Cloud hosting for ProSeries tax software is becoming an increasingly popular option for accounting and tax professionals. Rather than installing ProSeries locally on office computers and servers, cloud hosting allows you to access ProSeries through the internet from anywhere. There are many potential benefits to hosting ProSeries in the cloud.
Some of the key benefits of ProSeries cloud hosting include:
- Accessibility – Work remotely and access ProSeries from any device with an internet connection.
- Automatic updates – ProSeries is always kept up to date with the latest version and features.
- Security – Cloud providers implement robust security measures like encryption, firewalls, and regular backups.
- Collaboration – Multiple team members can access the same ProSeries company files and collaborate efficiently.
- Scalability – Computing resources like storage and memory can be adjusted as your needs change.
- Business continuity – Minimizes downtime risks since data is stored remotely offsite.
This introductory section provided a high-level overview of ProSeries cloud hosting and some of its key benefits for accounting professionals. The rest of the blog post will cover details on setup, features, security, performance, and pricing considerations when evaluating ProSeries cloud hosting solutions.
Benefits of ProSeries Cloud Hosting
Hosting ProSeries tax software in the cloud provides several key benefits for accounting and tax professionals:
- Accessibility – Access ProSeries from anywhere with an internet connection using any device like laptops, tablets, or smartphones. Work remotely without needing to be in the office.
- Collaboration – Multiple accountants can access the same ProSeries company files in the cloud. Team members can work together on returns simultaneously.
- Security – Cloud providers implement robust security measures:
- Encryption to protect sensitive data
- Firewalls to prevent unauthorized access
- Backups to avoid data loss
- Scalability – Computing resources like storage and RAM can be adjusted up or down as your needs change.
- Reliability – Achieve uptime of 99.9% or higher with enterprise-grade cloud servers.
- Automatic updates – ProSeries is kept up to date with latest features and fixes.
- Disaster recovery – Data is stored securely offsite so operations can continue uninterrupted.
By hosting ProSeries in the cloud, accounting professionals can work more flexibly, collaborate efficiently, ensure security, scale resources, and guarantee reliability of their tax preparation software.
Setting up ProSeries cloud hosting is quick and straightforward with the help of your hosting provider. Here are the key steps involved:
- Activate your Right Networks account using the welcome email sent by your provider. This will allow you to access your cloud environment.
- Add users and assign packages to give your team members access to ProSeries. Your provider will help you with assigning appropriate packages and add-ons.
- Download and run the Setup Wizard on each computer that needs access to ProSeries. This will configure access to the cloud environment.
- Install ProSeries applications like different tax years or states that you need for your practice. The hosted environment starts with just the core federal products.
- Upload client data through the file manager or use the ProSeries Migration Tool to automatically restore data from your local backup. This brings all your client files into the cloud.
- Complete program setup by installing any additional tax types, states, or years you need to open client files. The Options Setup Wizard can also be used to configure program settings.
- Set up integrations like Microsoft Office, SmartVault, or other software to connect them into your ProSeries cloud environment.
Properly completing these onboarding and setup steps ensures your hosted ProSeries environment is fully configured and ready for tax preparation. Your hosting provider will assist you throughout the process. With the power of the cloud, you can access ProSeries anytime, anywhere and collaborate seamlessly.
Hosting ProSeries in the cloud provides several key features and capabilities:
- Streamlining Outsourcing Operations – Cloud hosting enables seamless collaboration between outsourced teams, clients, and internal staff.
- Updated Information Available All the Time – Always access the latest data from any device with an internet connection.
- Get Over the IT Stress – No need to manage servers or update software with cloud hosting.
- Multi-user Access – Multiple accountants can simultaneously access ProSeries files.
- Cost-effectiveness – Pay only for the hosting resources used rather than purchasing expensive hardware.
- Accurate and Collaborative Tax Filing – Real-time collaboration improves accuracy and efficiency.
- Data Security and Automatic Backups – Cloud providers implement robust security and data protection.
- Software Integration and Productivity Tools – Seamlessly connect ProSeries to other software like document management.
With ProSeries cloud hosting, accounting professionals get anytime, anywhere access along with capabilities to enhance team collaboration, leverage integrations, ensure security, and reduce IT management time and expenses.
Data security is a top concern when moving to ProSeries cloud hosting. Reputable hosting providers implement robust security measures:
- Encryption – Data is encrypted both during transit over the internet and at rest in cloud servers. This prevents unauthorized access.
- Firewall, antivirus, threat monitoring – Cloud infrastructure is protected by enterprise-grade firewalls, antivirus software, and constant threat monitoring.
- Strict access controls – Role-based access controls ensure only authorized users can access accounts and data. Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of protection.
- Regular offsite backups – Frequent automated backups to geographically distributed data centers protect against data loss.
- Physical security – Data centers have 24/7 monitoring, man traps, security cameras, and strict access controls.
By leveraging these security measures, professionals can confidently host ProSeries in the cloud knowing data is safeguarded at or above the level of an on-premise system. Reputable hosting providers undergo independent audits to validate security controls.
Performance is a critical factor when using ProSeries tax software. There are several elements that can impact the performance of ProSeries when hosted in the cloud:
- Internet connection quality: A fast, stable internet connection is essential for good performance when accessing ProSeries hosted in the cloud. Fiber optic, cable, or high-speed DSL connections are recommended over slower satellite or dial-up connections.
- Network bandwidth: The amount of data that can be transferred over the network impacts performance. More bandwidth allows faster data transfers.
- Hosting infrastructure: The capabilities of the servers hosting ProSeries affect performance. More CPU power, memory, and fast disk storage lead to better performance.
- Location of hosting provider data centers: Hosting providers with data centers close to your location give lower latency and better performance. This reduces delays caused by distance.
- Number of concurrent users: More users accessing the system simultaneously can degrade performance if the hosting infrastructure is not robust enough.
To ensure good performance for ProSeries in the cloud:
- Choose a hosting provider with high-spec infrastructure – fast multi-core CPUs, abundant RAM and fast SSD storage.
- Pick a provider with data centers nearby to reduce latency.
- Get ample bandwidth to handle your usage.
- Limit concurrent users if performance suffers.
- Monitor resource usage and scale up hosting resources as needed.
With the right hosting platform, ProSeries can deliver excellent performance in the cloud. Choosing a capable provider and monitoring resource usage allows you to get the full benefits of cloud hosting for ProSeries.
When evaluating ProSeries tax software, there are several cost factors to consider:
- ProSeries User Licenses
ProSeries is licensed on a per-user basis. The main license types are:
- Basic – For individual returns. Starts at $569 per year for up to 20 returns.
- Professional – For individual and business returns. Starts at $1,439 per year for unlimited individual returns.
- Pay-Per-Return – Pay per return filed starting at $49 per state return.
- Data Storage Amount
ProSeries Desktop plans include 40GB of storage per user. ProSeries Hosting provides additional storage capabilities starting at 80GB.
- Additional Services
Extra services like backups, hosting, training, and support are available for an added fee. For example, Hosting starts at $25 per month per user.
- Hosting Provider
You can host ProSeries yourself on a local network or choose a hosting provider like Intuit Hosting starting at $25 per month per user.
- Length of Contract
No long-term contract is required. You can pay monthly or annually. Discounts are offered for annual subscriptions.
- Add-on Applications
Integrated third-party apps like SmartVault and eSignature can be added for additional fees.
When selecting your ProSeries package, evaluate your current and future needs in terms of number of users, returns, storage, and functionality to choose the most cost-effective option. Consider add-ons that can save time and streamline your processes.
ProSeries cloud hosting provides several key benefits that can streamline tax workflows:
- Provides anywhere access – With cloud hosting, ProSeries can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, enabling remote work capabilities.
- Enhanced security – Cloud platforms offer enterprise-level security like firewalls and encryption to protect sensitive tax data. Backups are automated for data protection.
- Automatic updates – The software is automatically kept up-to-date with the latest features, forms, and tax law changes through seamless updates.
- Reduced IT hassles – The hosting provider manages the infrastructure, maintenance, and updates, reducing the tax firm’s IT workload.
- Performance and scalability – Cloud servers provide fast performance that scales to support growth in users and data storage needs.
- Collaboration – The software is accessible by multiple preparers to work together on returns and share information in real-time.
When choosing a cloud hosting provider for ProSeries, tax professionals should evaluate features, security, support, and costs across providers. The setup process involves migrating data to the cloud and configuring integration with other software tools.
Overall, ProSeries cloud hosting delivers significant benefits like anywhere access, security, reduced IT demands, and increased collaboration to improve workflows for modern tax practices. Transitioning to the cloud can future-proof a tax firm with scalable, up-to-date solutions.
Frequently Asked Questions about ProSeries Cloud Hosting
What does “hosting” mean?
“Hosting” refers to having your ProSeries software and data stored on secure servers accessed over the internet, rather than locally on your office computers. This is often called “cloud hosting” or “in the cloud”. It allows access from anywhere with an internet connection.
How safe is my hosted data?
Hosting providers use robust security measures like encryption, firewalls, and access controls to safeguard data. Intuit partners with Right Networks which undergoes independent audits to validate security controls. Backups are automated for additional protection.
How often is my software updated?
With Intuit cloud hosting, ProSeries is automatically checked for updates nightly. Any available updates are downloaded so they are ready to install the next time you login, ensuring you stay up-to-date.
Do I need my own network?
No, with cloud hosting you access ProSeries entirely over the internet so no local network is needed. You just need a reliable, high-speed internet connection.
Is technical support included?
Yes, Intuit provides free US-based technical support for ProSeries cloud hosting. Support is available by phone, email, and online ticketing.
Which tax software is the cloud hosted solution compatible with?
Intuit offers cloud hosting for both ProSeries and Lacerte tax software. You can host the same desktop software you are familiar with.
How to set up ProSeries hosting?
The setup process involves:
- Activating your hosting account
- Adding users
- Downloading the setup wizard
- Migrating your local data
- Installing needed tax forms/states
- Configuring software settings
Intuit provides guided onboarding and setup resources to ensure a smooth transition.