For a brief history lesson, organizations have been leveraging Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions since the 1990’s to help streamline company processes and to improve visibility within business functions such as finance, project management, and manufacturing.
As businesses and technology evolved over the years, on-premise ERPs became more complex given the need to keep up with business demands and the ever-changing landscape of security. Thus, the cost of ERP ownership began to increase.
Shortly after, a revolution in cloud computing changed the dependency for on-premise ERPs by giving birth to a less expensive and more effective solution called cloud ERP. As Software as a Service (SaaS) providers digitally transformed the functionality of ERPs and began offering accessible solutions, they also opened a door of opportunity for mid-market organizations looking for a cost-effective solution to their on-premise ERP or lack thereof.
More recently, SaaS cloud ERP platforms have enabled mid-market organizations to be competitive and punch above their weight with a suite of financial management solutions and applications. Among the many benefits, cloud ERPs offer a scalable platform with scads of features and integrations, improve financial efficiency and visibility, strengthen data security for financial information, and decrease Information Technology (IT) costs.
Any mid-market organization interested in moving to a cloud ERP platform should consider doing so because of these 3 benefits:
1. Financial visibility and efficiency
Mid-market organizations typically start with simple bookkeeping software or even spreadsheets. Although these band-aid solutions once worked, they aren’t efficient solutions when finance teams are spending countless days or weeks consolidating and aggregating data for reports.
SaaS cloud ERP solutions alleviate the need to work with disconnected spreadsheets and frustrations that come from the lack of flexibility with simple bookkeeping software. These platforms improve accounting efficiency through financial reporting and dashboards available within the platform.
With on-demand reporting and real-time insights accessible through ERP financial dashboards, CFOs and VPs of finance increase visibility accompanied by the dashboards strong financials. In result, dashboards provide financial thought leaders with the current landscape of their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) or when the situation arises — the ability to answer mission critical business questions.
Not to mention, financial dashboards provided within a cloud ERP platform like Sage Intacct are also customizable and multiple versions are available for the different roles within the finance department.
2. IT cost savings with automatic updates and advanced security
Moving from an on-premise ERP to a SaaS cloud ERP platform helps mid-market enterprises cut IT costs by shifting responsibilities to the cloud ERP provider. In doing so, businesses reduce overall IT functions when it comes to ERP maintenance and security.
With on-premise ERPs, IT teams are typically responsible for implementing custom codes or scripts, upgrading costly hardware and updating software, running backups, and ensuring their data is secure. When an enterprise deploys a cloud ERP solution like Sage Intacct, their platform updates automatically on a quarterly basis. An added benefit for automatic updates is that it never disrupts business processes or interferes with customizations to an organization’s cloud ERP.
Cloud ERP platforms also come with built-in advanced security features to protect an enterprise’s confidential information and data. Advanced security features execute automatic security scans and all data transmissions are 128-bit encrypted. Another equally important cloud ERP security benefit comes in form of the systems hardened networks and firewalls. Moreover, information can be accessed any time or day of the year and secure backups are made daily at multiple locations — so enterprises will always be in control of their data.
3. Integrated financial management platform designed for scalability
Cloud financial management solutions offer extraordinary depth when it comes to financial features. Cloud software is designed for scalability offering both a core financials suite and advanced functionalities for enterprises ready to extend their financial software. In addition, cloud ERP platforms connect seamlessly with other business systems through pre-built connections offered in its marketplace. The plug and play integrations range from Accounts Payable (AP) applications to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions.
ERP platforms offer a marketplace of connections to ensure back office processes are both seamlessly integrated and streamlined. In the off-chance your connection is not yet available, professional services are available to guarantee your desired connection is made and tailored to your needs in little as 60 days.
To illustrate an available marketplace connection, enterprises currently automating their cloud ERP with Sage Intacct can also automate their still manual AP processes through a marketplace integration. The benefit of leveraging an invoice management integration is that it streamlines the invoicing approval process through collaboration-enabled invoice management software. Marketplace AP solutions like Stampli offer invoice-focused collaboration for involved parties which improves communications between one another to move invoices through the process quicker and all within one application.
Partnered CRM integrations are also available for financial and sales tools, which enable both departments to have all their data in one place. For instance, cloud financial ERP tools like Sage Intacct can be integrated with a sales CRM tool like Salesforce. By unifying the back office and front office processes through ERP and CRM integrations, mid-market enterprises can decrease redundancies between departments and have visibility of B2B customers in terms of the sales funnel, invoicing process and payment management.
A financial management platform is both easy to configure and a scalable solution for today’s mid-market organization. With core financials, enterprises have all that’s needed to improve productivity, make decisions faster, and to help drive the business forward. Core financial tools include a general ledger, cash and order management, accounts payable and receivable, and reporting dashboards, among other financial management instruments.
When business grows, advanced functionality can be added to support an organization’s success without breaking the bank. Some of the tools include global financial consolidations, project accounting, time and expense management, and contract and subscription management.