The world of accounting and POS software is changing rapidly. There are many packages, some are locally installed, others are Cloud based (Software As A Service). A monthly, quarterly or annual subscription can be the only way of using many packages, especially those that are Cloud based. How should customers decide which solution is best for them?

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Software as a Service (SaaS)
Cloud Based software can work well when there is a reliable Internet connection. There is flexibility of access, so the business and the Book Keeper or Accountant can access the same system. Leading suppliers should provide a reliable, resilient and secure system, but can you be sure that this is the case? Saas will usually be fully supported, so there is less for the customer to support.

Security and privacy may be an issue. Passwords for access to Cloud based software should be changed regularly, with the details stored securely. Passwords should be changed when a person leaves the company. How can you be sure who is accessing your customer and financial data?

Backups are the responsibility of the Saas provider. A regular export of SaaS data to local disk is recommended. The data in the export should be verified to ensure that it is possible to import into Excel or a different accounting package.

At the end of a SaaS subscription the data and reports will disappear unless they are saved in advance! In the UK there is a requirement to keep financial records of companies for at least 7 years.

 

Locally Installed
Ezi Accounting, Retail Man POS and many other software packages are installed on a local computer or server. There is no need for an Internet connection apart from downloading updates and sending invoices or statements by E-Mail.

Security and privacy are the responsibility of the business owner, IT support or book keeper. Windows security is important, with the latest Windows updates applied, an active Firewall and Anti-virus protection with the latest updates.

Regular backups of the data are vital, with the data being stored away from the computer running the POS or Accounting Software. A backup at the end of every business day is recommended. Consider using Cloud based storage for backups.

A reliable connection is needed between POS hardware and the computer running the POS system. For this reason, use of Cloud based systems for POS is not normally practical or desirable. Within a store, use of Wi-fi for networking will be less reliable than cabling between POS stations and the server.

Physical security should also be considered. A server should be located in a locked room or in a locked cabinet.

 

Rent or Buy?
Ezi Solution Systems recently gave customer the choice to rent or buy software. Rental is proving popular, with options for 6 or 12 months. What is the best choice for your business? The difference in cost will depend on the pricing for the package. Please see the comparison below.

  • Ezi Accounting 1-user costs USD179 to buy, USD49 per year
  • Retail Man POS 1-user costs USD299 to buy, USD99 per year
  • Ezi Solution POS 1-user costs USD1499 to buy, USD299 per year

Rental has a low-cost up front and is flexible. The number of POS stations or workstations can increase or reduce as the business changes. The company name can be changed at the end of each rental period. Version upgrades are given at no cost at the start of each rental period. Reports will stop working at the end of the rental period.

Buying a permanent licence key will probably be cheaper in the long term, but this is for one company name. If your business changes name you will need to buy a new licence key. There will be a cost each time you decide to upgrade to the latest version of software.

 

 

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