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How To Shorten Your Invoice Cycle With Financial Accounting Software

For many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), longer invoicing cycles cause confusion, accuracy issues and serious cash flow problems.

Without powerful financial accounting software to rein in these complications, SMBs wrestle with maintaining the integrity of their bookkeeping. This struggle makes it difficult — if not impossible — to forecast or make sound business decisions without questioning the validity of the data.

Too Small For Big Data? No Problem! Use Cloud ERP Dashboards To Get Ahead

Most small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) don’t produce what the industry would call “Big Data.” They just don’t aggregate that amount of information — yet, anyway.

But these smaller companies do have some data that’s able to offer them powerful insights into their business. So while SMBs don’t need mega software to process Big Data, they should use technology to produce powerful, actionable information

5 Keys To Preparing For A Successful Migration To Financial Accounting Software

For organizations finally ditching their hodge-podge spreadsheet system for quality financial accounting software, preparing for the big move can feel like a daunting task.

Moving your reporting, payroll, receivables, payables and a thousand different financial figures from one system to another — without messing anything up — is an incredibly challenging task. Fortunately, companies that take the time to prepare properly are more successful and experience much less stress than those that try to migrate without a solid plan.

3 Ways Cloud ERP Technology Can Help Improve Business Continuity

Just because your company’s data is stored in a server closet in your basement and is “protected” by your expert IT team doesn’t mean the information is safe. In fact, just the opposite is probably true.
 
Here are two true stories that illustrate why using cloud ERP technology to back up your information can drastically improve business continuity.
 
First, a horror story: Before switching over to the cloud, one company’s chief information officer (CIO) — someone you’d think would be among the most well-trained in handling technology — decided to do some dusting in the server closet. Sounds innocent enough, right? Not quite. While he was wiping away the dirt and grime, he managed to wipe away critical financial data.
 
When the CIO pulled out a hard drive from the shelf, the action caused the entire server to fail and the company lost all the data on the unit. And with none of that information backed up, the company lost weeks — maybe months — of work and transactions. Even worse, the company couldn’t process transactions for days, so it wasn’t getting paid and wasn’t making needed payments.
 
It took a team of financial accounting technology experts four days straight, including the weekend, to try to get the business back up and running. The company then spent another week or two manually entering in old transactions from previous months to catch up. It then had to buy new (very expensive) equipment to replace the fried unit.
 
Fortunately, not all accidents are quite so damaging and costly.
 
Another company also experienced a downed server. Early one morning, the employees discovered that none of them could log in. Fortunately, the company housed its financial data in the cloud and immediately called the provider. Within minutes, the provider discovered that, yes, the login server was down, and it restored access within 12 minutes. As it turned out, employees were using bad login information and the company designed its system to purposely block all users after several failed login attempts.
 
It was a security issue, but the provider was able to quickly diagnose the problem and restart the server to restore operations. The employees had 12 minutes of panic, but then they immediately appreciated the value of the service when it came back, especially since it could’ve taken hours or days to figure out what happened on their own.
 
This second example best illustrates why using cloud-based financial accounting software is very much like paying for car insurance. It’s easy to complain about the regular payments, but as soon as it’s needed, we’re very glad to have it. Often, people don’t recognize the value until bad things happen.
 
The point is this: Cloud providers are monitoring the information on the server 24/7. They perform patch management, maintenance, upgrades and system performance constantly so if something could potentially become an issue, the provider can find and fix the issue before it has a chance to become problematic. Often, the customer never sees the problem, because the provider is proactive about averting issues.
 
If your company’s crucial system goes down, how will you keep the business going? Backing up your system in the cloud in case of disaster or theft can keep costly issues from happening.
 
Here are three ways that technology can help improve business continuity.

How Much Are You Really Paying For Maintenance And Support Of Your Financial Accounting Software?

Truly understanding the total costs associated with — well, anything — is never easy. When it comes to cloud computing, online tools and just about any financial accounting software, this struggle is more than apparent.
 
Just try answering this question: How much does it cost to keep a system running? Don’t forget to calculate electricity costs, security precautions and the time it takes your IT people to fix problems.
 
Not easy, right? It can be particularly difficult to understand the cost of maintenance and support for cloud-based programs.
 
Regardless, overcoming this problem and determining the actual cost of cloud software maintenance is critical. Why? For one thing, most companies will realize that by including these costs into the price of managing the finances of an organization, cloud subscription models are actually cheaper than on-premises financial tools. The value of ongoing tax updates and year-end closings is considerable and should never be underestimated.
 
It’s also important to truly understand these costs because without quality maintenance and similar services, business as the company knows it can end the moment it’s unable to print checks, process payables or accept receivables.
 
The first step to calculating these costs is to understand what “maintenance” really means. Maintenance is often thought of as annual software license costs to stay current. But it really means much more than this. Maintenance is about keeping your system running smoothly for months and years at a time.
 
Think about maintenance for your financial accounting software the way you think about maintenance on your car. You’re not just making car payments to keep the vehicle under warranty, you’re paying to complete ongoing tasks such as washing the car, rotating the tires, changing the oil and gassing it up.
 
With financial accounting software, there are changes to the tax code every year that have to be addressed in order for a company to remain compliant. There are new laws to consider at the start of every fiscal and calendar year. These alterations to the code must be incorporated into the financial workings of a company, or it will fail to stay within the confines of the law. Financial accounting software must have continual updates for specific modules within the programming.
 
With the real definition of maintenance in mind, here are four factors to consider when calculating such costs.