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Living off the high from winning a British Accountancy Award

TWELVE MONTHS ON, we are all still living off the high of winning Software Product of the Year at last year’s British Accountancy Awards.

It has proved to be a tremendous springboard, delivering both credibility and growth. To be specific, our annual revenue run rate has increased by more than 90% and the number of customers using our Accounting and Professional Services Automation systems has grown by a staggering 120%. We have also expanded head count by over 60% and although not all down to winning the award, it has definitely made a major contribution.

Cloud adoption is on the way up but the battle is not yet won and there are still two clear enemies: legacy systems and the fear of change.

There is a common misconception amongst those that have been running systems that are more than ten years old, or even five. They expect cloud accounting to be a replica of their existing software and cannot see what benefits investment in a next generation accounting system will bring.

This view misses the point completely. Cloud systems have been built from the ground up and are fundamentally different to their predecessors because of this. No longer all about transactions, they focus on conversations and allow Generation Y to engage in a way that legacy systems could never do. Legacy systems will not deliver a 360° view of people, projects and accounts. They don’t leverage social tools or support customer interactions and they do not allow departments to work together – but the right cloud accounting system does all that and more.

The other enemy is fear of change and too often, the easiest option is to do nothing. Most finance executives instinctively know that a strong accounting system is critical for keeping the business running smoothly. But too often, they ask ‘Why fix an accounting system that isn’t broken?’ ‘Why do we need to move to the cloud?’

Time spent on repetitive tasks reduced from 48 hours per week to 4 hours per month
The answer lies in improved productivity and reduced costs. Take a recent study by the Aberdeen Group that uncovered that time spent on repetitive tasks went from 48 hours per week down to 4 hours per month once using a cloud based financial system. That’s more than a 1000% improvement and the same report found that it is possible to reduce invoice-processing costs by a massive 50%.

So what is the cost of doing nothing? You will end up with getting less security, paying more money, or worse leaving data more compromised than if in the cloud.

Next generation tools are designed for the current economic environment where businesses are already running lean and with virtual teams and remote employees working from home, walking down the hall to straighten out a billing problem is not always an option.

Business today needs to be conducted efficiently at internet speed and able to leverage the increasing capabilities of mobile devices and virtual office environments. So, how has winning a British Accountancy Award helped us as an organisation? The answer is simple; finance executives are now prepared to listen to the arguments for change and are voting with their feet.

Jeremy Roche is president and CEO of FinancialForce.com

Click here to find out more about the British Accountancy Awards

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