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Remote desktop - recommendations and advice

Remote desktop to complete a VAT return (via clients own Sage)

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I'm in a high risk group for this coronavirus malarkey so effectively on lockdown for the foreseeable. Clients ok with it, they can all drop papers off to my home office easily and are happy to do so.

Just have one whose books I work on at his house via his own sage (not cloudy!) and am due there next week for the VAT period end Feb.   Don’t want to let him down if I can avoid it but need to protect myself given my current health position.

Looking at the possibility of remote access to his PC, assuming he is ok with that, then I can boot up sage and just get on with the work.   Looking at several possibilities but the one that seems to come out on top is Chrome Remote Desktop.    We both have windows desktop.

Just looking for any advice/comments re ease of set up and use/anything to watch out for/other ideas please (for two complete techie numpties - client and myself!).

 

Replies (28)

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By Moonbeam
17th Mar 2020 17:07

I just wonder about the risk of leafing through his paperwork. I shall be insisting for the time being that my one client that gives me paperwork scans it to me.

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Replying to Moonbeam:
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By Cheshire
17th Mar 2020 17:17

Good point Moonbeam,thank you. I was trying to find out the length of time the virus remains on paper, 3-5 days is what Im reading, so leaving it that long as a minimum, then gloving and masking up and a mass dis-infect the place down afterwards.

May be its time I took that early retirement!

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Replying to Cheshire:
By Moonbeam
17th Mar 2020 20:56

Interesting news about the 3-5 days. That's a very long time indeed.

Reinforces my desire just to deal with pdf's.

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By kevinread
17th Mar 2020 22:02

We use Mikogo https://www.mikogo.com/

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By Cheshire
18th Mar 2020 08:25

Thanks Kevin, I will take a look at that.

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Replying to Cheshire:
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By legerman
18th Mar 2020 11:02

Cheshire wrote:

Thanks Kevin, I will take a look at that.

A very similar product is Anydesk, which I use. Never used the Chrome one although I have heard of it.

If you need any tech help give me a call, will help if I can.

Hope everything goes well for you and you've stocked up on the Martini Expresso's :-)

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Replying to legerman:
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By Cheshire
18th Mar 2020 12:56

Ahhh, thanks John, I may just be mithering you! Just waiting for a call back form my client.

I have the means to make plenty plenty espresso martinis.....plus Baileys is on offer as its almost Mother's day!

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By pauljohnston
18th Mar 2020 10:45

How about Remote Desktop Application part of Windows. It does need the client to do something but if you bare the cost (We paid £59 plus VAT to computer expert) it may save you considerable time in future

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Replying to pauljohnston:
By SteveHa
18th Mar 2020 11:34

I'm setting my office desktop up to accept remote desktop from home. First test yesterday failed at logging in, and whilst I think I've got it working now (can't test properly until tonight), whilst in some cases it may be trivial, there are instances where you have to jump into Group Policy, which can be complicated if the user of the host computer is not technically minded.

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By Cheshire
18th Mar 2020 13:00

''user of the host computer is not technically minded''

This is absolutely the case Ste - on both sides of the fence! Are you using the windows option? Let me know if you are successful.

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Replying to Cheshire:
By SteveHa
18th Mar 2020 13:03

I've successfully connected from my tablet this morning (using the Windows option on the host). I have no reason to think it won't work from my desktop computer.

I should have mentioned, though, as well as setting it up on the host machine, the host machine owner is also likely to need to set up port forwarding on their router.

It's probably less trivial than I was thinking, but then I'm a geek and take some things for granted.

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Replying to SteveHa:
By SteveHa
18th Mar 2020 18:24

Weird replying to myself, but I'm at home on a Linux machine connected to my work Windows 10 desktop running this using Windows built in RDP, and tested with both xfreerdb and Remmina and it's now working fine. Screen refresh is slow, but working is just fine.

As I said, a couple of hoops (disabling Network Level Authentication which is a group Policy change) and getting the port forwarding right (I forward a different port than the RDP, which will allow me to set up the other machines for remote desktop if required). Most people with some technical knowledge could handle it, but trying to talk a Luddite through it from the client side to server side could cause some issues.

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Replying to SteveHa:
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By Cheshire
19th Mar 2020 12:25

So glad you managed to get yours sorted. Im still waiting for my client to get back to me but as I will have a luddite at either end of the operation I think this might be step too far, but certainly appreciate your advice. (My son could do it all in 2 minutes if only he could be in the same room and not touch anything!)

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Replying to pauljohnston:
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By Cheshire
18th Mar 2020 12:58

Thanks Paul
I clocked that one last night, but must admit the instructions looked a wee bit too confusing for my little old brain. I would need to tap into a computer expert and dont mind bearing the cost!

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By bob_the_apple
18th Mar 2020 15:06

Hi

We use TeamViewer all the time.

Very simple and versatile tool:

https://www.teamviewer.com/en/

BTA.

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Replying to bob_the_apple:
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By WhichTyler
18th Mar 2020 20:53

+1 for team viewer, the far end doesnt need to set up an account and its easy to use

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Replying to bob_the_apple:
Pile of Stones
By Beach Accountancy
19th Mar 2020 17:24

Teamviewer for me too - a bit slow, but it works and is not too technical to set up

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By johnhemming
18th Mar 2020 19:39

I use Chrome remote desktop within my organisation. However, I use the remote access function which enables access at any time. You may wish to use the support option. I have not tried that myself.

For supporting clients I use windows remote support which works well between windows machines.

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By carnmores
18th Mar 2020 22:38

I'm with Mr Hemming

i've used most of them in my time - gotomypc - logmein - teamviewer - windows (pro only) - now i use the free google chrome remote facility works great and free

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By Duggimon
19th Mar 2020 09:07

Another vote for Google, free to use, licensed for business use as well (which the free versions of the other alternatives are not, except Windows RDP) and super easy to set up.

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By Nick Miller HDUK
19th Mar 2020 09:43

Good Morning,

I would be happy to chat and advise the best solutions for your current remote desktop needs, we are the largest hosted desktop company that provide remote desktops to accountancy sector, please feel free to give me a call on 07534210847 or e-mail your details to [email protected].

In light on the current situation, we are extremely busy and have already assisted and set up many customers this week who are in your current situation.

Again any other accountancy who wishes for advice or help feel free to give me a call or drop me a e-mail.

Stay safe

Regards,

Nick Miller

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By Nick Miller HDUK
19th Mar 2020 10:02

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By libraBE
19th Mar 2020 10:07

If it's a one off event, and your client can refrain from his sage during the process, just get him to email you a current backup of his data and deliver all hard copy. You restore the data at home, process the input, make a new backup and email back to him, which he restores then carries on as usual. Least techy version I can think of.

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By Cheshire
19th Mar 2020 12:28

Thank you to everyone who has responded. Plenty of options, just waiting on client to contact me back now.

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Sarah Douglas - HouseTree Business Ltd
By sarah douglas
20th Mar 2020 01:43

We have always used Go to my PC for sage clients not using Sage Drive as we have client manager very reliable

https://get.gotomypc.com/

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Morph
By kevinringer
20th Mar 2020 14:26

All versions of Sage desktop for the last 5 years have SageDrive which enables the client to share their data with you. I've been using it for 5 years. It is free and (as far as I can figure out) secure. Tell your client to follow the instructions at https://ask.sage.co.uk/scripts/ask.cfg/php.exe/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faq... . These are the v26 instructions. Then you follow the instructions at https://ask.sage.co.uk/scripts/ask.cfg/php.exe/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faq.... Once in place your copy of the data will remain in sync with your client. Any transactions your client inputs will appear on your data and any you input will appear on their data. If the client's licence is single user you won't both be able to be in the data at the same time.

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Replying to kevinringer:
By Moonbeam
20th Mar 2020 14:34

Sagedrive is fantastic except when it doesn't work properly, in my very bitter experience. Then all hell breaks loose and you won't get any decent support from Sage.
But maybe you'll be lucky

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Morph
By kevinringer
20th Mar 2020 14:30

My understanding is the virus lasts on paper for a few hours. See https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses which is vague. Articles such as https://www.livescience.com/how-long-coronavirus-last-surfaces.html are more precise but from less trusted sources. Our office remains open for the time being with most staff at home. There are no confirmed cases of the virus in our county. Incoming records are left where they are overnight then dealt with the next day.

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