When it comes to managing your finances, professional services businesses can no longer simply rely on hand-written records and manual spreadsheets.
Not only are these prone to costly errors, but they also take up too much time for professional services businesses, particularly those focused on providing their customers with the best possible experience.
Furthermore, these types of records do not provide much valuable insight into how your business can optimise its finances, which ultimately results in you leaving money on the table.
This is why many professional services businesses are leaving their old financial systems behind and switching to cloud-based financial systems like Sage Intacct.
Jeff Ryan, Managing Director for AWCape, a Sage Business Partner, and Gerhard Hartman, VP of Medium Business at Sage Africa & Middle East, discuss how professional services businesses benefit from cloud-based financial systems.
How do cloud-based financial solutions improve the operations of professional services businesses?
Hartman: One of the biggest benefits is the time you free up by using a solution designed specifically to reduce the time and effort of managing your finances.
After all, your goal is not to do administrative tasks; your goal is to build and grow a business. The best way to do this is by freeing up the time traditionally spent on managing your finances and spending it on business development. Cloud-based financial solutions automate the tedious tasks that have historically taken hours, or even days, to complete. All of this time can instead be invested into the services you provide to your customers.
Ryan: The key to this is how machine learning is used by high-quality solutions.
For example, if someone incorrectly enters a payment with an extra zero, a top cloud-based financial solution will pick this up before the payment is submitted, which removes many headaches you would otherwise experience down the line.
Why is the cloud such a key part of an effective financial solution for professional services businesses?
Ryan: Firstly, it is more affordable. Many professional services businesses simply look at the licence cost and assume cloud solutions are more expensive, but when you do a thorough cost analysis, it comes out far more affordable than other solutions.
For example, you don’t have to pay for physical servers, nor maintain and power them – a cost that many don’t think of when weighing up the price of cloud solutions.
Hartman: Hybrid working models have become the future of work, and this requires visibility of your systems – including your finances – from anywhere.
With cloud-based financial solutions, not only do you get this, but the financial data you have access to is in real-time. The best solutions provide employees with different dashboards so everyone has access to the data they require.
What benefits does Sage Intacct provide to professional services businesses?
Hartman: Professional services businesses have often been running the same technology and software for up to 20 years. They, therefore, prioritise systems that do not need to be replaced frequently.
This is why they prefer cloud accounting software that is a long-term investment, and can be adapted as new technologies emerge without high costs.
Sage Intacct is designed to be easy to update as new technologies emerge. This has been a big reason why professional services businesses have chosen this software over competitors.
Ryan: Another key reason customers love Sage Intacct is because of how it automates many processes that would otherwise take valuable time out of your day. After all, an hour of admin is an hour of lost revenue.
Sage Intacct also uses machine learning to prevent issues before they become a problem, as it analyses past payments and trends to determine if any errors are being made in existing payments or transactions.
Finally, Sage Intacct offers built-in timesheets, which are incredibly valuable for professional services businesses who must account for the time spent on products to their customers.
Why is it important that Sage Intacct is cloud-native?
Ryan: Being built in the cloud makes Sage Intacct fundamentally different to other finance and ERP services.
Many of these alternatives are simply cloud-hosted, whereas Sage Intacct is truly cloud-native. This means it is designed to take full advantage of all the benefits of the cloud rather than just exist on the platform. Some of the benefits include: no infrastructure maintenance, compliance, secure, no-backups needed, scalability and disaster recovery.
Additionally, since the core of Sage Intacct is 20 years old, the platform has been polished to offer the best possible experience in the cloud.
Sage Intacct is the top-rated service of its kind on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. What does this mean for customers?
Ryan: Primarily, this shows that Sage Intacct is the best solution in its class. Customer perception reports – such as those on G2.com – show an overwhelming rate of users who are extremely happy with the experience that Sage Intacct provides.
This should convince professional services businesses that Sage Intacct is an amazing product they should consider for their organisation.