Whether it is the COVID-19 crisis, a flood, an office leak or fire or maintenance works, there is a critical need to have in place a plan for continuity of business when employees are unexpectedly required to work remotely.
The accounting and finance function of a business is one of the most important areas to ensure continuity. Robust finance management is key to helping and supporting a business through such periods.
Fortunately for businesses, with innovative advancements in technology, there exists an ever-growing ecosystem of cloud-based solutions and online services that can help companies perform almost all of their accounting, bookkeeping and finance-related activities when staff are not in the office.
Cloud accounting is the technology that enables the integration of all of these activities!
We have written previously about the key benefits and cost/resource savings available for startups and SMEs that use cloud accounting solutions. In this article, however, we outline why cloud accounting is such an important tool, resource and system for companies, particularly startups and SMEs, during a time of crisis or interruption to regular workplace operations.
What is Cloud Accounting?
Let’s make this easy!
Cloud accounting is an online accounting solution that:
- Enables financial information and documentation to be uploaded, reviewed, managed and maintained on remote computer servers. This means that workers do not have to be in the office to access and use the cloud accounting solution.
- Supports the processing and optimization of all accounting, bookkeeping and finance-related tasks without the in-house accountant or outsourced accountant having to leave their offices. Tasks include invoicing, collection of bills, tax and compliance, online bookkeeping, payroll services, budget forecasting and financial planning.
- Provides a flexible, resource efficient and cost effective alternative to a traditional accounting and bookkeeping system. There is no longer a need to courier documents across the city or wait until you receive financial reports.
- Enables business owners and managers to monitor and manage their financial data and reports and communicate with their outsourced accountant or finance team from anywhere in the world.
We have an entire website page dedicated to cloud accounting. You can check it out here.
Types of Cloud Accounting Solutions
There are a number of user-friendly and cost-efficient cloud accounting solutions on the market. When deciding which cloud accounting solution to use for your business, you should always factor in the nature of the business (industry, business model, size) as well as the specific requirements and commercial objectives of the owners and management.
In one of our recent articles, we outlined the key elements for companies to consider when selecting the right cloud accounting solution for their business. In particular, we describe the benefits of using Quickbooks Online and Xero – two of the most common accounting solutions that CloudCfo uses to manage the accounts and finances of our clients.
If you wish to discuss how cloud accounting can add value for your finance function, contact our team and let’s chat about it!
The Real Benefits of Cloud Accounting During a Crisis
Many situations can arise which prevent employees from attending the workplace. The COVID-19 pandemic has required governments all around the world to mandate companies to limit their workforce and operations including, in particular, having employees work from home. Floods, fires, leaks, office repairs are also crisis events that can result in an unexpected closure of a workplace.
During times like these, whether a business is fully operational, semi-operational or entirely suspended, business owners and managers will, more than ever, need to closely monitor and manage their accounts, finances and tax compliance obligations.
Where finance staff are working remotely, cloud accounting enables the finance team to perform almost all of their usual accounting, bookkeeping and tax compliance activities. For example, online bookkeeping, recording and issuing of invoices, bill payments, preparing taxes (which in the Philippines, can be filed online through the BIR’s eFPS and eBIR Forms systems), payroll processing, budget forecasts and financial plans. At the same time, with cloud accounting, founders, owners and managers can also review, monitor and manage their finances on a real-time basis. This can all be done remotely across the one platform!
Below, we have outlined some of the real tangible value-added benefits that cloud accounting provides for companies affected by COVID-19, or indeed, any other form of crisis event that prevents workers attending the office:
- Remote working. As all financial information and data is processed and maintained online in the cloud, from an accounting and finance perspective, the transition to a remote working environment can be smooth and efficient. No need to bring files or folders home with you. No need to return to the office. Workers can log-in to the cloud accounting solution on their laptop, tablet or mobile and get the information they need in seconds.
- Collaboration. Various people need to collaborate when it comes to the company’s finances. For example, the CEO, CFO, Finance Manager, Bookkeepers, Accounts Receivable, Outsourced Accountant. Cloud accounting solutions enable real-time collaboration on important finance tasks when people are not sitting beside each other in the same office.
- Communication. A platform where information is available to everyone with secure access creates a single database and reduces the need for multiple emails and exchanges. This also makes processes much more efficient and reduces bottlenecks where staff are uncontactable.
- Real-time information. When data is stored in the cloud, you can access it anytime and anywhere you want. This allows managers, owners and staff to have a constant overview of the up-to-date financial status of the business – important when the business has encountered an unexpected crisis event.
- Process optimization. Recurring tasks and financial reports can be generated with just a few clicks once the financial data has already been entered. Cloud accounting solutions should also be fully transparent. Workers with access to the solutions can see what accounting tasks have been performed, what remains outstanding and what tasks have been assigned to each person.
- Data Security. Cloud accounting solutions offer secure data storage and infrastructure. If files and documents are stored in an office drive, officer server or other forms of office hardware, it is very difficult to transition smoothly from an office environment to a remote-working environment. With cloud accounting, the information can be accessed from any place that has an internet connection.
- Audit Season. This is particularly relevant at the moment as the Philippines is currently in the midst of Audit Season. Notwithstanding that many physical offices have been closed, with the help of cloud accounting, auditors can still perform their work and yearly audit activities can still be performed. All of the company’s financial information will be stored on the cloud – meaning that both the auditors and the company can facilitate the audit despite the office being closed. The audit is performed remotely.
Cloud Accounting, Bookkeeping and CloudCfo
We are based in the Philippines and we are here for the Philippines market.
We leverage cloud accounting and a range of integrated tech solutions to perform all of our services. We advise all of our clients here in the Philippines on the ways to generate cost and resource efficiencies in their businesses through the use of cloud accounting.
To understand more about the real benefits of transitioning to a cloud accounting system and how you can transform your accounting, bookkeeping and tax compliance functions in the Philippines, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.cloudcfo.ph and speak to our expert team.