We are certified professionals in a number of cloud based applications. The most well-known are QuickBooks Online (OBO) and XERO – both are accounting systems.
We work in dozens of other cloud-based such as Gusto, Square, 17 Hats, MindBODY, Microsoft 365, Wave Accounting, etc.
There are many questions and concerns you may have about the cloud. Many people are apprehensive of moving their accounting systems to the cloud.
I am asked the following questions – not only by potential clients but by other accountants and tax professionals:
Are you on the cloud?
Yes, I am on the cloud. Our accounting systems and client relationship management systems (CRM) are remotely hosted.
What is the cloud?
The “cloud” is the catchphrase for remotely hosted Web-based computer applications. It is the same concept that Facebook, Google, Microsoft and your online bank uses.
In fact, many of the apps on our smartphones are cloud-based.
Is it safe?
Very. It is based on the same security protocols that the banks and financial institutions use and it keeps evolving.
Why move to the cloud?
There are a number of reasons for using a cloud-based accounting system.
- Damage control. You won’t have to worry about a computer crash or flooded basement destroying your data. There are no computer memory issues or storage unit fees. It saves space and money.
- No updating software. It’s automatic.
- No backing up software. It’s automatic.
- It’s a monthly subscription rather than a one-time $500+ purchase.
- You can access your records anywhere and across different operating systems, Microsoft, Apple, or Android.
- Your accountant and you can work together in real time. No sending out an accountant’s copy.
- You can tie other cloud-based systems to your accounting system. This includes Shopify, PayPal, 17 Hats, Square, WooCommerce, Constant Contact, and hundreds of other systems.
- You could run your entire business from a smartphone, and never lose data.
- Low investment. You can try it and if you don’t like it, try something else at a relatively low cost – or no cost.
That’s cloud-based accounting. Nothing is perfect but it is where technology is going – away from your desktop to web-based hosted systems.
What are the downsides?
The fees are subscription based. So you have to pay a monthly fee. From an accounting stand point, cloud software like QBO doesn’t do include things like job costing or higher level cost accounting. Many accountants quite get it or simply don’t like the cloud so you may struggle to find a professional who has heard of XERO or QBO – not to mention an expert.
I hope this helps. I am certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor too, so I have no true bias…but I do recommend cloud over LAN.