My top 5 reasons not to use an online accounts system
As cloud based accounting systems are developing and maturing rapidly, here are my top 5 reasons not to take your accounting online:
1. You don't want to share your data with any other users or your accountant. You don't want your accountant to see your data until a few months after your year end because you don't want him bothering you with proactive advice and help when he's had a look as to how you are getting on. You know exactly how you are doing by gut feel and looking at your monthly bank statement, he should keep his nose out and stick to your year end accounts and tax return.
2. You love remembering to back your data up every day and trying to restore it every month to make sure your backup works. It helps you feel more in control.
3. You look forward to paying out for the annual updates for your on premise based software and then spending a few hours waiting for it to update while at the same time screwing up your VAT.
4. When you leave the office you never ever want access to your accounting data, especially not at home or when out on the road visiting clients. You never want to have a look on your iPhone, iPad, Blackberry or Mac; it should only ever be accessed on one PC in the office - thats how its meant to be.
5. You can't wait to manually enter your bank transactions into your accounts and then tick them off when the bank statement comes. Its good fun missing a few out as a challenge for your accountant at the year end, to make sure he earns his crust. Bank transactions automatically feeding into your accounts on a daily basis would just spoil all that and is a bit too freaky and handy.
Added a number 6 inspired by one of the blog comments below
6. You don't trust the cloud, with all its internet banking level security, SSL stuff and underground bunkers where you can't get it unless you have the right iris in your eye. You have a firewall thing on your PC or on your router, one of them anyway, and you've also got some free antivirus software downloaded from a site that popped up in your browser one day. If you forget your password your mate down the pub has a handy bit of software that will find it for you. Its worked great so far and its far more secure where you can see it under the desk.