| | Would you use online accounting solution?
Good day fellow soloists,
First let me disclose that I am in the business (if you can call this a business) of supplying accounting software solutions for Australian small and micro businesses.
Lately there is a big hype around online accounting, with solutions appearing like mushrooms after a rainy day, and I am trying to figure if this is going to replace the entire market.
After giving it some thought I came up with the following points for better and for worse...
In my eyes the difference between online accounting and desktop application is like the difference between hotmail and Outlook. Yes you can get it from anywhere but most of the time this specific benefit is not worth it.
What are the benefits of online solutions?
* you can access it from anywhere
* you don't need to install anything
* upgrades to the software are not required by end user
* data file is stored on the vendor's servers.
What are the disadvantages:
* look and feel is not the same as desktop application
* the set of available features is usually smaller
* responsiveness is not as quick, every thing has to go through the server which is located in some data center far away.
* your data is stored on the vendor's server - privacy aspect
* your backup is as good as they spend on it
* the solution availability is as good as they spend on it
* the performance of the website can be degraded, on different times of day, month of near end of tax year.
* if there is rapid growth in number of users, there might be reduction in quality of service
How do you feel about online accounting?
I guess I should add that for a small business such as ours coming up with an online solution is not an option because of the hugh upfront cost involved. I heard that xero received 55million dollars in investment.
If we had this amount of money I think we could get our software specially delivered to each and every small business owner in Australia by someone who will personally show you the software and massage your back while you try it :-)