Case Study—Moving to Cloud-Hosted Accounting


A successful San Francisco contractor had an excellent bookkeeper for years, but then she left and another bookkeeper arrived … and messed up the QuickBooks company file. (You would be surprised how many calls I get like this!)  After two years of filing tenuous tax returns, the contractor asked that we take over the accounting and rebuild the QuickBooks system with a new company file.

My client used Intuit Assisted Payroll, which is the only way to properly manage job costing in a QuickBooks company file. Intuit Assisted Payroll will only integrate with the desktop version of QuickBooks for the PC, so he used a PC laptop for all of the company’s accounting and payroll processing data. The company’s other computers are all Macs.


We took on this interesting and challenging project in which three different people needed to access the same files, which were stored on one ageing laptop. The contractor wanted the accounting to be done correctly and his finances to be bullet-proof. The bookkeeper and CFO needed to work in a collaborative environment, and appreciated the efficiencies of cloud-hosted accounting.

We began by moving the QuickBooks company files to a cloud-hosted site—just like they use at IBM, Intel, Coca Cola, American Express and other big corporations (their entire networks live in the cloud). The contractor was wary at first, but we reminded him that every time he uses his iPhone, or Google Docs, or talks to Siri, he is already working in the cloud.


Cloud-hosted allowed us all to work together seamlessly on the same files, so we were able to rebuild the company file and keep the bookkeeping and accounting up to date. The new files can be accessed from any of the company’s computers (not just that one, lone PC laptop), and they are backed up securely and automatically.

Communications and data accuracy have improved because all of us—the owner, bookkeeper, and CFO—can always access up-to-date files, no matter whose office we’re working from. That has led to improved analysis and decision-making, which has increased profitability. The data is more secure because it’s stored according to best practices: off-site in state-of-the-art, encrypted files.