The Changing Face of Cloud Accounting & Cloud Bookkeeping Services

SMBs have bought into the cloud promise: a faster, easier, cheaper and less risky route to get the IT solutions they need to create and run their businesses. SMB Group research shows SMB use of cloud business and infrastructure applications is poised to accelerate from 33% to 44% over the coming year.

However, pump the brakes! Some cloud vendors—threatened by Wall Street and high churn rates—have backtracked on their original “faster, easier, cheaper” cloud pledge. They have replaced monthly subscription pricing with annual contracts, tacked on added fees for all but the most basic support and created pricing models that are almost as confusing as those of the traditional software behemoths they once berated. As SMBs push further into the cloud, they will favor vendors that stay true to the original cloud promise, and steer clear of dark clouds.

Neal Newman is the owner of The Academy of Self Defense, which teaches real-world self-defense, mixed martial arts, muay thai and fitness classes to men, women and children. Originally, they started with QuickBooks® desktop, but then converted to Online and love having 24/7 access to their books.

“When I made the decision to move from desktop to QuickBooks Online, I was worried about sync issues with my bank. Thanks to the help of support, I was off and running on the online version within 15 minutes.”

When Michelle Sahagian was waiting tables during college, she had no idea she’d turn that experience into a successful business many years later. Sahagian, a training and marketing specialist, noticed a few years ago that there is a need in the market for more customer-focused food safety training. So, she and her husband opened their own company, Western Food Safety.

An integral part of her business strategy is QuickBooks Online. As the business owner and operator, she has many irons in the fire. Sahagian runs the online marketing campaigns, keeps the books and manages instructor schedules, while also answering the phones and providing customer support.

“Being able to access QuickBooks from anywhere makes a huge difference,” she said. “I do most of the work from my desktop in the office. But, if I’m on the road, I can check QuickBooks from my iPhone to see who’s registered or who hasn’t paid yet. At home, I can quickly look up something on my iPad, if a customer calls to reschedule.”

For more information, click here to access the SMB Group’s top 10 technology trends for 2014.