People often ask which is better online (also called cloud-based) accounting software, or traditional desktop software? While you may like the idea of “owning” your software and only paying for it once, it simply isn’t what I recommend.
Why an online accounting system over a desktop system?
Hard drives have a 100% failure rate, it is just a matter of when they will fail. Imagine the headache and expense of restoring your accounting system to its former self. Since the data is stored in the cloud, the files are always being backed up. As soon as you make changes to an invoice or enter an expense the data file is instantly updated.
Since you can access it from anywhere, you can be at home on your couch or at a hotel for a business meeting and still have access to whatever reports you would like to run. You can access data being entered in your office or by your freelance bookkeeper in real time. I like it as a freelance bookkeeper because it is much faster to access the data from the cloud than using a remote access program to access files on a computer. Faster for your bookkeeper means more money in your pocket.
Necessary Features Included
When people hear about the online versions of accounting programs; they often think they are slimmed down. If you have a small business, you don’t need many of the features included with the big programs. Tracking inventory, inventory costing, invoicing, bill pay and payroll are available in the online versions of these programs. These features are sufficient for most small businesses, so why pay more for features you won’t use?
Every year the desktop versions change and you have to pay to update them? For the price of a small monthly fee, you can have the most up to date version for your accounting software.