QuickBooks Online makes invoicing and record keeping a breeze and convenient…BUT it struggles to interface with other Intuit software, most notably Intuit’s tax software. Why a company made a cloud tool that does not work with their other tools seems a bit…dumb. Most accountants even advocate against their clients using QBO.
This creates a tradeoff between convenience and usability. If you go with QuickBooks Desktop, you lose the convenience to access QuickBooks from anywhere and multiple people cannot use it at once. If you go with QBO, you either pay more to your accountant or take the time to manually provide them your data because it's less usable.
What if I told you that you don't need to make this choice?
NextPoint IT has designed a solution that allows you to access QuickBooks Desktop from anywhere and multiple people to work at the same time. For around $550, we can get your QuickBooks systems configured in less than a day. You can use QuickBooks desktop from your home and keep your accountant happy at the same time!
If you’re interested in this solution and your small business is in the Fishers, Carmel, Indianapolis, or Westfield, Indiana area, we’d love to setup a meeting to discuss our solution!
As a small business owner, you’re always looking for ways to cut costs. However, you’re not always a technical expert in a field, and when the bill comes, you’re left wondering what some of the line items mean.
At NextPoint IT, we try to be upfront about our costs and are always willing to breakdown what our invoice means. But we thought it may be helpful to review some common IT billing terms that computer geeks may not immediately recognize:
Endpoint: This is basically a single workstation or computer (laptop, desktop, server). It can also be used refer to mobile devices. The term comes from these devices being an endpoint to a network. IT providers will often charge a monthly fee per endpoint.
RMM: This stands for remote monitoring and management. This is a tool that allows your IT provider to send out patches and updates to ensure your computers to ensure their not vulnerable to attacks from cybercriminals. It also lets them remotely access computers and monitor them in case a computer is slow and needs upgraded. Your small business is basically paying a service to make sure all your computers are up-to-date and protected from known threats.
A/V: This stands for antivirus, and it is always installed on each individual computer. Your IT provider probably charges per endpoint for every device running antivirus. While business grade A/V is a necessary layer of protection for any small business, you don't need to overpay for it.
Firewall: This is a device or software that protects your network from outside attacks…it’s basically acts as a moat around your business, so you can let in your friends while keeping everyone else outside. You'll usually be charged a monthly fee for a network firewall...or it may be looped into your RMM bill.
MSP Services: MSP stands for Managed Service Provider. If you're paying a flat monthly rate for MSP Services, A/V and RMM is probably baked into this rate. But it's probably a good idea to ask your IT provider what is included in this charge if it's not spelled out.
If you think you’re paying too much for IT services, we’d love to talk with you about how we can save you some money. We have clients all throughout central Indiana from Fishers, Carmel, Indianapolis, Kokomo, and Westfield.
Credit: Tim Ludden
The world is weird right now, and we’re all learning to deal with a new normal. It seems like every step is full of risks about yourself and your business.
How will your small business pay the bills? What do you need to do now to avoid running out of cash? How can your employees work at home without exposing your small business to security risks?
NextPoint IT understands these concerns as a small business ourselves. We can’t help you with all of this uncertainty, but we can help ease your worries about managing cybersecurity threats with newly remote employees. You may have relied on an office firewall for the bulk of your cybersecurity, but that’s a useless strategy if you don’t have the right technology for your remote people to connect to your office's network.
NextPoint IT has a business grade package to help protect your business’s remote workers including endpoint antivirus and firewall, proactive monitoring and reporting, web filtering, and more. We can help make sure your business is protected from cybersecurity threats during these uncertain times.
The bad guys know a lot of small business workers are now at home with little to no protection. If you don't talk to NextPoint IT about this risk, you need to talk to another trusted IT partner. As we've all learned, the world is a lot more fragile and susceptible to risk than we previously thought.
We’d love to discuss your SMB’s specific needs. Feel free to contact us about a free consultation especially if your business is in the Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, or Westfield, Indiana area.
As a small business owner, you’re always watching your margins. This means cutting costs with a chainsaw one day and a scalpel the next. But you always want to avoid putting your business at catastrophic risk.
But how do you balance cost-cutting and risk when it comes to cybersecurity?
NextPoint IT has advocated for paying professional IT companies to monitor and maintain your SMB’s security. Honest IT providers are experts who keep up on industry trends, which is critical with the always evolving world of cybersecurity. An IT provider gives you the peace of mind knowing that your small business is well-protected against cyberattacks.
But you may be bootstrapping your business, and you can’t really afford another monthly expense. Maybe it's just you and a few other people? In these situations, NextPoint IT would recommend using Windows Defender on your small business’s computers.
Windows Defender has been rated as a top anti-virus and firewall program by independent test labs for a while now. And it comes free with all Windows 10 computers. Just enter “security” in the Windows search bar, and you’ll be able to open and use it.
The biggest issue with Windows Defender is that you can’t monitor your small business’s security protection from a central dashboard. You must look at scans on each system or rely on employees to report threats. It’s why using an IT provider to monitor things remains the best solution once you begin scaling to 10 or more employees. But Windows Defender is an excellent free solution for smaller businesses that will provide some peace of mind for free.
If you’d like a free consultation or have some questions, NextPoint IT would love to grab coffee with you if you’re in the Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, or Westfield, Indiana region.
January has ended, and so has Windows 7 support, and any computers running Windows 7 will become increasing security liabilities for your small business.
But how do you upgrade to Windows 10 without breaking the bank? Let’s face it, small businesses must manage their expenses to survive, and Microsoft hasn’t always been price sensitive.
If your small business still has some computers on Windows 7, NextPoint IT has great news. You can upgrade to windows 10 with Microsoft’s Windows 10 Media Creation Tool. Just download the tool and run it to upgrade your computer for free.
The tool is simple to use, but if you’re concerned about the process, NextPoint IT would love to help out. If your small business is in the Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, or Westfield, Indiana area, we’re always willing to speak to you about any IT project.
As a small business owner, you’ve probably heard that phishing is a risk, but you may not be fully aware of what risks it presents. As we’ve discussed before, small businesses are tempting targets for cyber criminals including phishers. Cybersecurity is a necessity for all sizes of businesses and not only for enterprises.
How does phishing work?
When you boil phishing down, it’s simply a virtual version of a con game. Phishers try to convince someone to do something by tricking them into trusting the phisher. They want you to click a link to install malicious software or ransomware with the goal of stealing sensitive financial information, ransoming locked files and data, or any other number of nefarious purposes. They do this by making you think they’re someone who can be trusted.
What tricks do phishers use?
Phishers no longer pretend to be Nigerian princes and have become a lot more sophisticated.
When they target employees of a business, phishers may pretend to be the business’s HR department talking about changes to PTO or benefits. They may also pretend to be a vendor sending an overdue invoice or act like a client asking a question.
Some of the top phishing subject lines from 2019 seem like everyday business emails. You could easily imagine how one of your employees may think one of these emails is real.
What can your small business do?
As a small business owner, you should take the threat of phishing seriously. You need to view investment in cybersecurity like insurance. You’re paying money (or time) to protect your small business against catastrophic risk. Your business may never catch fire, but you still have building insurance. In the same way, your business may never be hacked, but you should still protect it from hackers.
At the end of the day, you’ll never be 100% protected from phishing (or any cybersecurity threat), but you can increase your small business’s odds of preventing an attack.
We’d love to talk more about phishing especially if you’re in the Fishers, Carmel, Indianapolis, or Westfield, Indiana area. Just contact us, and we’ll setup a time to meet.
Credit: Tim Ludden
IT and computer support is often viewed as a utility by small business owners and the IT providers themselves. But as IT has evolved over the past decade, it's evolved into more of a service.
However, the word service is thrown around a lot today, and most IT professionals really use it as another way of saying "utility." But a service is more than providing the nuts and bolts of networking, security, break/fix, data migration, disaster recovery, etc. It requires working with a small business to understand its short and long-term goals, and then designing a whole suite of technology solutions that empower the small business to meet their short and long-term goals.
IT providers often skip this step and jump right into problem solving or offering solutions for the cheapest dollar figure. But it's critical for the IT provider to act as a partner and understanding their client's business objectives. If they don't, their clients technology will always be one or two steps behind where it should be heading. Small business owners need to see their IT providers as partners, and IT providers need to work with their clients to understand how technology can boost their business strategies.
If you'd like to read more about this, we highly recommend Doug Tedder's insightful piece here.
And feel free to contact us if you'd like to discuss your small business's objectives and how NextPoint IT can design your technology to achieve them!
Credit: Tim Ludden