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Cloud based accounting

What is the Difference between Desktop and Cloud Accounting Software?

It seems that the term ‘cloud’ is everywhere these days with many people expounding the benefits of cloud accounting software. So what is it and should you be considering it?

The ‘cloud’ simply refers to software and services that you access using the internet with the data being stored on someone else’s computer rather than your own.

Cloud can offer a number of advantages such as:

• the convenience of being able to access files from anywhere you have internet access,
• not having to install software (and updates) on your own computer,
• easy data sharing (and collaboration), and
• not needing to do backups.

However, there are also some down sides such as:

• potential security issues,
• lack of access if there is no internet connection.

The advantages of desktop software are:

• no ongoing fees to use the program,
• data is stored on your own PC,
• doesn’t require internet access.

The disadvantages of desktop software are:

• you need your own desktop or laptop computer,
• you need to install the software (and any updates)
• you need to backup your data,
• data sharing is not as easy.
There are also hybrid models that can be effective. For example, with a desktop bookkeeping program you can either save your data or backup to a cloud storage provider such as Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive or Google Cloud Storage. You can give someone else, such as your accountant for your accounting records, the link to the data so they can also access it as well.
Cashflow Manager has been supplying to desktop software to UK small business owners since 1998.

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