How cloud accounting leads to making smarter decisions

A Sage Software business partner details five reasons why businesses should turn to cloud accounting to keep track of their finances.

Louis-Nicolas Hamer, Vice President Customer Solutions, Soljit Solutions

For any business, keeping track of finances can be a challenging task. Businesses need to record and process vast amounts of data related to their revenue, expenses, invoices, purchase orders, accounts receivable, payroll, and inventory.

In the past, businesses relied upon traditional accounting to track these types of data. Today, businesses need to be more agile and responsive when it comes to navigating a fast-paced, ever-changing business intelligence environment. This means traditional accounting, with its slower, labour-intensive methods, is not always able to meet their needs.

The cloud can be an invaluable tool for running accounting processes quickly and efficiently. Here are five reasons why businesses should turn to cloud accounting to keep track of their finances.

     1.To be more productive, businesses need to automate their processes.

Businesses are always looking for ways to reduce and eliminate mundane and manual processes to optimize costs and accelerate their growth. So why should a business have three separate databases each handling sales, support and accounting when one single database can do the same job?

For example, with traditional accounting processes, a business might send a customer a quote. Once the customer agrees to the quote, the business needs to turn the quote into a sales order, and then make that into a purchase invoice. All of this data needs to be entered into an accounting ledger. Essentially, a business might need to double or triple its data entry process just to keep track of one customer order – and this makes the entire sales and support process much slower.

But by using a cloud system that is fully integrated, businesses can automate the process from start to finish, allowing them to quickly respond to their customers’ needs and to streamline their processes. That translates into a huge win for their productivity.

     2. Businesses need access to live data, not just historical data.

Traditional accounting systems typically provide a snapshot of a business’ financials for the last month or last quarter. Having that information can be helpful, but businesses need to access up-to-date data, especially when they do not have regularly recurring revenue or do not have steady cash flow.

Cloud accounting can give businesses insights into what’s happening with their finances, right when they need it. Businesses can quickly check a dashboard to get an overview of their finances, keep track of their revenue, and get a sense of how much they’re spending at any given time. By giving businesses access to real-time data and insights, they’re able to make better decisions.

     3. Businesses need to access multi-dimensional reporting to understand the bigger picture.

While cloud accounting can give businesses visibility into their finances, it’s also very useful for providing insights on larger trends.

For example, a business might want to know how many people in Canada have bought a specific product in the last two quarters. That type of request can take a lot of effort in a traditional accounting system – an employee would need to take the time to gather the data, compile it, and then build a report to explain his or her findings.

But in a multi-dimensional system supported by the cloud, slicing and dicing data to create very precise reports is extremely fast and easy. This type of data analytics is crucial in evaluating a business’ health, measuring the ROI of specific investments, and making sound decisions for the future. And with fully integrated cloud solutions such as Sage Live, businesses can extract valuable insights from a richer set of analytical data, such as the cost of support for specific product families.

     4. Businesses need to be able to use accounting processes that scale with their growth.

In today’s rapidly changing business environment, successful companies are the ones that are able to quickly adapt and scale. That means they need to choose tools that will grow with them, and accounting systems are no exception.

From day one, a business requires a system that will fit multiple offices, multiple languages, and can serve a growing number of employees. In addition, the business needs a system that doesn’t require constant upgrades of its servers and software. Instead, by turning to cloud accounting, it can always access the latest release, allowing the business to focus on serving customers and driving growth, rather than trying to ensure its existing technology continues to fit its needs.

     5. Businesses need to be able to access their accounting, anytime and anywhere.

For agile, fast-paced businesses, it’s important for owners, founders, and employees to be able to check in with their accounting whenever and wherever necessary.

With cloud accounting, business owners can access their CRMs and accounting systems whether they’re in client meetings, waiting at the airport, or just going to lunch. They can access their inventory, client information, the latest financial reports, and open support cases, all at their fingertips when using their smartphones or tablets.

Ultimately, with cloud accounting, businesses can quickly gain a deeper understanding of their finances and make smart decisions about their money. That allows them to focus on doing what they do best – providing the best possible products and services while driving business growth.

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