The past 15 years have seen a vast majority of companies adopt cloud technology to some degree, globally. However, despite the enormous advantages afforded by these solutions, finance departments still seem to be lagging in terms of adoption compared to their sales or CRM counterparts.
For smaller businesses, tools such as Xero and QuickBooks have made it incredibly easy for entry into the cloud – with the former currently having two million subscribers in total on its books.
It is a similar story for businesses at the higher end of the scale too with solutions such as Oracle, NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics seeing huge corporations invest billions in order to migrate to the cloud.
However, why can’t the same be said for mid-market companies? Why are the finance departments of these organisations being left behind?
When thinking about companies first starting out, entry-level tools would have been the ultimate answer to their finance admin tasks. But as those organisations begin to grow, they are increasingly discovering the limits these solutions have, and what was once a facilitator to their day-to-day responsibilities is now becoming a constraint.
Growing businesses typically require enhanced reporting, workflow capabilities and the ability to accommodate increasingly complex accounting requirements – all of which are all unavailable with an entry-level cloud accounting platform. So, as companies cross various growth thresholds, such as 30+ staff and revenue into millions rather than hundreds of thousands, they are then faced with numerous challenges associated with that trajectory.
That’s because as companies expand, typically so does the volume of transactions. Previously simple processes, such as approvals, therefore, tend to spiral out of control following either an absence or limited level of workflow, automation or rules. What was once digestible through a mixture of post-it notes, emails and ‘verbals’ now requires a robust action.
Similarly, budget management is no longer a ‘nice to have’ or something performed on an external sheet. Budgets and forecasts are key to the long-term success of an organisation and therefore must be integral to the system, and that means having multiple reporting dimensions and real-time access for multiple stakeholders.
So, what does this mean for the high growth organisation that is transitioning from being a small enterprise to a medium entity and is requiring greater functionality across all departments?
We’ve facilitated the migration from an entry-level system to something more comprehensive for hundreds of organisations requiring a flexible, scalable, and intuitive platform. So, here are the five primary identifiers that we believe indicate it’s time to upgrade your cloud accounting software…
- The volume of manual intervention within your accounting workflow is no longer sustainable
The need for automation across the board – from bank reconciliation to recurring invoices, and everything in between – becomes far greater than the capability of what is currently being used for a growing organisation. Ambitious businesses today recognise that they must scale their finance department in the same way they do sales, for example. And entry-level cloud accounting software can only go so far in terms of helping to achieve this.
That’s because as the burdens on the finance department increase, it’s very difficult to prioritise critical tasks from the mundane. In this instance, the more powerful, true cloud-based systems can provide a robust solution and foundation for growth, enabling finance directors (FDs) to focus on the important elements of their businesses – and significantly reduce workload across a multitude of areas with a greater level of authorisation, workflow, rules, and automation, as a result.
- The requirement for enhanced reporting and real-time decision making become necessities
Many organisations cite that real-time management information is a fundamental conduit to effective decisions made within their workplaces. Therefore, it is no surprise that the backbone of all industrial-strength, true cloud accounting software solutions is the ability to report comprehensively and in real-time.
Entry-level systems can only report up to a point so when FDs and CFOs want to analysis on any element of the company, they’re subsequently being limited by the volume of data or how much they can drill down into the insight. That’s where a true cloud accounting software solution comes to the fore and takes on the heavy lifting.
With iplicit, the finance department can take any element of the system to examine critical data – for example a customer, a location, a project, and more – and report on it in a way that is instant, tailored to that specific business, and all at the touch of a button. There is no limit to these reports and ensures users receive only one version of the truth.
- You effectively require a ‘PhD in Excel physics’
For many years, Excel has been the glue that holds financial reporting together. Increasingly, organisations that have outgrown their entry-level systems, have created overcomplicated workbooks that manipulate exported data from their software to create management and board reports. We even recall one customer saying this way of working was almost like having a ‘PhD in Excel physics’!
The issue here is this complexity often means that, over time, formulas are broken, and it’s typically not recognised before it’s too late. Add to this the potential change in team members and the increasing requests from multiple stakeholders and it becomes unworkable. That’s why a better approach is required… enter, iplicit.
- Your accounting requirements have become more complex
If your organisation now spans more than one legal entity, multiple tax jurisdictions, you have more than one office and processes have become increasingly more manual to compensate from the entry-level shortfalls, that’s a strong trigger to say it’s time to look at a more powerful, true cloud accounting software solution.
- Change is the one constant
As organisations grow, one familiar theme for today’s modern workplace is the need to be agile. There are new markets, new approaches, and new people with new ideas. To support this one constant, modern cloud accounting software also needs to offer this level of adaptability, and more importantly without the need to re-implement just like the old school systems. At iplicit, we’ve got you covered.
Not all companies outgrow entry-level cloud software. For some organisations and their finance departments, they will still enjoy many of their accounting solution’s capabilities. However, for the array of small businesses that are growing at pace across the globe and building their credibility in the mid-market, they understand that the transition to a tool which allows them to scale – and make sound decisions with real-time insight – is the fundamental next step in their fast-paced trajectory.
With iplicit, companies can migrate to an industrial strength true cloud accounting system in just 15 days. And with this adoption, they have every feature and piece of information at their fingertips to instantly uncover a single version of the truth – all at the touch of a button.