QB Issue Resolution:

No. You do not need QuickBooks desktop version installed on your computer. Quickbooks Online is totally different accounting software.

QuickBooks Online is cloud based accounting software subscription. You will log in from your internet browser like Google Chrome.

Resolution for Issue 'Do I need to have QuickBooks on my computer to utilize QuickBooks online?' available: Yes (Solved).
Source: Intuit Community forum.

Do I need to have QuickBooks on my computer to utilize QuickBooks online?: this issue or error code is a known issue in Quickbooks Online (QBO) and/or Quickbooks. Support for this issue is available either by self-service or paid support options. Experts are available to resolve your Quickbooks issue to ensure minimal downtime and continue running your business. First try to resolve the issue yourself by looking for a resolution described below. If it is a complex issue or you are unable to solve the issue, you may contact us by clicking here or by using other support options.

Support for Quickbooks
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