QuickBooks Desktop Pro, Premier or Enterprise version may though appear to be a manageable choice for the individual users but as workloads increase and time begins to shorten, the terror of missing deadlines starts trailing the users thereby leaving them chained to their desk all the time.
Cloud has been a prominent term for quite long but its linkage with accounting has shown its existence only a few years back. Hosting QuickBooks on the virtual cloud environment built on remote servers has brought about a revolution in the accounting domain.
With this service, the accountants can simply carry their accounting files anywhere and start working on them from wherever they want and irrespective of what time of the day it is.
The Current Trend of Adoption of QuickBooks Cloud Hosting
As per Gartner Report 2012, CPAs and individual clients have been adopting QuickBooks hosting for streamlining their accounting activities.
When surveyed on a massive scale, 81.4% of the total audience considered the switch to cloud accounting while ditching their applications at work.
- For round-the-clock accessibility of data and applications – 48.1%
- Multi-user accessibility to accounting data and consistent state of centralized data – 21.6%
- Freedom from IT troubles that lead to wastage of considerable amount of time – 10.8%
- Security of client data hosted on secure cloud environment – 3.6%
- Round-the-clock customer support services to help clients with their issues in time – 2.4%
- No unexpected expenses due to scaling on pay-as-you-go basis – 1.2%
The Transition from Desktop to Cloud Usage of QuickBooks
Taking the decision of switching to a new and advanced version of QuickBooks is undoubtedly a big step as the users will be hosting their entire applications and data over the cloud. This is why users are bound to be flooded with questions that are related to the transition stage.
The truth about this transition being smooth is simply based on the QuickBooks hosting provider that you are considering for your needs. The few hurdle stones in the process are related to the following:
1. Migration of Data
Client data files that are stored on their desktop computers are transferred to the service provider’s remote servers. The transfer of this confidential data is quite a crucial process. The method required for this data transfer depends on the amount of data.
For smaller amounts of data, the files can be copied from the client desktop computer and pasted on the server. For larger quantities, the data is shared at some secure location through the use of internet and is downloaded onto the server from that location.
There are various other modes of data transfer. Reliability of a service provider depends upon whether he takes security considerations into account while performing the transfer. For ensuring that you don’t take any chances with your data, opt for a provider who holds all the security certificates and is able to tell you the detailed procedure of safe data transfer.
2. Cloud Environment Accessibility
When you know that your data is connected through an internet based pathway to a remote location that stores your data, the important factors for you to consider are that your data is safe, easily accessible at any time and there are no loopholes in the accessibility pathway. The cloud appears to hold a simple structure but to be a secure cloud environment takes considerable effort to build.
Physically secure data centers are set up by the service providers with the help of biometric access and live monitoring of data center entrance. These data centers hold servers that form the base of the cloud environment. Encryption, firewall security, and intrusion detection systems are set up to ensure complete security of the virtual environment built on the physical servers.
Accounting users can make sure of the security levels with the help of SOC protocols that are implemented by most of the QuickBooks hosting providers. As far as availability and anytime access is concerned, it is best to test the server speed beforehand. Also, don’t compromise on the server uptime in case you wish to have independent mobile access to your data from anywhere.
3. Know About the Way Out
Switching to QuickBooks on the cloud is a big decision and it is better to consider all possibilities well in advance. It is always mandatory that you transfer your data and applications without any fear.
What if at a later point of time, you feel like setting up your own servers for storing your data? What if you are not satisfied with the Quality of Services delivered? Always be prepared for the worst well in advance.
Ask your provider about the total expenses involved including any hidden charges. Analyze whether this will be a beneficial deal for your business. Ask for customized packages in case you feel that you are paying extra for something you don’t require.
Know if you have to sign any contracts or if there are any termination policies associated with the services. Try to opt for the provider who does not force you to stay on any grounds. Generally, such providers will deliver the Quality of Services that wouldn’t let you leave the services.
Of course, planning the switch is difficult and there may be serious glitches associated with the process but the shift and further functionality can be smooth if you make the right choice of service provider.