Accounting processes are essential for making informed business decisions, complying with regulations, and staying on top of your cash flow.
Therefore, you want them to be accurate and timely. If you’re tired of sifting through paper records or using outdated software, it might be time to move your accounting processes to the cloud.
Cloud-based accounting software offers your business a range of benefits. It’s convenient, accurate, and secure. You can also access your financial data from any location using a device with an internet connection.
Thus, it eliminates the need to install and update the software on your computer. You can also use automatic backups and secure data storage to enhance your financial information’s protection.
Cloud-based accounting also provides real-time updates and better integration with other business tools. This lets you get a comprehensive view of your financial data.
Of course, transferring your accounting processes to the cloud can be challenging. But consulting a cloud service provider or visiting sites like https://www.buchanan.com/cloud-migration/ can help make the cloud-migration process easier.
Whichever steps you take, here are the things you should do to transition to a cloud-based accounting system and streamline your accounting workflow successfully.
1) Research On Cloud-based Accounting Software Options
Before adopting cloud-based accounting software, research the different options you have in the market. Doing so allows you to compare the features and capabilities of each one. In turn, it lets you determine which best suits and supports your accounting processes.
You can consider factors like user-friendliness, integration with other business tools, and customer support during your research.
2) Perform Testing And Piloting
Most cloud-based accounting software lets you use free trials and demos to test them out. During this step, you can consider a few things. But first, you must set clear goals and objectives before testing or piloting.
This lets you clearly understand what you hope to achieve at the end of the trial. You may be looking at streamlining specific processes, improving accuracy, or reducing errors.
Whichever the case, setting particular goals lets you measure the effectiveness of the software to your needs.
Secondly, you can involve key stakeholders depending on the size and complexity of your business. Such input can come from finance professionals and your information technology (IT) team.
A diverse group of users can help you get a well-rounded perspective on the software’s strengths and weaknesses. After that, you can explore the software’s various features and functions. You can test its invoicing and billing, reporting, and analysis tools.
Finally, monitor and track your progress and results as you test and pilot the software. This can include collecting users’ feedback, tracking performance metrics, and comparing results to your initial goals. Monitoring and tracking can help you decide whether to move forward with the software.
3) Set Up And Familiarize
Once you’ve chosen a cloud-based accounting software, it’s time to set up your account and familiarize yourself with its interface and features in a live setting.
The reason is that some options might not configure fully during testing and piloting. You can perform various tasks like entering your business information and setting up your team’s user accounts.
Take time to customize settings and preferences to meet your business’s needs. This can involve configuring tax rates, and payment terms, among others.
Establishing explicit processes for entering and tracking routine financial data is also vital at this point. This option may involve setting up alerts and notifications to prevent crucial tasks from falling through the cracks. You can also assign tasks to team members and set deadlines for completing them.
4) Transfer Existing Data
Once the basic setup is complete, you can start transferring your existing accounting data to the new system. This process can be manual, like moving past transactions and vendor information.
Alternatively, you can use an import function to quickly and easily transfer larger amounts of data at once.
While transferring your data, it’s vital to be thorough and accurate. So, double-check your data for errors and omissions. You can enlist the help of a reliable team member or advisor to review the work.
Doing so helps keep your financial records complete and up-to-date. After all, you would want the data in the cloud-based system is a reliable and accurate representation of your business’s financial health.
5) Train Your Team
Your cloud migration’s success depends on your team’s interaction with the system. Therefore, you must train the team on its use.
Provide tutorials or walkthroughs of the software’s features. Hands-on training sessions for the team to practice can also be helpful.
Furthermore, you can use the training sessions to establish clear expectations and protocols for using cloud-based accounting software.
These protocols may include setting data entry guidelines, establishing roles and responsibilities, and outlining task procedures.
In short, training will help your team feel more confident and competent in using the software, thus leading to more efficient and effective accounting processes.
6) Set Up Automatic Backups
Automatic backups of your financial data are one of the key benefits of using cloud-based accounting software. This feature provides a layer of security and peace of mind in case of a disaster or other unexpected event that might result in data loss.
By setting up and managing automatic backups, you can have better security for your financial data.
Setting up automatic backups is quick and easy, as you only need to follow the instructions on your cloud-based accounting software.
You should, however, specify the backup frequency, which can be daily or weekly, depending on your operations. You may also need to provide a reliable storage location for the backup files.
7) Review And Update Your Internal Controls And Policies
Migrating your processes to a cloud-based accounting software can change various workflows. Therefore, reviewing and updating your internal controls and policies to reflect this would be best. Areas like chart accounts, budgeting, forecasting processes, and data entry and access policies are the first places to start.
Updating controls and policies can help keep your accounting processes efficient, accurate, and compliant with industry standards and regulations.
You can consult an accounting professional or legal advisor for this part. It lets you ensure you have comprehensive and up-to-date policies and controls. This is crucial for protecting the integrity and security of your financial data.
8) Monitor And Review Your Accounting Processes
Migrating your accounting processes to the cloud isn’t a one-time task. You also need to monitor them continuously.
This helps you identify areas for improvement and ensure that the cloud-based software meets your business’s needs. The monitoring process can involve reviewing and analyzing financial reports and data to identify patterns and trends.
To perform the monitoring effectively, establish clear metrics and benchmarks. You can set goals for financial performance and track their progress over time. Regular reviews can also help identify bottlenecks or inefficiencies you need to address promptly.
Continuous monitoring, reviewing, and evaluating your accounting processes lets you stay on top of your financial data. In addition, you can also make sure the cloud-based software is effectively supporting your business’s needs.
9) Leverage The Cloud For Better Bookkeeping
Migrating your accounting processes to the cloud can help you streamline your workflows better. You can benefit from its convenience, accuracy, and security. Explore your software options and use this guideline to migrate your accounting processes to the cloud today.