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By Ruaan de Swardt

With technology being what it is – challenges do present itself in the life of the average QuickBooks user.  In this edition we’ll be unpacking QuickBooks Cloud.

Confused about the difference between Cloud and Online? It’s quite simple. Your desktop version of QuickBooks is loaded onto a Cloud and retains all of its desktop functionality. Online versions of accounting software are accessed online and generally has limited functionality.

Without going into semantics, the phrase ‘QuickBooks Cloud Hosting’ is quite fitting as it depicts making QuickBooks desktop available on cloud, with cloud really being a virtual server.

Hosting QuickBooks on Cloud – how it works

We’ve established that the format of QuickBooks that’s accessed on cloud or virtual server would be the desktop edition. But how will users access it? Answer: Terminal services or Windows Remote Desktop connection.

Users can access QuickBooks on server by logging onto their configured Microsoft Windows Server using RDP plug-in (which is already installed on most Windows operating systems). Try it – type mstsc in the run field found in the Windows Start menu followed by enter. (mstsc = Microsoft Terminal Services Connection).

A small but vital component necessary for this to work would be to bridge QuickBooks licenses.

(Referring to April 2014 news letter on QuickBooks and Terminal Services)

For example, QuickBooks is ‘cloud ready’ (see Below) and set for 2 users to access it using a Windows remote desktop connection. This is possibly only if Terminal Tervices is purchased and setup on Microsoft server (as not all Windows servers come standard with terminal server user licenses).

Now you need a Windows Server and QuickBooks licenses, which will be bridged – what next?

Costs, that’s what’s next. The primary obstacle most companies would face around the acquiring of a Windows server 2003, 2008, 2010 or 2012 is finances: A typical 5 user Windows Server where terminal services is setup and enabled can cost anything between 12k-21k (ZAR) – ouch! For this reasons cloud providers would offer services whereby they ‘lease’ a server at a set fee per month or year. EasyBiz has identified one such provider- Jacques Henrico from Peqqo Cloud Services.