how QuickBooks works on the cloud

Updated: This blog was last updated on 8th July 2020 with more relevant and up-to-date information on this page.

You already know that QuickBooks is the most popular accounting software, the various benefits related to it, and the additional perks of hosting it on the cloud server. But have you ever wondered how QuickBooks works on the cloud? Here, we are going to explain it thoroughly, so that the question of how never comes to your mind while talking about the working of it. But first, let me tell you the proper meaning of the term if you do not already know so that it becomes easy for you to understand how it actually works.

QuickBooks gets ahead capably with features for simplifying and automating the accounting operations for businesses. QuickBooks on the cloud simply refers to the configuration and set up of the desktop version of the QuickBooks on cloud servers. The servers are hosted over the web. It allows users to securely and easily access the applications and files through RDP (Remote Desktop and Protocol) on any internet-enabled device. Now, let us move to the how.

How QuickBooks Hosting Works?

In earlier days, QuickBooks was installed on the local systems and was accessible from there only. With hosting came the option of accessing the software from any remote location using any of the internet-enabled devices.

Here, we will be explaining the process of how QuickBooks on the cloud actually works. As it relies on the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), so all the features and functionalities remain similar to the QuickBooks Desktop version.

Quickbooks desktop version

Basically, the third-party cloud servers host the QuickBooks software which can be any of the versions of your choice: Pro, Premier, Enterprise, or POS.

  • A small amount is required to be paid initially to the service provider which depends upon the number of users, resources of the servers, and more of the factors.
  • The login credential authentications are required for accessing QuickBooks. QuickBooks can either be accessed using a remote access tool or a web browser on the local system.
  • The internet needs to be stable and fast enough so that multiple users can access QuickBooks in real-time using any of the internet-enabled devices.

When you are done with the prerequisites, you need to get ahead with the further steps to access the QuickBooks Software on the Cloud.

After you have installed the QuickBooks Software, there would be a shortcut of Remote Desktop Connection available on the desktop.

Steps to Work on Cloud QuickBooks:

Step 1: Open Remote Desktop Connection

You have to double click on the Remote Desktop Connection desktop shortcut.

how QuickBooks Works on the cloud step 1

Step 2: Enter the login credentials

A dialog box would open with the username automatically provided by the setup wizard, you just need to add your password and click OK (ticking the Remember me checkbox makes it easy for you to access the cloud server on the go).

how quickbooks works on the cloud step 2

After the completion of the connection process, you will be directed to the cloud server.

Step 3: Open QuickBooks

Now, you have to open QuickBooks by double-clicking on the shortcut icon of it available on the desktop.

how QuickBooks works On the Cloud step 3

Step 4: Open or restore an existing company file

Click on Open or restore an existing company file (you can create a new company file from here as well), then select the file and click Open.

how quickbooks works on the cloud step 4

That is all, now you can easily work on the accounting files available for your business with Quickbooks cloud. The shortcut of the company file is always kept on the desktop for your convenience. You can minimize or close QuickBooks while running the remote connection.

When you need to close the remote connection you can sign out from the desktop shortcut, or you can click the start button and log off from there. This is how QuickBooks works on the Cloud.

While this is when a third party service hosts the software, but what when we opt for QuickBooks Online? The similar functioning version that has been developed by Intuit (the developer of QuickBooks), which runs inside the web browser. Let us see that in a brief manner.

How QuickBooks Online Works?

QuickBooks online has tried to replicate most of the features of QuickBooks Desktop, but still has a lot of limitations when compared to it. The benefits of Cloud computing, such as multiple device compatibility, remote accessibility, and some of the other functions are available in this version. But the user interface and features of QuickBooks Online is quite different from the desktop version. So, the users who are accustomed to the functioning and use of QuickBooks Desktop would not really prefer QuickBooks Online but will opt for the hosting service.

Some of the drawbacks while working on QuickBooks Online:

  • No full-fledged accuracy with slower processing.
  • Issues do come up while importing or exporting from the desktop version.
  • The workflow gets hampered with the internet down as it runs inside the browser.
  • A significant amount of manual input is required while making changes from the desktop version to the online version and vice-versa.
  • Maximum of 5 users allowed at a time.
  • Limited tech support.
  • Restriction of QuickBooks add-ons compatibility.


Hosting Quickbooks will not only help to flourish your business but it will also guarantee the latest advancements to your service. With the use of QuickBooks on the Cloud, you will understand that there is no requirement of in-depth knowledge of accounting to understand the working of QuickBooks. This is one of the reasons that the software has ruled the accounting industry among the small and medium-sized businesses for decades.

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