How Cloud ERP Brings Increased Mobility to the Remote Financial Manager

The rise of the Remote Financial Manager has been a growing trend since before the pandemic kicked in but has become of paramount importance to organisations in these days of remote and blended working.

The author of this page: Brendan Geraghty
Brendan Geraghty, Practice Director - D365 for Financial Operations Aug 19, 2021

With data entry now being carried out by remote or outsourced teams, the need for an effective Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system had been vital to improve efficiency and reduce integration issues.

With staff now scattered to the winds, all accountants and financial managers need to be able to do their work effectively from wherever they are – and the need for Cloud ERP has never been more important.

Microsoft’s Business Central ERP software (formerly Navision) is a truly transformational piece of kit for organisations to shift from old-fashioned on-site hosted servers where they need to continually evaluate and implement manual upgrades.

It is an operational tool – not just for finance – which enables a more accessible, affordable approach. Moving to the cloud means that companies receive automatic upgrades so they’re always on the latest version together with the ability to scale up without worrying about hardware and integration.

Crucially, for finance teams, the data input can be done on the same system, so that functions performed in, say, the US office or within a subsidiary in Europe don’t require the integration of separate systems.

And the data can all be accessed in real-time by anyone in the organisation who has correct permissions and needs to work with it. There is 24-hour access with little downtime and ever-improving security, to provide comfort for any CEOs or CFOs reluctant to make the change.

One big advantage of increased mobility is the ease of access for devices other than laptops or desktop PCs. Now, the ERP system can be accessed from mobile phones and tablets, providing ease of use, easy access and the ability to rapidly sort out tasks such as PO & expense approvals and management reviews.

As a reformed accountant, I can well recall the nightmare of travelling for work and trying to access the company’s system to approve invoices via a VPN on my laptop. Now I can remotely access the relevant information on my phone or tablet from anywhere using my Windows account, which is a total game-changer.

The other advantage is that, while Business Central smoothly connects with Outlook, Teams and other Microsoft products, many tasks can be assigned and handled within the ERP itself, giving real accountability, transparency and saving time.

Indeed, a smooth-running ERP gives people within the finance department much more time and ability to do the important activities of analysis and decision-making, rather than being bogged down by data entry and checking.

Now data can be managed by exception, rather than going through everything line by line. And so much can be automated through the cloud ERP to reduce manual activity.

Here at Storm, the way we work with our partners is different to many other companies: my team are like myself – accountants first and technologists second. We are business consultants who understand the challenges being faced by the CFO and their team.

We don’t just advise on what is the best technology, but how their business can be transformed with cloud-based ERP, understanding the wider implications of how they run their business.

To find out more about how cloud-based ERP software can support your business, check out our on-demand webinar "Future-proof your Business with Cloud Financial Management".

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