Irrespective of the size of a business, Host QuickBooks desktop software helps streamline various accounting tasks. To deliver more benefits to CPAs and accounting firms, various QuickBooks variants are available, each with unique feature sets. For a small business, QuickBooks Pro is an ideal choice.
While there are QuickBooks Premier and QuickBooks Enterprise variants available with advanced accounting features for large enterprises. If accounting is a part of your daily to-do list being a CPA or an accounting firm owner, you might have come across the cloud-based alternative to using QuickBooks desktop software.
If you are new to this technological evolution related to your business, it is obvious to have some questions and concerns. Since your business deals with sensitive accounting data for different clients, you would want to ensure its security before you host QuickBooks desktop on the cloud. Whether you want to know about cloud hosting pricing, software upgrades, and security, this complete guide can serve you well.
5-Step Process You Can Follow to Host QuickBooks Desktop on Cloud
Step 1. Learn what makes hosted QuickBooks a better alternative
As in the case of any other technology upgrade, you must do the required research related to the benefits and features of QuickBooks on the cloud. Indeed, businesses like yours trust this advanced accounting software across the globe. But when it is about further enhancing its usability with the help of cloud computing, you may face certain challenges.
Therefore, it is recommended that you know what QuickBooks cloud means and how it can be beneficial for your business. When you host QuickBooks desktop software on a cloud server, you will get the following benefits:
- Anywhere-anytime access to QuickBooks software
- Control over the authorized access of cloud-hosted data
- Enhanced team collaboration that leads to higher work productivity
- Advanced security measures for data safety
- Easy integration with various QuickBooks add-ons as per your needs (this will be similar to integrating QuickBooks add-ons in the desktop environment)
- Availability to multiple plans for hosted QuickBooks as per your business needs
Step 2: Know what matters before switching to QuickBooks cloud
Can’t hold your horses after knowing the various advantages of hosting QuickBooks on the cloud server? Wait a minute.
You should not decide to switch to QuickBooks hosting in a hurry without knowing what else matters other than its benefits. There are several factors that you must consider before even starting to look around for a reliable cloud solution provider, such as:
If you have been using QuickBooks desktop software with various add-ons Bill.com, Salesforce, DocuSign, etc., can you proceed with hosted QuickBooks without them? If not, then it is important to know whether a cloud solution provider you want to hire supports these integrations. After all, these add-ons will also require computing resources.
Cloud migration assistance
Similar to the add-integration part, you also need to know if the steps involved to migrate your data and licensed QuickBooks software to the cloud are easy or time-consuming. If they are complex, you need to check for a solution provider that offers migration assistance.
Step 3: Select a Vendor to Host QuickBooks on the Cloud
Now that cloud technology has touched almost every sphere of businesses, it would be easy for you to find various QuickBooks cloud hosting providers. But how will you recognize which one is the right one for you?
For that, you need to look at certain cloud-specific service qualities that distinguish one cloud provider from another. These include:
Server uptime guarantee
This is something you should never ignore as the accessibility of hosted QuickBooks depends on it. You can find cloud service providers offering SLA-backed server uptime guarantees as high as 99.999%.
Data security measures
This should be at an advanced level with the deployment of security measures like firewalls, data encryption, multi-factor authentication, and similar others.
Support for all QuickBooks versions
It makes no sense to hire a QuickBooks cloud hosting provider that supports only QuickBooks Enterprise when you want to host QuickBooks desktop’s Pro version for your small business.
Step 4: Select the right hosting plan
By this step, you must be aware of the benefits you can get when you host QuickBooks desktop on the cloud and how to select a cloud service provider. The next important decision is to select a suitable hosting plan. Irrespective of the QuickBooks hosting provider you have zeroed in, you will most likely find multiple hosting plans available. Each of the service providers might have named them differently. But at the core of them all lies a few important parameters that differentiates the plans:
- Number of users
- Period of cloud hosting
- Virtual RAM
- Virtual storage space
For example, you may find a hosted QuickBooks enterprise pricing to be like $34.99 per user per month to be billed annually. It means you can select this plan as per the number of users working for you who would require cloud access. Similarly, look at the other features including this plan and assess your business needs to make the right selection.
Step 5: Share QuickBooks license details to get started
A common misconception about using hosted QuickBooks is that it includes the cost of a QuickBooks license. This is not necessarily the case when you want to benefit from cloud hosting through a third-party cloud solution provider.
A crucial aspect of QuickBooks cloud hosting you must know is that the hosting plan does not encompass the cost of getting a QuickBooks license. This will be in addition to the license cost you need to pay. If you have already paid for the QuickBooks desktop software license, you need to share the details of the license with the hosting provider to proceed with data migration.
Besides this, if you have selected an Intuit-authorized commercial host for cloud hosting services, you can buy the license along with the hosting plan. Keep in mind that not all QuickBooks hosting providers are allowed to sell the software license alongside.
What Else to Check With QuickBooks Cloud Hosting?
While seeking a remote access facility, you would also expect the freedom to select the device of your choice – laptop, smartphone, or tablet, for cloud access. This is why you should ensure that the chosen hosting provider supports cross-device compatibility.
Another important aspect to check is the facility to scale the selected hosting plan up or down as per the changing business requirements. For example, you may want to increase the number of users in the plan during the tax season only.
Your hosted QuickBooks plan must facilitate data backups to prevent loss of data due to natural or man-made disasters.