Comparison Between Offline Vs Online Accounting Software
As a business owner you might not really like accounting, at times it can be inconvenient and often boring. And here the role of the accounting system comes into play to ease the burden of accounting off your shoulders and make your life easy.
Accounting software whether online or offline increase your business efficiency by managing your business finances. You can calculate and keep a record of all your business liabilities, such as outstanding with the customers, taxes owed to the government, employees’ payroll, invoicing & more.
Now having said about the importance of accounting software let us discuss what accounting software does.
What does Accounting Software do?
New start-ups or very small businesses may not realize it but accounting software is one of the most vital for any business’s success. First things first, the accounting software automates the monotonous data entry process that makes life easier and speeds up the entire business operation. Your accounting settling gets way faster.
Accounting Software for small or medium businesses is further helpful for managing all your financial transactions like cash flow, profit & loss, amount outstanding, credit, and more. In short, it helps you manage a complete account book, which we used to refer to as ‘Bahi Khata’ in manual operations.
One very important benefit is that accounting software can save a large stream of data securely without human intervention and provide you with real-time insights about your organization’s finances. Popular accounting software also comes up with added useful features like billing, inventory management, payroll, online payments, integrated banking, and so on.
Now the question here is what online & offline accounting software is.
Let’s discuss both in detail.
What is Offline Accounting Software?
As the name suggests, offline accounting software is a program that you can access without an internet connection. To operate offline accounting software, you do not need constant access to the network connection. Offline accounting software can be hosted on-premises. It is downloaded on the system and used as any other software.
With this, you get assurance of the security of your data. In the case of accounting software, you need not worry about your monthly subscriptions, you get the ownership of the tools.
What are the Advantages of Offline Accounting Software?
Let us discuss some of the advantages of Accounting Software:
- Get better control over your financial data with the help of self-hosted servers.
- Can access the complete software and all features even if you are not connected to the internet.
- You can send bills or invoices to the customers by setting up the email or SMS features
What are the Disadvantages of offline Accounting Software?
- Offline accounting software does not have the provision to encrypt your data automatically, you will have to do it manually. Although you can take data backup on the server in some software.
- It saves your data locally on the system therefore, you will require a lot of free space in the system.
- The software can be accessed only on the system on which the software has been installed. Thus, other persons on other devices will not be able to use it. This limits the number of users.
- As it is offline, you will have to update the software manually.
What is Online Accounting Software?
Again, as the name suggests online accounting software needs a constant internet connection to access the software. However, it supports a high level of automation and allows you to access your business anytime anywhere from any device. You will only need to log in with your credentials on any browser. And you are good to go!
Since online accounting software stores your data automatically on the cloud server, therefore, the data can be accessed from anywhere in real-time if you are connected to a stable network.
What are the Advantages of Online Accounting Software?
- Data is encrypted automatically therefore no manual intervention is required which in turn reduces the chances of human errors.
- You can easily link bank accounts for carrying out online transactions.
- Sharing of the data among authorized people is easy over the cloud.
- It can be easily integrated with 3rd party mobile apps & cloud-based software.
- The software gets automatically updated as you pay a monthly or quarterly subscription. Doesn’t manual intervention to update the software.
What are the Disadvantages of Online Accounting Software?
You need to have a constant internet connection to access the software. If you do not have an internet connection, you can’t do much on the software.
Offline vs Online Accounting Software
|Specifications||Offline Accounting Software||Online Accounting Software|
|Data Access||Limited to one system||Access anytime anywhere|
|Data Security||More security against data theft, as data is stored in an in-house server||Data is end-to-end encrypted|
|Data Format||Supports. CSV is most of the software||Supports multiple formats|
|Software Update||Done manually||Automatically Updated|
|Platform||Run only on the system installed||Supports multiple platforms & devices|
|Storage||Consumes system storage||Data is stored on the cloud|
|IT Infrastructure cost high||High cost for on-premise system configuration||No on-premises system installation cost|
|Internet requirement||Internet not required||Constant connection required|
|User Access||Only one user can access||Can be shared among multiple departments & people|
|Real-Data Information||Only if the user is connected to a LAN network||Easily available online|
|Software Cost||Affordable yearly or one-time payment||Subscription Model|
Which should you choose, Online or Offline Accounting Software?
Now having discussed all the advantages & disadvantages of both online & offline accounting software, the next question that comes to mind is which to choose.
The answer to this depends largely upon the needs & size of your business. If you are a franchise, start-up or another small business owner so you can start with online accounting software, because it will not require any extra hardware installation cost. You can have the software subscription and start with it.
On the contrary, large organizations need to deal with huge data. For the sake of data security & ease, they prefer to use offline software. Although online accounting software is equally safe but still at times offline software is the solution. Also, to manage the storage space & data, they can shift a part of the data to a cloud server, Rest can remain on an on-premise server.
Offline software is good in case you work in a location that experiences frequent network issues. You can also opt for offline accounting software, commonly referred to as a POS system for counter sale billing in retail stores.
What are the examples of Offline Accounting Software?
Here is a list of some selected software that works best for small & medium businesses in India, especially in the retail sector.
Marg ERP 9+
With expertise in the field for over 30 years, Marg ERP is the no. 1 choice of business owners in India. You can efficiently manage all your billing, inventory, accounting, payments, delivery, etc all under one roof. You can file GST returns directly from the software. It is a complete solution to manage your complete business.
It is good basic accounting software. You can manage all your accounting & bookkeeping in this, but for inventory & other operations, you will have to integrate 3rd party apps.
Although Busy handles your business accounting, it is famous for its inventory features. It has good inventory features, wide acceptability, and is feature-rich with added accounting. But it comes up with very typical concepts in some features.
What are the examples of Online Accounting Software?
Some of the most popular online accounting software in India are:
From the house of Marg ERP, Marg books are the online version of Marg ERP. It comes with all features from billing to delivery but with a modern touch. You can easily access it from any device. And doesn’t need to integrate with any 3rd party apps. Everything is covered under one umbrella. It is a ready software that lets you send invoices, generate reports, track inventory, and reconcile bank transactions.
Zoho Books is an easy-to-use business accounting software in India for businesses to manage finances. You can easily file GST returns using Zoho books
It is also one of the best accounting software available for small businesses. Profit books provide you with detailed tax reports, let you have complete control over inventory, allow you to file GST returns, and more.
Choosing the billing software can be the toughest decision to start with. But nonetheless, when you stepped into the business world there are many more to come. Probably the right accounting software will ease out all your future complex decisions. Offline accounting software can be easily used in a location where the network is weak, similarly offline accounting software can be used in a location where the network is constant & strong. Data is encrypted automatically in online accounting software, on the other hand, the same is not possible in offline accounting software.