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11 Myths About Cloud Accounting Software

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11 Myths About Cloud Accounting Software

By: Dean Dorton | August 28, 2014

Sage Intacct

1. The Cloud is less reliable than on-premise

For all accounting systems, operational stability and compatibility is very important. With traditional, on-premise systems, product vendors typically do not offer guarantees for the program to be free of errors or interruptions. This is because the software vendor has no control over the specific network and server setup that their product is installed on. On the other hand, cloud computing companies own and control the systems that host the software, so they are solely responsible if their network goes down or if an upgrade breaks the system. Because they must meet their service level agreements, their datacenters are equipped with redundant power supplies and multiple Internet connections with a variety of ISPs. They also manage offsite backups and disaster recovery plans.

2. The Cloud is less secure than on-premise

Security is vital to every system, and the Cloud is no exception. Cloud computing companies such as Intacct have intrusion detection systems to guard their networks. Each user account has granular permissions available to limit what each person can view, edit, and save in the system. Intacct also provides two-factor authentication, IP address filtering, and forced password changes. As well, data is encrypted as it travels between your browser and the application. This applies not only to the primary data center, but also to their multiple, redundant backups that protect your information in the event that the primary facility goes down.

3. There is no place for cloud computing in your business

Many businesses are running on the cloud without even realizing it. Do you remotely access your email on your phone or laptop, perhaps to send and receive reports or to discuss your work? Maybe you also use a document sharing service such as Google Drive or Office 365? If so, those are cloud applications that are used to run many businesses just like yours.

4. Everyone will have access to your finances

A common objections to cloud computing is the fear that by not keeping in your internal systems, it will be vulnerable to hackers and other unauthorized access. The reality is that your company’s security and backup systems are far less advanced than those employed by cloud computing datacenters. Many breaches of financial data are due to unauthorized access to the physical system. Cloud providers like Intacct perform extensive background checks on all employees and maintain fences, armed guards, and biometric access checks to protect the physical system.

5. There is too much work involved in migrating to the cloud

With Cloud applications, it’s actually very easy to migrate your old data into the system. Modern cloud-based programs generally have several options for importing your data. With Intacct, you can use their CSV import templates, upload a QuickBooks company file, or use Scribe Online to migrate your data.

6. I have no idea where my data is

As outlined previously, your data is stored in world-class facilities run by the cloud provider. For instance, Intacct stores their
customers data in San Jose, California, with additional backups in Sacramento. Each location is monitored around the clock and features multiple fiber-optic data connections, mirrored RAID storage, redundant servers and generators, and guaranteed application recovery within 24-hours should a disaster occur. These types of protections and backups are typical among cloud providers.

7. Cloud computing is a new, untested technology

Cloud computing is a natural extension of business process that has been done for many years: outsourcing. Just like consulting companies can provide more reliable services due to scale and experience, cloud computing companies can provide specialized services better and at a lower cost because they focus on that one thing.

8. Complex data centers are needed for your business applications

Due to legacy systems and software, it’s easy to believe that you need a multitude of servers running on complicated network systems in order to accomplish the business functions your company needs. The reality is that nearly everything from data storage and backups to financial software can be run as a cloud application. With the use of standardized programming interfaces, these separate cloud apps can integrated seamlessly, meaning that you are no longer locked into a single product or vendor.

9. Application hosting is the same as cloud computing

Application hosting is halfway between being an on-premise service and a cloud service. Application hosting services like Citrix or Terminal Services don’t require you to maintain the application servers, but they still require you to purchase software and use specialized client programs. A true cloud computing application only requires the use of a standard web browser such as Firefox, and the application is paid for on a subscription-basis.

10. Cloud computing is more expensive than owning an on-premise solution

While there may be a few larger upfront costs when migrating your data to a new system, cloud-based applications actually reduce costs significantly. With an on-premise application, you have to pay for hardware, software licenses, energy, maintenance fees, storage, support personnel, and everything else that comes with managing your own systems. With a cloud application, all you pay for is a subscription fee based on the features and number of users for that billing period.

11. I don’t own the data anymore/I can’t backup my data

Cloud applications perform and store backups automatically in the event of a disaster. If you want to keep a local copy for yourself as well, there are options for exporting anything you might need. Some systems will even let you schedule offsite backups to your own server or to another cloud provider such as Dropbox or Google Drive.

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