Update: This article was last updated on 23rd June 2020 to reflect the accuracy and up-to-date information on the page.

Accounting clients, both individuals and businesses, are excited about the cloud. Some of them have already made the switch, while most are still considering the options that they have. Intuit, with its QuickBooks Desktop software, has been a leader in delivering accounting solutions.

As the cloud entered the arena, Intuit came up with a solution – QuickBooks Online (QBO), the company’s very own cloud-based accounting solutions for businesses. Since its launch, the software has been gaining popularity.

As per the reports in Intuit Investor Day 2019, QuickBooks Online accounts for over 4.5 million customers globally. The online system witnessed a growth of 38% in FY’19.

QuickBooks Desktop To Host or Not To Host When There is QBO

Image Credit: MA Klein via Flickr

QuickBooks Online is on the rise, but it is not the only choice if you want to work on the cloud with the solutions of Intuit. Hosting QuickBooks Desktop on the cloud is another option, and along with some challenges, it has its own share of advantages over QBO.

What Makes QuickBooks Desktop Hosting a Smart Choice Over QuickBooks Online

1. Accounting Features

QBO is not a cloud version of the QuickBooks Desktop application. It is completely independent accounting software, which lacks features significantly when compared to the desktop version like a large set of inventories, lead management, sales orders, etc.

On the other hand, network-dependent features (like – anytime, anywhere access, multi-user collaboration, cross-device compatibility, etc.) that desktop version lacks because of its dependency on the local machine are eliminated by going for hosting.

So, hosting QuickBooks desktop on cloud brings all its features with the power of cloud. You can get a detailed feature comparison between the various versions here.

2. Accustomed UI

QuickBooks desktop has been serving the accounting professionals for decades and they are pretty much familiar with it. QBO, being a different application, offers several changes and not everyone finds this change in user-interface impressive.

Again, QuickBooks hosting maintains the consistency of the UI, and the users, who are accustomed to it will find cloud equally convenient without asking for any training.

3. Efficient Support

Support is one of the critical deciders when it comes to choosing technical solutions, especially when it holds responsibilities for finance operations. One requires continuous services and instant solution when a problem arises. During the peak hours, QBO can struggle with it to serve instantly because of its large customer base.

On the other hand, support for hosting QuickBooks will depend on the provider. Most of the service providers are able to deliver instant support, which may or may not be free. So, it might cost a little, but services will remain on the right track.

Challenges That QuickBooks Desktop Hosting Faces Because of QuickBooks Online

1. Intuit’s Backing for QBO

QBO is the dearest child for Intuit of because it simplifies its operations in a big way. Unlike the desktop version, the upgrades can go without forcing the clients. The pricing model is implemented in a very convenient pattern.

Moreover, the management of the software is easier with its own cloud-based application. So, there are enough reasons for Intuit to promote QBO more aggressively among the clients.

2. Trust on Intuit

Intuit is a major player in the accounting software market and commands massive customer trust. Since QBO is entirely developed and managed by Intuit, it adds a big advantage in support of QBO even if it lacks certain features and usability.

Unless the hosting provider has considerable experience and genuine affiliations (such as – Intuit Authorized Commercial Host), it is tough for a client to trust the servers of a third-party with its financial data.

Wrapping Up

Experts have predicted that eventually, QBO will be the only product on offer. That could be true, but considering the current scenario, QuickBooks desktop holds great potential in terms of existing customer-base and features one offer.

Hosting it on the cloud adds more substance to these features without taking off anything from it, unlike QBO. Intuit favors QBO but understands that the desktop version is still here to stay. Even looking at the figures mentioned in the Intuit’s Fact Sheet, QuickBooks desktop holds almost equal market shares as compared to its online version.

Intuit regularly updates its desktop version, even if they do not carry major changes. It indicates that the company wants the customer experience with QuickBooks desktop to remain convenient with hosting until QBO is ready to overshadow it completely.

Still confused between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online? Chat with our Solutions Consultant to know more.

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