Food and beverage retailers recognize the cloud as an important digital resource for IT, security and internal and external communications. But when it comes to critical accounting services, many clients in this industry don’t think of cloud computing as an applicable solution.
Cloud computing is any hosted network services provided through the Internet and not housed on your own servers or mainframes. Accounting software can be delivered in the same way to help businesses streamline their accounting data and operations.
Here are some ways a cloud-based accounting system can support your accounting function.
1. Simplify collaboration with your accounting partner. Your accounting partner should have the experience and expertise to work with your existing cloud-based software or suggest a custom solution based on the needs of your company and industry. Whichever option you choose, cloud-based accounting enables you to efficiently share responsibilities with your outside partner, in real-time. A cloud-based accounting program includes a dashboard display of data as you enter it, so the entire team can immediately act on it. And because everyone is seeing the same information simultaneously, meetings are more productive because you are using the latest information. You’ll also be aware of situations before they become problems and be able to act on a solution faster. That saves on time, money and confusion.
2. Make information available any time, from anywhere. When you have employees in multiple locations, they may need to work from a home PC on the weekend, on a laptop during office hours or from a smartphone in a hotel room three time zones away. By making business-critical information available in an easy-to-access application, a cloud-based accounting program makes it easy for team members to collaborate when and how they need to in order to be most productive. Employees can access the app from any location at any time, whether they’re available to work together or individually.
3. Support real-time reporting. The food and beverage industry is especially inventory-driven, with the cost and sourcing of ingredients as a prime focus. Your accounting software must have the capability to show where and when inventory was purchased, how much the inventory costs and how long it has been on your shelf. This will help you determine exactly when certain products must be sold, used or scrapped. A good cloud-based accounting system provides this feature and gives users up-to-date access to cash flow and accounts receivable reports, profit/loss statements and other critical data that inform inventory decisions. You can also track results by product line, sales team and other vectors.
4. Keep your data stable and secure. What happens if your server goes down just before tax deadlines? What if someone hacks your network and steals sensitive data? When you keep your accounting system off-network and in the hands of an army of IT and security professionals working 24/7, it’s housed as safely as possible.
You are a food and beverage industry professional — not an accountant. With today’s proficient cloud-based, industry-specific accounting software systems, you gain a valuable resource to boost productivity, seamlessly interface with your internal accounting team and outside experts, and streamline your tax and financial reporting efforts. As a result, you can spend more of your time developing and refining products, meeting customers and growing your business. That makes cloud computing both an ideal investment and an effective tool for continued success.
Paul Lembo CPA is a manager at Wiss & Company, LLP, with experience in public accounting and a focus on the food and beverage industry. If you have any questions regarding the information in this article, please reach out to him at email@example.com or 973.994.9400.