QuickBooks Hosting Vs QuickBooks Online: Which One Should You Opt for?

by Guest Author on March 6, 2019

in Guest Posts

The advent of Intuit’s QuickBooks software has completely revolutionized the way small businesses are run. It has made small business owners more tech-savvy by increasing the stability and efficiency of their day-to-day processes such as time-tracking, invoicing and billing.

Furthermore, the software’s ability to seamlessly integrate with other business applications has improved and streamlined the way companies manage their finances. However when it comes to implementing QuickBooks, financial professionals often have a hard time deciding which type of the software is better suited to their process type: QuickBooks Hosting or QuickBooks Online?

So, to help you decide which one is best for you, let’s take a look at each of them in detail.

QuickBooks Online

With businesses becoming increasingly dependent on cloud computing, it came as no surprise when Intuit launched a cloud-based variant of their popular QuickBooks software. Labeled QuickBooks Online, it’s essentially a cloud-based program designed to enhance financial management for businesses.

In terms of customization and user-interface, QuickBooks Online is vastly different from the desktop variant of the program. As it’s offered by Intuit itself, QuickBooks Online is one of the most trusted and reliable products in the market. However, there are still concerns when it comes to its compatibility with cloud-based applications.

This version of QuickBooks is the perfect solution for service-based enterprises that don’t require complicated inventory tracking or invoicing options.

QuickBooks Hosting

QuickBooks hosting means installing the QuickBooks desktop variant on a network that’s hosted over the internet by a third party service provider. The main purpose with QuickBooks hosting is to make the information accessible for authenticated users from anywhere, at anytime, with any device. All the files and the data hosted on the cloud can be accessed through a web browser and users don’t need to install them on a local device.

Hosted QuickBooks essentially provide all the benefits of the traditional version in a more robust and accessible package. Furthermore, cloud hosted QuickBooks can be accessed from devices running on Windows, Mac or Linux.

QuickBooks Hosting Vs QuickBooks Online

These two variants of QuickBooks are different in 3 main areas: data accessibility, pricing and features. Hosted QuickBooks currently offer more features compared to QuickBooks Online.

The online version now has more than 2.2 million users, and Intuit recently introduced significant upgrades and advancements for its users. Although QuickBooks Online offers a host of useful features, it does have a few downsides. These include a relatively steep learning curve, long waiting times and navigation problems. It’s also a bit on the expensive side, which makes unaffordable for some businesses.

While hosting QuickBooks desktop on the cloud does increase the product’s speed and efficiency, you still have to consider whether hosted QuickBooks are the right fit for your enterprise.

Let’s take a deeper look at the main differences between the two versions and the areas in which they excel.


QuickBooks Online can be accessed through a web browser, while hosted QuickBooks are accessible through a desktop icon.

Customization & UI

As we’ve already mentioned, the user experience and features of QuickBooks Online is different compared to QuickBooks Desktop. Hosted QuickBooks, on the other hand, have more or less the same user experience and features of the desktop version. Unlike QuickBooks Online, hosted QuickBooks also support additional application hosting.

Technical Support

Hosted QuickBooks also have the upper hand when it comes to technical support. While Intuit provide technical support for QuickBooks Online themselves, their timings are limited. With hosted QuickBooks, businesses are provided 24/7 technical support by the third party provider.

Pricing Structure

The price of QuickBooks Online is fixed, whereas the pricing structure of hosted QuickBooks is scalable.

Disaster Recovery & Backup

Both platforms have disaster recovery and data backup protocols.

In Our Humble Opinion

It’s quite apparent that QuickBooks hosting provides a solution that’s more suitable for small businesses, accountants and CPAs who’re looking to increase the speed and efficiency of their financial processes. Another factor which favors hosted QuickBooks is the constantly growing influence of cloud accounting solutions in the small business landscape.

While Intuit is making efforts to improve QuickBooks Online, cloud-hosted QuickBooks just appears to be the better choice for now. It offers all the benefits of clouds while still keeping the excellent user interface and customizability of the existing desktop version. 

Guest article written by: The author is an IT specialist, he reviewed multiple cloud hosting options specifically QuickBooks hosting service providers and writes about their implementation and migration processes.

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