3 Paths to a Mobile Accounting Firm

By Rick Dhatt on 25-04-2016

With only 24 hours in a day and the business world moving fast, we’re always looking for ways to enhance productivity. No one is able to escape the mobile landscape because it makes lives so much easier. Employees are able to be more productive by having access to their data and applications from anywhere with any device. If you are still looking for insight on the best way to go, here is a quick snapshot of the capabilities and limitations of each option.

Cloud applications.Many application companies have created a cloud version for those who want to be in the mobile environment. Essentially, this is having your software accessible through web browsers so you don’t have to install them on your own devices. Some examples are QuickBooks Online, SlickPie cloud accounting, Sage One, CCH Axcess and CCH iFirm. You just need to use your credentials to login to your account and you’ll have access to these applications at your fingertips.

There are some limitations to this option. Usability can be different going from the full-featured desktop versions to the simplified cloud versions. The reason for this is because software companies want their applications to be more compatible for smaller touch-screen devices. The user experience from a computer with a 25” monitor has to be different from a 5.1” smartphone. Some employees don’t like how inconsistent user experience can get – different interfaces and different features is the major contribution to this concern.

Remote Connect Software. Another option to go mobile is allowing your computer or server to have other devices connect to it remotely. This can be done if you get the computer’s permission to allow remote connections and connecting to the IP address or machine name with the proper credentials. This way your employees can access everything on that computer from any other device through the internet – this includes software and data files.

A common problem reported with remote desktop solutions is that the performance feels really slow. It’s not like working from the actual computer because it has a bit of a response delay. You can see it when you move your cursor, open applications and type in documents. Team Viewer, GoToMyPC and other similar software follow this method of connection.

Virtual desktops. A third option is to completely virtualize your desktops. Essentially, this is installing and transferring your full desktop applications and data files into cloud servers so you can log into it from anywhere. Built on the foundation of Remote Desktops from Microsoft, the solution is further enhanced by Citrix. Combining their solutions, employees are able to access their applications and data files just by logging into the virtual desktop. Whatever you can do in your office or home desktop, like printing and scanning, you can do in your virtual desktop. Not only will the performance feel the same, it is compatible with any device. This is the best remote working solution available today and affordable to a small business.

The major limitation of virtual desktops is running graphic-heavy applications. Applications like Photoshop or video editors do not operate too smoothly in the cloud environment. Processing a lot of those high-definition videos or 3D modeling tools is very difficult with this solution.

Pick Your Productivity Levels
Based on your goals and company workflow, choose which solutions works best for you – or not pick one at all. Some accounting or bookkeeping firms even go with a more hybrid approach by mixing and matching all of the above. Either way, each solution will bring you one step closer to increased employee productivity and improved customer experience in such a mobile landscape.

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