8 Reasons Why We’re Not Fans of Online Bookkeeping For Most Calgary Small Businesses

Online bookkeeping seems to be really appealing to many small business owners. Do your bookkeeping ANYTIME or ANYWHERE. Woo-hoo! And it’s the trendy thing to do, especially for the under-40 budding entrepreneur.

Well, we’re not fans of online bookkeeping. And it’s not because we make less money because of it. In fact, as you’ll see below, we make MORE money if we use an online solution to serve our clients.

Here are the 8 reasons we don’t like online bookkeeping:

  1. It’s way more expensive to buy—Depending upon the provider, you’re likely to need the CAD$40 (approx.) per month package. That’s about $500 per year! We don’t charge for using our desktop software. Why blow that money?
  2. It’s way more expensive to use—Using online software depends on the internet connection speed and the software’s reaction time. We estimate that using Quickbooks Online (QBO) vs. Quickbooks desktop adds about 50% more time to process the same transactions. Like us, many bookkeepers charge by the hour, so it’s no wonder they like using online software!
  3. It’s a false convenience—Online providers boast you can look at your numbers 24/7. So what? The only reason you’d look at your bookkeeping at 3 in the morning is to cure insomnia! Frankly, if we process your bookkeeping monthly and you paid attention to your numbers that often you’d be ahead of about 80% of small business people.
  4. Where’s your data?—Want the CIA or NSA snooping in your data? We don’t know where the company hosts your data. Probably in the USA. We don’t like that. That’s why we have a Canada-based encrypted file sharing solution for transferring statements, reports etc.
  5. Dubious backup—Again, I don’t know the reliability of any one provider, but here’s what happened to a competitor of mine whose client data was on QBO. An employee made an error and uploaded dozens of transactions into the wrong account. To undo it they called the provider and asked them to restore the previous day’s version. They couldn’t do it! He had to pay someone to manually undo dozens of transactions. We double backup our clients’ files.
  6. Invoicing convenience—One thing nice I can say about some online bookkeeping software is that they allow you to create estimates and then turn them into invoices, which become transactions. It takes about 15 seconds to enter an invoice into the desktop software, so it’s no big cost for us to do it. And there are several good estimate/invoicing apps out there that do this job well.
  7. Payroll—Some online providers don’t do payroll in Canada (i.e. drawing all the rates and data from the CRA). It has to be done manually. We do that, or can connect with to a great Canada-based payroll processor, depending upon the number of employees you have (or will have).
  8. Will it really get done?—Some say it’s great because you can keep up with your bookkeeping; it’s so convenient! Really? I can’t tell you how often we’ve been handed many month’s worth of receipts and invoices from online bookkeeping software-subscribed business owners. They never get around to it! Too busy with the real core of their business—finding, selling and serving their customers.

Sure, it SOUNDS cool to have an online solution. And for some business owners it’s good enough.

But, really, having professional bookkeeper keep you on track and getting your bookkeeping done monthly works the best for the vast majority of small business owners.

Trendy be darned!


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