Collaborative accounting is nothing new. But technology has evolved. Today, cloud-based collaborative accounting solutions allow bookkeepers, accountants, and management to work together in real-time, regardless of where they are located or what device they are using.
QuickBooks and Sage are two very popular accounting solutions with small and medium-sized businesses. Both the “online” and “desktop” versions of QuickBooks and Sage support collaborative accounting. The desktop versions remain popular because they are more feature-rich than the online versions however their collaborative potential is limited when installed on a local network.
To unlock this potential, the desktop versions of QuickBooks and Sage need to be hosted in the cloud. For example, a Concero Cloud Desktop allows multiple QuickBooks or Sage users to perform routine accounting processes anytime, anywhere, from any Internet connected Windows, Apple, or Android device. Moreover, other collaborative business tools — such as Microsoft Office 365 applications and services, shared printing services, and shared file storage — can be hosted alongside QuickBooks or Sage on the same Cloud Desktop.
Most third-party QuickBooks and Sage hosting solutions offer a level of security for financial data unavailable to small and medium sized companies doing it themselves. Top-tier cloud service providers like Concero have security experts on-staff and implement multiple layers of process and physical, network, and data-level security to protect the integrity of their hosting services.
Moreover, by hosting QuickBooks or Sage on a Cloud Desktop, you isolate your financial applications and data from potential security issues on your local network and the workstation, laptop, or mobile device you use to connect to QuickBooks or Sage. Given the pervasive threat of ransomware, this isolation is a critical security measure.
By hosting the full “desktop” versions of QuickBooks and Sage in the cloud, system access limitations are removed. With the freedom to work collaboratively at any time, from any location, and from any device, the flow of business information and processes are accelerated making better use of staff and customer time. And, as updates from all data sources can be made in real-time, accounting information is more up-to-date, leading to more timely reporting and analysis.
The cost of a hosted QuickBooks or Sage solution is largely offset by eliminating the need for on-site server hardware and its associated support and licensing fees. But, if we consider the indirect benefits of improved productivity and security, we get a fairer assessment of actual cost savings to the organization. Of course, if the extra security of a hosted QuickBooks or Sage solution prevents the loss of critical financial data then the cost saving is potentially immeasurable.