Among the most prolific accounting software in the market, QuickBooks offers a variety of features, including invoice creation, payment processing, advanced reporting, and more.
However, when installed on the local systems, QuickBooks’ functionality is restricted due to the limitations of the local IT infrastructure, such as lack of remote access, data security, and hardware flexibility.
A better alternative to host your QuickBooks is the cloud environment. Cloud offers you the level of mobility, flexibility, and scalability that local desktop just cannot.
There is a plethora of QuickBooks hosting providers in the market that offer you their cloud infrastructure and services. However, the question is – which one is the right fit for your business?
Here are some tips to help you choose the best QuickBooks hosting provider for your business.
1. Look for Intuit Authorization
Once you have decided to host your QuickBooks on the cloud, look for hosting providers that have partnered with Inuit under their hosting program. The hosting partners are authorized by Intuit to host QuickBooks after thorough screening. This will narrow your search considerably and save you a lot of time and effort.
Moreover, the Intuit Authorized Commercial Host also offers genuine QuickBooks license along with the hosting services; you can buy the same if you do not have one.
2. See for Hosting Expertise and Experience
There are various options when it comes to cloud hosting service providers in the market. However, they offer cloud services to a variety of domains like website hosting, gaming, etc. These providers offer you a virtual server on the cloud as per demand but do not have custom solutions for accounting.
You should look for a hosting provider that offers cloud accounting solutions. These providers offer solutions specifically for QuickBooks, and all the services are designed for it. Moreover, you should consider the experience of the provider in offering QuickBooks hosting services. The more experienced providers have pre-defined procedures for tackling issues.
3. The Support Should Be Top-Notch
Customer Support is one of the parameters that draws a clear line between the good QuickBooks hosting providers and the not so good ones. You should look for a cloud provider that offers 24x7x365 support to the customers.
Also, enquire if they offer more than one platform to contact them, i.e., phone, chat, email, etc. You can also check reviews on sites like Serchen to check their support history and resolution time.
4. Do Not Compromise on Security
The security of financial data is imperative for the growth and sustenance of any organization. Hence, you would need your QuickBooks provider to leave no stones unturned as you have entrusted them to handle your data.
Ask the provider about the security protocols the deploy to secure the business process. For instance, you can ask if the provider encrypts your data, offer access controls, offer protection against ransomware and DDoS attacks, etc.
5. Go Through the SLA Carefully
SLA or Service Level Agreement is a document that contains all the terms and conditions of the hosting services. It also contains essential parameters like the minimum uptime value that the hosting provider guarantees for the QuickBooks hosting services.
SLA makes the hosting provider legally bound to deliver all the services as mentioned. It is recommended that you go through the SLA thoroughly to get a good idea of the provider.
6. Disaster Recovery is a Must
All the reliable QuickBooks hosting providers in the market offer a minimum uptime of 99.999 percent, which amounts to only 6 minutes of downtime in a year. This is possible only if the provider implements a disaster recovery plan as a part of their cloud services.
Disaster recovery ensures that your entire accounting solution, along with QuickBooks, data, and other applications are replicated in servers that are situated in a different location. Hence, when the QuickBooks hosting provider’s data center is hit by a disaster, your access is transferred to the redundant server in another data center in real time.
It is a necessity that the QuickBooks hosting provider you choose has a disaster recovery plan in place.
7. Ask for Customization Options
Every business is different, so are its requirements. The renowned QuickBooks provider takes this factor into consideration while designing the perfect cloud accounting solution for your business.
Hence, you should look for cloud providers that can offer a cloud solution tailor-made for your specific business requirements. Some providers also offer specialized services for every version of QuickBooks, be it Pro, Premier, or Enterprise.
8. Check If Data Backup Is A Part of Cloud Services
Almost all QuickBooks providers offer backup solutions for the storage of business data. However, there are always some hidden or additional charges associated with it. You should see to it that the data backup is a part of your pricing package.
You should also choose a provider with automated backup solutions so that all the data is backed up automatically without your intervention. Also, ask the provider about their retention policies and data restoration process.
Moving your QuickBooks to the cloud will solve all the challenges you face with your local IT infrastructure. However, it is not the end of the story. Choosing the right QuickBooks hosting provider is equally important. A good QuickBooks provider will ensure that you unlock the full potential of the cloud and reap all the benefits that it offers.
Sharad Acharya is a technical writer at Ace Cloud Hosting. He loves to research the latest technologies and has written articles on the cloud, virtualization, and security. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.
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