The Future of Business Finance in the CloudJune 8, 2018
Article Written by Avery Phillips
Among the many industries that have been revolutionized by cloud computing and virtual software services, perhaps unexpectedly, is finance. For businesses in particular, abandoning legacy systems and upgrading to cloud resources can significantly improve the efficiency and accuracy of financial operations.
It’s pretty much a win-win, reducing bulk (both in terms of on-site IT and time spent), and reducing a company’s reliance on outdated software and expensive overhauls.
Here’s how it works, and what’s in store as cloud services continue to advance.
One big concern when it comes to accounting that stops businesses from changing their systems is security. Internal financial information is proprietary and it can feel like a risk to have it "out there" in cloud programs and in the hands of software as a service companies.
In reality, making use of cloud accounting is likely to improve security, especially if a company works with an external accountant. Even internally, cloud software helps one of the most critical components of information security: access control. The person in control of the software can determine which actions other users can take, and what information they have access to, and that control works across every device and user account. The centralization helps external accountants keep a client’s data secure with a completely integrated system, rather than having to run multiple iterations of the same program. Internally, each employee can have a customized set of access tools.
Cloud technology also marries extremely well with virtualization technology, which allows a single machine to run several virtual environments, reducing the cost of hardware acquisition and further improving the centralization process. Embracing virtual devices and operating systems makes upgrading a great deal easier, as well.
Client Facing Financials: Invoicing
Invoices may not be sensitive information, but they can still be a challenge, especially for smaller businesses that are scaling up and have increasing client volume. Invoicing is an extremely important aspect of business operations to automate early and make use of the tools that technology gives business to take control of time-intensive tasks.
Cloud-based invoicing is one of the most simple and hassle-free conversions a business can make to more efficient finances. It’s often capable of performing the same tax and exchange rate calculations as spreadsheets, without the fuss of manually generating each invoice. Once again; a centralized system allows a business to control which employees can perform which tasks, provides greater accuracy and accountability, and standardizes the process across a whole team.
Scaling is one of the biggest invoicing challenges, and easy scaling is what cloud services do best.
Trimming the Fat and Saving Money
There is still untapped potential in the ways that cloud services can help businesses cut out bloated expenses.
The future is looking bright for the centralization of security and control over sensitive information. The future is also bright for collaborative virtual workspaces where information is distributed efficiently to people who need it.
Machine learning is making cloud services smarter, allowing them to collect and analyze data much more quickly than a spreadsheet-dive. The beauty of this particular type of automation is that it actually increases the demand for professionals in the financial field, rather than taking them away. The base financial knowledge and experience is still required to administer the financial software and decide what’s best for information security.
About the Author
Avery Phillips is a unicorn of a human being who loves all things relating to people and their entrepreneurial spirits. Comment down below or tweet her @a_taylorian.