Do you need mobile access to estimates or customer payment information? Or do you have staff in multiple locations who need remote access to QuickBooks? I’m getting more requests from clients who want or need to access their QuickBooks remotely. While I did a series of articles on this a few years ago, I thought it time to give you an update.
Remote into your computer. LogMeIn (often the free version is all you need), GoToMyPC are the most popular. This way, you can use a desktop version of QuickBooks (Pro, Premier or Enterprise), so you’ll have more functionality. You 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 more than one person needs access to the same computer, this doesn’t always work well.
QuickBooks Mobile – You can access your customer data, create estimates, invoices, and even take payments. Here’s an article where you can see it close-up. If you need to access other features in QuickBooks, then this is not for you.
QuickBooks Online (QBO) – If your accounting needs are simple, this may be a good solution for you. As long as you have Internet access, you can work in the data file and have multiple users. You’re always in the most current version and someone else takes care of the backups. You pay a monthly fee. Online QuickBooks does not have all the features found in the desktop versions of QuickBooks, nor as many reports. If you have inventory or need job/project costing, this is not a good option. Also, if you want to integrate with a 3rd party application, Online does not have nearly as many options, so be sure you check before you make the transition.
Hosted Solution – Similar in some respects to QBO in that your QuickBooks software and data reside on a remote server, but the difference is that you can use a desktop version of QuickBooks. So you get the flexibility of Online QuickBooks but the additional functionality of the desktop QuickBooks. If you already own QuickBooks then your license is used. If you don’t have QuickBooks, there is an option to lease Pro or Premier or Enterprise. (Pro supports up to 3 users, Premier up to 5 users, and Enterprise up to 30 users.) You can also have access to Microsoft Office and other products if desired. Just like the QBO, you don’t have the upkeep of another computer or server and the “host” makes the daily backups for you. You pay a monthly fee per user to have it hosted, which is different than QBO. If you are interested in a hosted solution, you want an Intuit-authorized host (there are about 15) because they have met the security and other requirements with Intuit. Not all hosts are equal in terms of price, customer service and 3rd party applications they support. So if you use (or want to use) a 3rd party software, you need to ask if they support that software. If not, sometimes they have options, albeit at a higher price point.
Enterprise Solutions – With Enterprise, you can access your data from anywhere you have Internet connection by taking advantage of Remote Desktop (formerly Windows Terminal Services). You also get the power and additional features in Enterprise, including tighter security. In essence, you access your server and both Enterprise and your data are there. This is different than the traditional use where the software is on your computer and you access the data on the server. Your initial purchase includes the Full Service Plan which comes with several benefits including unlimited US-based tech support AND the new version when it comes out (so your initial purchase is like a 2 for 1!) This can be a better deal than the hosted QuickBooks, depending on the number of users and Intuit promos. As an Intuit Premier Reseller, we stay up to date on special promotions, so let us know if you would like to know more about this option.
Method Integration. Method is a web-based program that can give you a form of remote access to your QuickBooks – in real time! 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. There are some QuickBooks features that have to be done inside of QuickBooks and not via Method, like payroll and bank recs. But because Method can do so much that you can’t do in QuickBooks, so it’s often a 3rd party solution I consider when working with clients who need more functionality. With Method, you would pay a monthly subscription fee per user and most likely some up front consulting fees for someone to customize the access and screens in Method.
If remote access is important to you, then before you make the final jump, contact our office so we can help you choose the option best for your situation.