Technology is revolutionising how accountants work. The major driver of this change is cloud computing which is enabling not only companies, but their accountants with better and faster access to business intelligence that they can then use to advise clients. Cloud computing allows a company to access applications from an offsite provider via the internet, rather than from company-owned and maintained hardware and software. This provides software as a service, which in turn allows businesses to pick and choose best of breed software, bringing together online accounting, inventory, business intelligence, CRM, payroll and many other packages.
Not only is this software now more accessible it is also more affordable. Cloud computing has driven a proliferation of high quality software packages available on a monthly subscription basis. This is particularly beneficial for businesses in the SME sector. Previously, the world class functionality available with some of this software was too expensive to be economic for SME’s, whereas now the entry cost is very low.
With the introduction of online accounting software we can now access the client information on-line in real time. This has made the accounts preparation process more timely and efficient, as well as opening up access to more up-to-date and detailed business information.
The benefits of having your financial statements prepared sooner are many. Whether it is meeting banking covenants, quickly understanding how your business has truly traded or assisting with forecast preparation
Less time taken preparing accounts also leaves your accountant able to spend more time on understanding your business and providing insightful advice. Access to the information online also means that this advice is based on real-time information. On-line access has the added benefit of encouraging greater collaboration between businesses and their advisors which in turn leads to better governance. The key drivers for your business can be highlighted and tracked on a dashboard. Tracking these key performance indicators drives better business management and can be viewed simultaneously by your advisors. Decisions can be based on current data and allow boards the flexibility to meet virtually. It is well documented that good governance is crucial to the SME sector. So while you will still need great people on your board that are willing to challenge and bring their experience to bear, technology is playing an increasingly important role in assisting more effective governance. Talk to your advisor about the Cloud Computing options that are available and most relevant for your business, and how you can maximise any investment you make in this new technology.
- Take a fresh look at how you and your business use technology
- Using the technology available will result in more efficient and timely preparation of financial information
- Your accountant can become a better business advisor with access to real time information.