Update: This article was last updated on 20th September 2019 to reflect the accuracy and up-to-date information on the page.
Accountants and CPA firm owners love to use QuickBooks for all its advanced features. Indeed, it is one of the most popular accounting software amongst small and medium businesses across the globe.
However, when combined with the power of cloud technology, QuickBooks becomes even more useful for the accountants. It gives them the flexibility of remote access, collaboration, real-time QuickBooks file updates, and much else.
However, if you are an accountant and want to get these additional benefits, it is important to choose a reliable cloud hosting provider for QuickBooks hosting.
You may easily find a good number of cloud solution providers online. But before hiring one of them, you are advised to ask them some significant questions related to their services.
Here are five questions you should ask a QuickBooks hosting provider –
1. To How Many Clients Do You Offer QuickBooks Hosting Services?
This question deserves to be asked first and foremost to a cloud hosting provider.
The reason is quite clear – you want to know more about their reputation in the market.
If the provider already offers QuickBooks hosting to hundreds of satisfied clients, you can rest assured about the reputation. People must be recommending the provider to their connections for all the right reasons related to the services offered.
The answer to this question can also tell you more about the service provider’s experience, which will help you later.
An experienced application hosting service provider knows well about the related challenges that you may face and the methods to mitigate them. They also know the significance of protecting your data saved on the cloud.
Moreover, to know more about the reputation of the provider, you can check the reviews online on platforms such as Serchen and Google Business Listing. A good number of positive reviews about the provider means that the customers are satisfied with them.
On the other hand, avoid choosing a cloud hosting provider with negative reviews about its customer support services.
So, make sure you choose an experienced QuickBooks hosting provider that offers cloud services to a good number of clients and has a good reputation.
2. How Can I Get Customer Support Services?
Not every accountant is aware of the technical details of the functioning of cloud technology. They get to know about the benefits of hosting QuickBooks desktop version on the cloud and hire a cloud solution provider for the same.
But what if a technical issue occurs and you are unable to work on the cloud-hosted QuickBooks?
In such situations, you need a reliable cloud hosting provider whose customer support team is available all the time to deal with your queries. So, hire the one who offers 24/7/365 support services and is easy to reach on all modes, be it a phone call, chat, or mail.
3. What Security Measures Do You Follow to Ensure Data Protection?
One of the main reasons why you are willing to migrate to the cloud is that it ensures data protection.
But it is also important for you to know how your data is getting protected when on the cloud.
In general, reliable QuickBooks hosting providers have several security measures implemented in place to protect you against cyber threats such as Ransomware, DDoS, etc. These include firewalls, multi-factor authentication, data encryption, Intrusion Detection and Prevention System (IDS/IPS), and similar others.
Not just that, they even stay prepared for disruptive events like natural disasters to ensure that you continue working on the cloud without interruptions. They also have a pre-built disaster recovery and business continuity to maintain maximum uptime of as high as 99.999% to all their clients.
So, ask the cloud solution provider if they deploy these advanced security measures before choosing to host your QuickBooks.
4. Do You Offer Cloud Hosting for All Versions of QuickBooks?
Each version of QuickBooks has unique features to support distinct accounting needs. So, the choice of the right version of QuickBooks varies as per the business-related needs of CPAs and accounting firms.
If you own a CPA firm, you might be using different versions of QuickBooks which you want to migrate to the cloud.
You might have found some cloud hosting providers offer services to just a few versions of QuickBooks software, not all. But there are also those who offer customized solutions for all versions of QuickBooks.
The best part – they know well about the common challenges faced by the accountants who use QuickBooks and have enough experience to tackle them.
In general, it is good to opt for a cloud hosting provider who hosts all versions of QuickBooks.
Choosing the one who hosts only some versions of QuickBooks may not help. This is because you will then need not look for another hosting provider later in time when you want to use other versions of QuickBooks as well.
So, make sure you ask this question explicitly.
5. Are You An Intuit Authorized Host?
No matter which version of QuickBooks you are using, you need to keep in mind this significant criterion.
Being an Intuit Authorized Host implies that Intuit backs you up as a competent QuickBooks hosting provider in the market.
Intuit does the required analysis before choosing commercial standard and commercial host as a part of its hosting program.
So, you can rest assured the hosting company is qualified to meet your business-specific needs.
6. What Is Your Uptime?
Whenever you are looking to select a cloud service provider to host your QuickBooks application and data, ask for the uptime value offered by them.
Uptime is the value which tells you the total number of hours that the provider guarantees the availability of QuickBooks. The reliable cloud providers in the market are offering an uptime of 99.999 percent, which means a downtime of a maximum 6 minutes in a year.
Moreover, ensure that the uptime value is mentioned in the SLA so that the cloud hosting provider is legally obligated to offer the uptime.
7. For How Many Days Do You Store My Data?
Backup services can also be a distinguishing factor while choosing a QuickBooks cloud provider. If you have to store the data locally even after offering cloud hosting services, what’s the point?
Ask the provider if they offer backup services and the duration of data storage. Also, ask if the data backup is taken hourly, daily, or weekly.
Moreover, some providers offer to backup your data automatically. Automated backup services are preferred as it eliminates the effort of taking backup manually.
One might start to feel overwhelmed about finding a good number of QuickBooks hosting providers to choose from.
But by asking them questions related to their business, you can get a fair idea which one to choose.
After all, a cloud hosting provider does not just host your QuickBooks on the cloud. He also works as a partner to help you work for more clients and grow your experience.
To check out more questions, please refer to this in-depth QuickBooks Hosting Buyer’s Guide.
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