More and more, users want to access QuickBooks remotely, for a variety of reasons. Could be key people travel frequently or several staff members are in other locations, or an accountant or bookkeeper wants access. You can certainly send backups to each other, although some files are getting too large for that – even with the Portable Company option. Some accountants will use the Accountant’s copy, but then both the accountant and users have restrictions. So, the idea that people can be in different locations and access the same data file is becoming more popular. There are multiple ways to access QuickBooks remotely. Below is a discussion of different methods to consider. QuickBooks won’t open in windows 10
Online QuickBooks – this came out a few years ago and many organizations use it. If your accounting needs are simple, this can be a good option. As long as you have Internet access, you can work in the data file and can have multiple users. You’re always in the most current version and someone else takes care of the backups. You pay a monthly fee (these can sometimes be discounted if you work with a ProAdvisor). If you’ve used QuickBooks before, this will look different, but you’ll learn! You can have your desktop data converted to Online QuickBooks (and vice versa) and frequently not all data converts the way you want, so do take the time to read Intuit’s comments on converting and make a backup before converting. Online QuickBooks does not have all the features found in QuickBooks Pro, nor as many reports. If you have inventory or need job/project costing, this option will not work.
Access your computer using LogMeIn, WebEx, GoToMyPC or some other program. This way, you can use a desktop version of QuickBooks (Pro, Premier or Enterprise), so you’ll have more functionality. How and where you print depends on the program and level of features you have. You most likely will have access to the other software on the computer, so this is a popular option for those out of the office. Because you literally take control of a computer, the computer must be left on. If it’s not your computer then scheduling with the other user will also need to be a consideration.
Hosted Solution – With a hosted solution (also known as cloud computing), your QuickBooks is on a remote server (only 2 are legally licensed to host QuickBooks in the US). You go to a secure site on the Internet, log in, then work as usual. You can print to your normal printer. If you already own QuickBooks then your license is used. If you don’t have QuickBooks, then you can pay a monthly fee to use it. You can also have access to Microsoft Office and other products if desired. Just like the Online QuickBooks, the “host” makes the daily backups for you, and you pay a monthly fee to have it hosted. This gives you the flexibility of the Online QuickBooks but you get the functionality of the desktop QuickBooks – definitely more powerful and feature rich compared to the Online version. And, with both the Online version and this hosted version, you don’t have the upkeep of another computer or server, so you minimize your IT costs. If several users are frequently out of the office or if your bookkeeper and/or accountant want access, this can be a great solution- everyone’s in the same version of the file.
Enterprise Solutions – With Enterprise, you can take advantage of Windows Terminal Services to access your software and data remotely AND you get the power and additional features in Enterprise. In essence, you access your server and both Enterprise and your data are there. This is different than the traditional use the software on your computer and access the data on the server. Many organizations overlook Enterprise because of price, but most prospective users don’t know what all Enterprise can do nor what all comes with the initial purchase. And best of all, as long as you have an active Full Service Plan, you’ll NEVER pay for the software again and the annual full service plan costs less than a multi-version of QuickBooks Premier. (The first year includes the Full Service Support plan which gives you unlimited tech support, 10 GB of free online backup and the new version when it rolls out – just to name a couple.) To have remote access in addition to more powerful features and tighter security can be a good solution for a business. We’ll leave the discussion of Enterprise’s features for another article!
Method – Method is a web-based program that lets you have access to your QuickBooks. With Method, you can actually have tighter controls over who has access to what and you don’t need a QuickBooks license for each user, but you do need a Method license for each user. You can add additional custom fields in Method, but there are some QuickBooks features that have to be done inside of QuickBooks and not via Method. We’ll discuss this program in more depth in another article.