QB in the Cloud: Learn how

What do we do?

HREF Tools helps small businesses in USA and Canada to set up a secure QuickBooks Desktop workstation which can be shared by various people who need to work on the company file at different times of the day or week.

Basically this lets you time-share QuickBooks Desktop from two or more locations without compromising on features.

How do we do it?

We find out how you have been using QuickBooks in the past, what you would prefer in terms of users and timing, and then we design a system to suit your style. We leverage cloud computing infrastructure from Amazon Web Services. You can read a case study below.


We agree with the analysis of SLC Bookkeeping that QuickBooks Online is better for Intuit, while QuickBooks Desktop is better for you.

A cost-effective option is to install QB Desktop on a hosted machine and then share that machine using Windows Remote Desktop. Each user can print to their printers, and each person can copy and paste files to/from their local disks.

So-called "Remote Desktop" software is included at no additional charge with Windows. Once you are connected, it is almost exactly like working on your own local system.

Even people using Mac and Linux can use QuickBooks this way. We recommend Remmina Remote Desktop for Ubuntu users.

Request a Quotation

Please answer some questions here to streamline the process. Price from USD $60/month.

Your monthly cost will depend primarily on how you do your filing. Do you embed all your documents inside QuickBooks or do you maintain files separately outside? The latter is less expensive.

We provide a dedicated Windows machine with your own QuickBooks Desktop software, and help you to time-share the system.

Hypothetical Case Study

This story is about ACME Co with a primary location in Denver, Colorado. ACME Co sells eco-friendly widgets.

Janey - Business Owner in Denver

Janey owns the ACME Co business. She has a few employees and contractors. She uses QuickBooks based on the recommendation from her bookkeeper. During the business day, Janey only needs to go into QuickBooks to run reports such as her Profit and Loss and to review invoices for key customers.

Janey working in Denver

Janey has an assistant who does most of the data entry into QuickBooks: bills, invoices and all the bank-feed reconciliations. All that usually gets done at the office in Denver.

Prior to COVID restrictions, Janey was happy to go to the office to use QuickBooks. As time passed, she found herself more often at home and wishing she could just check one or two details on occasion, without having to go to the office.

Linda - Accountant - in Hawaii

Janey's friend Linda had been a bookkeeper for many years in Colorado and spends a few months each year in Hawaii. Her responsibility is to review the entries, provide guidance from time to time, prepare tax filings, and review payroll.

Linda working in Kailua

Linda would be quite happy being able to support ACME Co without being tied to the ACME Co physical location.

Leon - Network Admin - in New Jersey

Janey's son Leon set up the office computers and then moved east to go to school. He still tries to help them out. He also wishes he could more easily help them.

Leon working in Newark


The key elements for ACME Co's solution are:

  1. A virtual machine running in the Amazon Electronic Computer Cloud. This machine runs Windows and has QuickBooks Desktop installed.
  2. As needed, people at ACME Co connect to the virtual machine using Windows Remote Desktop. The business owner can get reports from home. The son can review malware reports from his college dorm at 11pm. The bookkeeper gets to move to Hawaii without losing her favorite client. They have self-organized a schedule for who works when.
  3. HREF Tools manages the virtual machine, the firewall settings and assists with QuickBooks upgrades as needed.
  4. The initial setup involved moving the master copies of their bills and purchase orders onto an Amazon S3, which was then available as a network drive for everyone.
  5. Cost: $60.00/month plus initial setup fee. Request a Quotation


"Working with Quickbooks on a remote desktop has tremendous benefits. I used to have to backup QB onto a thumb drive whenever I stopped working on it and remember to bring it with me, in a safe place, and then deliver it to my coworker who had to make sure she was working on the current file. Now, we can each access it remotely and feel confident that it is the current file and nothing will slip through the cracks!

"Quickbooks operates exactly the same on the remote desktop as my regular desktop. There are no slow downs, delays or screen distortions. If I opened it up (opened the remote desktop connection) and someone else sat down to use QuickBooks, they would have no idea that it was a remote system."

, bookkeeper in Santa Rosa, California:

Last updated 25-May-2021 gmt

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