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  • #982097
    ark8architects
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    Hi fellow soloists,

    We’ve been deliberating for a while whether to go onto a cloud-based accounting solution like Xero, from a desktop solution (we are using Cashflow Manager at the moment). However, we have two concerns which perhaps current users of cloud-based packages could assist with:-

    1. Data security and backup – Does Xero, MYOB online, QBonline, Saasu all have the feature which allows you to download or backup data onto your own desktop computer?

    2. As cloud-based packages rely on a subscription agreement, this is technically and legally a ‘rental agreement’, yes? Does this then mean that you do NOT own your accounting data? In addition, say in the event that you had to terminate subscription, what happens to your data, and what would prevent it from being used in a manner not originally prescribed?

    In a high-tech age and supposed ‘knowledge-empowerment’, it pays for us to be ultra careful not to jump onto the latest and ‘greatest’ without sufficient consideration to the bigger-picture of where business and society is moving towards.

    #1134904
    Divert To Mobile
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    ark8architects, post: 153480 wrote:
    Hi fellow soloists,

    We’ve been deliberating for a while whether to go onto a cloud-based accounting solution like Xero, from a desktop solution (we are using Cashflow Manager at the moment). However, we have two concerns which perhaps current users of cloud-based packages could assist with:-

    1. Data security and backup – Does Xero, MYOB online, QBonline, Saasu all have the feature which allows you to download or backup data onto your own desktop computer?

    2. As cloud-based packages rely on a subscription agreement, this is technically and legally a ‘rental agreement’, yes? Does this then mean that you do NOT own your accounting data? In addition, say in the event that you had to terminate subscription, what happens to your data, and what would prevent it from being used in a manner not originally prescribed?

    In a high-tech age and supposed ‘knowledge-empowerment’, it pays for us to be ultra careful not to jump onto the latest and ‘greatest’ without sufficient consideration to the bigger-picture of where business and society is moving towards.

    1. There should always be an export facility in the software that will allow backing up the data.

    2. Using your company data after you terminate your account would be unethical.

    Steve

    #1134905
    CindyK
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    Hi,

    Excellent questions to answer before you commit to that path. I wonder though if you have gone to the trouble of considering it that you haven’t investigated these points with the software companies themselves. These are common concerns and most of the customer services operators are more than happy to walk you through it, as are those of us who provide the software as a service. If you are seriously considering the software – then I strongly recommend you check. For xero start with this page where they explain the answers to both your questions.

    Most of those online solutions you mentioned do not have a complete data file that you can back up (like the desktop solutions) however, there are many data extraction methods including PDF and excel. Because the software does not have a desktop version, there would be no use for the backup. It’s a big change moving to online software, but in many cases, your data can be more secure and harder to loose. In regard to copies, you can export every report including the General Ledger.

    Data ownership is also a common question. Ownership of the data belongs to you, control over access belongs to the subscriber, whether that is you or your financial advisor. Legislation in Australia governs how they use that data. That same legislation protects your banking information, queensland transport records etc from being misused. Once your subscription is cancelled the data ceases to exist. You will not have access to it again.

    Best of luck with your investigations!

    #1134906
    ark8architects
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    Thank you for your responses and the links.

    I have to confess that despite the existence of legislation, there remains a level of doubt and what one could call suspicion in handing over private data over to a nebulous entity called the cloud. Legislation and laws change over time i.e.the plan to retain personal information and data in the name of fighting crime.. what would prevent laws being changed to increase its scope in the future?

    I guess we’d have to weigh up the pros and cons, the costs and the benefits, as with any other business decision.

    #1134907
    MYOB Official
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    Hi guys,

    This is Aishah from MYOB. Interesting question here, ark8architects.

    I can’t imagine any cloud company who is frivolous with their client’s data surviving very long. As a rule of thumb, your data is solely yours. The cloud is a rental home that you house your data in. Your accounting software company should not sell or profit from your data. They might look at user behaviour to improve their products, but your data is yours.

    If you do reconcile your bank accounts with your accounting software, the principle or rule should still apply. Always read the terms and conditions. If your data is stored in a cloud that resides in a country (preferably Australia) where there are proper legal frameworks to protect it, you’re quite safe already.

    That’s what we try to do, and what most software companies are practising. Then again, there’s always the desktop if you’re not convinced.

    #1134908
    ark8architects
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    MYOB Official, post: 153640 wrote:
    Hi guys,

    This is Aishah from MYOB. Interesting question here, ark8architects.

    I can’t imagine any cloud company who is frivolous with their client’s data surviving very long. As a rule of thumb, your data is solely yours. The cloud is a rental home that you house your data in. Your accounting software company should not sell or profit from your data. They might look at user behaviour to improve their products, but your data is yours.

    If you do reconcile your bank accounts with your accounting software, the principle or rule should still apply. Always read the terms and conditions. If your data is stored in a cloud that resides in a country (preferably Australia) where there are proper legal frameworks to protect it, you’re quite safe already.

    That’s what we try to do, and what most software companies are practising. Then again, there’s always the desktop if you’re not convinced.

    Thanks for the response Aishah. Good to hear from a company rep.
    We are close to making a decision on the way forward.

    #1134909
    MYOB Official
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    ark8architects, post: 154455 wrote:
    Thanks for the response Aishah. Good to hear from a company rep.
    We are close to making a decision on the way forward.

    No worries ark8architects. Good luck with your journey to the clouds!

    Cheers,
    Aishah
    MYOB

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