There are many reasons businesses are turning to cloud-based software for many of their core functions: Flexibility, scalability, and better collaboration are some of the more well-known ones. Many of these reasons fail to impress the average Chief Financial Officer (CFO), however. Which raises the question: Can moving financial processes to cloud-based software provides benefits that even a CFO would love?
In short, the answer is “yes.” Indeed, the cloud seems to be made precisely for the sorts of challenges that make CFOs grind their teeth.
Today’s CFO and Cloud-Based Software
Here are seven benefits of the cloud:
Better Financial Visibility
Old, on-premise software typically uses batch processing (either nightly, weekly, or monthly) to pick up transactions, post them to your ledgers, reconcile, and so on. In new cloud-based applications, changes propagate throughout the system as soon as transactions are entered and approved. This sort of real-time updating means better reporting and visibility, which in turn makes spotting problems and making decisions easier.
Cloud applications are created by companies whose bread-and-butter is functional, secure software. That means most companies invest heavily in security, from secure data centers to backup procedures bordering on the religious. Your sensitive financial data will actually be more secure with a cloud-based service than on your own in-house servers.
No Costly Upgrades or Infrastructure
Most organizations need to upgrade their applications and infrastructure about every three years to stay current with their vendors’ latest releases. That means extra costs, not only for the software itself but in terms of downtime and training, and while IT spends months upgrading your systems, they are not focusing on key organizational objectives — and neither are you.
Less End-User Training
Did we mention training? Most cloud-based software is built with best practices in mind with regard to user experience and usability. They can run on platforms users are already experienced with (desktop and mobile web browsers) and feature intuitive interfaces and online documentation. The benefit is that your organization can save money that would otherwise be spent on training end-users.
When you install traditional on-premise software, the installation becomes unique to your organization: You chose the hardware and the OS to run it on, how to configure the database and servers, and what version to use. These decisions combine to make your installation unique — or at least one of several thousand possibilities. This, in turn, makes it difficult for your vendor to provide support, meaning that your own in-house IT team needs to be larger. With cloud-based applications, everyone works with the same version at the same time. Issues are detected, fixed, and deployed globally. The result is a system that works consistently without you devoting significant working hours to it.
Most cloud-based systems have a “common architecture” that makes it easier to share data and achieve integration across applications. For example, a financial software can be much more easily integrated with order and shopping cart software, warehouse management software, enterprise ERPs, and so on. This cuts down on human error and streamlines processes.
Chaos is what you get when everything allows for an exception. Having one standard version of a piece of software, with a single central database, helps you keep things standardized and in accord with best practices.
Make the Switch to the Cloud Today
Explore for yourself and compare cloud-based solutions for your organization. If you have any questions or would like to dive deeper into our products, contact the experts at Nuage Consulting Group for a consultation or product tour.