QuickBooks Online vs. Hosted Desktop, the kept.pro Perspective

Headshot image of author Tammy Hanson
By Tammy Hanson
December 22, 2023

More than 26 million businesses use QuickBooks. It’s the number one choice for accounting software for organizations of all sizes, winning more than 80% of the market share to beat out competitors like Sage 50 and Xero.

This means you are more likely to find software integrations and development support to make QuickBooks solutions work with your specific tech stack. The only question left is–should you use QuickBooks Online or the hosted Desktop version?

As a native cloud-based application with a large market share, QuickBooks Online provides several key benefits that make it the platform of choice for many.

We recommend QuickBooks Online for you, and all other businesses for whom it is an appropriate solution for the following reasons:

Direct access

In business, there are times when you need to act fast. You might need to see real-time updates to cash flow projections in order to make a decision, and you may not have time to wait for someone else to run a report for you.

Have you thought about how you might access your to-the-minute financial data?

Your accounting software can enable access, or inhibit it. We believe that business principals should have access to their business data with as few intermediaries as possible. With QuickBooks Online, multiple users can access the cloud-based software from any location. This includes principals working on business deals off-site.

At kept.pro, we also do not resell QuickBooks licenses. We believe that businesses should own the highest-level access to their data. Instead, business owners will invite our team to view QBO data using collaboration features built into the software.

Reliability and security

When it comes to technology, especially financial technology, reliability and security are paramount. QuickBooks Online is self-hosted by Intuit. Other cloud-based solutions may rely on third-party hosting providers to make their software available in the cloud.

Here’s why this is important–introducing a hosting provider into your data workflow simply increases the “links” in your data chain that are subject to failure, error, or targeting by bad actors.

A company the size of Intuit has the resources to outspend any privately held hosting provider, ensuring service delivery continuity and security across the QBO platform.

The security and availability of your financial data is our number one concern. In this area, QuickBooks Online is a clear and easy choice.

Real-time collaboration

Have you ever experienced distrust in your financial data? Poor integrations causing a backlog of manual entries or duplicate records can hurt the effectiveness of any accounting software. Now, imagine if you are using a hosted desktop software and you have to wait until accounting work is updated on a 24-hour cycle to see the most current information.

With QBO, you get collaboration in real-time so that everyone from your Accounts Payable clerk to your Accounting firm to your fractional CFO is working with the same information at the same time. This provides the ability to efficiently produce timely, accurate financial reporting to inform stronger decision-making up the chain.

With QBO, you can also access accounting talent without geographical boundaries. At kept.pro, our 100% US-based team helps companies from coast-to-coast cleanup and maintain their books using QBO’s real-time collaboration features.


How are you using artificial intelligence (AI) and other automation tools to improve operational efficiency in your business? If you haven’t adopted these tools for accounting, you’re missing a big opportunity.

Gartner estimates that AI-driven workflows will save US companies as much as 25,000 hours of labor in rework by eliminating the impact of human error in accounting.

AI and other automation tools are much better suited for cloud applications. That’s why you’ll find them in QuickBooks Online first, and often exclusively (relative to Desktop and other on-premises solutions).

One reason that companies choose to outsource with kept.pro is to improve efficiency. We feel that QBO offers a variety of features that support gains in efficiency. Those effects are compounded by our expertise, in building effective systems and processes for your finances from the ground up.

Future readiness

All of the aforementioned reasons build a strong case for QBO. But just in case, keep in mind that Intuit has already begun to phase out the QuickBooks Desktop version. A full transition to cloud-based QuickBooks Online is inevitable for most applications.

If you are making a decision today, it doesn’t make sense to spend your resources on a solution that has an expiration date. What if you are already using QuickBooks desktop version? The later companies wait to adopt cloud-based software, the more risk exposure and technical debt they will incur.

Your other technology partners, like Ekos, understand the need for future readiness and will match Intuit’s resourcing of technology development and support for cloud-based applications.

At kept.pro, we want to set you up for future success, which includes building scalable, sustainable workflows that support your growth.

The Verdict: QuickBooks Online is the way to go!

Your finances are the heart of your business. You need access to real-time data that you can trust, and that begins with accounting software that works for you. QuickBooks Online provides accessibility without compromising security or reliability. Plus, the software is designed to enable collaboration internally and externally, promoting efficient workflows that produce timely, accurate financial reports that feed upstream decisions.

Headshot image of author Tammy Hanson

Tammy Hanson


Tammy Hanson, CPA, CGMA has over 25 years of experience in public accounting and consulting. With specific expertise in accounting operations and managerial accounting across a variety of industries, she is uniquely qualified to advise growing companies looking to scale and professionalize their accounting operations to support growth, capitalization, or sale. Tammy is a Certified Public Accountant, a Chartered Global Management Accountant, and received her BA in accounting and MBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.


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