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What happens with cloud files when you retire?

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#1
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I'm using Smart Vault alongside DocuSign and generally I'm pleased with it. But each year around this time I give thought to this being my last year, then about July I pay for my software and look forward to the coming tax year. One of my concerns now with all of the cloud storage that we are paying for and all the paperless returns stored there, is what happens when we retire and are no longer paying fees to vendors for that storage?
 

#2
CathysTaxes  
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I believe it goes poof. I know someone who was using Neat scanner and that's what happened to their stuff.

Maybe they offer an archive service.
Cathy
CathysTaxes
 

#3
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I'd either pay for a copy of all records (a lot of vendors offer this, though they may not advertise it--bill.com is an example where they will, for a small fee, archive all invoices and I believe cleared checks) or I would take the time to copy the files and folders to my PC (realistically I already have copies on my PC, anyway, which are also in backups).

Cloud accounting is what would concern me the most. You can still get QBO data to QBD but I do not always expect that to be the case. Other programs force you to run various reports to extract the data.
 

#4
Beagle  
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Unless you can download it, you are supposed to keep paying for the cloud service until your IRS requirements for client storage are met. I don't know about software which has your stuff. I'd guess they keep giving you access to previous data just because you technically paid for it.
 

#5
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The idea of moving to Hawaii to take over a tax practice strikes me as a wonderful idea, as I deal with another NY winter...
 

#6
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What bothers me is that we tell clients that their stuff is up there in their Smart Vault, (it's also on my computer, and mostly in my paper files because I have a hard time removing myself from paper). The really techy clients like the idea of having their documents stored electronically so they don't have to make or store paper copies. I'll have to check with SV and see what they say. I had a client come to be last year who was using a tax preparer that set them up in Smart Vault and I had to set them up with my account. I think we downloaded the stuff from the other preparer to PDF files then imported them to my SV account. I guess one solutio would be to just set up PDF files for each client, download them to thumb drives and hand off that when I no longer want to pay for the storage.
 

#7
ATSMAN  
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I got me a 2TB hard drive and downloaded all my stuff that was "hanging" out there when I closed a cloud account. I used 7z file compression to save on storage space.
 

#8
sjrcpa  
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action- thumb drives will probably be obsolete. :)
 

#9
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You have a point there SJR. When we first moved to Hawaii CD's were all the rage for storage. Then one evening I was checking something on one of them and about half of what should have been there had just gone away. So I checked a few more and found the same thing happening. Luckily I had whatever was supposed to be there on my hard drive so I was able to start again. Who knows just how long thumb drives will last. Oh well, whatever is the rage at the time I actually decide to stop working i what will have to be used.
 

#10
ATSMAN  
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I still have CD's with data from 10 -15 years back and I have one old computer with a functioning CD drive. I hate to waste time to convert them to USB drives because I hardly need to use that data in my daily operations but is good to keep in case something comes up from years back and then I have some documentation.

Few years back one of my clients (born in Canada) but lived most of his adult life in USA decided to move back to Canada to spend his twilight years in his native town in Canada way north (near north pole!). He needed copies of his US tax returns as far as he could go to apply for some Canadian Govt. benefits. Was he a happy man when I provided him with 10 or 12 years of tax returns copies that I prepared!
 

#11
Joan TB  
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I have one old computer with a functioning CD drive.


We bought a stand-alone CD drive that plugs into the computer via USB. Cost was cheap on Amazon.
 

#12
smtcpa  
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You just download everything to a local storage unit.
 

#13
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3 local storage units.
Grandfather father and son.
 

#14
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I have an external CD drive, too. It was cheap and comes in handy since computers no longer have CD drives.
 

#15
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I am no computer expert but would it be a good idea to have files backed up to more than one type of technology?
 

#16
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I have my stuff on the computer, on a Seagate back up system, at the end of the season, I back up my tax files to a thumb drive and now I'm using Smart Vault, so the client's version is backe up there. My concern is more for the client's that want the elecronic version of their returns and really like using Smart Vault, but it's really only available to them as long as I pay for it.
 

#17
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You are under no obligation to provide them with online storage indefinitely. I use Sharefile to exchange files. Sometime after tax season, I am going to disable ex-clients and delete those who have been ex-clients for more than a year. If they still need old returns from me, they can pay for the privilege.
 

#18
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Precisely. I am not going to keep former clients in my portal indefinitely--they'll be deleted after a year or so. If they have not downloaded their copies by that time, they will have to pay me because I also send e-mails with links to the documents, and SPECIFICALLY say they need to immediately save a copy for their records.

As to when I retire or, more likely, sell, I still have all the same files on my computer and in backups, but I am starting to go through and delete anything older than 6-7 years. That is the longest I will keep anything outside of portals.
 

#19
Beagle  
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SumwunLost wrote:I am no computer expert but would it be a good idea to have files backed up to more than one type of technology?


I have everything on a thumb drive (or three) and I also use a cheap piece of software called Resilio (there are alternatives like it). It essentially uses a P2P torrent system to backup in real time whatever you want onto another computer. So everything important on my laptop is stored on my laptop at home and an additional laptop in my office.

If I lose one, I've got other options.
 


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