Tag Archive: cloud


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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There is a wide choice of Cloud based accounting solutions available for businesses in the UK and many countries. Traditionally most businesses used Accounting software installed on a local computer, but use of Cloud based software is gaining rapidly in popularity. What are the risks and benefits of each approach? Awareness of these should help customers decide what solution is best for them.

Cloud Based

  • Data is regularly backed up by supplier?
  • Flexible access from several locations
  • Depends on Internet for access
  • How private are your client details and financials?
  • Interfaces to bank and payment systems?
  • Software updates are included
  • Monthly subscription only, so can be costly over several years
  • Data will be lost at the end of the subscription
  • Data will only be on the Cloud unless downloaded to Local computer or server

Security and privacy are potential risks for Cloud based solutions. It is vital that passwords are complex and changed regularly. The privacy of data is the responsibility of the service provider. The data is potentially visible during transfers between the Cloud and your Local computer.

Local Installation

  • Backups are the responsibility of the customer, ensure that they are stored securely!
  • Access is on the local computer or laptop only
  • No Internet is access is needed
  • Client details and financials are as secure as the computer or laptop
  • Accounting Software updates are optional and the responsibility of the customer
  • Options for monthly or annual subscription, or purchase are options
  • When purchased, upgrades to Accounting software can be purchased and applied when required or recommended.

Backup and reliability of data are potential risks for local software. It is vital that data is backed up regularly and stored away from the local computer. The privacy of data is the responsibility of the customer. Windows updates, Anti Virus software and security are the responsibility of the customer, these will help to protect the data.

Good Practice

  • Use an established supplier for Cloud based services
  • Regularly create a backup or export, and store them remotely in a safe place
  • Regularly print out financial reports and store them in a safe place
  • Regularly create an extract or report that lists customers and suppliers and store them in a safe place
  • Use a lockable metal cabinet or fire safe to store key documents and backups for your business
  • Ask your book keeper or accountant for suggestions on good practice.

 

Cost of Cloud Based

Some sample prices are listed below of Cloud based Accounting software. Introductory discounts have been ignored. All prices exclude VAT.

  • Sage One Accounting  £10 / month  (£120 / year)
  • Inuit QuickBooks Simple Start  £7 / month (£84 / year)
  • Inuit QuickBooks Essentials  £15 / month  (£180 / year)
  • Zero Starter  £9 / month  (£108 / year)
  • Zero Standard  £20 / month (£240 / year)
  • ClearBooks Together  £7.40 / month (£88.80 / year)
  • ClearBooks Together+  £16.50 / month (£198 / year)
  • Liquid Online Booker  £7.95 / month (£95.40 / year)
  • Liquid Online Accounts  £14.95 / month (£179.40 / year)

 

Cost of Local Based

Some sample prices are listed below of Local Accounting software. Introductory discounts have been ignored. All prices exclude VAT.

  • Sage 50 Accounts Essentials £15 / month (£180 / year)
  • Quickbooks Pro 2016  £240.83 purchase
  • Ezi Accounting £32.08 / year
  • Ezi Accounting £117.92 purchase