I think remote access is GREAT! I installed Logmein (the free version) on the computer in my office. When I was on a ski trip and needed something, I could log into my computer to access it. As long as the computer is turned on, I could access anything on it as if I were sitting right in front of it! So, if you want to access QuickBooks from home (or Outlook or anything), just leave the computer turned on and you can get to it.
In my business, I use remote access to work with clients nationwide. I help them with trouble shooting QuickBooks, setting it up or training clients on the proper way to enter transactions. I usually use WebEx (from within QuickBooks Premier Accountant Edition) and have meetings with the client. I’ll send them an email invite, they click on a link to download the application and grant me access to their QuickBooks. Since I’m using their QuickBooks, I don’t need to worry about whether I have the same year of QuickBooks or not. When our remote session is over, I no longer have access to their system. It works great!
Once, I had a client who really wanted a training session (she was going to have a baby REAL soon and need to get some things done), but I was on vacation. I needed a break from the beach and sun, so I went in to the condo, logged into her computer remotely and was able to have a consultation with her. She was thrilled and I was glad that I could help her! Remote access makes it possible to serve clients from anywhere you have an internet connection!
If a client is using QuickBooks for Mac, then I have them install Logmein Free and use my name as the password so that I can log in via their account. Then, when we’re finished with our session, I have them change the password back so I no longer have access–this protects me and reassures the client.
In addition to Logmein, you could use PCAnywhere, GotomyPC or a number of other remote access services. But, I encourage you to try remote access–it can make you much more productive and efficient. If you have access to 2 computers, have a ‘remote’ session with yourself so you can see how it works and feel more comfortable using it. Once you get used to it–you’ll wonder how you lived without it!