QuickBooks Hosting Vs QuickBooks Online – Beginner’s Guide


Accuracy in accounting holds paramount importance for both accountants and CPA firms. SMBs are now using QuickBooks to ensure this while simplifying their accounting workflow. The Intuit product carries many built-in forms that enable users to maintain a complete track of the financial transactions and tax filing processes. 

One of the significant benefits of QuickBooks is that users can use the software without in-depth accounting knowledge – a reason why it has ruled the accounting industry among SMBs for decades. 

Another reason that makes QuickBooks among the favorite accounting tools for businesses is that it has been keeping up with futuristic technology advancements. QuickBooks Cloud. Among the recent changes with QuickBooks, its cloud adaptability is one. 

There are two ways in which QuickBooks on the cloud is accessible – QuickBooks Hosting and QuickBooks Online. This post entails a detailed overview of both the cloud-based QuickBooks approaches. Read on to explore it and prepare yourself with adequate knowledge that can help you make the best decision for your business. 

QuickBooks Hosting – How It Works? 

The traditional on-premise QuickBooks Desktop requires users to install the software on their local machine. They must use the local machine to access the accounting software. 

QuickBooks hosting is the process of hosting/installing a licensed copy of QuickBooks Desktop on the servers of a third-party hosting provider. Hosted QuickBooks enables users to access the accounting application using their preferred devices. 

Accessing the cloud-hosted QuickBooks requires users to use Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). Here, all the features and functionalities remain similar to the QuickBooks Desktop version.  

Leading cloud hosting providers host all versions of QuickBooks on their servers – QB Premier, Pro, Enterprise, POS, or Accountant. Hosting your preferred QuickBooks version requires you to pay a nominal fee to the service provider. The price usually depends on the number of users, resources of the server, etc. 

In a cloud hosted QuickBooks environment, the admin of the account holds the right to create/remove users and edit the access permissions. The cloud hosting provider secures the hosted QuickBooks version via login credentials. 

Accessing the hosted QuickBooks application requires a user to either use a remote access tool or a web browser on their local machine. They can use their preferred device to access QuickBooks from anywhere, anytime. 

QuickBooks cloud accounting ensures your accounting data is safe and secure, even during natural disasters and local machine failures. Wondering why? This is because cloud hosting allows users to carry out their accounting processes and save data on the hosting server. 

Furthermore, the features and functionalities of QuickBooks in the cloud are almost similar to the desktop version. Besides, the user experience remains unaltered, meaning users don’t experience major changes when using the cloud-hosted QuickBooks software. Instead, it enhances accessibility and productivity. 

Whether it’s anytime, anywhere access, multi-user collaboration, cross-device compatibility, automated backup, disaster recovery, or round-the-clock support, QuickBooks hosting covers them all. 

Most of the QuickBooks hosting providers require businesses to follow the below-mentioned steps to host the application on their servers: 

  • Step 1 

Choose Your Plan 

Select a hosting plan depending on the number of users  

  • Step 2 

Build Your Cloud PC 

Choose memory capacity and processing power  

  • Step 3 

Share QuickBooks Details 

Provide QB license details to the hosting provider to host the application on the cloud  

  • Step 4 

Get Started 

The service provider installs QB and migrates the data to the cloud   

Choosing a Hosting Provider for QuickBooks 

QuickBooks in the cloud offers users the independence to switch between service providers at will. Businesses should prefer an Intuit-authorized hosting provider for QuickBooks. 

Here are some of the factors that businesses should consider while choosing a hosting provider: 

  • IT infrastructure and data center practices (Suggested: Tier 3+ and IV) 
  • Availability of customer support (Suggested: 24×7 over phone, chat, and email) 
  • QuickBooks version supported (Suggested: Version you are using to the latest QuickBooks version available) 
  • Uptime guarantee (Suggested: 99.995% or more) 
  • Free trial for QuickBooks hosting services 

QuickBooks Online – How It Works? 

QuickBooks Online is a SaaS-based accounting software by Intuit. Though it replicates most of the features of QuickBooks, certain elements are not similar to the desktop version. The usual benefits of cloud computing, such as cross-device compatibility, remote accessibility, etc., are available in this version. However, the user interface and features are different from the desktop version. This makes the user experience different compared to the desktop version. 

QuickBooks Desktop users accustomed to its functionalities may not find switching to QuickBooks Online a smooth transition. 

QuickBooks Online – How It Works

Apart from the differences in features, another challenge most users encounter with QuickBooks Online is slower processing. For accounting professionals with a long list of tasks, working on QuickBooks Online isn’t recommended, especially for businesses that need multi-user compatibility. 

Using QuickBooks Online enables users to get the most recent updates for the application and the latest features. 

QuickBooks Online works entirely online on the servers of Intuit. In this case, users can’t choose the hosting service, which sometimes restricts them from using QuickBooks add-ons. 

QuickBooks Hosting vs. QuickBooks Online – A Quick Glimpse 

Features  QuickBooks Hosting  QuickBooks Online 
Remote Access 
Similar to QuickBooks Desktop Features 
Cross-Device Compatibility 
Price and Charges  Managed by cloud providers  Fixed by Intuit 
Better Inventory 
Third-Party Add-ons Integration 
Processing Speed  Faster (Depends on the server)  Slower than QB on desktop 
Automatic Backup 
Real-time Multi-User Collaboration 
Additional Application Hosting 
Training Needs 
Shipping Manager 

QuickBooks Hosting or QuickBooks Online – Which is Better? 

Whether online or hosted, cloud-based QuickBooks offers flexibility, mobility, and scalability. Both versions enable users to unlock the full potential of the cloud. 

Professionals who prefer acquiring cloud benefits such as remote access to the accounting data rather than the whole feature-set of QuickBooks Desktop use QB Online. 

Those who require all the QB Desktop features clubbed with the benefits of the cloud prefer hosting QuickBooks in the cloud. 

Ultimately, you must choose the best cloud-based QuickBooks product according to your unique business objectives.