Cloud overtakes on premise, driven by finance function

Published on the 22/01/2018 | Written by Newsdesk

Paperless processes_MYOB

Paperless processes, automation and efficiency gains hard to ignore…

For the first time in A/NZ, the deployment of pure cloud-based financial management solutions has outstripped on premise deployments in the hotly-contested mid-market space. That’s according to MYOB, a provider of a range of business solutions which go from entry-level accounting systems, through to tier two enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solutions. The company added that the drive towards cloud is being led by financial teams – and further pointed out that it is manufacturers and wholesale/distribution operators leading the charge.

In a statement, MYOB enterprise solutions GM Carolyn Luey said in 2017 cloud overtook on premise as mid-sized organisations look to streamline finance through automation. “We’re seeing a shift in how mid-sized businesses approach their financial management. Many organisations I speak to are looking to online solutions to help them do more with less.”

She added that a big driver of the change in attitude is finance leaders desire to adopt paperless processes that focus on reducing manual data entry.

“A trend we’ve seen over the last two years is finance leaders wanting to decouple themselves from manual data entry. This is often because finance teams especially wear the bulk of the responsibility for data entry or consolidation.”

Data from its MYOB Advanced client base shows that 31 percent of new cloud ERP cloud implementations were made purely for financial management purposes.

MYOB added further weight to this contention by pointing to research from Gartner which shows that changing mindsets in financial teams is driving the phenomenon. Gartner’s 2017 survey of global senior financial executives found that 37.7 percent of mid-size enterprises plan to move their financial management operations to the cloud, while “smaller and midsize organisations are adopting cloud more rapidly than larger organisations”.

Where previous resistance to the cloud was due to worries around data sovereignty, security, and the availability of a full set of functionalities, MYOB said multiple advantages are emerging as pull factors. These include the ability to collaborate, demonstrably better security and the availability of advanced analytical tools.

Luey said finance leaders are now seeking to empower other stakeholders within their organisations to enter expenses, manage budgets or self-serve report requests – and cloud software is better suited to new ways of working.

That’s confirmed by New Zealand-owned telephony provider – and MYOB Advanced user – Vadacom, which has adopted a paperless financial management approach. “Using a cloud solution ensures we have a single source of truth, which gives users a central repository for all information, saving time and reducing data errors. Everyone is working on the same live database.”

Luey said cloud software is perfect for businesses wanting to streamline finances because it can be customised to create rules for approving costs, meaning finance controllers can manage by exception not by rule.

She also pointed to differing rates of adoption by industry. “Some sectors are moving to the cloud faster than others. Twenty-two percent of wholesale and distribution and 19 percent of manufacturing businesses have shifted, while just 14 percent of professional services firms have moved. The biggest appetite for digital transformation [is] happening in industries that some might have thought were traditionally late adopters of new technology.”

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