Do you ever stop and think about how vulnerable you are when it comes to your bookkeeping records. Do you have reliable backup? Are you on “the cloud?” Do you own your data and/or database? Are you vulnerable? Every business owner and/or property manager should be thinking about these questions.
Until a few short years ago, the only choice for property management companies was a “traditional on premises” bookkeeping software. In fact, many businesses still operate this way but now there are other options. The advantage of a traditional system is that you do have complete control of your database, which consists of client information and client data transactions. The most critical issue with this system (or any system) is to be sure to utilize a reliable backup system. In today’s world, this should not be a problem. With the programs available on existing computers and the Internet, you can easily set up a system to protect your data and database system – you just have to do it.
However, as always, progress has changed the property management bookkeeping picture and I am sure you have been hearing about “the cloud.” Here are some definitions to help you understand this new world.
Cloud Computing is delivery over the Internet of computing resources such as processing power, storage capacity, and software functionality. Cloud is also known as “on-demand” computing and there are several varieties of cloud computing.
Your property management bookkeeping database can be in “the cloud” by having it hosted. You have access to the information from anywhere using a remote desktop service. You purchase a license, which allows you to move your information to the cloud service provider of your choice.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Software as a Service is known as “on demand” software. The software and its data are hosted centrally (on the cloud) and accessed by users, using a browser or remote desktop services over the Internet. “Software as a Service” providers most commonly develop and manage the application software. Therefore, you do not own your own database. Termination of service can result in not being able to access the database.
This is a reliable and comprehensive property management accounting solution where you have control of the database and yet, you allow your owners, tenants, vendors, and staff access to the information through an internet connection. The “Hybrid Cloud” is a great option for owning both data and database.
One company that offers the best of all worlds and multiple solutions is PROMAS for storing, accessing, and controlling your business environment, allowing seamless changing of solutions as you grow your business. PROMAS Central provides the “Hybrid Cloud.” In addition, PROMAS gives great support and has reasonable pricing solutions, www.promas.com, 800.397.1499.
What you need to consider when choosing any software that employs “the cloud” is your liability. You may own your data but not own your own database. Why is that important? This can be critical if you lose access to the information, the software company gives poor support, or the company goes out of business. Most systems are fine when they work but business owners and/or managers must be careful when selecting a “cloud” company.
The bottom line is to carefully check out the property management software companies that will give you cloud capabilities, provide the support you need, and fit your budget for this critical area of your business.
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Jean Storms, MPM® is the founder/author of LandlordSource and has been a NARPM® member since January 1993.
Disclaimer: LandlordSource does not represent the article content in this website as legal advice. It is shared information only and up to the reader to use this information responsibly, seeking legal advice as necessary to their business.
article content in this website as legal advice. It is shared information only and up to the reader to use this information responsibly, seeking legal advice as necessary to their business.