Is Cloud Accounting Right For You?

Everything seems to be going up into the cloud.  Is accounting in the cloud for you?  Should your books be accessible from anywhere?  Here are a few things you should know before answering those questions.

So Who Owns What?

Unlike desktop versions of software, cloud based products tend to be subscriptions based.  People still run their old versions of Quickbook and Word that ran on Windows 95.  This won’t be the case with cloud based software.  The advantage of this is that with cloud based software like Office 365, you can pick and chose what features you want.  Desktop software tend to come out in one format or a tiered system.  Now you can pick and chose what you pay for.

Where Is Your Data?

If you’re using a cloud based software, then your data is stored offsite.  It’s not on your local hard drive.  It’s some where out there, in the cloud.  So is it secure?  Well, you paying another company to store your data and give you access to it all the time.  This is the biggest crux that the cloud community has to deal with.  But think about your ATM.  You could have all your money stored locally, like in a shoe box under your bed.  Or you give it to your bank and they give you access to your money via tellers, ATMs, etc.

Who Is It for?

In my opinion, cloud based software is really for the medium guy.  If you’re a tiny business and you can count your daily sales on one hand, then this isn’t for you.  A simple double ledger spreadsheet in Excel would do you better.  If you’re a mega-corporation then you would build or higher your own accounting department and have an in-house system.  However, the medium business that is always on the go and in flux will have use for a cloud based accounting system.  As your business grows and changes the cloud is more apt to scale.  It’s going to be easier than making that tough choice to spend a whole lot of money on a software upgrade.

Quickbooks and Peachtree Hosting: Meeting Business Demands, No Sweat

If there’s one person small business owners depend on, it’s their accountant or bookkeeper. So owners demand a lot from them. They want flawless record-keeping, of course, but also absolute security and constant access to their information.

Once upon a time, that set of demands might have made an accountant break out in a cold sweat. Getting information from a financial professional to a client took communication and time. And sharing files online could risk security breaches.

Fortunately, the cloud has changed all that. Applications like Quickbooks and Peachtree can run in the cloud just as well as they do on a firm’s own office computers. In fact, using them that way keeps them better protected from outages or natural disasters than running them on a local machine.

With hosted software, business owners and accountants can look at the same document, at the same time, from anywhere in the world. And they can do it not just from a computer but from their smartphone or tablet device too.

One of the most significant benefits of using Peachtree or Quickbooks in the cloud is that accountants and bookkeepers don’t have to handle data issues themselves. The responsibility for backing data up and keeping it secure and available lies with IT consultants who are specialists in these matters. That means there’s no need for people whose training is in accounting to spend hours trying to set up a firewall or figure out the most secure way to share files remotely.

With hosted software, accountants can keep business owners connected to their accounts whether they’re at their office or fielding an urgent call from their iPhone at a conference in Cancun. And they can do it without breaking a sweat.