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Cloud Accounting vs. Desktop Accounting: What Is Right For You?

Accounting has been there since long before the advent of the computers or even calculators. But to maintain and then retrieve the data manually was quite a hassle. After the computers came into existence that marked the onset of the digital accounting (since these computers are the digital machines, hence the term “digital accounting”).

Cloud accounting or online accounting is a new age technology where the accounting software and data files are stored on the Cloud service provider’s servers which can be accessed by using a web browser and secured login.

QuickBooks Online, Xero, Wave, Kashoo, NetSuite, FreshBooks and Software-as-a-Service such as QuickBooks Cloud, all are example of Cloud accounting.

Reasons which led Businesses to opt for Cloud Accounting:

  1. Cost: Accounting requires maintaining a number of files that are much bigger in size. Hence ultimately the user needs to upgrade his hardware from time to time which states to be costlier as compared to the cloud service.
An Introduction to Cloud Accounting

2. Backup: Keeping the backup for the data adds to the problem of getting the hardware upgraded and upgraded much frequently, hence adding to the cost further.

3. Collaboration: With desktop accounting software, only one user can login at a time, demanding you to carry your laptops and computer everywhere you go.

4. Business Decisions: In this era, businesses require up to date and real time information about their business accounts to make better business decisions. Desktop accounting requires a lot of manual work and doesn’t provide accounting information in real time.

What Cloud Accounting Offers Over Desktop Accounting?

  1. Multi-User Collaboration: Cloud accounting allows multiple accesses at a time, since all the data is stored on the servers online, so that more than one user at a time can access/modify the data with their authorized access.
  2. Remote Access: It provides remote access to its authorized users i.e. all you need to have is an internet connectivity and authentic authorization.
  3. Anywhere, Anytime Access: Cloud accounting makes it possible to access the data on the go. Most of the Cloud service providers offer its clients with the luxury of an application for the cell phones which works, pretty much, in a similar manner and requires connectivity to the internet.
Reasons Why Accountants Should Use Cloud Computing

4. 24x7 Backup: Accounting on cloud has a data backup plan where data is backed-up by cloud service provider so the user need not be worried about creating a backup at several places.

5. No IT Hassles: User is free from installing or updating the accounting software, since everything is managed by the cloud service provider.

6. Cost and Time Saving: Cloud accounting reduces lots of manual work that has to be done in accounting such as manual data entry, manual upgrades and data backups. Everythings is automatic in Cloud, thus you don’t need to waste your time and money.

However, some argue that Cloud services are not safe to use as your data is vulnerable to theft. But, as a matter of fact, since the world is going online with most of the services being made available online, the companies are leaving no stone unturned to get the data as secure as possible.

Whether to go for the Cloud or remain at the Desktop is the question..?

It all depends on how you perceive things and prioritize as per your needs. Making data accessible at any time, from anywhere along with working with the software that has much bigger and better improvements over the desktop version, then it better to go for “Cloud accounting”.

However, there are certain cons of Cloud accounting as compared to the desktop accounting which include, paying on a monthly basis, loss of control on data and security and privacy issues. But these are of least importance when compared to the benefits “the Cloud” has to offer.

What are your thoughts about Cloud accounting? Are you using it for your personal or business accounting? Please share in comments.