QuickBooks Online vs Desktop: What Your Business Needs in 2017 And Beyond

QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop – this is perhaps a perennial dilemma for entrepreneurs starting or running a small business. Back in the 1990s, when QuickBooks was launched, life was simpler. The desktop version of the software was the only option available, since providing software over the internet wasn’t a common practice back in the day. Today, not only are there desktop and online versions, but also multiple sub-categories in each to choose from, which means that picking the most suitable option for your business model is just getting trickier. Choosing the Right Version of QuickBooks for Your Business Over the years, QuickBooks has become synonymous with expense tracking, budgeting, and financial management and is used for myriad purposes, from simplifying personal accounting to tracking complex business finances. With millions of established businesses still using the desktop version and newer ones preferring the online version, each enjoys its own loyal… Read more »

Best Practices for Passwords

Passwords are the frontline of defense against cyberattacks. No matter how extensive your other security measures may be, if your password policy is weak, you will be extremely vulnerable. While nobody likes password policies, they are necessary until other means of authentication (such as biometrics) become universal. Until that time, companies need to be aware of what strengthens a password and what can weaken a password. Here is a summary of some of the best industry practices for developing passwords. Avoid Common Passwords Did you know experts have discovered that 30% of users have passwords from the list of the most common passwords? That means that almost 1 in 3 users has a password that can easily be cracked, because hackers are going to try those common passwords. According to Keeper Security, the 25 most common passwords of 2016 were: 1. 123456 2. 123456789 3. qwerty 4. 12345678 5. 111111… Read more »

4 Simple Ways Your Small Business Can Avoid Cyberattacks

There is a common misperception that small businesses are unlikely to be hacked. If you think you are safe because your company is small, think again. More and more cyberattacks are being directed at small businesses because they do not usually have the security measures in place to protect themselves, and hackers know it. However, there are some highly effective and accessible things that you can do to ensure that you do not become a victim of a cyberattack. Read on to find out more about the measures you can take right now to protect yourself. Be Aware of Social Engineering You have likely heard of phishing attacks, but you may not be familiar with the new trend of spear phishing attacks. In such an attack, the hacker sends an email that appears as if it were sent from a business or individual that you know. The term “spear phishing”… Read more »

Is Your Business Ready for a Power Outage?

business preparation for power loss

In the world of business, there are very few guarantees. One thing that can be absolutely assured, though, is that at some point the lights will go out. No matter how diligently you plan, at some point your business is going to lose power. Companies that are unprepared for this inevitability can be seriously hurt by a power outage in myriad ways that range from merely troublesome to potentially disastrous. The stakes are dire, but they’re also easily overcome if you’re willing to understand the risks and plan ahead. If you’ve yet to consider the costs of a power outage, here are some tips to keep you ahead of the curve and out of danger. The Potential Cost of a Company-Wide Outage Every year, hundreds of companies lose power for at least an hour or more. A study done for the Department of Energy indicated that power outages and blackouts… Read more »

What are Ransomeware Attacks and How Can You Avoid Them?

Any cyber security expert worth their title can tell you that malicious ransomware attacks are on the rise. To date, several government entities have been hit with ransomware, a particularly nasty attack that hackers can use to extort huge sums of money from their targets. In January of this year, for example, the St. Louis Public Library system was brought to a virtual standstill when more than 700 computers at 16 branches were rendered inoperable thanks to a ransomware attack that effectively halted checkout and computer services. Threats from ransomware are present at every level of society. From your personal information to your business’s trade secrets, the possibility that someone might be preying on your most sensitive data is solid. That’s why it’s important to understand how you can protect yourself from these hostile intrusions, so you don’t find yourself on the receiving end of a ransomware attack. What Is… Read more »

Costs and Benefits of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Workplaces

One of the newest trends in company management is BYOD, or bring your own device. This policy is becoming so popular among corporations that 74 percent of polled companies are either using BYOD or planning to make the switch in the near future. Some estimates put the BYOD industry at around $181 billion by the end of this year. If you’re running a company and you’re in need of a cost-effective, morale-improving technology strategy, then BYOD just might be the perfect solution. What Is BYOD? Essentially, BYOD means that a company allows its employees to either use their own computer or cell phone or buy something for the job. You’re going to be buying technology for your employees, anyway, right? Why not invest that money in a program that allows employees the freedom to work using the electronics they love? Of course, BYOD isn’t quite that simple. While there are… Read more »

Moving QuickBooks from Your Desktop to the Cloud

If you are using a desktop version of QuickBooks, then your accounting application is hosted and maintained on your computer or your local server. Desktop versions of QuickBooks are only accessible by you and your designated staff from a specific location, which is most likely your office. Moving QuickBooks to the cloud will allow you, your employees, and your accountant to remotely access your accounting application and its data from anywhere an internet connection is available. The Advantages of Moving Your Business’s QuickBooks to the Cloud How do you know if moving your QuickBooks data to the cloud is the right move for your business? Here are some of the advantages that cloud hosting has to offer: Your data will be more secure. The company that provides your cloud hosting service will be responsible for storing your data securely and redundantly. If your business experiences a power outage, natural disaster,… Read more »

How to Move Your Microsoft Office Documents to the Cloud

Moving data to the cloud is more common and easier than ever. Advances in cloud delivery tools and services are simplifying cloud conversion and hosting processes, and businesses of all sizes are choosing cloud computing to increase their productivity and reduce their IT expenses. For businesses that rely heavily on the use of the Microsoft Office Suite, moving their Microsoft Office documents to the cloud is a logical starting point in the cloud conversion process. Should You Move Your Microsoft Office Documents to the Cloud? Collaborating on Microsoft Office documents is a cumbersome process without cloud hosting. Sharing Office documents is often accomplished by emailing them back and forth, and when users are accessing the documents with different versions of the Microsoft Office applications, formatting inconsistencies can arise. Version variations aren’t the only complicating factors when sharing Office documents via email. Another challenge is keeping track of which Office document… Read more »

Innovating for Success: The Cloud Conversion of Fidelity Investments

With cyber attacks on the rise and data security regulations placing a greater burden on investment advisors, how can a wealth management firm affordably maintain the IT infrastructure and specialized staff necessary for survival? When the leaders of Fidelity Investments asked themselves that question, the answer was clear. They decided to outsource their IT function and convert to a cloud-based platform. A Cloud-Based Solution for Fidelity Investments Fidelity’s cloud-based virtual desktop solution offers its advisors remote access to the entire suite of Fidelity business tools and applications via desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone. The innovative platform also features centralized document storage in the cloud, which gives advisors the capability to access all of their documents and email anywhere, anytime. In order to implement its cloud conversion and maintain the virtual desktop solution, Fidelity contracted with a cloud outsourcing company. Fidelity’s arrangement with its IT vendor gives Fidelity’s RIAs the opportunity… Read more »

Are Your Prepared for an IT Disaster at Your Company?

Since September is National Preparedness Month, there are a few items to consider that will help you be prepared if an IT Disaster strikes your business. The best way to think about this, is to imagine a day when you walk in the office and find the door ajar. Someone has broken into your office while you were asleep. The next thing you check is your computer room, you peak your head in and you are looking at an empty room. OK, what is your plan? How long will you be down? What will that mean to you and your business? Who will call? Here are the 5 things that will help you to be prepared for such a disaster and to answer these questions: 1. Have Documentation for All Your Systems Having good documentation is one of the keys to quickly recovering from any type of disaster. You should… Read more »