Take Control of Your Finances with IronOrbit-hosted QuickBooks
With already tight budgets made tighter by the economic downturn, SMBs need to track their finances carefully. Accounting methods like paper-and-pencil or Excel-based bookkeeping, while thrifty, can lead to errors in calculation. Even if done right, these methods require trained professionals and can result in unorganized and incompliant records. Accounting software, on the other hand, has features that allow SMB managers with no financial training to electronically balance their books. With accounting software SMBs can limit financial mistakes and miscalculations, conserve paper, and maintain precise and auditable records.
SMBs, fond of their old-fashioned, time-tested accounting methods, may find it difficult to switch to specialized accounting software. However, the SMBs that make the decision to switch apparently find the software selection process easier: 75-90% of them choose Intuit’s QuickBooks. Noted by PCMag for its “superior blend of accounting tools, usability, and integration,” QuickBooks possesses the three main characteristics of successful software: it works well enough, it has been around for a long time, and its domination of the market discourages people from trying anything else. The 2012 edition has nine different versions, each specialized for the size of the company (Pro, Enterprise) or the skill-level or operating system of the user (Premier, Accountant, for Mac). Except for the three online versions, QuickBooks has to be installed on, contained in, and integrated with the on-site IT infrastructure of the SMB.
However, an on-site or “local” deployment of QuickBooks will limit the usefulness of the software to an organization. Installed on-site, the software cannot be accessed by mobile or off-site users. With each repair, upgrade, or removal of the on-site program, each “instance” of QuickBooks will have to be manually altered and calibrated by the user or IT manager. On-site deployments also require the purchase of restrictive and exorbitant software licenses. SMBs can subscribe to the mobile-ready, auto-updated, fee-based online versions of QuickBooks to remove some of these drawbacks, but they would be jumping out of the on-premise frying pan and into the public cloud fire. For example, power outages inactivated QuickBooks Online for nearly three total days from Winter 2009-Summer 2010. Online versions of QuickBooks also have less accounting, management, and security features than on-premise editions. SMBs already comfortable with an on-premise interface and that have their data and settings interlaced with a certain on-site version will find migrating to an online edition disruptive, as well.
To get the best of both the on-site and online versions and avoid both their drawbacks, SMBs would be advised to let IronOrbit host their preferred on-site edition of QuickBooks. The benefits of an IronOrbit-hosted QuickBooks would be:
Anywhere-enabled. People not directly connected to the internal company network, such as mobile workers and external partners, can access and use a version of QuickBooks hosted by IronOrbit.
Increased control. A hosted version of QuickBooks centralizes the program, reducing the number of installations from dozens down to one. This simplifies managing, updating, and repairing the software.
Increased security. The centralization of the program also allows IT managers to broadly impose access control and security policies and settings.
More reliable. IronOrbit delivers 100% uptime. IronOrbit also has extensive backup systems and risk management procedures in place.
More support. IronOrbit promises 24x7x365 technical support. In addition, IronOrbit partners with a network of QuickBooks ProAdvisors to tutor first-time and amateur users.
Less worry. A hosted version of QuickBooks retains your original interface and preserves your data and settings. Meanwhile, IronOrbit does all the hard work: migrating your data, calibrating the software, and providing all the IT infrastructure hardware.
In addition to QuickBooks, IronOrbit can also host any other application, including QuickBooks competitors like Peachtree and AccountEdge. With its 15 years’ experience, industry-best customized solutions, and dedicated 24×7 technical support, IronOrbit helps SMBs improve their productivity, lower their costs, and keep better track of their finances with hosted applications and IT infrastructures.