While the number of QuickBooks Desktop users still exceeds the number of QuickBooks Online users, when you look at the sales figures for new users, 80% are choosing Online. For those that are still unsure about making the switch, the number one concern that I hear in our practice relates to security. Although business owners for the most part have embraced cloud applications when it comes to business banking, many are still apprehensive about putting their accounting data in the cloud. In reality however, when it comes to security, cloud accounting applications are actually far more secure than traditional desktop programs:
- Data stored in the cloud could be accessible to hackers – The conception that data stored “in the cloud” is less secure than that on your desktop is simply not true. When your local computers are plugged into the internet – essentially your data is online. The chances that the security provided by your firewall even comes remotely close to the military grade security that is used by online service providers is quite unlikely.
- Nobody will bother to hack into our computers – This is an argument that I hear quite often, and is likely fuelled by news stories of high profile corporations whose data has been compromised, such as the recently reported breach at Equifax. While it may be true that your systems are less likely to be the direct target of hackers, by far the majority of data breaches are caused by viruses and Trojans that indiscriminately look for security weaknesses on any systems connected to the internet.
- Data loss is a real concern – While keeping your data safe from hackers is definitely important, a far more common issue is data loss due to hardware failure. My experience with small business owners shows that very few have appropriate backups in place to recover from a disastrous hardware failure, and even those that are diligent about their backup procedures will usually face significant obstacles to getting their systems back up and running. Most of us have been confronted by the “blue screen of death” at some point – with online systems that are constantly upgraded using latest technology combined with redundant backups, this is simply not an issue.
In a future post, I will talk more about the business benefits of converting to online accounting systems. In the meantime, if you are considering switching but still have concerns – give us a call and I will be happy to address them.