By 2011, almost a third of the working population were relying on mobile communications to do their job, so imagine what its like now in 2013! Theres no doubt that the popularity of mobile and flexible working are increasing. This makes it even more critical to make sure that employees who spend time out of the office or even work from home can still gain easy access to financial information through cloud accounting software. The data is hosted elsewhere in a very secure server and can be accessed by logging in through a browser.
So what are the benefits of cloud accounting?
1. 24/7 access to real-time financial information
Senior management and/or budget holders can quickly access the latest figures anytime, anywhere. This would be great for project managers, for example, who need to keep an eye on costs wherever they are.
2. Faster quotes
The field sales team can compile quotes or access price lists without having to return to the office. They could even use their smartphone or tablets for truly remote access.
3. Quicker and more accurate billing
Remote workers can enter their expenses or time sheets online, so that invoices can be prepared sooner and include ALL costs.
4. Better customer service
Because all quotes and invoices are now accurate and done as quick as a flash, your customers will be really pleased with your responsiveness.
5. Lower office costs
With remote working, companies can save heaps of costs for space and still ensure that both finance and non-finance staff can access all the accounting data or documentation they need to do their job
6. Take advantage of virtual Finance Directors
Many companies might not find it cost-effective to have a full time Financial Director, but cloud based accounting software means that youve now got a really flexible solution. You could employ an FD on a part-time basis who is able to work remotely and still have access to all the information they need.
Sounds great! What else can I do with cloud accounting?
True mobile working will mean your remote staff will be able to access all the information they need, as easily as if they were actually in the office. Hosting your data in the cloud is vital for this, so as long as you have a strong broadband connection youll be up and away. But, there are a couple of other things you could have a think about.
1. Automated e-mail alerts
With people working in various locations, email alerts can be handy to remind you about things such as approving purchase orders or invoices.
2. Paperless accounting
This is key, because you cant access your offices hard copy documents while sat at home! This can be the biggest barrier to remote working. So whats the answer? Simply scan any paper documents and file it efficiently within the accounting system.
3. Devolved accounting
By devolving some key finance tasks such as creating POs and managing budgets, you can save considerable man-hours in re-keying information. You can give greater power to non-finance staff via on-line access, they can help themselves to information.
4. Automated, custom reports
Many finance departments still spend hours collating and printing out reports for numerous people. Electronic, scheduled reports can be emailed, so even remote workers can read them wherever they are.
5. A portal-based system
Working on the go usually means youre busy, and will need quick and easy access to the information you need. Why not have personalised views of financial performance? Things like task lists, reminders and sales forecasts could be seen at a glance, giving you an instant overview that is accurate and updated in real-time.