Accounting and bookkeeping are crucial parts of any business. They require the right tools in place to make our lives a whole lot easier. If you had previously handled accounting tasks by manually inputting numbers on paper sheets, you might already feel good about how technology has revolutionized the way we handle our finances.
A significant advancement in the world of accounting software has been the evolution of hosting methods. Traditionally, software like QuickBooks was installed or hosted on local servers, which meant managing financial data on-site, maintaining the infrastructure, and keeping a check on data security. However, with the rise of cloud computing, a new contender – cloud hosting, has entered the ring to offer a whole different ball game.
This blog post will explore the key differences between hosting QuickBooks on a local server and hosting QuickBooks in the cloud. If you haven’t yet introduced cloud technology to your business on a large scale, the information here is highly relevant for you. Let’s start with the basics.
What is QuickBooks Hosting?
QuickBooks hosting refers to the practice of hosting your licensed QuickBooks software on remote third-party cloud servers. Instead of installing QuickBooks on your local server or computer, you host it externally and access it through a secure Internet connection. Here, the hosting service provider does all the heavy lifting related to the infrastructure setup, while you enjoy the benefits of using QuickBooks remotely.
Now, let’s compare it with traditional local hosting –
In the past, when we talked about hosting software, it meant installing the software directly on your own servers or computers. All the data, files, and software were stored and managed on-site. This setup required you to have the necessary infrastructure, including servers, storage, and networking equipment, to handle the software and its associated data.
The key difference between QuickBooks hosting and traditional local hosting lies in where the software and data are stored and managed. With QuickBooks in the cloud, the responsibility of maintaining servers, ensuring security, and managing backups rests with the cloud providers. They take care of the technical aspects while you focus on using the software. On the other hand, traditional local hosting puts the onus on you to handle all these tasks internally.
In a nutshell, QuickBooks hosting offers flexibility, scalability, and the peace of mind that comes with professional server management. Now, let’s find out how QuickBooks cloud accounting is beneficial in the long run in terms of the commonly asked questions.
3 Questions You Might Have in Mind About QuickBooks Hosting
Here are three things you might want to know before switching to cloud-hosted QuickBooks:
Is QuickBooks Online Cloud-Based?
QuickBooks Online is indeed a cloud-based accounting solution. It is designed to be accessed and used entirely through a web browser, eliminating the need for local software installation. However, there are differences between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks hosting, including:
QuickBooks Online is entirely web-based, which means you can access your accounting data from anywhere, at any time, using any preferred device. It offers the flexibility to work remotely or collaborate with team members without any geographical limitations. On the other hand, while still cloud-based, QuickBooks hosting requires connecting to a third-party server managed by a cloud provider to access the software and your data.
- Infrastructure and maintenance
With QuickBooks Online, you don’t need to worry about managing servers or any technical aspects. Intuit, the company behind QuickBooks, handles all the infrastructure, server maintenance, backups, and software updates. In contrast, QuickBooks hosting involves relying on a third-party hosting service to manage your servers, security, backups, and updates.
QuickBooks Online offers a standardized set of features and functionality that are accessible to all users. While it provides a great range of capabilities for most SMBs, it may have limitations specific to industries or business requirements. QuickBooks hosting, on the other hand, allows more customization and flexibility. Since you have direct access to the server and software, you can install additional plugins and integrate them with QuickBooks.
How secure is QuickBooks cloud accounting application?
When it comes to maintaining the security of QuickBooks data and software files, QuickBooks in the cloud offers several advantages over traditional hosting methods. Here’s how:
QuickBooks data hosted on the cloud is typically stored in highly secure Tier 4+ and Tier 5 data centers that employ advanced security measures. These data centers have robust physical security protocols, including surveillance systems, access controls, and 24/7 monitoring. This provides a higher level of protection compared to traditional hosting, where the responsibility for physical security rests on you.
Cloud hosting providers prioritize data encryption to protect your QuickBooks data. This involves encrypting data both during transit (when it’s being transmitted) and at rest (when it’s stored on the servers). Encryption ensures that the data remains unreadable and unusable even if unauthorized individuals gain access.
- Advanced security measures
Cloud hosting providers like Ace Cloud invest in robust security measures to protect against cyber threats. This includes implementing firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and antivirus software to prevent unauthorized access, malware, and other malicious activities. These security measures are often more comprehensive and regularly updated compared to what a small or medium-sized business might be capable of implementing with traditional hosting.
Is QuickBooks hosting a cost-effective solution?
Assume you run a small accounting firm with four-five accountants who need access to QuickBooks software and data. In a traditional hosting setup, you must invest in your own server infrastructure. This includes servers, networking equipment, storage devices, and backup systems. You would also need to hire IT staff or consultants to set up and manage the infrastructure, handle software installations, security configurations, backups, and maintenance.
The costs associated with traditional hosting can quickly add up. Besides this, you have to consider the initial capital expenditure for buying hardware and software licenses, ongoing maintenance and upgrade costs, energy expenses, and the salaries of IT personnel. Moreover, if your business grows and you need to scale up your infrastructure to accommodate more users or data, you’ll have to incur additional costs.
With QuickBooks hosting, you can eliminate the need for a substantial upfront investment in the IT infrastructure. Instead, you can choose a hosting provider specializing in hosting QuickBooks and pay a monthly or annual fee based on the users or resources you require. The hosting provider takes care of managing the servers, hardware maintenance, security, backups, and software updates.
Overall, QuickBooks in the cloud can work much better than in a local-hosted environment. You will only get to know the difference by making the required transition.
Featured Image Credit: Cottonbro Studio; Pexels; Thank you!