Last time we discussed the need and desire to access QuickBooks remotely; we looked at Intuit’s Online edition of QuickBooks and then using a 3rd party package like LogMeIn, WebEx or GoToMyPC. All good options, depending on your needs, setup and budget. There are others, though, that are gaining in popularity.
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 blog!
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 blog.
So, decide how important remote access, who needs it, what features you need in QuickBooks, and your budget – that will go a long way towards helping you select the best option for you.