As the pandemic draws to a close, many CPA firms and small-to-medium-sized businesses are looking for a sustainable way to bring their Sage or QuickBooks software to a virtual environment.
Forward-looking organizations saw the benefit of working remotely, including increased productivity and collaboration. However, it can be difficult to create a fast and secure virtual experience similar to that to which you are accustomed.
This post will examine the challenges businesses face as they look for ways their team members and clients can access everything and work together at the same time. We’ll cover two legacy ways for accessing QuickBooks or Sage in the cloud. Then we’ll introduce how an environment that brings the full power of hosted accounting software to an anytime, anywhere workspace.
What Is Hosted Accounting Environment?
Accounting virtual desktops allow team members or clients to securely access their full desktop versions of applications of QuickBooks or Sage where they can collaborate on files simultaneously in a remote environment.
Two Legacy Ways for Accessing QuickBooks or Sage Remotely
Traditionally there have been two ways to connect remotely to a client’s files and applications: a software-as-a-service (SaaS) version of accounting software or remote access tools like GoToMyPC.
SaaS solutions like Sage Intacct and QuickBooks Online offer similar convenience and access as the Hosted Accounting Environment. However, these SaaS versions are different from the desktop versions of QuickBooks or Sage you are used to, so they are not ideal if you’re looking for the customization and features available with the full desktop versions.
Remote Access Tools
Remote access tools like GoToMyPC take another approach and actually log you into a client or colleague’s computer. You have access to the full version of their Sage or QuickBooks software, along with every file on their system. These tools were designed to allow users to remotely access their own computers, so using them to access other people’s accounting files brings obvious security and privacy concerns.
With remote access tools, speed can be sluggish because you’re working against the target Internet connection and the speed of their computer. Remote access requires the target computer to be available, so if it goes to sleep you’ll need to turn it back on. Further issues can arise when you’re working across platforms, such as accessing a Windows desktop from a MacBook.
Both of these options get the job done in the sense that they allow firms, employees, and clients to access files and work together at the same time. However, neither solution is ideal if you’re looking to bring the full power of desktop Sage or QuickBooks to a secure, shared environment that works the same as the desktop version.
If neither of those strategies is a good fit, a third option allows you to bring your desktop license to the cloud: the hosted accounting application.
How Hosted Applications Work
Hosted applications in accounting work by creating a virtual environment to run QuickBooks or Sage, and advanced tools like Citrix enable secure access and collaboration. With a hosted application, you gain access to the full version of QuickBooks or Sage in a remote environment.
If you have an IT background, you can do this yourself. However, for most businesses, it’s easier and more cost-effective to rely on an expert like Swizznet to set up and manage the hosted applications.
How Hosted Account Environments Work
With a hosted environment solution, users log into their environment where everyone within the organization can work at the same time. Due to the sophisticated and managed hosted infrastructure, performance, security, and privacy are dramatically improved. Plus, additional productivity apps like Bill.com, T-Sheets, and QVinci can be supported, as well as robust backup support. Finally hosted environments provide added layers of protection from cyber-criminals through firewalls, encryption, and threat detection measures.
Hosted accounting environments are ideal methods to facilitate remote work. This option gives users all the benefits of familiar desktop software plus anytime, anywhere access. Unlike the other remote options, a hosted environment provides the security, backups, and IT support to free you to work on what matters most to you: growing your business and serving your clients.
Ready to give Swizznet a test drive? Contact us for a complimentary live demo to see for yourself how our accounting virtual desktop works.