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Accounting

3 Advantages of Cloud Accounting Solutions


by FEI Daily Staff

Despite significant advancements in cloud based technology, many continue to be hesitant about working with accounting software in a cloud environment.

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The technology certainly had its rough spots in its early days but today it’s comparable (and arguably better) to work with cloud-based software rather than locally installed software. I believe it’s often a lack of time that feeds our procrastination (or pushes this type of thing lower on our list of priorities) and prevents us from making significant changes.

I don’t pretend to know what’s right for every organization, but I do believe in educating my peers so that they have a good understanding of the options available and why they should consider cloud-based accounting software as a potential solution for their organization.

Take a look at this list and consider the bullet points when you choose your next software accounting system and its platform. You’ll recognize that each bullet offers you a clear opportunity to see how it would impact your ROI for the purchase.

ROI of Cloud Accounting Software

  1. Time
  • It’s back to that lack of time. Most of us have been through difficult, painful software installations and integrations and are sensitive to making any type of change, cloud or not. If you knew you could be up and running in a matter of hours or days, might that matter?
  • Cloud-enabled software can relieve you of the headache of installing anything with the added bonus of time saving as updates to the application are seamless and there is no need to for downtime or staff time to implement and test the program.
  • With cloud accounting software requiring no IT or Accounting staff to implement, you can also save time by doing a hands-on analysis of the software you’re considering, often at no cost for trial access. Time you may have spent doing on-site visits with other users can now be put toward actually utilizing the software yourself to determine if it meets your needs.
  • Creating backups of your data are an integral part of most cloud software applications. You set the backup timing and it happens. There’s no need (or expense) to shuttle tapes or other media to an off-site storage facility at daily or weekly intervals.
  1. Money
  • Time is money and you can easily quantify the time saved from not having to do an installation or updates for both your team and IT.
  • CAPEX is where cloud software can instantly make an impact. If you’re running a dedicated server for your budget or accounting software, that money will go back into your pocket where it would be available for other expenditures.
  • Low entry cost – When choosing cloud software your start-up costs are greatly reduced over the cost of purchasing licenses for the software. With SaaS you subscribe to have access the cloud software. There is no high initial price that you need to budget and plan for.
  • Predictable costs – Subscription plans allow you to budget precisely the cost you’ll need to use the software. Updates are typically embedded in the subscription rate and you won’t be stuck with last year’s edition of anything.
  • Having secure data is priceless. With cloud accounting software you’ll be assured that a copy of your latest budget or client list doesn’t fall into the wrong hands if a laptop is misplaced.
  1. Flexibility
  • If you’re considering a SaaS Accounting product, you can have your ERP system feed to both your current system and the SaaS software, essentially allowing parallel testing. If it’s a ‘go’, you just continue using the cloud software.
  • You may have an opportunity to quickly grow your company. Cloud accounting software gives you the flexibility to be scalable for whenever that time comes.
  • Mobility and collaboration among your team can grow exponentially. Having the flexibility to allow your team to work off-site could lower your real estate costs and increase your ability to attract and maintain great talent.
Software purchase considerations go beyond their calculated return on investment. You’ll also consider ease of use, training, software support, reputation of the software vendor and a myriad of other items. However, if you use Google, Evernote, Basecamp and other on-line tools, you’re already working successfully in a cloud environment.   While it may seem daunting to rely on a cloud-based application to manage your financials, consider the significant ROI outlined here to empower your accounting and finance professionals with a flexible, easy to use and scalable tool to drive more strategic decision making and ensure the financial health of your organization.

 

John Orlando is CFO of Centage Corporation.