Greg Lam, my #1 favorite accounting software reviewer ever (and owner of a great small business resource, “The Small Business Doer” — see my post on it), has come out with another “state of cloud accounting” update, in which he summarizes many important definitions and trends in the small business online accounting world, as well as parses out some important distinctions among the various brands of software.
Here are the points he makes that I believe are spot-on, and if you don’t take the time to read his article, here’s what you must know at the minimum if you have questions about where things stand with online versus desktop accounting and bookkeeping:
1) Add-ons are often basic import / export tools instead of truly seamless integrations.
2) Security is still a major concern.
3) Automation helps certain businesses, but some users (yours truly and her staff accountant included) find the software slower than desktop.
4) The functionality is still not as deep in certain areas as desktop.
All that said, things are improving bit-by-bit and competition is increasing (both in pricing and in features), and if online access, invoicing and collaboration are essential for your business, cloud accounting is the way to go. Otherwise, I still recommend QuickBooks for Desktop (especially if using QB POS). My colleague, Bonnie Nagayama, offers great discounts on both QB Desktop and Online software — let me know if you’d like a referral, as I’m happy to connect you.
See Greg’s post here: The State of Cloud Accounting 2015 – QuickBooks and Beyond.