First, let’s address confusing fact#1:
QuickBooks® “in the cloud” is NOT QuickBooks® Online. QuickBooks® in the cloud means you put your QuickBooks® desktop version in the cloud.
QuickBooks® online is a simplified version of QuickBooks® that has similar features to the common desktop version, but is different on many levels. I must confess, QuickBooks® Desktop is in my “comfort zone”. I know it, I can control it, I can understand what it does, and I can get it to do what I want.
“In the cloud” means that your program and files are being hosted by a different provider (think of it as moving your hard drive to a different location). You can still access the files – in fact, multiple people can access it at the same time, it’s just that each user is walking through a different door to get to it.
A downside of the cloud is that in a desktop system you typically have your financial data stored locally on your computer or network. You know where it is, you control access. With a cloud system, you rely on the cloud provider to protect your data. It’s a trust issue and some of us are less trusting than others.
One point to note is that if you purchase a desktop product you are not forced to update the program unless you choose to do so. With cloud programs you usually have no choice about updating, as you are always running the latest and greatest release (whether you want to or not). Conversely, with desktop you have to pay for major “upgrades” each year (if you want to keep current) and you have to install “updates” throughout the year, on each workstation you are using. Manual updates can sometimes be a bumpy and time-consuming adventure! Cloud “updates” are usually much less painful.
One of my favorite features of cloud systems is the automatic backup. Most businesses do not do a great job of making backups of their data because it can be a hassle. Cloud systems automatically back up every day and some will store old back ups for up to 90 days.
Another “pro” to the cloud is that businesses can avoid the need for costly IT infrastructure – you no longer need that server nor the IT consultants to look after it. Software as a service has many key advantage for the small business in that regard.
My #1 favorite feature is that when I work on a client’s QuickBooks® file in the cloud I know that it is the latest version. I can enter journal entries and see detail data without the back and forth of creating backups to and from clients.
If you are interested in learning more about moving to the cloud, call our office at 802.878.1963 or visit: http://www.rightnetworks.com/
Still, do your research, compare price, security, storage space, and most importantly compare reviews!
By Elizia Meskill, Associate Accountant and Enrolled Agent
Davis and Hodgdon Associates CPAs has been assiting nonprofits, individuals and businesses with tax and accounting services in the Burlington Vermont Metro area for more than 20 years. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call 802.878.1963 or email [email protected].