Many want the convenience of being able to access their QuickBooks accounting data anytime and anywhere. But oftentimes they also want the robust functionality of the desktop version of QuickBooks. They also may use several third party products (QuickBooks add-ons) to provide additional features and functionality. Due to these requirements, they aren’t ready or able to go to QuickBooks Online, which is actually a completely different version of the software – not just QuickBooks “in the cloud”. A solution then is a hosting services provider.
A hosting services provider can offer purchased license or can lease a client a license for software. Some of the advantages of the leased license is that it includes updates, maintenance, and provides a smaller, spread out cost of software versus a large all-at-once cost to purchasing. This helps with budgeting IT costs. With most hosting providers it is also easy to scale up or down as needed with per user per month type licenses.
Connection to the software is via RDC or Citrix and can be done from a variety of devices, including several Apple products. Of course, these services can have multiple QuickBooks companies. Simultaneous multiple-user access is also possible. This is very helpful if working with an accountant or other QuickBooks professional – no need to email files or share via dropbox only to have to worry about updating/overwriting changes.
Additional benefits of hosting services include more security than what is available at most SMBs, such as: routine data backups, server and OS maintenance, Windows and virus protection updates, and power redundancies. Security often includes closed circuit video monitoring of the facility, strict limitations on physical access to the facility (Right Networks has “biometric bone-scanning identity verification systems” – how many SMBs have those?!!), smoke detectors & fire suppressant systems, as well as up to date data encryption, firewall protection, & virus prevention software.
Among the top rated hosting providers are RightNetworks® and InsynQ®. Both are Intuit authorized commercial hosts, providing QuickBooks for as little as $49 per month per user. They also host several other QuickBooks add-ons, one of which is PrintBoss, a QuickBooks check printing software. PrintBoss can be licensed through either hosting provider on a subscription basis, or purchased directly and placed on a local machine. Given the small $150 price tag of PrintBoss Select, most users choose to purchase the software outright and run it with their hosted software. If utilizing the emailing capabilities of PrintBoss to email via Microsoft Outlook, PrintBoss must be located where Outlook is installed.