As per the industry buzz, we already know that QuickBooks is one of the most meticulous accounting software in the market. It is an accounting software targeted mainly towards small and medium businesses. Developed by Intuit; QuickBooks desktop comes in 4 major versions – QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Premier, QuickBooks Enterprise, and QuickBooks POS. These four versions have been developed by Intuit catering specifically to the size of businesses from micro to small to medium. QuickBooks offers 3 options for users: QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Hosting vs QuickBooks Desktop.

Now, having known a brief about QuickBooks and its versions,we will discuss the differences between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks hosting and help you decide which one is the best fit for your business.

Note: When choosing between QuickBooks Cloud Hosting vs. Desktop, it’s important to consider factors like accessibility, collaboration, and scalability.

QuickBooks Desktop

It is an application of software that is installed on a computer or server. It is made to help businesses keep track of their money, make invoices, and make reports. There are different versions of QuickBooks Desktop, such as Pro, Premier, and Enterprise. Each version has different features and capabilities to meet the needs of different businesses. The QuickBooks Desktop price varies depending on the edition, ranging from around $299 to $1,200.

QuickBooks Desktop can be used without being connected to the internet, but it needs manual backups and security measures to keep data from getting lost or damaged.

How QuickBooks Desktop works

To use QuickBooks desktop, you are required to buy the software from Intuit. You can choose any version of QuickBooks as per your business requirements and have it installed on a single local computer system.

Depending on the version this software can be accessed by 1 to 10 users, the least number for the QB Pro version and the maximum for the QuickBooks Enterprise version. But the catch here is that all these users have to be in proximity to the system on which QuickBooks is installed.

Yes, you can only access QuickBooks Desktop when you are in the office where it is physically installed. Apart from that, you also have to look after the upkeep of this software and the hardware on which it is installed.

It is efficient in saving time by automatically adding Purchase Order numbers directly to the invoice emails. This eases the search time for you if you are looking for your invoice emails with the help of Purchase Order numbers. In simple words, QuickBooks Desktop is a software program for managing finances, tracking expenses, creating invoices, and generating reports.

Moreover, QuickBooks Desktop integration with various third-party applications and services like inventory management software, CRM systems and payment processors enables businesses in streamlining the transactions. It also provides security and regular updates to improve functionalities and to keep the software up to date.

QuickBooks Cloud Hosting

It is a cloud-based service that lets users access QuickBooks Desktop software from anywhere with an internet connection. Hosting companies for QuickBooks keep the software and data on their own servers, and users can log in securely from anywhere to use it. Hosting QuickBooks has a number of benefits, such as access for multiple users, automatic backups, data security, and the ability to grow. Since the software is hosted on the provider’s servers, businesses don’t have to buy expensive hardware or IT infrastructure.

How does QuickBooks Cloud Hosting Work?

Unlike the locally installed variant of QuickBooks desktop, the cloud-hosted version is accessible round the clock and on any smart device via the internet. QuickBooks on the cloud gives you the flexibility of working by encouraging remote working.

When on the cloud, up to 40 licensed users can access the QuickBooks data, which is hosted on a centralized cloud server. We understand your requirements and offer a multi-user facility. This simply means that you can add as many users as you require.

When opting for QuickBooks Cloud hosting, all you need to do is share the QuickBooks key with the hosting provider. Cloud Provider handles the rest processes for you. The cloud hosting provider shares all the access details with the client and thereafter the software can be accessed on the cloud anytime anywhere!

Cost of QuickBooks Hosting vs Desktop (QB)

When opting for any of the services, prWhen opting for any of the services, price does matter. The approximate price of the 3 desktop versions of QuickBooks are as follows:

  • QuickBooks Pro- $299.95
  • QB Premier- $499.95
  • QuickBooks Enterprise- $1091.70

Now, these figures are just for the purchase of the software. You will find a lot more behind the curtain charges incurred when you have QuickBooks desktop installed locally on a system. These costs include:

  • Infrastructural cost for storing the piles of QuickBooks data
  • Hardware maintenance
  • Cost to upkeep the software and hardware in case a discrepancy occurs

On the other hand, when the same version of QuickBooks is hosted on the cloud, you will find the price range to start from nearly $33 per month. You are exempted from all the extra upkeep and infrastructural maintenance charges, which could have been an additional thousand dollars or more.

QuickBooks Cloud Hosting vs Desktop: Deciding Factors

1. Software Setup

The quintessential part of any software is its setup. It is evident that if a software is installed locally on-premise, all the setup hassle, electronics and hardware has to be borne by the user itself. This might be a treacherous task for accountants and finance professionals who are minding their business of tax. If you are one of them, you have to bear the pain of all the IT hassles, software issues, and troubleshooting.

On the contrary, when you opt for QuickBooks Cloud hosting, all of this setup chore is taken care of by the cloud hosting provider. So much so that all the user has to do is log in to their QuickBooks account over the cloud server and start with their work right away.

No setup hassles, no bug fixing, no head-scratching over which wire goes where. As QuickBooks cloud hosting provider handles every data storage and software upkeep.

2. Ease of Use

Well, the prime reason why you should choose cloud hosting is the facility of ease of use. The same applies to QuickBooks Cloud hosting. With QuickBooks on the cloud, you can access your data anytime and anywhere seamlessly. Irrespective of their geographical location, you can unanimously access your data without any hassle, that too via any device.

Comparatively, with locally installed QuickBooks Desktop, you remain confined to a single system on which QuickBooks is installed.

3. Customer Service

Another benefit of QuickBooks hosting is customer support. You get access to excellent support service round the clock.

In the case of cloud-hosted QuickBooks, customer service is provided by the cloud hosting provider. On the contrary, with locally installed QuickBooks, your only approachable customer support number is Intuit, which is available during the day.

Deciding On Which QuickBooks Solution Fits Your Business the Best

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QuickBooks Cloud Hosting vs Desktop Features Comparison

Following are the comparison between QuickBooks cloud hosting vs Desktop:

Feature QuickBooks Cloud Hosting QuickBooks Desktop
Access Accessible from anywhere with an internet connection Installed and accessed locally on a single computer
Data Storage Stored on cloud servers Stored on the local computer or network server
Collaboration Allows multiple users to work simultaneously Limited collaboration features
IT Infrastructure Managed and maintained by hosting provider Requires local IT infrastructure maintenance
Upgrades and Updates Automatic updates and upgrades Manual updates and upgrades
Customization Limited customization options Extensive customization options
Add-On Integration Compatible with some add-ons Supports wide range of add-ons and integrations
Data Security Hosting provider ensures data security Local security measures required
Cost Monthly subscription fees One-time purchase with optional annual upgrades
System Requirements Relies on stable internet connection and web browser Specific hardware and operating system requirements
Scalability Easily scalable to accommodate growing needs Limited scalability

Note: The choice between a local vs. cloud server for QuickBooks depends on accessibility, security, and cost.


Drawing towards the end, it can be concluded that QuickBooks hosting on the cloud is a better solution if increased productivity is your ultimate goal. QuickBooks Desktop is an ideal accounting solution as it just gets to an ameliorated version of itself when hosted on the cloud.


How much does QuickBooks Cloud Hosting cost per month?

The price of QuickBooks cloud hosting differs as per the chosen cloud hosting provider. The starting range is as low as $33 per month.

Can you use QuickBooks hosting and Desktop?

Well, when you opt for QuickBooks hosting, you are basically using the same QuickBooks Desktop version, but just on the cloud. Hosted desktops for accountants can be a convenient solution for managing financial data and collaborating with clients.

Is QuickBooks Online very different from QuickBooks desktop?

Yes, QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online are two different versions of Intuit’s QuickBooks accounting software. QuickBooks Online is a cloud based accounting software whereas QuickBooks Desktop is a desktop based application. They have several differences in terms of features, accessibility, pricing, collaborative features, automatic updates and more.

What are disadvantages of QuickBooks desktop?

QuickBooks Desktop’s disadvantages include limited remote access, costly, scalability issues, and real-time collaboration. However, users can overcome these challenges by hosting QuickBooks desktop on Cloud.