BlackLine Blog

October 16, 2016

The Solution Is In the Cloud

Modern Accounting
2 Minute Read

Susan Parcells

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Process standardization through the cloud may be the single most important element for CFOs to implement. Innovation has become a necessity, and many of the companies who are successfully driving this have the same secret: the time and resources they need to continually innovate are created by the cloud.

Time & Capital Create Clear Skies

Accounting and Finance departments often find that their “time” account has a negative balance, and this is a major contributor to one of the most pressing predicaments facing CFOs. They need significantly more time to focus on strategy and innovation, and this is exactly what a migration to the cloud could create. But it’s equally challenging to find the time required to make this movement happen.

The same rings true of the cost involved. RightScale’s 2016 State of the Cloud Report revealed that “26% of respondents identify cloud cost management as a significant challenge in 2016.” You need to initially spend in order to save with the cloud, and approaching this from a big picture perspective can bring the justification you need into focus.

RightScale’s report confirmed that more enterprise workloads are shifting to the cloud. 31 percent of enterprises are running more than 1,000 virtual machines, which is up from 22 percent in 2015. Overall, private cloud adoption increased from 63 percent to 77 percent, and 82 percent of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy, which is consistent with the 2015 results.

Standardize, Systemize & Streamline

There’s a compounding need to centralize and standardize rules and information across all company locations, to end the struggle with spreadsheets and create time and efficiency through automated workflows, centralized task lists, and tracked approval and review processes. This is especially true for global companies, and the cloud can enable standardization across multiple geographies while circumventing the typical costs of a regional implementation.

The most cost-effective way to automate the error-prone, manual tasks that are known for exhausting resources is through the cloud. It has the ability to roll out new systems and standardized procedures with agility and ease, empowering accounting professionals with the new speed of delivery. Streamlining procedures through the cloud act as a springboard to greater automation and process innovation. Efficiency gains from this streamlining allow time to be reallocated to continuous process improvement and strategic initiatives.

The Agility to Innovate

According to FSN’s Future of the Finance Function Survey, CFOs view the cloud as the place where finance will find the most innovation. Cloud applications allow business users to gain automatic access to the latest features for automation, standardization, and analytics. With no hardware, software, or third party tools to install or maintain, there is no need to rely on IT. This gives accounting and finance professionals full control over systems and change management.

The cloud also provides the unmatched flexibility that our always-on business landscape demands so that finance can respond and adapt to rapid market changes without tapping into IT resources.

Real-cloud applications are completely web-based, and therefore accessible as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection. The result is a digital workspace where finance and accounting teams can collaborate no matter where they are, from remote office locations to working from home.

It also dramatically reduces the rate of employee turnover. Working remotely has become very attractive to professionals, and providing this option also means that employees can stay with their company even if they move out of state.

With a cloud-based delivery model, companies save a tremendous amount of time and expenses from reduced travel. Executives can access the financial data they need and review reconciliations from anywhere and at any time, based on the needs of the business, which makes everyone - from the preparers to the reviewers and approvers - more successful.

It’s Time to Break Through

The cloud has created a bright spot in the future of finance. It contains what CFOs need to execute their vision and exceed the C-Suite’s expectations. It provides what accounting and finance professionals need to become modern finance leaders. For companies that embrace the innovation, automation, and standardization the cloud has to offer, the sky is the limit.

About the Author


Susan Parcells