Cloud Bookkeeper versus Onsite Bookkeeper?

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Cloud Bookkeeper versus Onsite Bookkeeper?


What’s the Difference between Data Entry, Bookkeeping and Accounting?

Bookkeepers come in all shapes and sizes. But what’s the difference between a “cloud bookkeeper” and an “onsite bookkeeper”? And which one is better?

First, let’s start with an onsite (or traditional) bookkeeper. They usually possess the following traits:

  • Work on-site at your premises
  • Use desktop software
  • Charge by the hour
  • Manually input all transactions into your system then manually reconcile them
  • Perform yearly upgrades on your software for an annual fee

A cloud bookkeeper is different and usually possesses the following traits:

  • Can work anywhere
  • Uses cloud-based software
  • Charges a fixed fee
  • Uses software with automatic upgrades
  • Automates as much data entry as possible through the use of cloud apps including:
    • Bills
    • Bank feeds of all your bank transactions
    • Payroll

So which type of bookkeeper should you choose?

Well the answer depends if:

You prefer someone to come to your site. Either type of bookkeeper can do that.

You want to pay your bookkeeper to manually enter all of your pertinent information. Well if you decide on a traditional bookkeeper, that’s not okay. Remember: you’re paying by the hour for data entry that can be easily and efficiently automated for a fraction of the fee.

You want to pay your bookkeeper to manually enter all of your bank information. Again, you’re paying hourly for data entry that can easily and directly sourced from your bank into a cloud system. This means the name, date and amounts are always right, which cuts down on the time to prepare your bank reconciliation.

You want to upgrade your system yourself. Each year, your provider charges for upgrades, with very few upgrades during the year to fix any glitches. That’s not okay. Cloud programs provide software as a service, meaning you pay a low monthly subscription and all upgrades are done automatically, fixing any glitches quickly and efficiently.

You want to do your own backups and risk corruption. Again, not okay. Why would you perform manual backups when a cloud system automatically backs everything up automatically? When your computer dies (notice I said when not if), you simply grab another device and keep going.

You want to keep your accountant happy. I can assure you, an accountant wants the most streamlined process possible to access your financial information. Most would much prefer to simply login to your files whenever needed. It’s much simpler and easier for them and you’re not paying for their time to restore back-ups (once they find the computer with the right version of your program).

So, if you prefer to re-arrange your entire day so you can be at your office or home at a time to suit your bookkeeper, that’s okay…I guess. But surely you have better things to do, right? Why not let her work at a time and place that suits her, knowing it’s a win-win for both of you?

Okay yes, I’m a little opinionated on this topic, but it’s for a reason: as a bookkeeper, I simply love cloud applications (particularly Xero). I love how we save time via automation. I love the way we can login anywhere, anytime, on any device. I love the accuracy and ease that our clients experience.

To put it bluntly? I hate desktop software! There. I said it.

Cloud bookkeepers are the way of the future and we at The Bookkeeper Hub are proud to be leading the charge. If you would like more information about switching to the cloud for your bookkeeping needs, email Victoria at The Bookeeeper Hub


Photo credit: JD Hancock via Visualhunt /  CC BY