What Is Cloud Bookkeeping?
One of the most exciting changes in the bookkeeping industry is cloud bookkeeping. Cloud bookkeeping is a general term for several types of bookkeeping solutions, all of which have in common one thing: The bookkeeping system is accessible via a remote server that is connected to the internet, but in a private, secure space that only authorized users can access.
In the past, bookkeeping systems software programs such as Intuit QuickBooks® have been located on a small business owner’s own private PC or a private server within the small business. This allowed one or more employees within the same physical location access to the bookkeeping software. Access to a “desktop bookkeeping system” was limited, especially if the small business added additional business locations and/or needed outside consultants such as bookkeepers, tax preparers, or auditors to be able to access the system.
Cloud bookkeeping solves the limited access problem because you can access a cloud bookkeeping system via an Internet browser or a remote desktop connection that accesses the system through a private connection.
Here are the reasons many small businesses are moving to the cloud.
- Anywhere, anytime access to your bookkeeping system.
As our workforce becomes more mobile, cloud bookkeeping provides a tremendous convenience by allowing users to access the bookkeeping system from any computer connected to the internet.
- Access via all different kinds of computers and devices
- No more software updates or version upgrades
- Tighter security
Yes, that’s right. Your data is more secure in cloud bookkeeping than it is on your PC. That’s because the data centers that provide cloud bookkeeping follow strict security procedures. Some of the security features include:
• Physical security including limiting building access and computer room access with James Bond-like features such as retina and fingerprint scans
• Data security including firewalls, multiple layers of password management, employee training, and much more
• Redundancy of computers and data for disaster recovery
• 24/7 network monitoring
- Built-in offsite backup
- No more file version errors
The costs of a cloud bookkeeping solution will vary depending on the following factors:
- The bookkeeping software you choose
- Whether you choose to host a desktop software or choose a SaaS
- How many users need access to your software
- What features you need, and whether you can get them in the core software or an add-on
Some bookkeepers will include your software, hosting, and other technology requirements in a comprehensive price that includes bookkeeping, payroll, controller review, and tax compliance. In these cases, the bookkeeper will likely deal with the cloud bookkeeping vendor and you will not have to manage that relationship. In other cases, the bookkeeper may simply pass on some references to you and leave you to work with the vendor directly.
How to Get Started
Frankly, we’re pretty excited about the possibilities and results we’ve seen with the implementations we’ve done. If we’ve piqued your curiosity about cloud bookkeeping, please feel free to reach out so we can continue the conversation. We can share any specific current success stories of clients we have successful moved to the cloud, and we can discuss our recommendations and costs for a proposed move for your business.