Friday, April 18, 2014

Who really is in control of your accounting data?

As an IT consultant I find my approach to assisting clients is vastly different from many other industries. When I set a client up with a domain or hosting, I work with the client and set everything up under their name or their business name. I don't control anything and the client is not tied back to me in any way. The client is free to use my services or use the services of anyone else they wish to.

I read this article ( recently which is how a business found they did not have control over their own Xero account, but it was the reseller who had all the rights. This business thought they were in control and even paid the subscription direct to Xero. The only way they could get control back over their own data was to pay a fee. You can see the business blamed themselves for not reading the agreement but I've found suppliers know exactly what they're providing, what they have control over, and know this gives them leverage over their clients. It is their business model and is a very common approach used to retain customers.

An example of one issue I came across whilst helping a client with their domain that had been registered through WebCentral, was the client did not have access and control over to their domain. The previous supplier who set up the domain was a reseller for WebCentral. WebCentral could do nothing to assist the client and their real client was the reseller and not the business the domain was registered for. The only way around this problem was to transfer the domain away from WebCentral. In another case (not with WebCentral) the contact details wasn't the client's but the web developer that registered the domain for the client. It took about seven hours to recover control over the domain.

If you're setting up a domain, hosting, or using a cloud based service, don't fall for the trap of signing up through a reseller. Sign up direct. The relationship you have with a supplier today may be great but you don't know what it will be like in the future. Where possible you should retain control over the services your business requires, or otherwise you may find down the track you've set yourself up for a considerable cost and inconvenience.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for IT support.

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