Whether you are part of a finance team or a company owner, the introduction of cloud based accounting software can revolutionise the way you do business. It can transform the platforms on which you record your business’s financial information as well as the way in which you can collaborate with your customers/clients, employees, suppliers and accountant. Not only can you make your finance function more efficient, you can also improve cashflow at the same time.
All very interesting I hear you say, but you’re talking about accounting software, how can accounting software manage all my business processes?
Business process management software allow organisations to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business and automate many back office functions. Traditionally, however, even low end systems can cost businesses £20-£50k to implement and £10-£20k per annum for maintenance, making such systems prohibitive for many SME’s.
Cloud to the rescue
Through the cloud, you can now access systems and processes that were previously out of reach for most SMEs. Low cost, subscription-based, cloud-based, bookkeeping systems with the availability to add on integrated software products can effectively turn your accounting system into a business process management system, that really fits the needs of your business, without the significant cost of a traditional system.
The cloud also allows business to be undertaken in a paperless fashion. Information such as employee data; payslips; expense claims; purchase orders for materials; supplier invoices; sales quotes; sales invoices; contract documentation etc. can all be sent via (and stored on) the cloud. This means that real-time information can be accessed from anywhere.
What are the key benefits of cloud accounting?
- No initial capital outlay for software.
- No more backing up data or paying to upgrade the software – your data is stored securely in the cloud and you will always have the latest version of your accounting software.
- Multi-user online access to real time data from anywhere.
- Built-in dashboards (and the ability to customise your own dashboards) allow you to easily access the financial information you require at the touch of a button.
- Save time with the ability to integrate with other applications and automate data capture.
- Ability to easily add industry specific applications which link to your accounting software to manage all your business processes.
- Operate completely or partially paperless.
- Improve your cashflow.
- Easier collaboration with employees, suppliers, customers and your accountant.
- Mobile access to record expenses on the go.
Key things to think about when considering implementing cloud solutions:
- What is your budget to spend on software, implementation and training?
- What are your business processes and are there ways that you can automate these processes through technology?
- What are the key reporting metrics you need to see so that the software can be set up to allow you to understand the performance of the business easily?
- Who needs access to the system and what user rights will they require? e.g. an employee could have access to submit an expense claim without access to do anything else.
For more information contact Steve Mitchell, Partner, firstname.lastname@example.org or your usual AAB contact.