In today’s complicated business climate, is your accounting software helping you grow and compete? If you are considering a new financial management system, there’s one decision you can and should make early on: Which delivery model is right for your organization? Financial leaders today balance the need to manage an increasing level of business complexity with the need for speed. You’re expected to keep your eye on multiple entities with multiple regulatory frameworks and multiple currencies. Think that’s complicated? Now add frequent change to the equation. A monthly financial check-in isn’t good enough for today’s CFO. You need the agility to make decisions at a moment’s notice—and those decisions must be based on the real-time financial data.
When selecting a financial management system, what’s the best delivery model?
- On-premises solutions.With this traditional model, you license software and run it on your own servers. When considering this model, be sure to account for the capital and operating expenses associated with deployment, operations, support, customization, integration, maintenance, and upgrades. While these costs can be too great for small and mid-sized organizations to sustain, on premises solutions remain a viable option for some larger companies. These organizations often have a built-out IT infrastructure, investment capital, and expertise to support and maintain major software applications.
- Hosted solutions (single tenant). In a hosted environment, the software physically resides at a remote data center operated by an expert third-party hosting provider. Your team would usually use a product to access the software over the Internet and see the screens being generated at the hosting provider. This model eliminates the responsibility of maintaining hardware infrastructure, and therefore can help you avoid large upfront capital expenditures. But it works by providing you with a unique instance of your financial system on a dedicated server. That means you would still face the same costs for customization, upgrades, integration, and support and service.
- Cloud computing solutions (multi-tenant). Good news! Cloud-based financial applications were built for the Internet. Also known as Software as a Service (SaaS), these applications offer direct, always-on access to the solution, typically paid for on a per-user/per-month subscription basis. They are multi-tenant, which means you can unlock only your own data, but you work from a shared system, a single set of resources, application infrastructure, and database. There are no upfront fees, capital investments, or long-term commitments because you do not buy, license, or manage the underlying hardware, software, or networking infrastructure. Upgrades are performed at no cost to you. Even if you make extensive changes to the system, your customization “roll over” to work with the new upgrade. How do you know if your business is ideally suited to grow with a cloud-based financial application? Conduct a company review targeting your team’s increasing accessibility requirements, and integration demands – remember your business will work best if your team has access to real-time data, and all pertinent applications.
So, is a cloud-based financial solution right for you?
Well, the cloud can help you gain company-wide operational efficiencies. You can streamline finance processes — such as consolidations and closes. You can also leverage the Internet to tie in other company functions and processes, as well as your customers and suppliers. For example, you can coordinate purchasing workflows that involve all stakeholders. You can deliver a 360-degree order-to-cash process that connects finance and sales – or can create budget dashboards for department managers and help increase operational alignment. The cloud enables companies to sidestep the pitfalls of management by spreadsheet and avoid the limitations of single-user systems like QuickBooks that trap information in desktop silos. A cloud-based financial system lets you tap into 24/7/365 productivity.
Good News! Sage Intacct is the innovation and customer satisfaction leader in cloud Financial Management – and CompuData is a Sage Intacct Partner! We can help you implement Sage Intacct and leverage it – fast – to bring your business its best financial management.