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Tidestone Insights

The 10 Scariest Things About Cloud Accounting

  

The 10 Scariest Things About Cloud Accounting 

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October is here and Halloween is fast approaching.  We may enjoy the scary things about Halloween but we surely don’t enjoy the scary things that relate to losing control of our accounting data to the “cloud”.   Here’s what we’ve heard from you, our Dynamics GP community, and what you need to know.  

 

1. What if I want to take my data Can I take my data back?   

It’s very easy to move your data to the cloud, and it’s just as easy to move it back to your on premise server, or another server in the cloud.   

 

2. How secure is my financial data?   

If your cloud provider meets the compliance standards we recommend, the answer is “more secure than you can guarantee with your own on premise solution”.   

Ask your cloud provider if they are ISO/IEC 27001:2005 certified.  If your data is in an ISO/IEC 27001:2005 certified center, you can rest assured that the security controls defined in this standard, including guidelines and general principles for initiating, implementing, maintaining, and improving information security management within an organization are in compliance. 

Ask your cloud provider if they can produce the SOC 1 and SOC 2 audit reports.  If they are audited and can provide the audit reports for SOC1 and SOC 2 compliance, you can rest assured there has been a thorough examination of controls related to security, availability, and confidentiality. Good cloud providers are audited annually to ensure that security controls are maintained. 

Other security, privacy, and compliance audits for specific industries include Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM), PCI Compliance for Credit Card Processing, HIPAA and the HITECH for healthcare, and several others for Federal, Life Sciences, and other industries.  Depending on your industry, you’ll want to ask about compliance for your business. 

 

3. Do I have access to my data when I need it? 

The good and bad news is that you have access to your data 24×7.  If you have an internet connection, you have access to your data.   

 

4. How is my data backed up, and what if I need to restore my data? 

When your data is in the cloud, it’s probably backed up more than your on premise data.  Good cloud providers are not only doing full backups every night, but they are replicating your data across multiple data centers in multiple locations.  Additionally, incremental backups are done hourly, or at a frequency you are most comfortable with, so you can restore your data on an up to the hour basis. 

 

5. I need to integrate other programs to my Accounting system.  Can I do this? 

Yes!  Your data is just in a different location; it’s not in a black box.  Good Cloud providers are proficient with standard tools, such as web services, that allow two systems to connect. 

 

6. I need to download data to spreadsheets on my local PC. 

You can still download data from your accounting program to your local Excel spreadsheets.  

 

7. What if I need support, especially at month end when I’m running financial statements? 

Ask about your Service Level Agreement from your Cloud provider.  If you currently have a support agreement with your Accounting software vendor, it is very likely that your support agreement will remain in effect when you move your data to the cloud.   

 

8.  I need to print invoices and checks to multiple printers in my office.  

Multiple printers can be set up, and can be assigned for specific reports.   

 

9.  Can I email invoices, purchase orders, and sales documents? 

If you’re using Microsoft Exchange there are several methods to connect and use the standard Dynamics GP email functionality.  Depending on how many users you have, the versions, and what’s already set up, will decide on which method is used. 

 

10. Can I control when I upgrade the software? 

Unlike some cloud accounting systems that are true “software as a service” you have some control on the frequency and timing of upgrades.  While your cloud provider will likely require that you stay current (no more than two versions behind for example), you can work with them to decide which schedule is best for you. 

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Keep in mind, we write this from the perspective of a Microsoft Dynamics GP hosting provider, using Microsoft Azure as Tidestone’s “MyCloud” portal.  There are many other cloud Accounting providers that may have different answers so be sure to ask about your specific software solution!

For more information about our Tidestone’s MyCloud hosting services, contact Kelley Sintz at ksintz@tidestonesolutions.com or by phone at 207-761-2133 x 1205.

 

 

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