A lot of enterprises have already realised that the cloud is a cost-effective way to access additional services to help their business grow. In fact, 29% of SMEs are already using cloud based accounting services according to the Cloud Industry Forum and by 2013, 20% of cloud based applications will be geared towards accounting and payroll.
The role of financial directors has evolved into more than just balancing the books. They now have to find ways to transform their business from one that is just getting by into an expanding, profitable enterprise.
Cloud-based technology can help businesses get more out of their assets and their people. With cloud accounting packages the functional benefits become clear within a few months and after six months it should be possible to gauge the impact on the finance department and the return on investment to the company as a whole.
Whilst there are many convincing reasons to switch to cloud-based applications, data security is still a major concern for many companies. However, cloud providers are extremely vigilant and their systems could offer better data protection than current internal systems. The only thing to be aware of is that you could be contravening data protection legislation if finance data is stored overseas.
Once you’ve tried out the cloud and seen the benefits, you’ll no doubt want to use it for more of your core IT applications. Flexibility is the name of game and you should be looking for a cloud provider that gives you the freedom to decide what software you want to integrate with your cloud applications.
FDs who pilot cloud accounting will not only be able to judge the benefits from a financial perspective but also lay down the foundations for a more comprehensive cloud-based company strategy in the future.
Are you a financial director who is already using a cloud accounting system? What benefits has it brought to your organisation and has it encouraged you to expand your organisation’s use of the cloud?