Switching to the Cloud: Visibility Into Key Metrics

A few months ago we had a prospective customer come to us and say “there has to be an easier way to run reports.” They were using Microsoft Dynamics GP and were tired of working so hard to gain so little insight into their business.

Last time I wrote about the lack of adaptability in on-premises accounting solutions. One direct result of that lack of adaptability is limited reporting and insight. When you buy an on-premises accounting system, you pay someone to create your reports from scratch and pay someone to bolt on more modules and tools. Yet in the future you can’t change those reports yourself because only the IT expert has the know-how to make such changes. Inevitably this led to you, a spreadsheet, some coffee, and a lot of manual effort in order to have adequate business reports and visibility into key metrics.

“There has to be an easier way to run reports.”

A modern cloud financial system from Intacct lets you easily gain real-time visibility into the key financial and business metrics for your organization.

A significant advantage of a cloud finance and accounting system over an on-premises system is that a cloud solution offers so many more capabilities right out of the box. You can use a cloud solution for deep insight natively within the solution from day one. These easy-to-run reports satisfy your need for real-time financial metrics from the cash flow statement, income statement, and balance sheet. The reason real-time visibility and reporting matters is that it’s the data and metrics you use to run your organization and make informed decisions on when to take corrective action or capitalize on new business opportunities.

Yet you need more than financial metrics to run your business. Financial metrics are accounting measures that are reported through core financial statements and ratios, with controls applied to ensure the underlying transaction data is accurate and complete. On the other hand, business metrics can be accounting measures that are viewed in the context of an organization’s strategy, or they can be direct measures of operational performance that provide instant visibility broken down by your business drivers, time, and GL accounts.

Ideally you can use these business metrics to automatically track the context of every transaction and budget, with accuracy and completeness. What are your revenues per incremental salesperson hired? Or which customers are costing you the most? I’m sure you have a complex Excel spreadsheet that you manually update to figure these things out. But it’s just math – why can’t your system do this for you?

The difference is what we call Intacct Flex Reporting. You can create, edit, and customize any financial or business report to get the insight you need to run your business. Intacct gives you the freedom to capture and track metrics by the drivers that are unique to your business, so you can slice and dice those metrics by business driver with a few clicks of the mouse. Plus, you get instant visibility into business metrics without the complexity of buying, using, and maintaining a separate external reporting system.

Reasons why Intacct provides unprecedented insight and business reporting:
  • You can create reports and dashboards that combine financial measures and business measures to get visibility into operational performance.
  • Intacct’s easy-to-use, guided report writer is purpose-built to help you group and lay out your data for better insight.
  • Intacct’s Flex Reporting puts relevant business metrics at your fingertips, without the laborious upkeep of charts of accounts, custom fields, or report definitions, and without the extra costs of external reporting tools.
  • With Intacct, there is only one instance of the system for a multi-entity organization. This provides you with a single view of the standalone or consolidated businesses for the best real-time visibility. On-premises systems require multiple instances for multiple entities, which creates more cost, support, effort, and time.
Next time, I’ll continue on the topic of reporting and visibility into your business by discussing better reporting and insight for your different types of stakeholders.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@markgervase) and Intacct on all our social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Also... have you joined the Intacct Cloud Accounting group and the CFOInsights group on LinkedIn... they are a great place to network with other people interested in cloud financial applications.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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