What is Cloud Computing?
By now, we’ve all heard about the subject of Cloud Computing. Working in the Cloud simply means that you are accessing servers, software and technology via the internet.
It’s something that most of us are already using on a daily basis when we access our bank accounts and pay our credit card bills online; or when we use Facebook and other social media websites.
That’s the infamous Cloud – you access it with a browser from any computer or mobile device with an internet connection and you log in to use applications that you do not own and that are stored elsewhere to retrieve your data.
Many businesses are looking for an online solution for their QuickBooks® software but are hesitant to move to QuickBooks® Online because it does not have the full functionality of the Desktop versions of the software that we’ve all become familiar with.
A great option for those who want to move to the cloud but don’t want to change everything all at once is to have their licensed QuickBooks® Desktop software hosted by an Intuit Authorized Hosting Provider.
The average cost of hosting is approximately $50/month/user for basic setup and storage space, plus the cost of the software. The following is a list of certified secure data centers with proven reliable up-times:
Many of these providers are also licensed to rent QuickBooks® licenses for currently supported versions of the software which is quite cost-effective.
The hosting service provider installs and manages the QuickBooks® software and the company data files on their cloud-based servers. They install the software, update it and maintain it and provide system maintenance, redundant servers, improved security, virus protection and managed data backups.
It’s the full version of your licensed QuickBooks® software hosted on a secure server that users can access anytime, anywhere – remotely and simultaneously with proper licensing. There’s no data conversion and no retraining of users because it’s the same software that they have already been using.
There is no more dealing with Accountant’s Copies and Transfer Files at year end for your tax preparer, as access can be provided to outside professionals to seamlessly share data and collaborate with the business.
You are not required to upgrade to the newest version of the software each year in order to use hosted services, as long as the version is still supported by QuickBooks®, you do not have to upgrade.
If you aren’t satisfied with the hosting service, you can move to a different hosting vendor or you can move back to your desktop – you’re not tied in – it’s your data and your software.
There are a number of areas of the QuickBooks® application which are designed directly in conflict with the concept of a hosted, shared application service model, making QuickBooks® hosting a fairly complicated business.
Installing the correct application licensing levels and multiple editions of the product, allowing individual user settings for printers and forms, and even providing multi-user access are areas where some service providers fall short.
In addition, not all hosting service providers support additional third party applications that integrate with the QuickBooks® software and there may be issues with hardware integration, e.g. scanners, bar code readers and so forth.The biggest drawback of all – no internet, no access.
Hosting QuickBooks® can be a great solution for many businesses. It is best to spend some time in advance choosing the right hosting provider; one that best fits your business needs. If you need help, please call us.
This article of QuickBooks Tips and Tricks was based on the 2013 version of QuickBooks.