Get More From Your Cloud ERP Reporting: 3 Tips To Streamline The Process

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If you have an e-commerce solution and an accounting system and the two programs don’t “talk to each other,” your reporting is probably time-consuming and error-laden, at best.

Here’s how it goes: Let’s say your e-commerce solution uses credit card receipts to generate a report which shows $100,000 in sales for the month. However, the accounting system doesn’t recognize that revenue until the products have shipped. According to that system, you only have $70,000 in sales. This sounds simple enough to fix — just wait until everything has shipped to generate the report — but it doesn’t work that way; some of the products probably won’t ship within a 30-day window.

So what number do you report this month? $100,000 or $70,000? Confusion is imminent.

CFOs need the ability to report with confidence that the numbers are balanced and the company did in fact sell, process, ship and collect $100,000 in products. Without a great cloud ERP system to reconcile credit card transactions with shipping details, data quality suffers and CFOs lose the confidence they need.

Here are three ways that small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can streamline the process and improve their confidence in the data.

  1. Embrace the power of cloud ERP to improve the overall reporting process: Most cloud-based ERP systems have integrated dashboards and reporting built into the system. That’s unique to cloud ERP. With on-premises ERP, it’s messy and complicated. Also, cloud-based systems allow you to access reports and dashboards from anywhere, on any device and at any time.
    Cloud-based applications are accessed from a web portal and have key performance indicators (KPIs) and reporting built into the programming. Legacy systems are not traditionally constructed that way. To get KPIs with on-premises solutions, companies must buy third-party software and add-ons, which can be expensive.
  2. Improve your data quality and make your reporting more meaningful by embracing automation: Illustrated by the top example, it’s clear that improving data quality is about having all of your financial information in one place. Many companies are still using spreadsheets or QuickBooks to manage their finances and a separate, industry-specific billing system to handle their payables and receivables. This means they have to manually move batch data from the billing system into QuickBooks or the spreadsheets to generate reports. The way to fix this is to use a system that does this automatically.
    Remember that any time you introduce a manual process to financial data you significantly increase the risk for error. That’s why it’s important to have a system that does the transferring and calculating work for you.
    It’s also important to remember that moving data from one system to another is a productivity issue; you’re paying people to do something a machine can do. Plus, spreadsheets don’t automatically update themselves when new information comes into play. If you’re working off a spreadsheet with old numbers and someone adds new data without your knowledge, it can cause serious ramifications. All the calculations and decisions you make based on the spreadsheets are worthless unless you’re updating them constantly.
  3. Run the best reports: The most important report for most SMBs is a reliable cash flow statement. Do you trust the data, even when you reconcile outgoing and incoming figures? This is one of the questions that keep SMB owners up late at night.
    It’s important to know if you’re going to run out of cash in a few weeks if you don’t, for instance, collect receivables. You have to make payroll and you need insights. This might seem like common sense, but if you don’t have a great accounting system, this is a challenge.

In the end, cloud ERP solutions provide SMBs and their customers with valuable information, plus the confidence to trust their data and the decisions they make based on that data.

by SMB Suite

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