As we mentioned in our recent article about the top 7 small business trends for 2017, many small businesses are beginning to switch to the cloud (if they haven’t already done so) to store their files and information.
In 2015, for instance, BCSG reported that 64% of SMBs were already using cloud-based software and 78% of businesses indicated that they were considering purchasing new cloud-based solutions.
This makes sense, of course. Cloud-based systems allow you to work from anywhere and access, gather, and share information more easily and efficiently.
They’re especially helpful for the information-laden financial activities of SMBs, where using cloud systems and software can have significant benefits.
Still, like any system or solution, mistakes exist that can affect the efficacy of cloud-based technology.
But if you know what they are, you can also know how to avoid or mitigate these common mistakes and make your cloud-based bookkeeping or financial solution work for you.
Scroll below to learn what these mistakes are so that, if you use or consider investing in a cloud-based system in the future, you can use it to its full advantage to boost your business.
Let’s say you’ve just invested in a cloud-based bookkeeping system for your company. You can do everything on the cloud…but your employees keep doing things the old way; manually, with lots of basic data entry, spreadsheets, and paper.
Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of the investment in the first place?
Though change is hard, cloud technology is there to help you work smarter, not harder. You can eliminate unnecessary time or tasks, capture information in real time, and store it forever on the cloud.
So, if you have a cloud-based system, it is important that you adapt your ways of doing bookkeeping and accounting to align with your new system.
Avoid redundant activities and align those activities with the new platform; be proactive! You will save your company both time and energy.
Most small business owners know the value of tracking financial KPIs like gross profit margin or total revenue, but don’t have the ability or time to do so. With a cloud-based solution, now you have both.
But not everyone takes advantage of this.
KPIs are important because you not only have a pulse of the financial health of your company itself, but you see how effective your bookkeeping and accounting processes are (or aren’t).
Everyone makes mistakes. And that’s okay! There is always room for improvement.
KPIs show you that you need to make improvements in the first place and offer insights on how to do so. Then you can take what you’ve learned to positively influence your accounting processes or business operations.
The important thing, though, is to use your system to its fullest ability and put what you can track and learn into action to improve your business.
A quick important note: this extends to just more than KPIs.
Many systems, whether an accounting system or a CRM, have sophisticated dashboards or tools that track and analyze information that wasn’t available beforehand. A common mistake many companies make when they invest in any new system is to not fully familiarize themselves with all of the reporting and forecasting tools of their system, how they work, and how to use these tools to their advantage.
When implementing a new system, then, definitely take advantage of the most important “bells and whistles” it can provide to you – including KPIs. You will have a total view into your company’s financial and accounting operations, from past performance to current performance and what to expect in the future.
If you don’t provide in-depth training to your staff on how to use your cloud-based system, it’s likely that they won’t use it, won’t use it correctly, won’t follow procedures, or won’t use the system to its full potential.
Again, this negates the purpose of the system itself.
When you implement a new system, offer user-appropriate training to your current and future employees. Be on the same page. Walk them through the ins and outs of the system, answer any of their questions, and, if necessary, make it mandatory.
It helps if you educate your employees on why you have switched to a cloud-based solution and how it is going to help them or make their lives easier.
If they have any doubts or fears, acknowledge them. Help them see the importance of the system and how it can positively affect their workflows.
There will probably be resistance, as any major changes in a company usually bring, but if you follow these steps, your system will be used to its fullest benefit.
In addition, your business’s bookkeeping and accounting processes will benefit from it a great deal.