QuickBooks Cloud vs QuickBooks Online

Overview of QuickBooks Desktop

QuickBooks has been used to account, track and report business data since the 1990s. The program was originally designed for desktop computers and servers, saving all data to the computer itself and requiring that businesses find ways to maintaining and backup up their own information.

Today, QuickBooks Online has become what QuickBooks Desktop used to be…  A simple high-quality way to do basic accounting.  Millions of micro-businesses have adopted this new platform.

Both programs are available for use, but they do offer some decidedly different features. I want to share a little bit of our experience about both options to help businesses choose which program might be right for them.

Overview of QuickBooks Online

I have found that most businesses are familiar with the Desktop option but many more looking for the Online version, which is a great option for basic check cutting and invoicing needs for micro and small businesses.

Sometimes referred to QuickBooks Online, or QBO for short, there are a lot of aspects about this program that I like. I do recommend QuickBooks Online. For businesses that need a simple remote access solution to their information or that want to share access for multiple people,

From speaking with various companies, I have found that choosing QB Desktop is the right choice for businesses that

  •      Are mobile and need to have access at various locations
  •      Have only a few people who need access to the data
  •      Have one company, not multiple
  •      Would prefer to have their books accessible online
  •      Don’t need customized features

There are some shortcomings to the choice of using QBO. However, with the ever-increasing emphasis on using technology and the internet to access your business data, it’s a solid choice.

Overview of QuickBooks Cloud (Desktop)

Sometimes referred to as Hosted QuickBooks, there are a lot of aspects about this way of using QuickBooks that may favor your operations, more.

WARNING:  For existing users of Pro, Premier or Enterprise you may not get the same functionality you are used to by migrating to QuickBooks Online.  Please check with your QuickBooks Professionals or call Intuit to make sure.

Reasons why Cloud hosting QuickBooks may be best for you businesses are;

  •      Broader integrated and 3rd Party Solutions like, HighJumpMIsys Manufacturing, and Acctivate.
  •      More complex transactions or operations
  •      Need multiple people to access the books, possibly at the same time
  •      Require more robust reporting and transaction capacity
  •      Have knowledge of and are comfortable with cloud computing

A Side-by-Side Comparison

One of the easiest methods I use to help other businesses decide which version of the programs is right for them is to compare the main features of both options. There are some functional aspects I typically show interested businesses. These include:

  1. Initial and monthly fees – QuickBooks Cloud Hosting may have an initial, one-time setup to purchase the basic program and install it onto the hosted network servers that will use it. An annual or monthly payment is required for some of the more advanced options, included in Pro and Enterprise. However, QuickBooks Online requires an ongoing monthly payment in order to access all the features in addition to the start-up fee depending on which version you choose.
  1. Internet connection – As the name implies, an internet connection is required for either QuickBooks Cloud or Online since they are both cloud-based. If having access to the internet is an issue, neither system can be used well. That’s why we suggest a complementary test of your bandwidth before you choose.
  1. Remote access – With the cloud, anyone with a device and Wi-Fi can access a QuickBooks Cloud or QuickBooks Online no matter where he or she is located. *But you still need a solid connection to the internet. Users do not have to be at the business location; they can be in a hotel room on a business trip or at home on a day off. Even better, these systems make access a reality for a variety of different devices, including tablets and smartphones.
  1. Multiple users, Multiple companies – With both QuickBooks Cloud and QuickBooks Online users can access the information at the same time. QBO permits up to 25 simultaneous users, QuickBooks Enterprise allows for 30 allowing for collaboration and efficiency. However. QuickBooks Online only permits 1 company database per account.  QuickBooks Cloud with QuickBooks Enterprise allows for as many company databases as you need.
  1. Customized features – At this time, QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise offer the ability to customized your system that are unique to your needs.
  1. Automation features – Both choices have various automation utilities. Each are a little different. One that we were really sad to see leave, QuickBooks Hosted Versions was the Intuit Payment Network connection which allowed you to post credit cards and ACH transactions directly to Accounts Receivable. It is now used only for QuickBooks Online.  In my humble opinion, I think this was a strategic move to start limiting functionality in desktop versions.
  1. Updates – A convenience of QuickBooks Online is that no updates are required; Intuit takes care of this. When you work with an Authorized Intuit Host, like us, we take care of the updates and major releases as long as you are current with your licensed version of QuickBooks Pro, Premier or Enterprise.
  1. Technical support – Desktop users do have access to technical support through the hosting provider operating their QuickBooks Cloud solution. Not every hosting provider does this so be careful. QBO’s monthly subscription includes technical support.

The Best of Both Worlds

Most of the businesses that I have talked to that are using our QuickBooks Cloud with a desktop version continue with it because they understand how it works, what it does and honestly, does way more.

There are some new businesses that are faced with the decision of which version makes the most sense for them. The desktop program is not going away immediately, and Intuit, the company behind the program, promises to continue to develop QuickBooks Desktop resources.

However, QuickBooks cloud options are the direction that Intuit and the business world are gravitating toward at a rapid pace. At some point, whether in two years or ten years, QBO or something similar to it will take over.  A good step for many businesses that would prefer to keep the desktop functionality is to store their information through a cloud-hosting provider who is authorized by Intuit to care for you and the system. There are few reputable cloud service providers that can to host programs like QuickBooks Desktop, provide multi-user, multi-application environments and ensure data security.

“The Recommendation”

Starting out? If you are just starting and you need basic check writing and invoicing capabilities, go to QuickBooks Online. You and your ProAdvisor will know when you have grown past its ability to serve you well.

More complex operations? If you are a more mature business and have more complex operational needs, gotomyerp can help you create your private QuickBooks Cloud.

Remember, start with QuickBooks Online first if you’re not sure. You can always grow into a larger system when you’re ready.

See you in the cloud.

MORE ABOUT gotomyerp

Hosted solutions like QuickBooks Hosting can be a great way to reduce your upfront IT investment and overall expenses as well as acquiring cloud hosting experts, professional ProAdvisors and a strategy partner help you with selecting the best QuickBooks Solutions available at a fraction of the cost of full-time staff.

Our clients have selected us because we make remote accessing QuickBooks easy.  In addition to the amazing services that come with our QuickBooks Hosting. Those services include; QuickBooks ProAdvisors on-staff, CPAs available to strategize with, Experts in nearly all 3rd Party Applications we host and more.

Don’t take our word for it… ask our clients.  When you’re ready we set at time for you to chat with our clients in detail.

This is what every client should receive:

  • A FULLY MANAGED HOSTING NETWORK ENVIRONMENT (not just a server). We allocate the optimal amount of computing resources so that your Hosted QuickBooks and all your 3rd party systems operate well when you .
  • DISCOUNTS ON QUICKBOOKS. All our clients receive the best pricing available and usually better than the lowest published prices.  This includes discounts available to us from 3rd Party Solutions as well.
  • ONE-ON-ONE CONSULTATION. Our ProAdvisors, CPAs and Cloud Strategists are available to you.  Tell us about your business needs and we can help move you and your organization in the right direction.
  • SETTING UP QUICKBOOKS.  Are you new to QuickBooks?  We help here too.  You can leverage our QuickBooks ProAdvisors or CPAs to construct your new solution exactly the way you need it to perform.  Then enjoy remotely accessing QuickBooks and take your business to the next level.
  • QUICKBOOKS TRAINING – INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP. We assist all clients with their questions individually. We normally do this while we remotely access QuickBooks together and discuss your specific questions.  Choose from our QuickBooks ProAdvisors or CPAs to help guide you the best way you need.
  • QUICKBOOKS SUPPORT. We extend the hands of Intuit.  Since our service is more comprehensive we help you and your team members with direct QuickBooks support.
  • QUICKBOOKS CONVERSIONS INCLUDED. Since we’re working with your QuickBooks Hosted, it’s easy for us to upgrade and maintain your entire system.  It’s included.
  • 3rd PARTY QUICKBOOKS SOLUTIONS. We are specialists in extending capability of QuickBooks with solutions from the best-extended solutions available in the market.  And better yet?  Everything just works with our QuickBooks Hosting by gotomyerp.