When we first started using the cloud, we only knew how to download cloud-based books. Then, gradually we started storing pictures and media on the cloud, and then, everything. Just like that, in a few years, we started storing everything on the cloud. Now, it has become a tool on which multiple products are developed, delivered, and operated. Today, multiple software offers cloud-enabled execution such as QuickBooks online.
However, all this is only useful when we understand the worth of these cloud-based tools; we understand how to utilize these tools to streamline office workflows.
For many years, we have observed finance teams enter data manually. From sales and purchase invoices to bank statements, everything is manually processed. Is it possible to automate these tasks? Is it possible to move data to the cloud for any time, anywhere access?
Let’s find out.
In this article, we will discuss how we can streamline accounting and finance with the help of the cloud.
How Cloud Streamlines Accounting and Finance
With the help of accounting cloud-based applications such as hosted QuickBooks, the entire process of accounting can be streamlined. Your accounting professionals can directly input invoice details to the cloud software – even when they are not in the office.
In fact, most of the cloud-based accounting software can collect data automatically from your accounts and directly input it; without wasting the additional time of your accounting team.
Do you also wish to understand how accounting can be streamlined with the cloud?
Here’s how all these functionalities can be utilized using cloud software.
When an organization is growing, its need for information also enhances. With this, it is obvious that challenges become prominent and financial management becomes a daunting task. The exponential growth forces accounting firms to acknowledge the intimidating need for new efficient solutions to satisfy the functional and operational requirements of the business.
At this stage, automation of standard business processes (Including accounting and finance) can reduce the growth pains. Software-as-a-Service enabled (or cloud-based) accounting solutions can help in automating accounting tasks that are manually handled in the workplace.
This means that rather than rushing your documents to the finance units, you can orchestrate processes. It includes being able to accurately execute tasks such as maintaining correct approval hierarchies, proper data management, etc.
In a way, the cloud enables the finance unit to collaborate with internal stakeholders through automation and its ability to offer regular data analytics. As a result, these organizations are able to improvise their decision-making and improve the execution of department-critical procedures. Simply put, cloud accounting can increase efficiency without conceding your information integrity.
However, it is necessary to ensure that the technology utilized for accounting and finance is robust, intuitive, and scalable. This tech should be user-friendly so that your team is able to utilize it without a major need for training.
2. Secure Access
It is not unlikely for small and medium organizations to obtain benefit from a distributed management process structure, which has multiple approval processes and automation gears. However, these process modifications also increase concerns of financial data; what data you should share with stakeholders of the organization.
If, by mistake, the confidential and sensitive information lands in dishonest hands, your business can face grave problems.
Cloud technology has empowered organizations to place meticulous user roles that enable only authorized personnel to access data files. These limitations also support workplace hierarchies, approval pyramids, and internal organizational rules. This means that not only the approval mechanism or hierarchies are seamlessly improved but also financial structure is enhanced.
These hierarchies and workflows appropriately help in managing and streamlining the approval cycle inside the organization. For instance, only authorized professionals will be allowed to view requisitions of a department. Further, professionals sitting just above this hierarchy will be able to review and approve these requisitions.
In this manner, a complete hierarchy and access structure of the accounting and finance department is restructured for secure data and information access across the workplace.
3. Automated Backup
Your on-premise data storage units are more susceptible to threats and theft. Even when a server goes down, it becomes the responsibility of the team to load backup and maintain work continuity. Something, which is easier said than done.
In reality, a full team is employed to regularly ensure backups and overlook the security health of systems.
With the cloud, although the data is placed on a third-party server, most of the third-party servers place strong security measures including regular backups.
If you look at it, then security is actually achieved with a quality IT environment and strong internal/external compliance and security structure. Undoubtedly, cloud computing helps accounting and finance firms to embrace a strong compliance foundation. Most of the time, you can even check the clear strategies of the provider and their Service Level Agreement (SLAs) for clarification. This can help you understand how the provider is willing to fulfil customer expectations.
Overall, cloud computing helps in protecting the integrity of your data and your customer’s sensitive data by reducing data loss probabilities. This includes minimizing security breaches and improving the backup cycle of the entire data. As soon as a server at the cloud server goes down, you won’t even realize and the backup of your data will be made available almost immediately.
With this, customer data segregation is also implemented by the cloud to ensure the separation of your data from some other organization’s data for complete integrity and security.
Any growing organization needs to scale. Without the cloud, your accounting and finance sector would need to keep adding on-premise tech elements for better, improved functioning. This directly indicates more money, more management – and more hassle.
The cloud can help you streamline accounting and finance even with increasing storage and management requirements. You can scale your storage anytime you want. You will be charged based on cost. This doesn’t have to increase your technology-based infrastructure because you will get remote storage without the trouble of management.
As the workforce increase, you need to manage field employees and even hire some remote employees. Many employees may have to remotely work from time-to-time.
Managing work under such circumstances is not possible with on-premise accounting software. This clearly means that your employees and business data will be far away from each other, making it extremely difficult to get work done.
Cloud’s basic advantage is anytime, anywhere access. This empowers your employees to utilize their hand-held devices, access data over the internet from any device, and collaborate with team members.
Without the ability to access data, collaboration is severely crippled. When collaboration is broken, it is practically impossible to streamline accounting activities. This is why cloud-based SaaS products are used to securely access data from anywhere.
We can’t deny the fact that the accounting and finance industry is changing, and we need to change with it. Without the ability to access cloud or data remotely, it is not possible to streamline accounting and finance processes in the long-term. At some point in the future, the need for cloud will arise.
So, why not start the implementation now to utilize the best of cloud computing?