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Why Cloud Accounting May Not Be for You - Part 1

Oct 2nd 2018
Director of Sales and Marketing Coral Tree
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If you start a discussion with a group of accountants/bookkeepers regarding the various ways you can share/access a client’s financials, you will immediately begin to experience some very impassioned explanations why one alternative is better than another. 

This is validated on a regular basis throughout the viral community whenever someone brings up the discussion regarding QuickBooks Online in comparison to QuickBooks desktop.  You are, for the most part, guaranteed to have a lengthy number of comments/replies with people explaining their reasons for using one option over another. 

Here’s the good news, you do still have choice!  If you are one of the many people that just simply don’t want to move their accounting completely to the cloud, you are not alone. 

This five-part series is designed to speak to the group that, for whatever reason, does not want to move to a cloud-based solution, but are looking for the reassurance that they are not “close minded” or “behind the times.” 

Part One: “I Like the Functions/Features/Performance of My Current Desktop Software”

There are various reasons why a user prefers particular software and tends to do all they can to keep the consistency of utilizing a familiar desktop program. 

1. Cloud Software Never Looks/Works the Same as the Desktop Version

If you are a user that does a direct comparison between your desktop software and the most comparable online version expecting to find an exact match, you will inevitably be disappointed. 

Website programming is not the same as it is for desktop software and there will always be differences in the overall appearance.

Additionally, not all functionalities can be included in a web based version of a program so some features may be left out entirely or accessed through different menus. These differences can often be significant to a user when their primary objective is to work as efficiently as possible without having to “adapt” to a different interface or surrender crucial features that save time. 

2. Cloud-Hosted Options Can Sometimes Be Subject to Performance Issues

In comparing a cloud-hosted solution to a desktop application, many users become concerned about performance issues related to the internet.  Keep in mind, when you are working entirely in the cloud you are accessing your data and the program itself through a web browser that is relying on your internet connection to perform any and all tasks.

For many people with marginal internet, this creates an issue that can dramatically increase the amount of time needed to complete basic tasks.  Additionally, this creates a situation where the user has no access whatsoever to their financial data should the internet be down for a period of time. 

Even with favorable internet speeds, a user is still subject to the performance of their hosting companies’ servers.  Although reliability has dramatically improved over the past 3-5 years and some companies have a much better consistency record in avoiding downtime, there is a possibility that a user will be affected by server performance issues at some time. As previously mentioned, when utilizing a cloud-based hosting company, if their servers are down, you are not able to work.


If you are a user that likes the look/feel of their desktop software such as QuickBooks and would prefer to keep the performance of a locally hosted program and file, you are not alone. So the question then becomes, is there a way to integrate the cloud as a resource without having to change the way you do business? 

Next up…Part Two: “Is My Data Secure?”

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Replies (2)

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By [email protected]
Oct 6th 2018 11:37 EDT

I actually use QBox and love it. Cloud accounting always sounds good in theory, until you end up spending hours every day fighting with different browsers, and slow loading times, and online software that doesn't do what you need. But, that said, I have clients who are convinced that cloud accounting is the only way to go and that all they have to do is set up a bank sync and their accounting is 'done by magic' - so I spend a lot of time in both desktop and online accounting software and there are pluses and minuses to both, in my opinion. Depends on my client, their industry, and what their individual needs are. QBox helps me get the best of both worlds and I don't know what I would do without it.

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By danadams
Oct 8th 2018 18:25 EDT

I suppose it really comes down to your needs and goals. I think for some simple accounting without heavy demand cloud is fine. But if you are running a multi million dollar operation then no, I would not use cloud for now. But with the Internet getting faster and browsers improving, its only a matter of a few more years until all the hiccups are out.

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