Why Web Accounting Software Might Not be the Best Choice for Your Business


Managing the finances of your business is essential and you rely on proven platforms to help you get the job done. The question is, can you effectively manage those finances on the web? This is a question being asked by a number of different companies today as web accounting software is rapidly penetrating the market and promising to streamline your processes and reduce your overall cost.

While vendors throughout the world are promising that web based accounting software is the next best thing for your accounting department, it is not going to be the right choice for every business. The key for you is to determine if a web based accounting software platform makes sense, or if you need to stick with on-premise solutions.

A Quick History of Web Accounting Software

This type of software is a complete accounting system that resides on your server, allowing access to authorized users in the company through the web browser. The first web accounting software was introduced in 1998 by NetLedger, which now goes by the name Oracle Small Business Suite.

There are many other solutions in the market now that could appeal to your business, including QuickBooks for the Web, ePeachtree, Intacct, ACCPAC Online, mySAP, Integral Accounting and Microsoft Small Business Manager. All of these solutions offer great functions, but there is always a downside when you look at web accounting software.

Basic Problems with Web Accounting Software Surround Reliability and Security

The reliability of web accounting software is a primary concern among potential. Because your Internet may not be available at all times, your web based accounting software may not be accessible at all times. If you don’t have reliable Internet service you may not want to select web accounting software. Examine options with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) before relying on your connection to access your accounting information.

The security of your web accounting software is something else to consider. A provider must be able to adequately encrypt your information before sending it between your network and their servers. In terms of security concerns, any vendor offering web accounting software should address your concerns to your satisfaction. If not, consider it a red flag.

Weigh all of Your Options Before Choosing Web Accounting Software

While web accounting software has the strong potential to continue to permeate the market and grow over the years, this is not the automatic qualifier that it is the right fit for your company. The risks involved with web accounting software could be outside of your comfort zone, making this option obsolete for your environment. And, if your company has made extensive investments in the infrastructure to support on-premise solutions, it may make more financial sense to keep your accounting solutions in-house.


One Response to “Why Web Accounting Software Might Not be the Best Choice for Your Business”

  1. I think the problems with web(cloud) accounting and cloud computing in general are bloated. Having all your data in the cloud is a much safer option to having them on your laptop; what is your laptop crashes? Cloud providers like us at Zoho have the expertise in handling such scenarios. Coming to your concern on availability how often has your web e-mail remained inaccessible?

    The challenge therefore is in choosing the right vendor. The questions you need to ask are:

    1. What are the risks associated? Does the accounting software provide an option to export all data.

    2. Does the vendor have a clearly defined security policy. Something like http://www.zoho.com/security.html

    3. Can I get to see somewhere the statistics related to availability of the application on a continual basis.

    For example; http://status.zoho.com/

    At Zoho we have over 5 million users and we released an accounting software that has seen customers move from their desktop cousins. These customers only have good things to say about web accounting software.


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