Don’t let your first foray into QuickBooks hosting become an ordeal. If you want to host your QuickBooks on the cloud, read on to find out the mistakes to look out for.
Choosing the best QuickBooks hosting provider for your small business may feel like a chore, especially when you discover many cloud service providers vying with different plans to host your QuickBooks. Reviewing the options provided by these cloud providers and deciding on the right one can be overwhelming. And thus, making mistakes at this stage is easy to do.
While mistakes are a part of the learning process if we learn from them and do not repeat them in the future. However, if there’s a way for small business owners to avoid them, that’s even better. Here are some common pitfalls to avoid when selecting a QuickBooks hosting provider.
1. Thinking that all clouds are created equal
This is a misconception among small accounting businesses. And this misconception has derived from the assumption that the infrastructure will be either more expensive or not depending on the location.
While moving your QuickBooks to the cloud, you need to understand that not all cloud service providers are the same. With QuickBooks hosting, a lot of trust and responsibility is being shifted to your QB cloud provider. Hence, it becomes important for small businesses to do their homework properly.
Different QuickBooks cloud providers offer different pricing plans, features, uptime, application integration, and different options for customer support. Apart from private, public, and hybrid cloud environments, each QuickBooks cloud provider comes with a set of predefined services and performance levels. Business owners need to satisfy themselves on all fronts before reaching a decision.
2. Not understanding where your QuickBooks data is being stored
With all this talk about the cloud, you must be wondering where exactly is the QB data stored?
Your QuickBooks data is stored on the servers owned by the service provider – which can be anywhere in the world, or possibly even on a different continent. Some cloud providers have several data centers which are spaced apart across different locations. Within the data center, everyone’s data and files are housed within their own dedicated space and are kept private.
You may be wondering if you should even care about these details. Does it matter where the data center is located? The answer is yes, it does, particularly if the facility is located outside your country. To protect your QuickBooks data, physical security is as important as network security.
Small businesses need to understand how their QuickBooks data is being handled – especially the aspects which they should be abreast of to ensure the privacy and security of data.
3. Not testing different QuickBooks cloud providers
Different QuickBooks cloud providers have different business models to offer, and thus different services. Most small businesses don’t do enough research to find out what could work for them, and what won’t. For instance, a QuickBooks cloud provider can have a complex payment model, or maybe it doesn’t offer a platform that is powerful enough for your business to scale up.
So, small businesses need to follow key steps to find a cloud provider suitable to help them accomplish their goals. If you’re stuck between different cloud providers and are on the fence about one, get an inside look by asking for a free trial or a demo for QuickBooks hosting. Several discussions between your organization and the provider can set the right expectation at the outset.
4. Focusing only on saving money
The prevalent myth about cloud technology is that it always helps save money.
Yes, one of the main reasons to move your QuickBooks to the cloud is money. But don’t assume that just because you’re moving from a traditional model to the cloud more cash will show up automatically on the bottom line. It wouldn’t.
What hosting QuickBooks on the cloud gives you – in theory – is agility. This may save your business money, which you can call out in the financial statement. But if you’ve not done the hard work of honestly analyzing different factors, it can cost your business a lot of money.
While cost is always going to be an important factor in making a selection, businesses also need to consider security, uptime, scalability, reliability, and a host of other factors. For instance, you must have come across service providers boasting 99.9% uptime or 99.99% uptime guarantee. You might be thinking what difference a few 9’s would make when I am saving a bundle.
The difference between 99.9% uptime and 99.99% availability is an additional 7 hours of acceptable downtime. If you’re still thinking what’s the big deal if it’s only 7 hours out of an entire year? Well, the big deal is how much it can cost your small business. Turns out, a whole lot.
The majority of businesses have estimated that downtime costs them between $300,000 to $400,000 per hour.
5. Ignoring customer support
Large businesses have top-notch IT teams available, and therefore simply finding a QB cloud service provider may be an option. However, SMBs need a provider that would be there every step of the way, providing customer support at all times. This should include initial consulting, and guidance needed throughout the training, troubleshooting, and direct support.
It is also important to determine the response time of your prospective QB cloud provider. Ask them how long they usually take to resolve issues. Some cloud providers are more hands-on than others and may have their pricing plans accordingly. Not inquiring about the availability of support is another grave mistake.
Furthermore, the QB cloud provider should offer easy access to their desk support via chat, phone, or email for prompt guidance. Great customer service may cost a bit more, but we shouldn’t put a price tag on peace of mind.
Plan for these mistakes today
Most small accounting firms know little about cloud hosting and how to deal with cloud providers, and conveying these 5 lapses is the first step. If your small accounting firm is taking its first steps into hosting its QuickBooks on the cloud, it helps to have a trustworthy and experienced QB cloud provider by your side.
Let’s chat about how we can help increase your business profitability. Schedule a free consultation with our cloud experts.