Are you not feeling good about continuing to use local-hosted QuickBooks desktop accounting software? Are the latest cloud technology trends making you feel lost? As new advancements come across, adopting the most suitable technology is key.
When it comes to streamlining the accounting processes followed on your business side, there are several steps you need to consider. Switching from manual accounting steps to using QuickBooks accounting software is the step you have already taken. Still, if you are not happy with how you use this application, have you started looking for possible alternatives yet? More particularly, what are the possible alternatives to installing QuickBooks on a local computer system?
Search for these requirements online and you will end up finding two solutions that seem better than QuickBooks desktop – one is QuickBooks Online and the other is QuickBooks hosting. While there is no direct link between the two, QuickBooks lies at the core of them both. The majority of differences come down to the user experience metrics, including accessibility, collaboration, and data security, to name a few.
So, what exactly is the difference between QuickBooks desktop software, QuickBooks hosting, and QuickBooks Online? Here, we will cover the detailed comparison between all these sides of accessing your QB application. But before that, let’s look at why people need a QuickBooks desktop alternative.
Why Do Most QuickBooks Users Look for Cloud-Backed Solutions?
QuickBooks desktop accounting application has a plethora of features for various business needs. Its interface is easy to use and comes with a short learning curve. You can easily install it on your local computer system and start accessing its comprehensive feature set. That’s how business applications used to work in the past. However, as technology changes with time, what used to work once may not work equally now for many businesses like yours.
The need to shift from the traditional way to hosted QuickBooks applications does not arise out of malice. In fact, it is mostly from the new way of handling accounting software that is backed by cloud technology. How can one even improve on software or ways to use them when there will be no advancements?
Cloud-backed QuickBooks is highly sought after because of the following primary reasons:
- As a QuickBooks user, you can only use the software on the computer system where it is installed.
- Many unfortunate, unpredictable events, such as earthquakes and floods often lead to QB data loss for many businesses.
- It is not always budget-friendly to invest in on-premise IT infrastructure and set up a high-profile local host environment.
- Maintaining a highly secure work environment is not feasible for all types of businesses.
That’s what brings QB hosting and QB online into the picture.
QB Online and QB Hosting – Two Ways to Get QuickBooks Hosted on Cloud
One of the biggest concerns of QuickBooks users is the marriage between cloud technology and QB’s features. It is not about prioritizing one over the other but taking them both together. This is what both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise hosting do for them.
QuickBooks Online is the cloud version of this application that is offered by the QB maker, Intuit itself. To get the related benefits of cloud computing, all you need to do is select a suitable plan – Simple Start, Essentials, Plus, or Advanced. Each of these QB Online plans has certain common features the list of which grows as you proceed toward the higher options. It does not require you to buy the license of QB software in addition.
QuickBooks hosting, on the other hand, is the cloud solution in which you prefer hosting your licensed QB application on a third-party cloud server. In other words, it allows you to host your QuickBooks on a remote cloud server that is owned and managed by the selected cloud solution provider. Here, you do not need to invest a significant amount in building the required on-premise infrastructure but only pay for the QB license and a cloud hosting plan.
Wondering where these two circles overlap? Let’s dive in.
What’s So Common Between QB Online and QB Hosting?
If you already have a good understanding of how cloud hosting works, you will find it easier to understand the QB hosting vs. QB online comparison. As detailed above, QB Online is backed by Intuit to support the underlying cloud technology, while QB hosting has third-party cloud solution providers by their side. Despite this difference, there are many similarities between the two that often make individuals feel confused about which way to go, such as:
- Both these cloud solutions are backed by cloud servers. QuickBooks software is hosted on remote servers that make it accessible via any Internet-connected device on the go at your convenience.
- You can expect enhanced security for your QB data from both these solutions because of security measures like multi-factor authentication, firewalls, antiviruses, and antimalware, to name a few.
- Both of them allow you and your team members to stay connected and work on the same QB files simultaneously in real time.
- Both the cloud solutions for QuickBooks have multiple plans that you can choose based on your business needs. For instance, with QB Online, the range of plans includes Simple Start, Essentials, Plus, and Advanced. The availability of cloud hosting plans varies from one QuickBooks hosting provider to another. Ace Cloud Hosting, for example, offers Essentials, Business, and Enterprise plans for their clients.
What’s Not Common Between QB Online and QB Hosting?
Let’s move from the similarities to differences between QB hosting and QB Online.
With QB Online, the intrinsic interface you get is not the same as in the QuickBooks desktop accounting software. Although it is relatable, it is different from using the desktop-hosted QB application, which may make many users feel the lack of ease in transitioning to this cloud-hosted solution.
QuickBooks hosting, which involves taking your licensed software and hosting it on the cloud, does not result in any change in the interface.
Although you know that there are cloud servers supporting QB Online, you, as a QB user, do not exercise much control over them. You will get what you expect – a cloud solution that provides remotely accessible QuickBooks.
With QuickBooks hosting, you get the liberty to choose whether you want to host the software on a shared or dedicated server. Most cloud solution providers provide this flexibility of cloud server selection.
QuickBooks Online provides limited hosting support during business hours. It means that when faced with a software access issue at midnight, you will have no other option but to wait for the next day to come up to raise a query.
QB cloud hosting via a third-party hosting provider will be there for you round-the-clock in terms of customer support.
QB Hosting Vs. QB Online – Which Way Should You Go?
Not all cloud solutions for QuickBooks are created equal. Some of them are better than others in terms of cloud benefits like accessibility, client support, server selection, and more. As detailed above, QuickBooks hosting is better than QB Online on many fronts. While the information given above is enough to clear various doubts you might have, it is advisable to dig deeper and understand their individual perks in detail before making the required decision.