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    32 Replies Latest reply on Feb 22, 2008 4:02 PM by MYOB08

    Online Accounting

    fiirst Newbie
      I saw the thread on accounting software programs but it is all for the sort of sftware you have to install on one PC or a network. I want to run my business on the internet so my wife can access it from home and my partner and I can work from the office or the road equally well. Ideally my bookkeeper will also have access.

      What is a good online accounting or bookkeeping program I can use on the web?

      I have looked at these and would like some more feedback please on other people's experiences or alteranatives.

      www.intu quickbooks online

      I am sure there are others.

      The main things I want are -
      • billing and expenses - I think they all do this.
      • a decent trial (fresh books and seem to do that with free versions that are transaction capped)
      • free access or cheap access for my bookkeeper
      • multi user - I think they all are but not sure
      • not having to do backups or other stuff - I think they all are but is this the case?
      • ideally iy would do payroll - I think only a few do this

      Any feedback?

        • Re: Online Accounting
          ownerwannabe Newbie

 has a financial software guide Shelley Elmblad


          • Re: Online Accounting
            majones Wayfarer
            premier provider of online accounting solutions and virtual desktops.
            These guys are licensed by Intuit to host the QuickBooks products, so you can access your QuickBooks just like it was an online application. They host hundreds of different applications, and probably have what you need.
              • Re: Online Accounting
                CorpCons08 Ranger
                Still not liking the idea of online accounting...
                How is information transmitted?
                  • Re: Online Accounting
                    majones Wayfarer
                    With the CPAASP service (where the host and manage the application and the data): The programs and the data are stored on the cpaasp servers. The technology they use essentially turns your PC into a "dumb terminal", so all it's doing is handling the keyboard, mouse and monitor. All the processing work is done at the server -level. And any data that does get transmitted (like when you print) is fully encrypted.

                    With the QuickBooks Online Edition, it's a similar setup. The programs and the data are stored on Intuit's servers.

                    Because the programs and the data "live" on the central server, there really isn't too much in terms of data that traverses the wire.
                • Re: Online Accounting
                  LUCKIEST Guide
                  There are so many good online accounting programs.
                  I am a Quickbooks Consultant, so I am going to say Quickbooks.
                  You are going to get many good answers to your question for accounting and / or bookkeeping programs,
                  but like buying a car, you have to make the final decision.
                  Good luck, LUCKIEST
                  • Re: Online Accounting
                    Lighthouse24 Ranger
                    What type of business are you operating? What platform/OS are you using (Windows, Mac, etc.)?
                    • Re: Online Accounting
                      LUCKIEST Guide
                      I am a Quickbooks Consultant and I like QuickBooks for just about everything.
                      Again QB is a good online accounting or bookkeeping program you can use on the web.
                      Good luck, LUCKIEST
                      • Re: SAASU

                        Checked out SAASU: interesting, but in (very) early beta for the US:
                        • dates are in dd/mm/yy format, rather than US' mm/dd/yy.
                        • a lot of acronyms evidently for Australian businesses: ICN, BCN, etc. - no idea what these are for, help pages don't really describe them.
                        • no choice for accrual vs. cash management / reporting
                        • no estimates
                        • some lists (industries) can't be edited, only added to (now that's a bug)
                        • can't change sales tax items, stuck with "GST"
                        • can't assign sales tax codes to customers and/or shipping addresses

                        I did not event start payroll, but then their own FAQ pages say that adapting their payroll for the US won't be easy.

                        In other words, SAASU is not ready for the US business use.
                          • Re: SAASU

                            I was wrong about "no estimates": they are just called "quotes", and entered through "Sale" screen.
                            1 of 1 people found this helpful
                            • Re: SAASU
                              fiirst Newbie
                              Hi Alex, just so you know my experience here
                              • the date format thing is a hassle, I agree 100%
                              • the terminology (e.g. GST) is an internationalization thing they previously promised me would be out Q1 2008, fingers crossed, minor issue in my mind though
                              • estimates are called quotes under sales (I think you picked that up already)
                              • lists like industries can be changed under setup > contact categories
                              • not using payroll but you are probably right, in the meantime I use separate records and just do a journal, it is pretty easy
                              • am loving the inventory management stuff, very neat
                                • Re: SAASU
                                  Thanks - I agree, neat concept. I wonder though, how many small businesses with inventory tracking and payroll in the US, can SAASU work for, today?

                                  Definitely not mine, for reasons I already stated, plus a few more:
                                  • doesn't allow negative inventory, i.e. I can't sell an item I don't have in stock, and that's a big one for business that do drop-ships - these just wouldn't be able to use saasu.
                                  • doesn't save transactions in progress, i.e. u start a sale, put customer data in, etc., and then click on some other area of the page, your transaction will not be recorded, no prompt, no warning - nothing.
                              • Re: Online Accounting
                                LUCKIEST Guide
                                19 replies since Oct 10 (before this one) and the question is still NOT ANSWERED
                                WOW< LUCKIEST
                                • Re: Online Accounting

                                  All the solutions you mentioned, do the following:
                                  • billing and expenses
                                  • multi user

                                  Payroll: seemingly, only QuickBooks Online Edition (QBOE) does payroll.

                                  Trials: all except Billing Circle, seemingly.

                                  Cheap/free accountant access: seems to be available for all of them, if not as a separate feature, then as an integrated multi-user access feature.

                                  Data Backup: all of them, although the main question for me is, if they go out of business, become too expensive, go down, etc., how easy will it be for me to export all the data and import it into an alternative solution (locally installed software) so that the business doesn't stop?

                                  Additional features:

                                  • Client access to their billing history, online payments: Billing Circle, FreshBooks.
                                  • Integration with payment processing services (Merchant Services,, PayPal, etc.): Billing Circle, FreshBooks, not sure about QBOE.

                                  Most advanced e-commerce solutions have that, along with other book keeping features (sales tracking and reporting, some inventory tracking features), which makes me wonder if one of them (Amazon, eBay, Google) will finally present a viable alternative to Intuit solutions. I certainly hope so.
                                  • Re: Online Accounting
                                    MYOB08 Adventurer
                                    Why not consider a programme like LOGMEIN FREE which will allow you to access your computer free. Many people use this, succesfully.

                                    You can then choose a system, e.g. MYOB, based on its merit, and of course based on recomendations from your own accountant.

                                    I also have vpn connections set up to access one of my clients site. They feel this is securer than LOGMEIN.
                                    The IT guy charges a one-of charge to do this, around $400 - but I think he is expensive.
                                    That could be another option.
                                      • Re: Online Accounting
                                        FCPainter Adventurer
                                        We use our online banking combined with peachtree. We did look into a service that allows you to see your office computer's hard drive from remote locations, which we felt handled the same thing. Does anyone remember seeing something like that?
                                        • Re: Online Accounting

                                          Remote access would have been a good alternative, if you didn't want to free yourself (and your business) from constraints, limits, liabilities, dangers and problems associated with locally installed software, in the first place. Loss of data and access due to accidents and disasters such as fire, floods, earthquakes, theft-n-burglary, dog peeing on your server. If there is a hiccup in your computer (or DSL or router) and you are halfway across the world, you are less likely to get help than with a hosted application (i.e. when you explicitly pay for it to be up and running no matter what via SLA)? Also, locally installed software doesn't scale well and has a wonderful way (I've written about it before) of forcing you to routinely upgrade both the software and the hardware it runs on, as well as worry about the physical security of your servers and data. Hosted applications don't, as a rule - just think of Gmail and Google Apps.

                                          Not to mention that QuickBooks (as well as its nearest competitors) is slow as molasses in multi-user environments, no matter the brand-spank-new dual-quad-core 64-bit 8GB RAM 2TB RAID5 server you just installed. Remote access won't solve that problem - but will force you to spend loads of dollars and hours on upkeeping your servers and IT infrastructure.

                                          C'mon guys. The whole point is to outsource your bookkeeping software and data, free yourself and your business from severe constrains of existing accounting software for small businesses such as QuickBooks. Remote access makes you a slave not just to your accounting software, but also to your hardware and security system, whereas the idea is to free yourself as much as you can, from it.

                                          If only you could... :) I know I can't: the nearest feasible SaaS proposition (NetSuite, InAcct, etc.) will empty your pockets to the tune of $10K a year - not exactly a sweet alternative to less than $1K (amortized) for QuickBooks.

                                          We'll wait for Google to write an accounting module for Google Apps. Or someone else will.
                                            • Re: Online Accounting
                                              majones Wayfarer
                                              Okay, then - checkout Appgen's MyBooks Professional ( The offer MyBooks Pro Online for 5 users for $50/mo and then up from there. Has all the features of something much larger in terms of accounting software - not as many "bells and whistles" as QuickBooks. But if you're looking for hosted/managed or something different that's not running on your own system - this is an alternative worth checking out.
                                                • Re: Online Accounting

                                                  The price looks good. Checked them out and here are immediate questions that come to mind.
                                                  How mature are they (how long have they been in business, how many clients to do they have)?
                                                  Where is a feature list, detailed info about the product and editions? A few screenshots just aren't enough.
                                                  How good is their support?

                                                  From the look of it, they are fairly new, and you wouldn't want to trust your accounting data to a company that doesn't have a proven track of service and support.

                                                  Accounting software is mission-critical: not something you could play with for a year and throw away without regrets: switching accounting solutions is a huge pain in the neck, something you want to do once and stay with it as long as you can.

                                                  Sorry, Appgen is a no-go.
                                                    • Re: Online Accounting
                                                      majones Wayfarer
                                                      Actually, Appgen's been around for over 30 years, and they're actually a 4GL (development language), and the apps are written with their 4GL. The Custom Suite (the larger system, from which MyBooks Pro was built) is currently in use around the world by Fortune 1000 type companies. Multi-location retail, automotive dealership management... these are vertical solutions founded with Appgen and using the Appgen financial applications. You won't actually find something similar in the small business market that has the robustness, the breadth of distribution at multiple business sizes, etc. - especially for the price. And there's a worldwide network of developers who use the system to create unique and industry-specific applications for their clients; and using the proven financial applications as part of the solution.
                                                        • Re: Online Accounting
                                                          So how come I can't figure out from their web site, if they offer layered permission levels for multiple users, or multiple ship-to addresses per customer, or how customizable their invoices are, if they have been around for 30 years? I must be dense!

                                                          How many Fortune 1000 companies are using them as their primary accounting solution? Can these companies be named? :)

                                                          MaJones: maybe they have a great accounting solution. It's unlikely but it's possible. My point was, I wouldn't want to buy one from a company with the web site like Appgen's.
                                                    • Re: Online Accounting
                                                      MYOB08 Adventurer
                                                      Fair comments Alexig.

                                                      I do not know about how Q product works on a server, but if I have multi-users using MYOB Premier ~ I will recommend the free product xpunlimited ~ free for 3 users ~ after that you start paying ~ keep it in mind.