Choosing cloud-based platforms can mean the difference between major disruption to your financial operations and smoother sailing in the months ahead.
With COVID-19 causing offices to close and forcing employees to work from home, CFOs are no doubt scrambling to figure out how to keep their accounting and finance functions operating. It’s in times like these that cloud-based solutions – both for businesses and the financial institutions they deal with – can help.
While many companies are sunsetting their on-premises programs and adopting cloud technology, numerous operations continue to use old software. In many cases, these programs can only be used at the office or with a VPN, something not all employees may have. If IT departments are required to stay home, updates to mission-critical software may not happen and issues might not get resolved.
Cloud programs, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, can make life easier for CFOs more generally, too. Our own research has found that CFOs are frustrated with manual processes – many still use spreadsheets or they have to e-mail their banks with payroll information rather than auto-uploading.
Many also find that their old ERP systems don’t communicate with their banks properly, while forecasting and reconciliations are difficult to do.
One of the main benefits of the cloud is that it can be accessed anywhere and by anyone, including from a home office. That means your accounting team can quickly source invoices, account statements, purchase orders and forms at all times and from any location, as long as they have Wi-Fi.
As well, a cloud-based ERP is also better equipped at generating data-related insights – it can easily tap into other cloud programs, like human capital management software, for instance – while many of those cumbersome manual processes can be done automatically and in real-time.
There’s no doubt that over the next few weeks, you’ll likely be reevaluating your company’s financial future as the impact of the pandemic on cash flows and balance sheets becomes clearer. You’ll also be evaluating the effects of lost productivity and how working offsite will affect your operations. You may have to tap into your company’s emergency funds, too.
Working in the cloud can make all of that easier to do. While it does take some time to ramp this tech up if you haven’t used it before, now may be the right moment to start looking into it, especially if you have more time on your hands.
You’ll also want to talk to your bank to see if they’re set up to communicate with a cloud-based ERP system. Unfortunately, many are not, but there are third-party companies, like FISPAN, that can help your ERP software speak to the bank’s programs and make transactions, such as payroll, easy to accomplish.
While there are some costs with going to the cloud, in the long term, using this software is cheaper than maintaining on-premises programs, which is another benefit in this kind of environment. Despite all the uncertainty, companies need to continue to forge ahead as best they can – and there’s no better time than the present to reevaluate your financial software needs.
Are you a CFO or accounting manager looking to future-proof your team and streamline your treasury management workflow? Ask us about how we can help.