Accountants and Bookkeepers have three options for working in live QuickBooks files.
#1 Hosted Server:
The first option to access QuickBooks Desktop remotely is to place QuickBooks and the company data file on a hosted server. A remote hosted server is required if users are not in the same location and need access to a QuickBooks file simultaneously, using multi-user mode. Remote users access the hosted server over the internet so that internet speed can be an issue. One benefit is that remote users do not need a PC, so users with a Mac-only need online access. Nor do they need a highspeed machine since the program is not loaded locally. Expect to pay an average of $50 per user/ per month. Hosting additional software may add to this cost.
#2 Remote Software:
The second option access QuickBooks Desktop remotely is to dial into the PC running QuickBooks Desktop. But this requires the computer’s user to leave their machine on after hours or find something else to do while you work. You want to avoid clients pacing back and forth, waiting impatiently for you to free up their machine! Using remote software can be a perfect solution when accessing a spare machine connected to a network.
#3 Qbox: My favorite!
When remote users have the ability to take turns with the QuickBooks file, my favorite and least expensive option is to access QuickBooks Desktop remotely by sharing the data file.
Qbox is the only syncing program on the market that does not sync files continuously. DropBox, Google Drive, OneDrive and other online storage sites sync continuously, which corrupts the data due to hidden files.
How Qbox works
Qbox requires each user to install QuickBooks on their PC.
When a user logs out of their copy of the QuickBooks file, Qbox syncs a fresh copy up to their server and out to all remote users, replacing their current copy with an updated version. Remote users are not prevented from accessing their local QuickBooks file for viewing and printing reports.
Qbox serves as a warning system when a user tries to access their QuickBooks file, but another user has the “lock.” It sends a warning that any changes made will be overwritten when the user who is working logs off and syncs. Brilliant!
A Qbox data folder costs a ridiculously low $120 per year for unlimited free users. Each folder has 10 GB included.Qbox by CoralTree
When determining the perfect solution, the first question I ask is, do multiple people at different locations access the same QuickBooks file simultaneously, or can they take turns? If someone keeps QuickBooks open all day, are they really working in it, or do they simply want quick access if they need to look something up? Chances are, the one user who wants it open all day can live with viewing their copy while another user works. I find that communicating when to share the file is surprisingly not that difficult.
Who should share files with Qbox?
A hosted server does not make sense for my business model. I employ a team of bookkeepers who use QuickBooks Desktop on their laptops. Using Qbox has untethered them from our office. A hosted server may not make sense for nonprofit treasurers or owners using a home computer if they only need to read files or if they can wait until the file is free for work. Qbox is perfect for tax accountants or consultants who need up to date information at their fingertips.
Qbox is perfect for companies that have a horrible Internet connection. It may take extra time to sync the file, but no one has to work online!
Qbox folders also lock other files such as Word and Excel and share images and pdfs. Qbox serves as offsite storage with 20 versions of the data, which is useful for rolling back to a prior backup in the case of file corruption. It’s an inexpensive way to get offsite backups every day.
QuickBooks Desktop can be used in a multi-user environment with Qbox if installed on a LAN – local server network. The first person opening the company file gets the lock. Other users in the same office may work at the same time. The last user logging off releases the lock. Only then can a user at a remote location take the lock and make changes in their copy of the data.
Check out Qbox today! Qbox by CoralTree