See What QuickBooks Looks Like Hosted On A Virtual Desktop

Check out this presentation that outlines the benefits of cloud computing and shows you what InsynQ virtual desktops look like. If you use QuickBooks, chances are you could benefit from moving your applications and data to the cloud for anywhere, anytime access, improved security and an affordable IT solutions that gives you the power of the cloud.

Learn more about virtual desktops and how you can move applications like QuickBooks to the cloud at www.insynq.com/about.html.

How Safe Is QuickBooks Hosting?

QuickBooks Security

The most commonly asked question that comes up when people decide to move QuickBooks to the cloud is “how safe and secure is it?” Before answering this, consider how safe your data and files are on an in-house network or local PC environment. If your laptop gets lost or stolen, would you lose your files and data? If there was a fire or flood at your business, would you be able to recover your vital information?

Laptop lost or stolen?….not a problem with QuickBooks hosting. Your apps and data are still in your hosting providers secure data center where they are inaccessible to anyone but you. Simply use another computer to log on and continue working from right where you left off. This same principal also applies when upgrading computers or adding new users. With QuickBooks hosting, there’s no need to upload or transfer apps and data from one computer to another. Everything is always available and ready for you to work with, so long as you have a connection to the internet. 

Do you currently have the ability to recover data and continue working? Are you able to employ certified security experts to monitor and maintain your applications and data with enterprise-class software and hardware 24/7/365? When you consider the risks that your average business takes with their QuickBooks data and files, hosting is typically a dramatic improvement.

Fire or flood?….you may have a lot to do before your business is back up and running, but at least your financial data is safe and secure. If your data is currently stored in one location, an issue at that location can result in a complete loss of data. You can mitigate this type of risk by having your QuickBooks hosted. Not only is everything stored in a safe and secure data center, but with daily off-site backups done by almost all hosting providers, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to recover any of your QuickBooks data and files if you need to.

Worried about hackers?….hosting providers have you covered. They can offer you the type of firewalls, data encryption and other security features that only large businesses could previously afford. With economies of scale, hosting providers can offer many small or medium-sized businesses these services for a fraction of what it would cost one business to do in-house. With security certificates, upgrades and software patches being done regularly, you don’t have to worry about paying for IT support as your hosting provider takes care of these things for you.

When first considering it, the idea of QuickBooks hosting may seem like it opens you up to potential security threats. But once you take a look at the extensive lengths that hosting providers take to keep your QuickBooks apps and data safe and secure, you’ll not only be fine with it, you’ll most likely prefer it.

7 Steps To Move Your Business To The Cloud

Whether you’re moving just QuickBooks to the cloud, or other apps as well, be sure to follow these basic steps to make the transition a success. And remember, with all the cloud computing solutions out there for QuickBooks accounting software, it’s important to do your research. Knowing the right questions to ask can be the difference between successfully using the cloud to better your business or wasting your time.Transition to the Cloud
Original post at http://www.insynq.com/blog/setup-the-cloud.html

Everyone Wins In The Cloud

Accountants & Clients Both Benefit From Hosted Solutions

Using virtual desktops, hosted applications and other online solutions to work with clients can help increase the efficiency and profitability of a practice or firm. The benefits, however, are not exclusively for the financial professional in being able to access client data without the travel time typically associated with client bookkeeping. The benefits can translate directly to the client business and often solve problems for which there is no other cost-effective solution available.

Online solutions like application hosting provide a new level of freedom for the business owner through greater flexibility in accessing the financial records at any time and from any location. Just as virtual desktop solutions allow accountants and bookkeepers to access client applications and data when they need to, the same goes for the business owner. Rather than reviewing books at the office, the owner can now review and analyze financial data whenever they need to, from any location. The business owner is no longer tied to the local network or a single location in order to access the accounting data.

bookkeeping in the cloud

Online and virtual solutions let professionals keep a single set of real-time books for businesses with multiple locations or business departments. For small businesses, creating a wide-area network is typically too expensive to implement and maintain, causing many companies to keep multiple sets of accounting applications, databases and computers to run them. Using an online solution like QuickBooks hosting gives all locations and business departments a single location to access company books. At any time, the owner can view the entire business’s books, because all of the data is current, accessible online and in one location.

Business owners also benefit from having more accurate financial data through direct involvement with their bookkeeper or accountant. Utilizing online solutions allows professional accounting firms to be more directly involved with the client business, with the ability to immediately perform tasks like making adjustments or reconciliations. The ability to view company records at any time can introduce an additional level of insight and understanding that ultimately benefits a client business.

As an additional service CPAs can offer their clients, hosted accounting applications are a low cost technology solution that have the ability to increase productivity for everyone. With the ability to easily acquire and use some of the latest cloud computing services like application hosting and virtual desktops, you don’t need to be an IT expert to start taking advantages of technology that can save money and time for your practice, firm or business.

What a Virtual Desktop Is and How it Pertains to Running QuickBooks in the Cloud

Professionals often have questions about what exactly it means to run a hosted version of QuickBooks on a virtual desktop. A large chunk of the confusion stems from the question: What exactly is a virtual desktop? A virtual desktop looks just like the desktop you are used to seeing when you start up Windows on a PC. It has applications, icons, a start menu and quick launch icons on the task bar. Your QuickBooks programs and accounting files are saved, stored and accessed similar to the way you would on a local device. The difference is that your applications are securely run and stored on a remote server instead of your local PC.

Your virtual desktop is accessed via the internet and is therefore available from any computer or device from anywhere in the world. It doesn’t require any fancy software, complicated installations or expensive machines to ensure smooth performance. All that is needed is a machine or device with an internet connection and you will be able to access the same desktop you’re used to seeing with your QuickBooks software and data files. It doesn’t matter if you are using a PC, Mac, smartphone or iPad. Everything will look identical to what you’re used to working with.

There are many advantages to operating QuickBooks on a hosted desktop. With InsynQ’s QuickBooks hosting for example, you are given an entire custom-built virtual desktop featuring vital software such as the Microsoft Office suite. The ability to use necessary supporting applications gives people working in the cloud a huge advantage. All financial professionals will agree that the two most frequently used programs in their lives are QuickBooks and Office. However, many have other applications they would like to access from any machine or device they happen to be near at the time. Virtual desktops give professionals the ability to move these other programs to the cloud. Hosting QuickBooks integrations and add-ons on a virtual desktop opens up the option of accessing the files and data you need at anytime and from anywhere, on a platform that is easy to use.

The familiar environment housing your accounting software and data, means you are always ready to access and edit files in real-time and share between clients and co-workers instantaneously; that is what virtual desktops are all about.

Click here to learn more.

QuickBooks for Mac Works Great in the Cloud

There are a myriad of reasons why businesses and organizations are interested in running QuickBooks on their Mac. Perhaps the company is multimedia-based and runs Apple’s hardware exclusively but still needs a bookkeeping program. Or maybe the organization simply prefers the Mac interface. Whatever the reason is, it is quickly apparent that the Mac user will encounter problems and limitations with QuickBooks. The biggest problem arises when attempting to interface QuickBooks data between Macintosh and Windows.

A quick perusal of Intuit’s support site will show you the process used to convert QuickBooks for Mac files to QuickBooks for Windows. It begins with preparing the file by removing special characters, deleting all memorized transactions and reports, rebuilding the company file, running detailed reports and editing the memo portions before beginning the 9 step conversion process. Right away it is clear that this isn’t a viable option for file sharing. On top of this, Intuit has reported multiple QuickBooks features that simply aren’t available on the Macintosh platform. If your business is interested in creating an accountant’s copy, using QuickBooks Payroll, utilizing other add-on applications that integrate with QuickBooks, operating online bill pay, setting different prices for the same item, or using Premier or Enterprise Solutions then you simply cannot operate your QuickBooks on a Mac. If any of this applies to your business then it is vital that you consider another option. Perhaps you aren’t interested in switching your operation over to a PC. That’s where the cloud comes in.

Running a hosted version of QuickBooks in the cloud solves the problems associated with company file sharing and data integration between a Mac and PC. InsynQ offers the exact same options for QuickBooks and data hosting regardless of device. This means that the software will run on your Macintosh, PC or tablet the same way every time. When you load your virtual desktop on your Macintosh, what you will see is a Windows desktop running flawlessly on your Mac. Your QuickBooks files and company data will all be there, ready to access from any computer or device connected to the internet at any time. Performance does not suffer one bit. In fact, many Mac users have reported an increase in performance when switching from running QuickBooks locally on their Mac to using a hosted version of the accounting software with a provider like InsynQ.

With InsynQ, you are now able to easily operate a fully working version of QuickBooks on your Mac, plus you have gained the benefits of using QuickBooks in the cloud. The ability to work together between offices in real-time, access your information and programs remotely from anywhere anytime, eliminate frustrating issues such as frequent data backup and security updates, makes QuickBooks more cost efficient for your business. Any business or organization looking to manage their finances with QuickBooks for Mac need look no further than cloud hosting.

Click here to learn more about QuickBooks cloud hosting for Mac.

Reasons To Move Applications Like QuickBooks To The Cloud

Moving your desktop version of Intuit’s QuickBooks to the cloud so you can access it online has obvious benefits. The application was made for, and is needed by, people that are geographically separated but still require access. Aside from that, generally working in the cloud has also proven beneficial for a variety of reasons. It saves money, time and helps businesses be more productive and function more efficiently. But if you still haven’t heard enough about QuickBooks hosting to make you move your desktop version to the cloud, here are some facts about cloud computing that might motivate you to take action.

  • The average downtime when running applications in-house is 4X longer than that which is seen with applications hosted in the cloud.
  • 53% of professionals move to the cloud due to ease of management.
  • IBM estimates that cloud computing can reduce IT labor by as much as 50%, and overall IT costs (including hardware, software, maintenance and energy) as much as 29%.
  • The number of businesses utilizing the cloud will jump from 14% in 2010 to over 40% in 2014.
  • It is estimated that cloud computing will help reduce data center energy consumption by 38% globally by 2014.

With so many benefits, it makes sense to move your QuickBooks to a hosted platform. Be sure to look for future articles that help businesses and professionals move to the cloud with a provider that offers the hosting services that they need. When it comes to reviewing QuickBooks hosting providers, knowing the right questions to ask is key.

(Data provided by Cloud Computing Outlook, Cloud.com & http://www.quickbookshostingexperts.com)

How To Move Your QuickBooks Data Files To The Cloud

see the Step-by-Step guide on how to move QB data files to the cloud.

Different Intuit authorized hosting providers may have different platforms for delivering your QuickBooks applications and data in the cloud, but the process of transferring your data from a local machine to a virtual one tends to generally be the same.

Since virtual desktops communicate with the local machine it is being accessed with, one of the most common ways to transfer a data file is to copy and paste from a local drive to a virtual drive. For PC users, an example of this would be saving your data file on a local C drive, browsing to it from your virtual desktop, right-clicking and selecting Copy. You can then browse to one of your virtual drives or client files and Paste your data file. In many cases, sorting through drives can be avoided by simply copying the file from your PC desktop and then pasting it directly into the virtual location of your choice.

In short, transferring a data file is basically a Copy and Paste process. One thing to be aware of though, is that the ease of transferring data over the internet depends on how much data you have and what your internet connection is like. Small data files with a good internet connection can take as little as a few minutes. Larger files coupled with poor connectivity could result in a data upload taking as long as an hour.

Some providers offer additional services to assist with larger than average data file transfers. File upload tools can reduce the amount of time a transfer can take, and some firms with many client files may opt to send their provider data files on a disk or drive for uploading. Be sure to let your hosting provider know the total amount of data you plan on moving to the cloud ahead of time to ensure a successful transition.

Learn more about QuickBooks hosting at www.insynq.com.

Confusion Over QuickBooks Software Licensing and Concurrency

con·cur·rent/kənˈkərənt/

Adjective: Existing, happening, or done at the same time

The use of the term “concurrent” when it comes to network, application and data licensing and access metering is applied with some fluidity, with the essential meaning being consistent, but the method of applying it varying greatly and sometimes dynamically.  The unfortunate reality is that not all software products or platforms measure or meter concurrency in the same way.  Concurrency – how it is defined and applied to your selected products – may greatly impact the cost of using the product.

To illustrate the confusion which exists in the market regarding software licensing and concurrency, I’ll use Intuit QuickBooks desktop edition as an example.  There is a lot of confusion over QuickBooks software licensing and concurrency. The Intuit QuickBooks desktop product has a licensing model which confuses a lot of people.  When the software has limitations built in, such as an inability to install the product on more than the authorized number of computers, or if the software electronically validates or activates itself to prevent unauthorized installation or use, the consumer seems to have a bit of an easier time conforming to the license language.  However, products such as QuickBooks have evolved in a market where consumer demands sometimes outweigh reasonable enforcement efforts, so the product may allow you to technically do something that you really shouldn’t do – like install and use it on a bunch of computers without the appropriate licensing to support that activity.

In the world of QuickBooks, there is a concurrency metering element which exists, but it depends quite a lot on user behavior and the existence of the QuickBooks database manager.  For example, a single copy of QuickBooks installed on a PC will allow that user to open the program and then also open a company data file.  In order for the data file to be opened at the same time (concurrently) by more than one user, the file must be in multi-user mode, which is a capability created by using the QuickBooks database manager.  When two QuickBooks licenses (either two single-user licenses, or a two-user license) attempt to open the same data file at the same time, the QuickBooks database manager allows it.  However, if two computers running the same license number for QuickBooks attempt to open the data file at the same time, the database manager will recognize that there is only a single license involved and will not allow both stations to access the file at the same time, remaining in single-user mode.  Only when the database manager recognizes more than one eligible software key (either multiple individual keys or keys aggregated as multi-user) will it allow the data file to be opened in multi-user, or concurrent user, mode.

The problem with QuickBooks metering is that it relates largely to the data file, and not the program.  In a situation where users require only single-user access to QuickBooks company data files, use of the database manager is not required, introducing a potential for unlicensed users operating in a concurrent application use mode.  The reality is that the QuickBooks program won’t generally prevent installation on multiple computers, or installation in a remote desktop environment.  Installing the product into these situations allows granting access to the program for multiple users easily.

In many environments, administrators consider access to the QuickBooks program to be a concurrent access license, meaning that as long as they have no more active users than what they are licensed for, they are in conformance of the license.  This is not the case.  A 3-user license of QuickBooks Pro does not allow any 3 concurrent, or simultaneous, users to access the software at any time.  Rather, that 3-user license qualifies only 3 distinct named human beings accessing from 3 specific computers use of the program.  Because the QuickBooks license is a strange combination of a license for a computer device and an individual person, even having two different usernames and users accessing QuickBooks on a single computer (at different times even) requires 2 licenses in order to be in conformity with the EULA.  The number of data files being accessed is irrelevant in terms of product licensing.

Users of QuickBooks desktop products need to fully understand their licensing requirements as they consider moving their service to the cloud and hosting services.  In many cases, the method of using licenses in the local network did not actually conform to licensing requirements of the developer, and all quality service providers will require that you “true up” your use of software in order to not introduce risk to the provider.  For some folks, this means that using QuickBooks just got a lot more expensive, because they were not properly licensing the product before.

There are an awful lot of folks taking liberties with QuickBooks licensing, providing access based on concurrent users rather than named users, or not even licensing users who “view information but don’t really do anything in the software”.   The fact of the matter is that, if you can run the program and open the data file, you need a license.  What you do in the program is irrelevant, in terms of product licensing.

Part of the value proposition of using hosting and cloud services is a more predictable and manageable cost of IT for the business.  Service providers may understand what their service needs to provide, but often don’t know what their quotes are up against in terms of licensing comparisons.  When comparing your cost of local IT versus hosted, make sure you fairly include the REAL cost of software, licensing, and system administration on the local side.  Unless you do, those changes in software licensing may simply reveal other issues you need to address before you can get a believable comparison of in-house versus outsourced service costs.