Today it is time to look at the connectivity of your financial tools. Most of us have digitalized several aspects of our business. And it is challenging to find finance professionals who won’t agree that the ERP system is the heart of the financial department. But for many years, the belief was that only large companies needed an ERP system. Enter digitalization, the online consumer, and the fact that Financial data is messy – now, most companies can’t imagine working without it. Instead, cloud and software add-ons are the new rages and whether the shift is needed in every organization today.

When we see big ERP systems and accounting systems like Sage, Xero, and Quickbooks transforming to a cloud system. Furthermore, many of them are creating a marketplace for add-ons. Therefore, it is clear that we in finance need to look at the why. Why are so many systems moving to the Cloud, and how does it affect the finance function’s workflow?

Integrations, data transfer, dataflow, single source of truth – call it what you will, but make sure you have it in 2023

Besides Cloud’s known advantages, a big part of its relevance today is its integration possibilities. Extensive tidying and modification are still happening once your financial data is exported from your ERP system. Preparing and transforming financial data for analysis is manual and time-consuming. Furthermore,  it creates an opening for your data to lose its credibility. Here, the integration of add-on software to your cloud ERP system can increase the trust and confidence in your reporting.

If there is something we can’t stress enough, it is the value data brings to both business development and success. We are proud of being the people behind the numbers; we value the accuracy of numbers, reports, and much more. It is not always up to a single person in finance to decide on digitalizing, but the power of argumentation has never lost its value. Let’s support the argumentation with the promise of accurate numbers.

It is still time-consuming to sort and manipulate your data and choose everything you need to create streamlined group reporting. Your stakeholders might make business decisions based on insufficient data. However, you won’t let them with a digital, faster, and more accurate data preparation process. Automating these manual processes help your team reduce mistakes and find errors faster. As a result, you can improve operational efficiencies right away. With the move to cloud ERP systems, it gets easier and easier to streamline processes via integrations.

Plug-and-play niche products that complete your deliverables

The more digitalized the rest of your company is, the more you’re growing out of manipulating financial data in Excel. Instead, niche software, ideal for collecting and combining data flows, becomes relevant. Plug-and-play software is an excellent way to start. In going digital and automating your processes, you can still use Excel to manipulate smaller amounts of data. But if you are honest, how much do you want to take over another person’s finance sheet? It is the first thing you see changed when a new CFO takes over; they create a new spreadsheet fitted to the spreadsheet owner and their calculations. A plug-and-play software intends to work seamlessly with its first use or connection, without adjustment or reconfiguration needed by anyone from your company. Plug-and-play niche products start adding value when you want a complete financial work process from data collection to reporting. So if you are using Cloud ERP today, simply test if your deliverables will improve with an added plug-and-play solution.

XERO FREE TRIAL: Cut process time from hours or even days to minutes.

If you are a Xero Cloud ERP user, you can now test how easy it is to move your consolidation away from Excel or other heavy consolidation software. You get a standardized and straightforward plug-and-play software that contains all elements for financial consolidation.

Building confidence in financial data and reporting is everything when performing as a strategic partner to the entire enterprise. If there is something we can’t stress enough in the finance function, it is the value data brings to both business development and success. With prepared financial data that builds credibility with your stakeholders, your team can focus on higher-value work like analysis and forecasting instead of manual tasks. Instead of struggling with a time-consuming manual consolidation process in Excel, integrate your cloud ERP system with plug-and-play software like Konsolidator, and cut process time to minutes. In just 7 minutes, you can upload financial data from the entire Group and efficiently manage the complete consolidation process. With a single click, your trial balances are synced from your Cloud ERP systems to Konsolidator. Even if your Group uses different ERP systems, you can upload all your financial data from the entire Group within seconds.

Are you using Cloud Sage, FortKnox, or Quickbooks?

Our free trial will soon be available for Sage, FortKnox, Quickbooks, and e-conomics. Book a meeting, and our team can guide you.  

Cloud Technology: What is holding you back? 

72% of CFOs across sectors see the implementation of cloud-based applications as a pressing need in their company. You might be one of them. And there are many reasons for you to move your financial consolidation process to the cloud. Time, scalability, error tracking, automation, standardization, and accessibility, to mention a few. But as with anything else, you should always make an informed decision before you choose your solution.

IS YOUR CONCERN ABOUT ADOPTING THE CLOUD TURNING INTO A MISCONCEPTION?

Before adopting the cloud investigate the concerns you have. But make sure you are not keeping your team from exploring their true capabilities and are wasting time on manual processes due to misconceptions. Misconceptions can stop you from focusing on the advantages the right solution can give you. Thus, let us look at two factors that currently keep finance teams from moving to the intangible cloud from the known Excel.

 

MISCONCEPTION #1: SIMPLICITY VS. COMPLEXITY – SAVE UP TO 75% OF YOUR TIME.

Are you using manual data entry in your financial consolidation statements? Then it is probably fair to say that you also use an unnecessary amount of time to track down errors during the closing process. Any good software can save you up to 75% of the time used now by making the process automated and standardized. Still, implementing new technology or software can seem complex. And getting your entire finance team to adopt new software and move away from Excel can (and should) raise a concern regarding complexity. Though, in the context of simplicity vs complexity – is the known, always the most simple? Excel is definitely a tool you know and use in finance. However, the time and resources finance teams globally use on large and complex reporting are not simple. In particular, if better tools and software exist, which can save you influential time.

Tip:

When looking for cloud software, look for a company created by financial controllers or CFOs who know the day-to-day challenges.

According to several CFOs, this misconception in their team halts their movement to the cloud. But the best cloud software is simple to use – and enables the finance team. A cloud solution should not be too complicated but ensures consistency and draws data from the programs already used in the company.

 

MISCONCEPTION #2: CLOUD VS. ON-PREMISE: DATA SECURITY

With the increase of disruptive technology in business, some of the most trending topics in finance concern data security, cyber-attacks, and lack of access control. Perceived intangible solutions like the cloud vs tangible solutions like on-premise infrastructure can create confusion about data security. One short answer to this is: there is always a risk of cyber-attack with both solutions.

FACT:

Even Pentagon is converting to a cloud-based solution.

However, it is a misconception to say that on-premise is always more secure than cloud technology. 61% of IT and security specialists believed cloud applications to be safer than on-premises. Your data is backed up and protected in a safe location by people whose only focus is to secure your data. E.g., Microsoft Azure has over 3.500 global security experts working together to safeguard your business assets and data.

 

Are you ready to look more into cloud technology in finance?

Lack of understanding of how the cloud works is a barrier for many companies. Don’t let this be a barrier for you and your team. Instead, seek out software providers, ask questions, and investigate if a potential software and provider can accommodate your needs. Allowing yourself to ask questions to the software provider creates a better solution for your company. Therefore, be comfortable in your choice and research the types of cloud hosting that exist and suit your team. 

If you would like to know more about adopting cloud-based software in finance, read more here.

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Is your Cloud Strategy in place for your finance team?

The evolution of cloud technology has transformed how we think and work in the digital age. Cloud gives us easy access to our data when, wherever, and however we want. Alone this reason should push finance professionals to consider moving to cloud-based software applications. Since technology in the business landscape has fundamentally changed how we work worldwide, numerous opportunities for organizations are apparent. It is easy to understand why when you look at the benefits cloud provides. The integration possibilities and streamlined data flow are to mention a few.  

Gartner recently posted that by 2025 85% of organizations will embrace the cloud and even argues that “there is no business strategy, without a cloud strategy.” Which raises the question have you implemented or formulated a cloud strategy yet? As the finance function is increasingly becoming the driver for business priorities, it is time to think, why not?

What has your streaming service in common with your Financial processes?

Are you still listening to music on records, CDs, or MP3 players? Probably not considering the popularity of online music streaming services such as Spotify, Tidal, and Google Play Music. One of these online streaming services has likely replaced your old records, CDs, and MP3 Players. We are not talking about the stereo or hip LP player at home.

Listening to music online is easier and more flexible. Your music is in one place and accessible no matter where you are. Regardless of which streaming service you subscribe to, they all share a common thread: They store your music online with unlimited space. Also, paying a monthly subscription is more accessible and less expensive than buying a new CD every time a new album releases.

The similarities between streaming services and financial software are much closer than you think. The way you store your music is the same way you should be storing your financial software. When you choose cloud software for your financial data, you will gain the same benefits as you enjoy from other cloud-based applications you already use today, like Spotify, Deezer, etc. With Spotify and other music streaming services in mind, consider the software you use for financial consolidation. Do you use locally installed software on a PC? Do you have as easy access to your financial data as you have to your music no matter where you are in the world?

The hidden fact is that, like with CDs, it is not just your behavior that dictates the development – but everyone else’s behavior. You now have to visit specialty stores to see a selection of your favorite records. So, if 85% of organizations go cloud by 2025, why aren’t you?

What are the actual advantages of cloud-based applications? 

First of all, you do not have to buy extra software or products to access new updates with a cloud-based solution. Furthermore, you do not have to hire consultants to customize a program; it will all be available via your monthly subscription. Now that we have established a common ground for talking about cloud-based software, we can take a closer look at the top 5 reasons for CFO’s and finance professionals to choose ‘the cloud.’

Easy Access

#1: YOU GAIN QUICK ACCESS TO YOUR DATA AND GREAT FLEXIBILITY

Since your financial data is stored remotely, you can access it anytime, anywhere in the world. All it requires is an internet connection. Cloud-based financial software is stored and hosted online, making it easier for multiple users to access from various devices. Say, for instance, that you or one from the finance team are working remotely, you will still finish your financial reporting in time.  

update

#2: You are guaranteed the latest software upgrades in real-time

Like any software update on your smartphone or apps, your financial cloud software will update automatically. Once your software provider releases new upgrades and features, they will be instantly available. You don’t have to do anything actively. As a result, you can increase your company’s efficiency and productivity by removing time spent on installing updates.

If you have locally installed software (also known as on-premise software), it is an entirely different story to update your software. On-premise software requires local updates and often external consultancy. Not only will this add extra charges to the fees you pay for the software, but it will also interrupt your workflow.

reduce cost

#3: You reduce costs and get an attractive pricing model

The price model of a cloud solution is often subscription-based, which can seem more expensive because you pay a fixed monthly fee to access the software. However, you avoid operational costs like acquisition, backup, maintenance, and security measures like firewall systems. As cloud software is standardized, every customer accesses the same software without unique customization.

The opposite goes for on-premise solutions. In short, a premise solution is software built from scratch and fully customized for your needs only. It sounds good, but there is a downside. Tailor-made systems come at an increased price and less flexibility. They take time to develop, maintain and update. You can read more about the difference between cloud and on-premise software here.  

data security cloud

#4: You get a high level of security

With cloud-based software, you outsource your IT operations to a hosting partner. This partner oversees the cloud platform’s security with hundreds or even thousands of people only focused on managing security. Additionally, most cloud hosters use bounty programs to strengthen the safety of their system. Bounty programs entail a network of people skilled in programming and hacking that look for and report bugs in software. These programmers and hackers get a bonus or bounty for reporting flaws in the system. Consequently, cloud hosters like Microsoft can minimize software vulnerabilities and maintain a high level of security.

But remember that no matter where you store your data or how many firewalls you invest in, there is always a risk of losing your data. The trick is to minimize the risk. Minimizing risk comes from choosing a cloud service where you benefit from not just a few but hundreds of competent people who continuously work to protect your data.

With software that is not cloud-based, you are responsible for data security, data backup, and data encryption. It can sound comforting to have complete control but also riskier. You can only rely on a certain amount of employees to care for server operations as a company. 

workflow

#5: You get a more efficient workflow

Automate manual, repetitive processes within your workflow with cloud-based software. Workflow automation frees up time from calculating and maintaining your spreadsheets. Instead, you can focus on the most value-adding tasks, such as data analysis. Besides saving time, it will make your workflow smoother. For example, users can gain access to review the work done by others and get acquainted with the existing processes in the software. 

Multi-user access is another benefit of cloud-based software that increases efficiency. Several employees can work in the program within different areas or on various tasks simultaneously. You won’t disturb or delay each other in the cloud or provoke errors like in an Excel spreadsheet. In addition, cloud-based software conceptualizes how a work task is done, thereby providing agility and flexibility while streamlining workflows. In contrast to cloud-based software, an on-premise solution is not as agile and flexible. 

Want to hear more?

Switching from a non-cloud-based financial software to a cloud-based one will positively affect your data. It will create a more structured and accurate data set while increasing the flexibility and agility within your workflows. 

As a finance professional, you will find many compelling reasons to transition to cloud-based applications. If you would like to explore how cloud-based financial software can help you take a step into the digital age of finance, reach out to us or visit www.konsolidator.com for additional information.