offering flexible pay-as-you-go pricing, providing data backup and disaster recovery, and delivering a lower total cost of ownership, QuickBooks Hosting enables businesses to optimize their financial management while staying within budget.

At Ace Cloud, we excel in delivering seamless performance, top-notch security, and expert support to elevate your accounting experience. Our flexible and scalable hosting solutions ensure you only pay for what you need, while our seamless integration with various applications enhances productivity.

Get in touch with our experts to get a trial of QuickBooks hosting services at +1-855-223-4887 today.

Get Answers to Major Questions Asked by Users:

Which one is more suitable for businesses with multiple locations or remote teams?

QuickBooks Hosting is more suitable for businesses with multiple locations or remote teams. Since the software and data are hosted on a cloud server, it allows users to access QuickBooks from any location and using any device with an internet connection. This flexibility enables seamless collaboration and real-time access to the most up-to-date financial information, regardless of physical location.

What are the cost differences between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Hosting?

QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Hosting have different cost structures. QuickBooks Online typically operates on a subscription-based model, where users pay a monthly fee based on the plan and features they choose. The cost is predictable and may vary depending on the number of users and additional services required. QuickBooks Hosting, on the other hand, involves paying for both the hosting service and the QuickBooks software license. And in the long term, QuickBooks Hosting eliminates the need for expensive on-premises server infrastructure, resulting in lower initial setup costs. By leveraging a hosting provider, businesses avoid the expense of purchasing and maintaining servers, saving valuable capital.

Which option offers better scalability for growing businesses?

Both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Hosting offer scalability, but QuickBooks Hosting often provides more flexibility for growing businesses. Hosting providers typically offer scalable solutions, allowing businesses to adjust their computing resources as their needs change.

About Julie Watson

Julie is a dynamic professional with over 16 years of rich experience as a VDI and Application Hosting expert. At Ace Cloud Hosting, she humanizes disruptive and emerging remote working trends to help leaders discover new and better possibilities for digital transformation and innovation by using cloud solutions with an enterprise-class security approach. Beyond work, Julie is a passionate surfer.
On the weekend, you will find her hanging out with her family or surfing around the North Shore of Oahu.

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Comments (1)

  • Smith says:

    I have used both QuickBooks online and QuickBooks hosting and trust me QuickBooks hosting is just like QuickBooks desktop – with some advanced features of course. I would always choose QuickBooks hosting over QuickBooks online. Keep in mind that you have to select a trustworthy cloud provider to get the best services.

    • Bancroft says:

      I second that Smith! QuickBooks hosting has features like remote access which can easily outperform those of QuickBooks desktop and online. Also, the restrictions to use the QuickBooks hosting is very less as compared to those of QuickBooks Online.

  • Warner says:

    Having various versions for every kind of business need is one of the many reasons that QuickBooks hosting is the preferred choice of accounting professionals.

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