Should You Be in the Cloud?

CloudsSorry for the long delay between blog posts… of my fur covered kids lost his battle with cancer at the beginning of June, and it sent me into a bit of a tailspin.
I’m trying to get back into my normal days again, I just haven’t found my new definition of normal 🙂
This last week I had a conversation with Colin Ellis, the Editor of D&A Magazine, a bi-monthly member publication of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA Ontario).  The conversation was very insightful and got me thinking about the future of Cloud Bookkeeping. 

Should you move into the world of Cloud Accounting?  It seems to be all the rage, and what all the buzz is about in our industry.  Like any other business decision you have to make, it isn’t as cut and dried as a yes or no answer.  The answer, like so many others, is “It depends”.  It depends on your business, your industry, what you want from your financials, and most importantly, who is doing your bookkeeping. 
The developers of the leading software in Canada – Intuit and Sage, both extoll the virtues of moving your bookkeeping to the cloud.  A wave of QuickBooks Online commercials airing on TV, show business owners thrilled and laughing and having fun all while doing their bookkeeping in the cloud.  As much as I would love for that to be the case, the reality is that your bookkeeping doesn’t necessarily become that much fun, just because you’ve relocated where it resides.  Just like picking up a can of Coke doesn’t make you have a better day 🙂
Now it sounds like I’m against cloud bookkeeping, which, let me clarify, I’m not.  At AIS Solutions, we’ve been in the cloud for 6 years, long before it became a fun and fancy free notion.  Our entire business model is based upon 24/7 access to your financial records, from anywhere, because I feel that it is fundamentally important that business owners know how their business is performing in order to run their businesses more effectively and more profitably.   The caveat, however, is that it has to be the RIGHT Cloud Solution, and you still need the right person doing your bookkeeping. There is also a difference between being in the cloud, and using a piece of Cloud software like QuickBooks Online.
So let’s go back to the reasons that it depends…

  • Your Business – How big is your business? Do you have multiple companies, numerous employees for whom you process payroll in-house, complicated inventory?  If the answer to any of the above is yes, then QuickBooks Online may not be the right software solution for you – YET.  The multiple companies require you to hold multiple QBO subscriptions, which costs you more money.  Although currently QuickBooks Online payroll is free, it is that way because it is great for only the basic payrolls and isn’t a full function payroll model – YET.  QuickBooks Online has inventory, but again, only the very basic module exists right now.
  • Your Industry – Retail? Manufacturing? Not for Profit? Require Job Costing? Stay in the QuickBooks Desktop world for now.  The program is still not equipped to handle your needs.  If you are a Service based Industry, with simpler bookkeeping needs, then it could certainly work for you.
  • What You Want from Your Financials – if all you are really looking for is a Balance Sheet, Income Statement and the ability to run you’re Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable reports, then you should be good. If you are looking for any kind of advanced reporting, then QuickBooks Desktop is still the better option for you.
  • Who is Doing Your Bookkeeping for You – This is the reason that most business owners move their accounting into the cloud. So that they have access to the records and so does their bookkeeper, without there having to be a USB stick being transferred back and forth, or where the bookkeeper only holds the copy of their financial database.  It is the reason that more and more businesses are asking for Cloud Options.  If your business is highly mobile, or you travel a lot and work from remote locations – also a good reason to ensure your data is in the Cloud.  If you are the only one who does your bookkeeping, and usually from your laptop or office, it may not be as important of a factor.

The key consideration is not whether you should be utilizing cloud bookkeeping services, because my answer is a resounding yes.  What you should be considering is when you are in the cloud, should you be using software like QuickBooks Online, or a hosted environment for your QuickBooks Desktop database.
Cloud is certainly the future of my industry, and I am looking forward to see the growth and development of the QuickBooks Online program in the coming years.
If you still aren’t sure, I would be happy to have a conversation with you to determine which is the right solution for you 🙂
Thanks again Colin for the conversation this week!  Looking forward to reading your upcoming article on Cloud Bookkeeping 🙂

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Juliet Aurora

Juliet Aurora is the CEO of AIS Solutions and Co-Founder of Kninja Knetwork. Through both of these businesses she fulfills her mission to Educate and Empower those around her. In 2017, her firm was named Intuit's Global Firm of the Future, the first time the title has ever been awarded to any firm outside of the US. She has also has been named as one of the Top 50 Women in Accounting, one of the Top 50 Cloud Accountants and one of the Top 10 Canadian Influencers in the Bookkeeping Industry. Her passion for education is channeled through the Intuit Trainer Writer Network, hosting Kninja Knowledge Webinars and most recently, developing a Cloud Accounting Course for the next generation of accounting professionals.


  1. Marilyn

    I have small medium and large clients and none of them will ever move to QBO ever. No need to with remote and Qbox file sharing

    • Juliet Aurora

      Thanks for reading our post Marilyn! I honestly felt the same way as you many years ago. However, the power of QBO is actually not only being in the cloud. You are correct, that with Remote access and QBox file sharing, you can achieve that feature and still remain with QuickBooks Desktop. Our feeling is that the power of QBO lies with the Apps that connect to it, and the Ecosystem that you can create for your clients. There isn’t any option like that with QuickBooks Desktop. Just our thoughts of course 🙂


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