What is Online Bookkeeping?

Do you want to do your bookkeeping from anywhere in the world?  At anytime?  If that’s your #1 criteria, then online bookkeeping is your best option.  You simply access a website, login and start using the software.  Internet speeds are finally at a point which allows for rich content and interactive websites.  As a result, many bookkeeping software vendors are also offering online versions of their desktop software.  A very popular online bookkeeping website is QuickBooks Online.   Other up and coming online tools include Xero and Wave.

 

What are some of the key benefits of online bookkeeping?

  • Access Anywhere – Simply point to a website to access your bookkeeping software.  You do not need any remote desktop tools to access your desktop software.  You can even access your online bookkeeping tools over a smartphone or tablet.
  • Access Anytime – Online bookkeeping tools are hosted on the cloud and run on highly available systems.  So, they are always available and rarely go down.  With desktop software, you are more than likely running it on a single computer.  If that computer goes down, your bookkeeping comes to a grinding halt.
  • Infrastructure Savings –  You are not hosting the bookkeeping software within your company.  It is hosted on an external site.  So, you are not responsible for the computers, space, power and cooling to run the software.  Yet, the software is always available.
  • Maintenance Savings – You do not have to pay an upfront cost for the online software.  You usually pay a monthly subscription.  This means that you are not responsible for maintaining the software.  You do not have to upgrade the software.  The new software is automatically delivered to you.
  • Multi-user Access – You get your own user ID and password to access the online bookkeeping website.  Other users from your company get their own user ID and password as well.  You no longer have to worry about multiple users contending for the same computer resources.

What are some of the disadvantages of online bookkeeping?

  • Experience – You have been using that Desktop tool for many years.  You just know how to use it!
  • Limited Features – Desktop version has been around much longer.  While the online counterparts are catching up fast, they are not quite there yet it terms of features and functionality.
  • Subscription Costs – You pay an upfront cost for that computer and the bookkeeping software.  You then run it for many years.  That monthly subscription seems attractive but costs you a lot over the long run.  Especially if you add multiple users and features like payroll.

What do we prefer?

Do we really care whether it’s online or desktop?  Not really!  Our bookkeepers are well versed with both online bookkeeping and their desktop versions.  We usually go with what works best for our customers!