QuickBooks Online vs QuickBooks Hosting: What are the Differences?

Here, in today’s article, we will discuss QuickBooks Online vs QuickBooks Hosting: What are the Differences? We have given all the details here for you which will help you to work and choose this software according to your need. Let us see these details and stay with us until the last of this blog to know the complete process.

Accountants, CPAs, and small business owners have become more efficient, stable, and productive with the adoption of QuickBooks software for their daily financial tasks such as invoicing, billing, and time tracking. The software can easily integrate with other applications and allows companies to manage their finances.

However, with the increasing adoption of cloud technology, businesses are actively seeking a cloud-based alternative to QuickBooks. Currently, there are two ways to use QuickBooks on the cloud that is QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Hosting which are widely used by businesses nowadays.

However, when it comes to implementing it, many financial professionals are confused about which one is better for their process. We will keep some facts for you.

What is QuickBooks Hosting?

Intuit’s QuickBooks is popular accounting software. It is used by many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) worldwide. As recent data has shown, there are about 30 million businesses in the US that resort to QuickBooks. This makes up 80 percent of the market share of SMB’s use of financial management software. QuickBooks is a desktop application that needs to be installed locally on a computer. Meaning it is only accessible from there.

QuickBooks Hosting is essentially QuickBooks software (desktop version) installed on the cloud. The cloud server is owned and managed by an authorized third-party service provider. End users can keep their licensed copies of QuickBooks software hosted on the hosting company’s remote servers, or they can lease the license from the hosting company and then host QuickBooks online on the cloud.

  • Cloud hosting is only available for desktop versions of QuickBooks such as Pro, Premier, Enterprise, and Accountant. Learn more about QuickBooks Pro vs. Premier.
  • Provide fast access to QB applications and data.
  • Provides more add-on products that add some additional functionality to QB.
  • Authorized hosting providers are available that host your QuickBooks on their trusted servers such as Apps4Rent.
  • QuickBooks Hosting allows hosting companies to offer any version of QuickBooks software on the cloud – Pro, Enterprise, Premier, POS, or Accountant.

What is QuickBooks Online?

QuickBooks Online, on the other hand, is a completely different version of the QuickBooks software, developed specifically for cloud environments. It comes in various plans and can be purchased for a flat monthly fee. The basic scheme provides access to 1 user while the higher plan accommodates 5 users.

Easy to access and use, QuickBooks Online lacks many of the features and functionalities that you get with QuickBooks desktop hosting software, and ultimately with QuickBooks hosting.

QuickBooks is an ideal solution for online service-based businesses that do not have complex invoice requirements or require inventory tracking options. While QuickBooks has been around for years, it has recently gained traction with many small business owners for their customizable and possible devices.

Intuit has taken a number of steps to move its customers to QuickBooks Online. Ultimately it offers many benefits, it is important to explore all options to ensure that the decision is right for the company.

  • Fully QuickBooks cloud accounting software works on the cloud.
  • Sometimes, lifting heavy traffic can slow down the accounting work.
  • It has comparatively fewer add-ons.
  • Only INTO manages outsourcing and QBO. 
  • There is no third party vendor in the market.

Differences Between QuickBooks Hosting and QuickBooks Online

Here we have mentioned below QuickBooks Online Vs. QuickBooks Hosting. On the basis of the information given below, you will get to know about it better. So, you need to read carefully and know about this:-

1. Set-Up and Use

A hosting provider installs it’s licensed or the leased version of the QuickBooks desktop in an instant data center on an instant-shared or dedicated server environment in a hosted QuickBooks scenario. Users are able to work in their software, typically using a remote desktop on their favorite Internet-connected device.

When setting up QuickBooks Online, Intuit copies your QuickBooks desktop data and transfers it to your online account. To use QuickBooks Online, users use this specific version of QuickBooks by logging into the QBO portal using a supported web browser. There are also some limitations regarding functionality compared to hosted QuickBooks desktop versions.

2. QuickBooks Versions Supported

With QuickBooks Online, only the online version is supported because it is an independent version. This means that your QuickBooks desktop software is not compatible with the online portal. 

Cloud hosting providers, on the other hand, should be able to support all types/versions of QuickBooks desktops. In Summit Hosting, for example, we usually use our U.S. And hosts QuickBooks Pro, Premier, and Enterprise in the cloud for Canadian-based customers.

3. Features

The hosted QuickBooks desktop enables you to use all the features you are accustomed to budgeting and tracking expenses, with the added benefit of remote accessibility from any device, including mobile.

Therefore, you do not have to worry about missing the learning curve or industry-specific features because its functionality is the same. Keep in mind, the features you access can vary by version of QuickBooks, and different third-party accounting applications are integrated.

The features included within QuickBooks Online depend on the plan you choose (such as QBO Simple Start, QBO Essentials, or QBOD). The basic features of QBO include FIFO inventory tracking, syncing bank accounts, and sending and tracking invoices. It is important to note that, according to Intuit, not all QBO features are available to use on mobile devices.

4. Maintenance

The maintenance of both versions of QuickBooks is similar in the sense that 3-parties are in charge of this function, however, the “retained” items are very different. With cloud-hosted QuickBooks, the 3-party hosting provider handles day-to-day server maintenance, server repair, and related hardware upgrades. In a QuickBooks Online setting, Intuit maintains its QBO portal and website.

5. Customer Support

Most hosting providers include some form of customer support with their services, but the coverage time and type of support depends on the provider. For example, through our online ticketing system, we provide 24/7 connectivity support that is yes, even on weekends and holidays. While this is an online-chat based type of support, customers can always request a call by a network engineer if they prefer a phone call.

QuickBooks Online supports phones from 6 am – 6 pm PST Monday through Friday. This support service is free during the 30-day QBO trial and is included with a paid QBO membership. Important note: According to their “Important Offer, Pricing Details, and Disclaimer”, also that Intuit reserves the right to limit the length of your call.

6. Product Updates

All QBO updates occur automatically when a new version or feature is available. Hosted QuickBooks desktop updates, by contrast, are handled manually so that you can choose whether you want to run the update.

7. Price

The cost of QuickBooks Cloud Hosting and QuickBooks Online varies depending on both circumstances. For example, quality QuickBooks hosting prices typically range between $ 50 – $ 60 / month per user, depending on the hosting provider. 

QBO Simple Start prices start at $ 20 / month but can go up to at least $ 100 / month with add-ons such as full-service payroll and additional costs for many company files.

Since pricing for either service can vary so much, it is better to simultaneously compare the costs associated with QBO and the specific cloud hosting provider, along with available add-ons and additional costs per employee/user.

8. License Ownership

When you host a traditional copy of the QuickBooks desktop, you can purchase the software (pay once) or you have the option to lease the license (pay for the monthly subscription). When using QBO, you pay Intuit a monthly subscription fee, and you are unable to purchase the software because it is a web-based service.

Basic Points of QuickBooks Online vs QuickBooks Hosting

The comparison table below provides key differences between the two cloud accounting solutions. Below you can see the QuickBooks Online vs QuickBooks Hosting:-


QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Hosting


Monthly flat fee

Monthly fee or yearly subscription


Web browser

App accessible through a desktop icon

Interface and user experience customization

Different features and user experience than the desktop version of QuickBooks

Same features and user experience as QuickBooks Desktop

Supported versions

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Pro, Premier, and Enterprise

Technical support

Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 8:00 pm

Monday to Friday, 6:00 am to 6:00 pm (EST)

Number of people who can access QuickBooks simultaneously

1 on basic plan; up to 5 on higher plans

Unlimited (depending on QB licenses)

Payroll function

Only through Add-On


Manage and pay bills

Not on the basic plan


Control what your users can access

Not on the basic plan


Create and send purchase orders

Not on the basic plan


Track and manage inventory

Not on the basic plan


Custom backup and BCDR



Track international sales & expenses in multiple currencies



Processing speed

Slower than QuickBooks Hosting

Faster (depending on the server)

Basic Similarities of QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Hosting

While there are many differences that separate the two, there are some important things QuickBooks Online and cloud-hosted QuickBooks have in common. However, it is important to note that these similarities may vary slightly depending on the third-party hosting provider. So, read the below details and know about it:-

Automatic Data Backups

Both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Hosting are supported automatically by their respective service providers. However, the frequency of these backups depends entirely on the Intuit or 3-party hosting provider, depending on which service you choose.

Remote Accessibility

The main attracting factor of both services is enhanced remote accessibility. QuickBooks Hosting and QBOs give users the opportunity to access their data and collaborate with others.

Cloud-Based Applications

Each service has the ability to integrate various cloud-based accounting applications that can help automate features and streamline tasks.

4. Off-Premises Data Storage

Both services keep your data in off-premises servers, which means that you don’t have to worry about the cost of server maintenance or hardware upgrades. However, the server on which your data is stored varies between Intuit’s service and the cloud hosting provider. In Summit Hosting, for example, we only host QuickBooks on dedicated servers because they allow for more customization options.

5. Easy-to-Use

A plus of hosting both QuickBooks and QBOs is that they are very easy to use – you don’t have to be an accountant to use either of these two versions.

Last Line

Hope you enjoyed reading this article on QuickBooks Online vs QuickBooks Hosting. We have tried our best to clear all your doubts but still, you have any doubts that knock on your door, don’t hesitate just make a call on our 24/7 error support toll-free number and get support and assistance from our QuickBooks Support at your place. We always give first priority to our articles because all the details mentioned inside it are tested and verified, and very few chances of failure on your issue. 

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