How to work remotely with QuickBooks Desktop

Sara LaidlawUncategorizedLeave a Comment

Work Remotely

Hosted Server

One option for working remotely with QuickBooks Desktop is to place QuickBooks and the datafiles with an online accessed hosting provider. Expect to pay an average of $50 per user/ per month. Hosting additional software may add to this cost. A hosted server is required if users are not in the same location and need access to a QuickBooks file at the same time, using multi-user mode. Remote users access the hosted server over the internet, so 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.

Remote Software

Some users use remote software to access client computers, but this requires the client to leave their machine and find something else to do. Typically pacing back and forth waiting impatiently for the person to free up their machine! Using remote software can be a perfect solution when accessing a spare machine connected to a network.


Another option is to simply share the data file. The only syncing program on the market that does not sync files continuously is Qbox. Online storage sites such as DropBox or Google Drive sync continuously and will corrupt a QuickBooks file due to its hidden files.

A Qbox data folder costs a ridiculously low $120 per year for unlimited free users. Each folder has 10 GB included.

Qbox by CoralTree

If all users have a PC, the least expensive option is for each user to install QuickBooks on their own PC, and then share a copy of their QuickBooks data file by syncing it to Qbox, which then distributes it out to all remote users each time they finish working. This requires that users who are not in the same office – take turns. Meanwhile, no one is prevented from accessing their local QuickBooks file for viewing and printing reports.

When determining the perfect solution, the first question I ask is, do multiple people at different locations access the same QuickBooks file at the same time or can they take turns? If one at a time and if QuickBooks is 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 reading their copy while another user works in their copy. Communicating when to share the file is surprisingly not that difficult.

I have a team of bookkeepers who do not use the same data files. A hosted server does not make sense for my business model. We installed Qbox on every laptop. My staff is no longer tethered to the office. Nor does it make sense for remote workers who only need to read files or who can wait until the office copy is free to work. Qbox is perfect for nonprofit treasurers or owners using a home computer. Or a tax accountant or consultant who needs 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!

How it works

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!


Qbox perks!

Qbox folders can also lock other files such as word and excel and share images and pdfs. Qbox saves 20 versions of the data, which is useful for rolling back in case of file corruption. I tell clients that it’s an inexpensive way to get offsite backups every day.

Qbox by CoralTree

Multi-user environment

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 one 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.

Qbox by CoralTree

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