Article by BHP

Rapidly Growing Firms Should Aim Cloud High

Rapidly Growing Firms Should Aim Cloud High by Chris Atkinson, a director at BHP Chartered Accountants.

When a business experiences rapid growth, like all the companies that feature in this year’s survey, some parts of it can struggle to keep up. That’s why we recommend moving to cloud accounting software, something that has revolutionised the accountancy industry over the last decade and brings a host of benefits.

Rapidly growing companies often find their back-office processes fall behind, and this in turn can hinder important decision making and further growth. With archaic accounting systems and multiple spreadsheets being used to perform important but mundane tasks, this can lead to inefficient and convoluted reporting. As a quick fix, the knee-jerk reaction for many firms is to throw money at it by investing in more finance and administration personnel, or expensive software upgrades that aren’t always the best fit. Implementing a cloud-based accounting system can future proof a business, streamlining the recording and reporting of finances and providing firm foundations for future growth.

Another benefit is the integrity of data processing available through cloud-based accounting software, which enables third party applications to synchronise with business finances, improving efficiency and saving money. The OCR receipt scanning which has replaced the traditional purchase ledger is a great example of this, using Artificial Intelligence powered OCR to quickly read any receipt or invoice and process this in the accounting software.

With cloud-based accounting software there are also numerous industry specific add-ons that can provide cost effective solutions to ensuring the quality of the accounting records. This might be a stock system designed for wine importers, or an epos system for restaurants as an example. The cloud-based market place is full of industry specific software that will integrate with the accounting software, all of which has been designed to give even more insight into the figures.

Being in the cloud also give access to financial data in real time, allowing for meaningful analysis and insight in the here and now – not retrospectively. Cloud-based accounting therefore allows for a more forward looking approach, building cash flow forecasts with scenario planning, to help bring clarity and reassurance to the directors of any business.

Any firm that is experiencing rapid growth and isn’t already on the cloud really should make the move now. Cloud-based software enables much closer collaboration with a firm’s accountant resulting in a deeper understanding about what the numbers actually mean, and most importantly what the next 12 months will look like. It also helps to highlight any cash flow issues before they arise and plan for different scenarios to ensure future growth. Lastly as the requirement of ‘making tax digital’ deadline looms, the cloud really is the only place to be.