What is your relationship with Cloud Accounting Software?
I believe Cloud solutions for bookkeeping and accounting (Cloud Accounting Software) are the way forward. They can streamline your business processes, create efficiencies and also provide real time data thanks to bank feeds.
However – what happens if you no longer want to live in the cloud? This could happen for various reasons – such as change in structure, change in operations requiring a different software solution, change in ownership or even selling your business.
ATO regulations require you to keep records for a minimum of 4 years from the date of the income year (depending on the transaction), and the Corporations Act requires companies to keep documents for a period of 7 years.
So how do you access your data 7 years down the track ??
Here is a simple guide for most of the major cloud providers:
- MYOB Live Accounts – if you cancel your subscription, your data file moves to read only format. 60 day cooling off period – and you can reactivate your subscription during this time. You are still able to generate reports during the cooling off period, and print PDF reports or extract data.
- Intuit Quickbooks Online – when you stop paying for your subscription, your access to your subscription also stops. Intuit will retain your data file for 7 years. You will only have access to your data file if you start paying for your subscription again.
- Reckon One – you will have access to a read only version of your data file once you cancel your subscription. Should you choose to reactivate your subscription, you will have access to your data again in full mode.
- Xero – if you choose to cancel your subscription, Xero will retain your data file on their server for 7 years. Xero do have the ability to reinstate a data file, however a read only version is not available.
What does all this mean for your data?
You should …
- Be aware of what data you are storing in your cloud software
- Be aware of what original documents you throw away because you are now storing them in the cloud
- Make sure you have a backup plan – download reports, keep hard copies of annual returns, supporting documentation
- Choose a cloud based software that will grow with your business – so think of where you want to be in the next 5 years+ and choose something now that will accommodate. Exporting from one system to another is possible – but you do lose a lot of your detail
If you have questions
about which software is right for your business, or if you are thinking of switching from a desktop version to the cloud – feel free to get in touch with me. I can provide a report based on your business and your individual requirements and advise you about which software I think is the right one for you.
Remember – each business is different. So choose something that that you are comfortable with that will work for you and work with you.