Reckon Place QuickBooks Enterprise In The Cloud

QUICKBOOKS HOSTED BY RECKON ONLINE

REVIEW – WEALTH CREATOR MAGAZINE


The Login Process

2011 marks the year that Reckon’s Online offering, QuickBooks, Hosted by Reckon Online “grows up”.

No longer bound by antiquated Browser security shackles, nor held ransom to Windows, Reckon now have you covered on almost any device you choose to travel with.

Simplifying the login process to a single icon click, identical to the Desktop edition of QuickBooks, Reckon have closed the gap that once existed in both the range of devices able to run QuickBooks Hosted, and also in the end user experience.

Once setup on either my iPad, Android mobile phone or Macbook, I found logging in via the Premium Service, to be as seamless as the desktop edition. This is a huge step forward for Reckon.

Speed

Another vast improvement that impressed me no end with the 2011 released Premium service, was the speed.

Dare I say it is now faster for me to have Reckon host my datafiles, than it is for me to host my own files on my own server!

Reporting speed was the same whether I was running a quick client look up on my Android mobile phone, or running a detailed Profit and Loss report from my iPad. The experience is very seamless.

Functionality

The first thing clients say to me when I set them up on QuickBooks Hosted, is “oh it’s exactly the same as my old version.”  A masterstroke by Reckon, is the fact that functionally, QuickBooks Hosted is exactly the same as the Desktop version! And in some cases, better.

This is due to the fact that Reckon have chosen to base the Hosted product on the Rolls Royce of QuickBooks, the Enterprise version. Hence every feature that is available in QuickBooks 2011, is also available online.

My favourite new feature is the Company Snapshot. Containing up to 27 finance widgets, the user is able to customise a “control panel” of their business, just for them!

With a single mouse click on my iPad, I can see at any time my Top Customers,  how much money I have in the bank and who owes me the most money. On one screen, on my iPad, from anywhere in the World!

Product Comparison

It’s no secret that the race is on amongst software makers to conquer the cloud. And the Accounting Software world is no different.

What I found really sets the QuickBooks Hosted product apart from the rest is its’ familiar look and feel. For added security, users also have access at any time to downloading a copy of their data (which can be opened on the desktop QuickBooks Enterprise), or export reports into Microsoft Excel and save it on their PC. This is a feature that competitive products are sadly missing.

I was also able to re-upload a more recent copy of my local data file, straight up to the Hosted service, from my Desktop.

Not to mention I am able to pay all of my staff, manage all of my inventory, lodge my BAS via Reckon Gov Connect ; and provide my Accountant a login to my data which saves me real money.

I truly believe Reckon have an outstanding product on their hands this year and thoroughly recommend the Premium service to all mobile business people, Bookkeepers and Accountants.

Quickbooks Hosted is accessed by the Citrix Receiver, available from Google Play

Cloud POS Coming To A Handheld Near You Thanks To Reckon Limited

Reckon Limited, an Australian ASX listed software provider, best known for its Quickbooks range of products, is after more than just the bookkeeping market in Australia.

Shown today, exclusively to Cloud For Profit, at Reckon’s National Accredited Partner Conference in Hobart, was Reckon’s mobile Point of Sale offering. Reckon have produced the desktop version of Point of Sale for some time, however a mobile solution was always the vision of Business Division CEO Gavin Dixon.

Until now, the technology required to run such a solution was not in the price point of the majority of Reckon’s customers and did not fit the vision, of being on any device, not just multi thousand dollar clunky PDA’s.

In speaking with Reckon, Senior Business Analyst Simon Hutchinson commented, “this is going to change retail, from your tradesmen looking for a simple solution to send an invoice from their van, to the coffee cart at kid’s soccer matches, to the more traditional bricks and mortar, we can now provide them all with a cost effective mobile solution”. Gavin Dixon then commented, “and best of all, our customer’s don’t need any new hardware, they can run POS on their iPhone, HTC, Samsung Galaxy or Blackberry device”.

We tested the mobile POS Solution on our own Samsung Galaxy Note, and it was as if the product was made for the 5.3″ screen size.

The above screen shot demonstrates us processing a sale on the POS Terminal. We could also make use of the S-Pen which made the perfect tool for selecting products from the POS item list.

“Custom templates are our next project” relayed Hutchison, “I want to design templates to suit various device screen sizes, from iPod Touch, to Galaxy S II,  to Note and the 7″ and 10″ tablets.”

And not only is the Terminal going to the mobile platform, but also the Administrator back end, which allows for Management to monitor various terminal sales, close and open terminals, and transfer data to and from their QuickBooks accounting software.

The shot above demonstrating the sales each terminal is making.

“Traditionally another highly requested feature of POS users, was multiple location. Logistically this was previously a challenge due to the nature of the relationship between POS and Quickbooks, well not anymore, as we have hosted and link POS to Quickbooks on our Cloud Platform”, added Dixon.

So in terms of monitoring your terminals, these terminals could be anywhere in the World, being monitored from your Android device.

All you have to do is relax!

Reckon will be releasing the mobile POS solution sometime in Q2 2012.

Be sure to follow as this product nears its release cycle.

Profiting From The Cloud For Small Business

We are in very exciting times for small business. SMB’s who embrace the cloud and all it offers them, will benefit greatly and be infinitely more profitable than their competitors in more ways than one.

INFRASTRUCTURE COSTS

For most small businesses, employing staff is a costly exercise. Often the employee’s only tools, their computer and desk, are an after thought. Provided with ageing equipment and expired software is not conducive to high productivity levels. Most employers miss the mark here and fail to see the advantages gained by implementing new computers with modern software. The software costs alone usually outweigh the hardware costs, so most SMB’s won’t upgrade if they don’t have to.

SCALABILITY

By adopting a suitable Cloud solution, scaling up or down staff numbers could be as simple as a small increase on a monthly rental fee. The employee is mobile and productive from day one without the need for an IT Administrator to have spent many hours configuring a workstation.

The employee is happier working on the latest software versions they have been trained on and are instantly on their game. In fact, cloud is the perfect environment for clever business owners to implement a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy. Many studies show that BYOD produces happier staff. Why not show you are modern and flexible and implement a salary sacrifice or employee device rental scheme that enables staff to purchase and own their own devices? It keeps the staff happy and lowers your TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). No software or data is loaded actually on the staff members device hence lowering security risks of the employee owning the gadget of their choice to work on.

UPDATE EFFICIENCIES

Another bug bear for small businesses perhaps already struggling with keeping margins competitive and still showing the Balance Sheet in the black, is software upgrades.

Keeping software up to date is expensive. Not only the physical cost of purchasing the upgrades or maintaining multiple software subscriptions, but the added cost of either an after hours IT visit, or facing the prospect of having your work force down for a couple of hours to a day whilst the upgrades are performed. Both of these situations drive costs through the roof and are less than desireable.

By operating in the cloud, small business can sigh the sweet sound of relief. Updates are pushed out by the cloud vendor while the SMB and its staff are at home fast asleep. Staff arrive in the morning, and just work.

PRODUCTIVITY

For many years, SMB’s just couldn’t compete with their larger, more agile, ERP equipped competitors.

Even a couple of years ago, the thought of an SMB mobilising its workforce on iPads, or introducing a real BYOD policy would have been simply a pipe dream.

Today, through SMB speciality cloud vendors such as Reckon Limited, with their QuickBooks and growing Hosted range of products, sales force mobilisation, online warehouses and working from literally anywhere in the world are a reality; and are allowing the more savvy SMB’s to operate on the same turf previously occupied only by the SAP and Netsuite boys.

CLOUD FOR PROFIT

Many small business owners are facing increasing pressures to their bottom lines, from fluctuating currencies, to squeezing margins and employee expectations and loyalty.

Now is the time for small business to adopt the cloud and embrace all it offers as a tool for Growth, Flexibility and ultimately – Profit.

About the author

Nathan Elcoate is a Small Business IT Specialist Consultant, based in Southport, Queensland, Australia.

With over 20 years in Operational Accounting and IT Support and Domain Admin, Nathan is now Director of Axis IT Consulting Pty Ltd, a boutique Accounting Software consultancy firm that is part of the RWG Accountants & Advisors Group.