13

May

2020

It Is a Good Time to Convert to a Cloud-Based Financial System

Allison Metzler, MBA, MPAcc, Manager, Client Advisory Services

It Is a Good Time to Convert to a Cloud-Based Financial System

In response to the COVID 19 pandemic, many businesses and their office operations have moved to the “remote world.” In a remote work environment, sustained access to data is crucial to continued business efficiency.

Organizations fortunate enough to have received federal funds to assist during this situation—or that are in the process of applying for funding—will be required to have complete and accurate financial data at their fingertips. If your business received, or will receive, a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, you will want to do all possible to maximize forgiveness of that loan. While the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the US Treasury are still working on guidelines for loan forgiveness, the time is right to ensure you will be prepared to prove to your lender that you used the PPP funds appropriately.

A good bookkeeping system is vital, and R&A recommends moving to an online/cloud-based accounting system. These systems offer several benefits, chief among them, efficiency savings, accessibility, and accuracy. Applications, like QuickBooks Online or Xero can be linked securely and directly with banks, payroll services, bill pay services, and customer portals, so that data automatically populates into the accounting record. Time spent manually entering data is reduced and data accuracy is improved. Additionally, these records can be securely accessed from anywhere using a smartphone or computer, giving business owners greater flexibility in when and how they update and review their records. Secondary access can also be set up so that your accountant and employees have the data they need based on preset security approvals.

For paying vendors and processing customer payments, online systems streamline the approval process and minimize the need for paper. Recurring invoicing of customers and auto-pay for vendors are two features that save time and guarantee that important processes do not get overlooked. Customized financial reports for your accountant, financial institutions, and management are immediately available because of the many reporting features they offer. Regular updates to the accounting platform happen automatically, so there is no down time for installation or updates.

If your business does not currently use a cloud-based accounting system, this is an opportune time to make the switch. Contact R&A—we can help deliver all the above. New systems usually also require changes to workflows and processes, and R&A can help with that too.

About this Author

Allison and her team provide a comprehensive suite of outsourced accounting and financial services to clients. Prior to joining R&A in June 2018, Allison worked in the nonprofit sector for thirteen years. Her experience also includes more than ten years of teaching at the university level. Allison holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and master’s degrees in social work from Eastern Washington University, business administration from Gonzaga University, and professional accounting from Colorado State University. Allison is an avid basketball and baseball fan who also enjoys travel, home improvement, and spending time with her family.