We won’t stop it from happening. QuickBooks Online, Xero, Kashoo, Intaact, Wave Accounting, even Zoho has Zoho Books, and they are all going to win the race. There’s so many reasons why cloud computing makes sense. Mainly, you can access it from anywhere and let someone else manage the IT.
However, the big concern I have is the data is not yours to keep. When you use a cloud accounting application, the application and the data are on “lease.” If you can’t or choose to stop paying your lease, they repossess (so to speak).
While they do allow you to “access” your data for 365 days and allow you to download it, we all know how that works. Importing data in QuickBooks isn’t always as easy as it sounds and with so many different components, something is likely to get missed and time is going to get used up, fast.
Is there a solution? I don’t know yet. But I do know this, prepare to lease your software because it will soon be our only option.
With this in mind as soon as you start working with a cloud app it’s important to document immediately how you can get your data OUT of the product should you need it for any number of purposes. This means not waiting until you’ve decided to move on. That will already be stressful enough without having to be concerned with HOW you get your data out.
Xero makes it really easy to export your data for a number of apps. Here’s their drop down:
You know what’s missing though? A good old fashioned CSV.
In addition to knowing how to export your data from your cloud accounting application long before you think of moving on you will also want to know how to run a “General Ledger Detail” so that you can export all of your transactions to Excel. This way you know you have your own backup of all of your data.
In fact at schoolofbookkeeping.com we suggest that you run an updated, cumulative GL Detail every month, and then one every year. This way you always have current, detailed data at close reach regardless of what happens with your cloud app.