Becoming a Complete Cloud-Powered Accounting Firm
Your clients have heard about “The Cloud.” They’ve even been told about the benefits: uptime, availability, mobility, security and cost. But, they just haven’t made the move, and they don’t know where to start.
Help them start at the beginning—the accounting system.
Why accounting? Because every business system should connect to accounting. If it can be measured, valued or tied to a customer, it should be captured and controlled through the accounting department and the accounting software. By first choosing a cloud-based accounting system, you ensure a rock solid foundation for building every other aspect of the business.
Make your clients’ transition to the Cloud as smooth as silk: share these 7 tips for becoming a completely cloud-powered company:
#1: Make the Commitment. Don’t just “try” the Cloud. Commit fully or not at all. Cloud-based software is going to save you money. It does not require maintenance, upgrades or new hardware to run correctly, so it is always less expensive than running software on a desktop or local network. And, the best results come from going all the way – finding multiple cloud services that work together.
#2: Stand Up and Walk Around. The Cloud allows you to access your data from anywhere. Get out of the office and in front of a customer, or even into the warehouse or onto the shop floor. Just think of the efficiency of creating purchase orders at the customer site or recording inventory changes while you are inside the warehouse. Grab a tablet or smart-phone and capture key data as it happens and where it starts, not just where you have a desk.
#3: Add More Data. Cloud accounting systems allow you to connect to an unlimited number of internal and external data sets. And, the more data you connect, the better you can analyze your business:
- Compare personal data from your customer’s social media accounts
- Get a better grip on inventory by linking to an MSDS, product warrantee, description, photo or vendor profile
- Compare your sales volumes to weather data, world events, or macro-economic trends.
Nothing is out of reach when you are Online!
#4: Connect Everything. Your Cloud accounting system should be the foundation for all of your other business applications. Integrate HR systems, a marketing suite, CRM, workflow applications, project management and business analytics. Choose new systems for their ability to synch with (or export to) the accounting system. Grab an app for inventory control, credit card clearing, banking and more
#5: Empower and Enforce. Empower every employee to enter the data they create, and access the data they need. Then, enforce adoption of the new cloud tools and processes. Remember, the best cloud services are useless if your people don’t know how to use them. Offer continual training and encouragement, in order to maximize the value.
#6: Track Your Progress. As you move your operations online, it is important to measure your success. Track key metrics such as cash flow, time spent on key tasks and other hard-data points. But, don’t forget to measure customer satisfaction, employee turnover and other soft metrics.
#7: Stick to It. It is easy to slide backwards when doing something new. There will be some pushback and some frustration along the way, but the savings, automation and new data insights are worth a bit of temporary discomfort. Take the time to do the training, communicate often, and don’t let fears and naysayers keep you from taking this important step in your business growth.
Free your clients from their reliance on an IT Department, desktop PCs and network servers. Better business results – and better decision-making data – is waiting for them in the Cloud. But, clients need you to help them get the most out of the transition because the Cloud only delivers true value when multiple systems are connected to each other….and to accounting.