Cloud vs. Desktop Accounting: Which Platform Is Better for Me?

Discover   Written by Eve Zaidan on Jul 18, 2019    

It's anticipated that by the year 2023, cloud accounting will reach a colossal market share of $4.25 billion (AB Newswire), whereby companies that solely rely on cloud-based accounting experience a significant year-over-year revenue growth of 15%, which begs the question for desktop users - is it time to move? 

Here, we provide an overview of the main differences between desktop accounting software and cloud accounting as a fast guide to discover which platform is best for your business. 


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Cloud Accounting

Desktop Accounting

Users: Multiple users can be logged in at once. Users: Only one user can log in at a time.

Access:
Revel in remote access anytime from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection and a supported browser. Log-in using your smart device, regardless of it being iOS or Android, and work on your own terms.

Access:
You're confined to the computer with the installed software; one license per computer. To achieve "remote" access, means to carry that computer with you wherever you go, and to then secure an internet connection.

Transactions:
The whole system is automated; all transactions are automatically processed.

Transactions:
The process is manual; transactions are manually input with the risk of human error.

Customization:
Integrate with over 400+ third-party apps and specially customize your platform to ensure it specifically suits your business' needs.

Customization:
This capability is limited to the desktop accounting software that you're using.

Backups:
You don't need to (ever) perform a manual backup, as backups are automatic and 24/7. In the event that you lose your device, you can still log-in using a new device and your work will still be there.

Backups:
You need to manually backup your data. If you don't routinely perform manual backups, then in the event that you lose your computer - there's no guarantee that your data can be recovered.

Cost:
Cloud accounting services are billed according to a subscription model; a monthly fee.

Cost:
Desktop accounting software is billed as a fixed fee; an upfront annual fee.

Updates:
These are ongoing, frequent, and automatic; this ensures you're always using the most up-to-date version.

Updates:
These are manual and either occur annually or only when vital. Typically, you have to pay for the latest version, and then install it.

Customer Growth:
5x that of desktop users.

Customer Growth:
1/5 of cloud accounting users.

Storage:
Everything is saved to the cloud. You can easily access these files whenever you need to, and you can also delete what you don't need (at just the click of a button).

Storage:
Some explain this process as a "manual nightmare" with endless filing cabinets and paper trails, along with potentially losing or damaging the hard drive you store all of your information on.

Cloud Accounting and the Digital Transformation


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In our previous post Best Practice: How to Embrace a Digital Transformation, we discussed how cloud technologies are integral to achieving a complete digital transformation. If attaining a "digital DNA" in your workplace is a top priority, then cloud accounting is undoubtedly, an imperative.

Overall, whether or not you're ready to make the move to cloud accounting, one thing's for sure: The future is cloud, it just depends on when you're ready to embrace it. 

If you need help making the switch from desktop to cloud accounting, in particular QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online, then we know exactly how to assist you - get in touch with our friendly team today, and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. In the meantime, discover How Pact-One Streamlined Their Finances and Saved $50k with Wise-Sync.