Be a strategic business partner as a finance team. How to do it by moving to the cloud.

Be a strategic business partner as a finance team. How to do it by moving to the cloud.

Julie Walsh

Want to be a strategic business partner as a finance team? Here’s our guide on how to do it through moving to the cloud.

This week we hosted a webinar with CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) on why the modern finance function is looking towards accounting in the cloud.

The discussion was chaired by Eila Madden, Group Editor, CIMA Media, an experienced business and finance journalist and editor. Listeners not only heard about the benefits from our very own platform guru, Kevin Roberts, but also directly from Stephen Paynter, Financial Controller at E-Crunch Ltd., an online accounting software provider which has transformed its business through moving all financial management to the cloud using FinancialForce.

FDs guide to the cloud

A lively discussion, the debate outlined key benefits we’d expect to see such as improved security, flexibility, scalability, agility and accessibility. However, there are many other benefits to the wider business that may not instantly come to mind. Paynter backed up that employee engagement is a huge bonus as the role of the finance team changes to be more proactive and focused on resolving issues as they happen.

With real-time data accessible on mobile devices anywhere and anytime, the team can deliver excellent service to meet the demands of senior management and the board, helping them make key business decisions, rather than second guess with data that is 30-40 days out of date. The team is now considered a true business partner, as opposed to just a finance department.

Roberts talked about the importance of firstly getting platform strategy right. He cited how in the early days, some chose a range of cloud applications without thinking about the ‘Frankencloud’ they were creating – apps that use different sets of technology resulting in an even bigger integration problem than a company previously faced.

In this Cloud 2.0 era, companies don’t just have to listen to what cloud providers say, they can hear it from those who have transformed their business already and are operating with a modern strategy. They can hear about how selecting a one platform strategy can house not only all of their finance apps in the cloud, but also CRM, HCM and more, enabling a true 360 degree customer view. There is a track record now to prove the points!

Finance Directors can choose to dip their toes in the water, moving app by app depending on business size and immediate priorities, or as in Paynter’s case with FinancialForce Financial Management, they can undergo a full financial system switch in one go (or over one weekend in his case!).

Paynter stated the only thing he would change is that he wished he had made the move to the cloud earlier than he did.

So who is interested in staying in a reactive finance role, just keeping the lights on? Nobody? Make sure you remain relevant and begin transforming your business through moving your financial management to the cloud.

Want to know more? Download our whitepaper here or ask us for more information.

 

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