Cloud Accounting Software or Traditional Bookkeeping Computerized System (6 Comparative Characteristics )

Web based accounting software solution

Web-based accounting software is similar to traditional accounting software.


The main difference between traditional and web-based accounting software is as follows:

  • The traditional accounting software system to run needs to be locally installed on the desktop or laptop computers. 
  • The web-based accounting software system is hosted on remote servers, and users access their data through the Internet.


Each of those two systems has advantages and disadvantages.


6 Comparative characteristics of the cloud accounting software and traditional accounting software systems:

#1. Price.

Generally, web based accounting software is less expensive than the traditional accounting software systems. Using cloud accounting software allow companies to avoid business costs on the hardware and accounting system installation, maintenance, administration, updating, and server failures. Usually, payments for web-based accounting software are made on a monthly basis.

#2. Access.

Web-based accounting software enables access to the accounting data anytime from anywhere on any device via the Internet connection. The traditional accounting software provides access to the business data on a few select on-premises computers only. However, many providers of the traditional accounting software offer mobile applications (developed for mobile devices) easily integrated with their accounting system. Such mobile solutions enable access to the business data anytime from anywhere via the Internet connection too. So, in the case of the of problems with the Internet connection, the traditional accounting software system can be used, rather than the cloud ones.

#3. Control.

In the case of using the web based accounting software, the business data could be hosted on the server anywhere in the world, and a company does not have the control over where its financial information is. At the same time, depending on the judicial rules of the country where the accounting data is located government may review and audit this business data.

#4. Features.

The functionality provided by both cloud accounting system and traditional accounting software can vary from simple systems designed for entrepreneurs and small businesses to more complex developed for middle and developing companies.

#5. Customization.

As a rule, traditional accounting software can be customized to meet the company’s specific needs. The cloud accounting software cannot be changed, configured, and customized as easily as the desktop accounting software system.

#6. Integration.

Usually, providers offer accounting software regardless of it is traditional or web-based that is integrated with other software products.