Cloud Computing

Accounting Trends Every Business Leader Should Know

With any industry you look at, consistent and unparalleled innovation has had a massive impact on business as well as our day-to-day lives. Sure, predicting changes in the technological ecosystem of the accounting industry is undoubtedly a daunting task. There are, however, some major trends that have transpired during the course of 2018 and right into 2019 that every business leader should know.

Plenty of accountants have effectively acclimatized themselves to utilize the best digital accounting tools and software that successfully enhance every minor and major accounting process in a diligent attempt to go paperless. Technology continues to dominate the latest trends in accounting which every business leader should know.

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No Bailouts for Small Business…So What's Next?

Well, the reality is that you’ve got to evaluate where you are.  Your business might be at a critical precipice, and you need to be aware of it.  Many economists are clip_image002suggesting that this is the time where many poorly run or fly-by-night small businesses are going to be losing their shirts and going out of business.

On the other hand, there will be lots of businesses that are going to thrive.  They are finding new opportunities, partnering with other businesses and finding ways to move forward.

Where are you, and what will make the difference?  Is it time to sit down and review those processes and systems? If you need to cut costs, do you know where those costs are?

Think about how you might cut costs without compromising the integrity of your organization.  That means that you don’t cut marketing, training, insurance, etc.  You cut out the gourmet coffee service, the gourmet lunches and other luxuries.  Take a look at your organization’s want/need matrix.  If you don’t have one, do it now.

Lastly, evaluate your organization’s SWOT.  Identify some new opportunities.  Maybe, by taking your company virtual, you can increase some efficiencies and cut some costs.  If you switched from land line service to VOIP and mobile services, could you still offer the same great quality products and services your clients come to expect from you?  Maybe there is a struggling organization that would expand your organization’s capabilities or capacities at some great efficiencies.

Remember – this is business.  The immutable law of business is just when you think you understand the situation, the situation changes.

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Kiss Office Rent Goodbye…or Maybe Not!!

I had a great conversation, yesterday, with Scott Sherman, the COO at KIS Business, about the realities of “Cloud Computing” as SAAS office products are  being called.  According to Moderro Technologies, applications included in your cloud will include services such as:

  • An Office Suite – email, calendar, “word processor”, clip_image002spreadsheets and presentation software
  • Business Applications – CRM (Customer Relationship Management), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), Accounting, Databases and HR Services (e.g. FlexHR’s Employee Universe)
  • Project Management and Collaboration software

According to Sherman, the problem with Cloud Computing has to do with security – keeping your company’s private information, private.  If you think about Governor’s Palin’s predicament with her email account, you have to take into consideration what could happen to your company’s information, in the hands of the wrong people.

Does this mean that you are stuck paying office rent for the next 20 years?  Definitely not.  Your ability to be mobile and to collaborate with workers anywhere in the world may be closer to your horizon than you realize.  Being able to pick up and work anywhere, anytime will help your productivity, substantially.

Does this mean that you have to purchase and maintain your own server – as if you have nothing better to do?  Not reasonable.

Does it mean that you have to take a risk with some of the free services?  Probably not the best option, either.

It means that you’ve got to find a solution that will work for your organization.  Consider the following as you plan for your integration.

  • Risk – there is a risk horizon you need to be aware of.  The more visible your organization and the more desirable (unique) your information is, the more at risk you are for a breech.
  • Planning – as your organization grows, you will want to move to tighter and tighter security models.  Some of the SAAS environments do offer 128 and 256 bit encryption service, often at a higher cost.
  • Productivity – While you may not wish to get all services from one organization, you’ll want to ensure that systems that need to work together can.
  • Support and Maintenance – Ensure these are available, around the clock.
  • Matching – Before reviewing the products, make yourself a weighted list of requirements, or a wish list for the ideal product.  Then see how each product stacks up.  Include cost, complexity, learning curve and scale ability and security.
  • Pricing – Ensure you do an apples to apples comparison.  A company that offers 1 G of storage for an unlimited number of users is not the same as 15G of storage for 5 users.  You’ll have to look at the software services in terms of which will give the greatest value proposition for your organization.

While you may not be ready today to invest in a mobile office, or you feel a product such as Windows Live Small Business, Google or ZOHO may be fine for you, do not rush into this at the last moment.  Like any business decision, be decisive and committed to doing it the right way, set a goal for getting it done, set up a list of criteria for quality and do your homework!

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