QuickBooks Enterprise Software is NOT Cloud Based or Online

 In Post, QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Enterprise

Based on the questions I’m fielding on the topic of QuickBooks Enterprise in the cloud these days, there is apparently lots of confusion out there.

So, let’s get right to it and clear up the confusion…


When you subscribe to QuickBooks Enterprise (more on the buy vs. subscribe idea below), you receive a link to download the QuickBooks installation package. An installation CD can also be shipped out to you at no charge.

You’ll take that installation package and install it on the desktops, laptops, and/or servers in your office. BTW – if you get squeamish when it comes to installing anything on your computers, be sure to enlist the help of your IT firm – you’ll be glad you did.

This is why QuickBooks Enterprise is referred to as “desktop” software – you’re installing and running it on your local computers and clicking an icon on your desktop to access it.


Please hang with me here so you can understand the options available to you when it comes to remote access for your QuickBooks Enterprise.

Option 1: Something like GoToMyPC

  • This option will allow you to tap into a computer back in your office and access QuickBooks Enterprise that way. You need to subscribe to the remote access service such as GoToMyPC (authors note: I’ve used it for years – great solution!), and then install it as directed to allow access from outside the office. This approach is very economical, but it usually doesn’t scale well if multiple people need access from outside the office.

Option 2: Remote Desktop / Terminal Services

  • This option is usually available if your office is running a dedicated server. To set up and configure Windows Remote Desktop, be sure to work with your IT provider – they can easily handle this for you. The benefit of running a Remote Desktop server is that it is both economical and it also scales very well if multiple users need access to QuickBooks Enterprise.Keep in mind – even in a Remote Desktop situation, QuickBooks Enterprise is still running in your office on your local computers.


Before answering the question, let’s define “in the cloud”…

To me, “in the cloud” means that both the QuickBooks Enterprise software AND your QuickBooks company/data files are being stored at some third party location that is NOT your office.

In our context, this means that your QuickBooks Enterprise is being hosted with a third party hosting company. They operate and maintain the computers where your QuickBooks runs, and you pay them a monthly or annual fee to do that. You are no longer storing any of this information on your local computers.

You can read more about hosting QuickBooks Enterprise to determine if that approach is right for you – or not.

Check out this list of authorized hosting companies for QuickBooks Enterprise as you evaluate all of your options. You’ll want to be sure and research these options carefully in relation to the specific needs of your business.


Yes, I did.

As of fall 2015, QuickBooks Enterprise is no longer available via the “buy it once, use it for many years” approach that many of you have come to know and love. Now, it is only available via a twelve month subscription, and you choose to pay for the subscription either via 12 monthly payments or one annual payment.

Tap into my collection of resources and discounts on QuickBooks Enterprise subscriptions for further details.

I’ve also put together my “QuickBooks Enterprise: Which Subscription is Right for Me?” guide to help you with this topic too.


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