Accountants should encourage clients to adopt cloud-based software to address rising challenges for business owners and executives to manage whole-of-organisation business systems – especially in the area of accounting and financial management, said financing provider Earlypay.
Earlypay chief executive Daniel Riley said cloud-based software had proven to be one of the most beneficial tools for business management during the pandemic.
“There are several key advantages of cloud-based accounting and financial systems which many people are not aware of,” Mr Riley said.
“Aside from the obvious benefits of being able to access and manage a business’ accounting and financial activities from anywhere, third party collaboration is a largely unknown benefit that more people need to understand.
“If they did, they would realise that it could assist their business to achieve significant efficiencies and also help to address cash flow issues, cash gaps and even support growth, acquisitions and restructuring.”
Mr Riley said cloud-based accounting and financial systems provided many benefits including the ability to maintain a live and omniscient view of the business and its financial health.
“Because a cloud-based system can be accessed from anywhere, this enables transactions to be made at any time from anywhere and reports to be generated and viewed as required,” he said.
“This assists to ensure business managers are able to gauge the pulse of the business in real-time.”
Mr Riley said it would also enable the integration of apps and services which allows businesses to tap into various opportunities.
“Cloud-based systems also enable the integration of helpful third-party apps and services such as Hubdoc, which can assist to improve the ability for staff to engage with the system,” Mr Riley said.
“For example, using these services, staff are able to scan and upload receipts on the go through their device.
“This means important documentation to support the financial management and activities of the business are captured and recorded in real-time. This delivers efficiencies and reduces the workload associated with doing these things manually.”
Cloud-based systems would also allow other key outside or third-party providers, such as business accountants, to access the platform.
“They are able to easily utilise the system to undertake audits and financial analysis and prepare and submit BAS and end of year returns,” he said.
“Businesses are also able to connect their cloud-based software directly to the ATO and lodge their BAS electronically.”
Invoice management, debt collection and access funding
The adoption of cloud-based software could also improve the way businesses manage invoice processes and debt collection.
Mr Riley said invoice management and debt collection were a critical part of business and could be made easier if an external service provider was able to access the business’ cloud-based system.
“For example, in the case of debt collection, once invoices become overdue by a certain number of days, the provider can simply take over the collection of funds in a seamless manner,” Mr Riley said.
“Access and integration enable high levels of automation.”
Mr Riley said getting funds in the door quickly was also important when ramping up business and undertaking investment in new staff, technology and equipment.
Having a cloud-based system in place not only made it easier to provide financial information to a potential lender, but it also enabled the financial organisation to access a business’ system to provide direct payments.
“There are several types of funding specific to the needs of businesses including sale-back finance, invoice finance and trade finance where cloud-based systems integration is particularly helpful,” he said.
“Finance providers can integrate their systems with cloud-based platforms to automatically access invoices and deposit funds.”