It's all about the cloud — or is it?
Accounting and bookkeeping are all about the cloud these days. Everywhere you turn, advisors to the profession are telling CPAs to move away from desktop accounting software and junk their servers.
Even Intuit, which made a fortune selling desktop software for two decades, is now pushing users to move from its flagship product, QuickBooks Desktop, to QuickBooks Online (QBO).
It’s no wonder — Intuit can charge accountants $20 per month per QBO file. Compare that to $220 for a single license for QuickBooks Pro, which is usually good for three years or more. That means that over three years, QBO can generate 3x as much revenue for Intuit as a single desktop license.
Not every firm is ready to switch
Now don’t get me wrong. There are huge benefits to moving your firm to cloud accounting, including efficiency gains and other savings that usually outweigh the cost of the monthly subscription fees for cloud accounting software.
You don’t have to pay IT to maintain a server, for example. And integrations with other applications minimize data entry, saving tons of bookkeeping time.
But not every firm is ready to make the move to the cloud.
For instance, you may serve an industry where QB Desktop is simply a better option than any of the online accounting apps. Or perhaps you’ve got a perfect system figured out for your firm, and introducing cloud accounting software would mean changing all of those workflows.
Even though I’m a cloud accounting evangelist, I’ll admit that there are situations where it isn’t the right fit. There are times when it makes sense to stick with desktop accounting software as long as you can.
The good news is, there are now apps you can add that will give you some of the benefits of cloud accounting without having to change everything else about how you do client accounting.
One of these apps is LedgerSync.
A bridge to the cloud
LedgerSync solves one of the big annoyances of desktop accounting software, which is the lack of automatic bank feeds, or bank feeds that just don’t work well.
Because of problems with bank feeds, many accountants and bookkeepers using desktop software find it simpler just to key in transactions, which takes a lot of time.
Using LedgerSync is a way to keep on using desktop accounting software while gaining one of the huge benefits of cloud accounting — the elimination of paper documents and manual data entry.
LedgerSync does this in a very simple way. Basically, it’s a collaborative bank feed system for all your clients.
Here's how it works
Create your LedgerSync account for your firm. The application is completely web-based. You can invite your staff and, optionally, clients. Each person gets their own login to the system. You can easily delegate access to the proper accounts so each person has access only to what he or she needs to see.
Connect your client bank accounts to LedgerSync. If you have logins to online banking, you can do this. If you don’t, you can have your clients sign up and put in their own credentials — a big security improvement.
Sit back while LedgerSync downloads your client bank account and credit card transactions into the app. LedgerSync grabs any check images, deposit images, and bank statements it finds. Images for checks and deposits are directly associated with the appropriate transactions in LedgerSync.
Once the transactions have been downloaded, staff and/or client users can view and add a description for each transaction.
Export transactions to Excel, QuickBooks, OFX, CSV, or IIF and import into the accounting software of your choice for coding and reconciliation.
Here's a quick video showing how LedgerSync works:
One of the big benefits of using a system like LedgerSync is that all the bank transaction data and source documents are in one place, and it’s easy to delegate access across the firm.
It's much more secure than giving out passwords to staff, who have to log in to various online banking portals to download transaction files for import to the accounting software.
It’s also a lot more efficient and secure than having clients mail in paper bank statements and cancelled checks.
These are a few of the reasons LedgerSync is appealing to accounting firms. Another perk is the pricing.
Unlike most cloud accounting apps, which tend to charge per client, LedgerSync charges in tiers based on the number of bank and credit card accounts in the system. For firms with many clients (and therefore many accounts), the pricing approaches $1.50 per bank account.
Given the potential for increased efficiency using this system, this pricing should make LedgerSync a no-brainer for any firm looking to stick with desktop accounting software a while longer.
For more cloud accounting reviews and recommendations
I've added LedgerSync to my list of Recommended Apps for Accountants and Bookkeepers. Check it out and let me know your thoughts. And if you found this post useful, please consider clicking the share button below.