Update: This article was last updated on 22nd July 2020 to reflect the accuracy and up-to-date information on the page.
QuickBooks Desktop version commands an immense user following and rightly so for the kind of features that it offers. Automation with the financial tracking, lesser scope for errors, consistency with data between different departments, timely reminders, and there is still a lot more QuickBooks can do for your accounting needs.
Being competent in serving almost all sizes of accounting ranging between an individual professional and an enterprise, QuickBooks does not face many challenges in the desktop application arena. However, with cloud becoming a mainstream practice, QuickBooks users need to give in some thoughts.
Hosting QuickBooks on the cloud adds more features to the desktop software, so accounting professionals are able to deliver better performance. Some of the benefits of choosing QuickBooks Hosting are:
- Anytime, anywhere access to data and application
- Multi-user collaboration
- Cross-device compatibility
- Improvised disaster recovery and backup solutions
- Better add-on compatibility
- Resource scalability
- High-Performance Computing
For an accounting professional or firm to stay matched with the competition, these features are almost inevitable today. But the real performance and availability of the cloud benefits, rely on the potential of the hosting company.
To ensure that your choice of QuickBooks hosting company is capable of delivering the right outcome for you, ask these questions:
1. Do They Offer SLA Backed Availability?
With almost entire QuickBooks relying on the cloud, you would never want to face a server downtime. Cloud technologies have escalated for better in recent times, and reliable hosting providers offer a 99.999% uptime guarantee.
That means a downtime of around 6 minutes or less in the year, which is usually pre-informed and during the least hectic schedule. But it is better to have a written agreement. Ask your QuickBooks hosting company to provide SLA-backed server availability.
2. Which QuickBooks Versions and Add-ons Do They Support?
As an accountant, you may need to work on different QuickBooks versions depending on the client’s requirements. Moreover, QuickBooks works even better with add-ons, which makes their integration a necessity.
So, ask your QuickBooks hosting provider if their servers are capable of doing that smoothly. Some of the leading hosting providers even offer support for the integration with add-ons. That’s an added advantage, and you should look to make use of it.
3. What Is Their Level And Field Of Expertise?
There are numerous cloud hosting providers in the market. However, each cloud vendor has experience in a particular field.
Therefore, choose a QuickBooks cloud hosting provider that holds expertise in providing services to accounting and tax professionals. It will provide an apt environment and resources to host your application. Additionally, the number of years they have served in a particular field and a look at their client base can serve as metrics for their reliability.
4. What Support Options They Offer?
When technical solutions are involved, the need for experts is usually inevitable. Cloud technology is fairly a newer toy for the accounting professionals, and it may not go well with them sometimes. That is where the role of support from hosting providers comes in.
A friendly and reachable support team can ensure that tech queries of the accounting professionals are instantly resolved and operations remain on track. Another question that you can put is the mediums over which support is delivered.
For instant needs, phone and chat are preferred while e-mails can work well for requests that do not seek instant actions.
5. What Are Their Pricing Plans and Policies for QuickBooks Cloud Hosting?
Depending on the number of users and resources that you opt for, the prices will be charged. That looks clear and simple. But that’s not all as with hosting; there are several other pricing possibilities exist that may in the form of data transfer, support instances, etc.
Make it clear right from the beginning that you are aware of any charges that may apply. In the case of change of existing requirements, how the pricing will be applied in the future. Along with that, the payment methods and policies must be considered.
Once you have cleared these checkpoints, you are ready to go.
6. What Are The Security Measures Implemented?
Business data is prone to various cyber-attacks, accidents, and other malicious threats. A competent hosted QuickBooks provider will implement security standards to safeguard the information. Some of the prominent measures include:
- End-to-end data encryption
- Multiple firewalls
- Multi-factor authentication
- Intrusion Detection and Prevention System (IDPS)
Also, check the on-site security protocols taken by the cloud vendor to ensure the protection of data.
7. What Customers Have To Say About Their Services?
What existing customers have to say about the hosting service providers means a lot. You can check the reviews on certain independent rating platforms such as Serchen and Google Reviews.
In case you are not able to find them with ease, ask the service provider if they can share the customer reviews that they have received. Most likely, they will share only positive ones, but if they are genuine, it’s a good way to go with.
QuickBooks cloud hosting is a one-stop solution for all the business needs. Therefore, it is crucial to select the right hosting provider for your business. Hence, ask the prospective cloud vendor the right set of questions accordingly.
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