Harnessing the Cloud: If cash is King, data is its Queen
28 August 2020
As businesses around the globe look to rapidly pivot their organisations to digital models in the wake of COVID-19, the focus on cloud accounting and reporting options is increasing.
A recent study found nearly half of Australian businesses are looking to increase cloud infrastructure spending in 2020, and 59 per cent now have ‘cloud first’ policies when it comes to making new investments.
Cloud accounting allows your business, its administration employees and advisers to access its financial information live from online servers, anywhere at any time, which helps your business make better choices as it can use ‘real time’ information to assist its decision making.
The power of data lies in both its timeliness and its ability to be tailored to the individual business. Raw data by itself is difficult, if not impossible to utilise effectively. However, by using integrated systems such as optical recognition, live bank feeds, and industry specific software that is linked to the core application, your business can start to approach the detail and data integrity of larger organisations.
By increasing your business’ level of data accuracy, you’re not only better positioned to meet your day to day compliance needs accurately and efficiently, but you’re also setting up your business to take advantage of the data at its disposal by summarising and presenting the data in ways that are specific and useful to your business.
The key to making the most of the data available to you is to delve into the key drivers of your business and the industry it operates in. The lead indicators of a coffee shop will differ to the lead indicators of a freight business, so it’s critical to narrow in on the data points that really make a difference in your business.
Once decisions have been made about the core drivers of your business’s success, most cloud systems will allow you to tailor reports to focus on selected data points, either from the core platform or from a linked industry-specific application.
Undertaking an analysis of the key trends you have identified across these data points can then be developed into a set of visual management reports that allow you to have a finger on the pulse of your business on a day to day and week to week basis.
Identifying the key business drivers and the underlying data flow that reports on them is a great foundation for building a reporting pack that helps you as a business owner analyse current trends and make solid decisions about future direction, quickly and accurately.
To maximise the return on investment in your cloud data, diarise time each week, and each month to review the reports that your cloud system produces for you to assess your performance against current goals and re-set goals and actions for the next period.
Lastly, never forget the maxim, ‘rubbish in, rubbish out’. Good data quality should not be taken for granted in the world of data integration.
For assistance identifying your key business drivers and implementing cloud solutions, please get in touch with our Accounting and Business Advisory team.