Larger companies have been using Cloud Computing solutions for years, but it’s really just been in the past year that smaller businesses have started to show interest. Cloud solutions are, in a nutshell, applications that run via the Internet. Perhaps the most familiar type of cloud computing for most consumers would be web-based email. Other examples that have risen in popularity in the past year include DropBox and Apple’s iCloud.
Intuit has been offering a cloud-based accounting solution for several years now. Chances are pretty good you’ve heard of QuickBooks Online, but you’re not sure how it works or whether it might be right for you.
Here are some of the basic details of how QuickBooks Online works:
- QuickBooks Online is a subscription-based product. You pay a smaller monthly fee for usage rather than a large upfront cost as you would with the desktop version of QuickBooks.
- Intuit hosts all of the data for QuickBooks Online. They also handle all of the software patches and upgrades.
- QuickBooks Online can be accessed via a number of web browsers, as well as smartphone apps for iPhone, Blackberry, and Android.
- QuickBooks Online doesn’t have all of the same features that you’ll find in the desktop versions of QuickBooks.
- Some of the features and functions work differently in QuickBooks Online than they do in the desktop versions.
- As with the desktop versions, there are a number of different levels of QuickBooks Online. Each level offers additional features and functionality.
QuickBooks Online can be a great solution for some businesses. It’s probably not for everyone. Use QuickBooks Online if you:
- Want to access QuickBooks from multiple locations, including away from the office.
- Don’t want to hassle with upgrading or updating QuickBooks.
- Prefer a monthly fee over a large one-time expenditure.
On the other hand, consider one of the desktop versions of QuickBooks if you:
- Have specialized accounting needs that QuickBooks Online doesn’t address.
- Have specific plug-ins and add-ons that you want to be able to use with QuickBooks, such as integration with your CRM solution.