If time = money, cloud accounting helps you zero in on tasks that will help you increase productivity and drive your business forward.
In order to increase productivity, first you need to know what’s slowing you down. For every distraction in a workday, it takes 25 minutes to get your brain back on track. That’s a 40% reduction in productivity. And for any business owner who’s flipping between a “patchwork quilt” of databases and spreadsheets, it’s a way of life.
The good news: Automation is here to support your team and help you reclaim those billable hours.
More and more SMBs are turning to digital, cloud-based solutions to streamline operations and increase productivity. This includes more than 70% of companies with 10–99 employees and more than 90% of companies with 100–499 employees.
How Does Cloud Accounting Increase Productivity?
So you you’re running out of time and need to cut out frustrating distractions. But taking on new software can eat up time (getting team buy in) and money (new line item, onboarding costs).
Before you make the dive, make sure you know what’s in it for you. Here are the nine ways accounting solutions will support you and your team in becoming productivity mavens:
Set It and Forget It
What: Built-in notifications and advanced invoicing features (like recurring billing or saved credit card information) save you the burden of completing tedious manual tasks.
Why: You won’t get tied up running after clients to:
- Remind them of invoice due dates
- Ask for payment details or
- Send recurring invoices
Your accounting solution will take care of it all for you.
Easy Expense Tracking
What: Tracking expenses manually is complicated and time-intensive. But when your bank transactions link directly to your accounting solution, receipts are easily digitized.
Why: There’s no reason to submit expenses line by line by line when your software can do it for you.
Real-Time Reporting, Live Success Tracking
What: Manage your KPIs in real time with built-in dashboards and comprehensive reporting.
Why: No need to send data off to your accountants and stakeholders. Your data will be in one central place. Plus, your software should integrate with other systems and provide more accurate reporting than your “patchwork quilt” of spreadsheets could deliver.
Safe & Secure
What: Network backups and redundancy are built right into the system. Plus, up-to-the-minute security updates protect credit cards, transactional details and other sensitive business information.
Why: Unless you’re careful, it’s too easy for your information to be stolen. Cloud-based accounting software will always have up-to-date security measures in place so you don’t need to worry about your sensitive intel.
What: Any claims of “easy integration” should be backed up with an open API structure. Open API makes it easier for different tech systems to sync their data in real time. Developers can create connections between different programs—want your CRM to talk to your marketing automation software? That’s where open API comes in.
Why: Throughout your business, you’ll use many different solutions to get the job done. But it doesn’t matter how much you automate if every automated system is siloed!
What: Updating the books yourself takes a lot of time and energy. If you’re overwhelmed, make sure to look for a solution that gives you access to a virtual bookkeeping service.
Why: You’ll get out of the books and down to business. There’ll be fewer errors for you to worry about, and no last minute rush to get the books done.
Better Billing and Cash Flow
What: Why keep track of everything yourself? Cloud accounting makes sure your automated invoices can be paid in-app, and connects to your bank to track your expenses.
Why: Cutting out the administrative work involved in managing payments and expenses will hand you your time back on a silver platter. Plus, the consistent payment method will make a great impact on your clients.
Keep Costs in Line
What: When shopping, make sure you compare every available solution to make sure the feature set comes at a price that works for you.
Why: A lower capital investment at the outset means you can save your money for the business-critical activities that will help you grow.
What: Software implementations can be daunting: They take time and interrupt your flow. Streamlined digital platforms make it easy for any size or type of organization to upload their information and get started right away.
Why: You deserve to get what you’re paying for, as soon as possible.
Unfettered 24/7/365 Access
What: Running manual or offline processes seem convenient until you need the information and it isn’t there. Don’t let your hours determine when your financial information (invoicing, expenses, reminders, reporting) is running and available. Cloud accounting is always on and staff can access the solution on the go.
Why: Your team shouldn’t have to rely on you, a part-time accounting rep, or an extremely busy finance team. Break down the barriers to the financial information they need with an always-online central software solution
Top-of-the-Line Customer Support
What: You shouldn’t be the one solving complex tracking, invoicing or reporting errors. Your software should provide you with the customer service you need to resolve any problems as efficiently as possible.
Why: You didn’t choose to go into IT or admin. With the right customer service, you can assure your clients and staff that you’re a well-oiled machine.
Win Back Time and Increase Productivity with Cloud-Based Solutions
Like many small- to medium-businesses, you can try to “make do” with the processes that get things done, but at sub-optimal speeds. However, workplace inefficiency comes at a cost: To your work-life balance, to your focus and, ultimately, to your business’s long-term scalability.
Companies lose an average of 20% to 30% in revenue each year due to process inefficiencies. When thinking about implementing accounting software, think of the time and revenue you could win back.
Curious to see how cloud-based solutions make a difference for companies like yours? Check out this case study of an SMB that uses cloud accounting to stay focused and support their growing business.
This post updated in December 2019.