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Green Computing – The Next Big Step for Accountants Using QuickBooks!

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The Need for Green

EIA (Energy Information Administration) in a recent report stated that almost 98% of the carbon dioxide released in the atmosphere is from energy consumption. The major contributors to such extensive energy consumption are the commercial and industrial sectors.
(Source: http://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/ghg_report/ghg_carbon.cfm)

The amount of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere is leading to the potential global warming risks and if not controlled, it will reach to an alarming level where the very existence of the Earth is threatened.

How Are Most Accountants Currently Contributing Towards a Green Environment?

Following continuous emphasis on Green IT to lower the deadly impact of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, many industries have started to consider moving to a Greener infrastructure. In some form or the other, every professional is responsible for the increasing global temperature and thus, every person owes his set of responsibilities to make the environment better. And so do accountants!

The first step has already been taken by the accountants. Wondering what? Well, let’s trace the history. Earlier, bookkeeping was a tedious activity in which the accountants had to place all records on paper in their ledger books and loads of such books used to pile up over the years. As we know, paper comes from trees which are the biggest consumers of the harmful carbon dioxide emissions and also highest producers of life-saving oxygen. Imagine how many trees would have been wasted on producing that amount of paper?

The emergence of QuickBooks back in the 90’s had brought about a revolution in the field of accounting technology. Accountants gradually started moving to this software application. The easy-to-use interface and the simplicity in operations even today have been the major reasons accountants prefer to use QuickBooks software for managing all the financial information and reports. This move has successfully saved a lot of paper thereby contributing to a better and Greener future. But what’s still missing?

Understand Where You Are!

Users of technology are placed at varied levels depending on their resource consumption. Find out where you stand:
• Level 0: Single user working on Personal Computer
• Level 1: In-house server with various users utilizing its data space and functionalities
• Level 2: Dedicated Virtual Server
• Level 3: Cloud Virtualization
(Source: http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/78813/aj18_en.pdf)

What’s the 2nd Step that Accountants Using QuickBooks Still Have to Take?

QuickBooks as a software requires a lot of resources as and when you move to the newer and well-supported versions. CPAs or accountants working in a team generally need a common network where they can place all their QB files and can update the data simultaneously in the relevant files. Setting up such type of environment generally involves a server and intense IT infrastructure and maintenance. This infrastructure will definitely consume power for its functionality and also for cooling due to the massive amount of heat it emits into the atmosphere. The worst part may be that the server might not even be completely utilized for these business operations.

Considering the sum total of utilization of various such under-utilized server implementations, it wouldn’t be surprising if we end up finding that the total used resources are equivalent to one server usage but the power consumption is manifold and so is the carbon dioxide produced. This is the point where accountants can make their next big move – Move to cloud with QuickBooks Hosting.

What’s this? It’s a platform that is located remotely and is managed by some third-party provider. The users only need to have a device that runs seamlessly with internet. All data and operations are to be performed remotely on this server that offers immense speed, security and resource utilization to these accountants. This will not only save accountants the trouble of dealing with the IT issues in their system but will also serve as a cost-effective option for them. As for the service providers, they can study the user access patterns and optimize the functionality and data space allocation on the servers accordingly. Since users don’t have any extra equipment at their place, they can do their bit by saving emission of loads of heat and excessive power consumption. Besides, any extension in accounting requirements can be easily accommodated in such a flexible work environment.

It’s the need of the hour. Though accountants are showing movements towards cloud hosting solutions, yet they need to increase their pace and make their contributions towards a Greener Earth before it’s too late.

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