The pandemic has shown businesses the importance of being proactive rather than reactive going forward, and their finance function needs to play a part in this.
Businesses need to ensure their finance function is utilised efficiently and can deliver real-time information, this will allow a profitability overview and enable them to make decisions faster in order to succeed.
A key tool to allow businesses to view real-time information is cloud-based accounting software. Cloud accounting is the process of storing and inputting financial data online via encrypted software, allowing users with login credentials to view or edit said data. Cloud-based accounting enables users to access the data through the internet anytime and anywhere, allowing for greater flexibility.
There are a number of benefits to cloud accounting, which have become clearer throughout the pandemic. Greater accessibility means that data can be accessed remotely via laptop, tablet, or mobile device, and businesses are not limited to a desktop computer. The pandemic has seen businesses move towards remote working, and using this software allowed for fewer disruptions within the finance function and data to be processed more efficiently. Businesses can also add new users more rapidly making the switch to remote working much smoother.
Cloud accounting allows for integration with other applications and enables users to choose add-ons suited to their business needs that are scalable and can be changed alongside the level of future business growth. Whether you are a small business who can make use of an automated bank feed, post invoices on the go, or a larger entity who wants to wants to track inventory, cloud accounting can be tailored to suit your business needs with a monthly subscription cost that is affordable.
This software has the ability to aid with document collection results, and with the added bonus of reducing paperwork, which was a benefit during lockdown where access to offices was limited. This can also benefit businesses post-lockdown by reducing their carbon footprint.
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Having access to real time financial information, and all the aforementioned benefits, has meant that businesses can cut down on the time taken to complete month end routines. This allows them to compare this data to their budgets, have better cash flow management and make decisions earlier to help with growth. Businesses can instead spend time concentrating on those activities that add value.
As we come out of lockdown and everyone is looking to the future, it is now more important than ever for businesses to review their finance function and ask themselves if now is the time to make a change and improve efficiency.