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Three Keys to a Strong Financial and Operational Roadmap:

In challenging economic times, the power of the purse looms larger than ever. Companies with an eye to the future need proven business management software solutions that don't require operational compromises, solutions that can also help keep costs reasonable even during boom years.

Here are three keys to a strong financial and operational roadmap:

First Key: Reduce Costs Sensibly
The maxim "cash is king" is never as true as when cash becomes scarce. Available cash and cash flow occupy a great deal of a CFO's attention, but now many will switch to zero-based accounting to find significant opportunities for cutting outflows. Take heart in the knowledge that many of your business operating expenses can be reduced with the right enterprise software platform, one built with all the efficiencies and advantages of on-demand computing in mind.

Speed matters when the devil of a downturn is poised to take the hindmost. The flexible subscription pricing model and lack of IT footprint found in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions make it fast and easy to add new employees and partners in any location at any time, without the need for a visit from technicians, trainers and security experts. If business realities demand a headcount reduction, unused seat subscriptions can be allowed to lapse. Compare that freedom to the front-loaded fees associated with seat licenses for on-premise software. Those licenses become wasted, sunk costs-compounding a difficult situation with the pain of an unwise investment in shelf ware.

Second Key: Make Change a Positive
Change will be coming to your organisation. It may show itself in the form of staff turnover, or the exit from a declining product or market in favour of an emerging opportunity. Your company may be called upon to finance operations in new ways, to merge with another firm, or radically overhaul its sales channels. SaaS suite solutions are ideally positioned to help your organisation embrace change while keeping total cost of ownership down.

With traditional enterprise software, growing revenues and profits brought with them less desirable growth- bigger server rooms, larger IT departments, and the associated bureaucratic and administrative headaches. When your business grows, a good business management system grows with you, without adding physical overhead. New functional modules and additional users can be introduced without technologists, and without the fixed and ongoing costs of additional real estate and hardware to support them.

If it becomes advantageous to change your financial reporting status, or your company plans to create a spinoff for a pioneering new project, wrestling with an accounting system that locks you into cash or accrual reporting is not a good use of time and resources. Your business accounting software needs to remain open to provide both cash and accrual-based reporting, regardless of the election first made when you created the initial company record. Change can also bring expansion and exploration. Just because there's a global slowdown doesn't mean your global business must go into retreat. On the contrary, challenging times can spur inventive and timely pushes into new markets. Imagine how disappointed your fellow stakeholders will be if your organisation is primed for new opportunities, but cannot smoothly manage currency conversions, or lacks native support for Canadian GST and PST, or European VAT taxes. Your business management system should be designed to provide all businesses -from established multinational concerns to those just about to dip a toe into foreign waters-with comprehensive language, currency, reporting and tax support to streamline international sales.

Third Key: Embrace Information as a Highly Valuable Currency
Making timely and well-informed decisions is important in any economic climate. The end of the quarter or the end of the month might be too late to get the information your business needs in order to succeed now. You want a system built with real-time analysis in mind. Real-time visibility into actual spending and revenue allows business decisions to be made in a more predictive and proactive manner. That's a valuable asset to have on your side, whether it means identifying new business opportunities and pouncing on them before competitors can react, or clamping down on unnecessary expenditures before they become problematic.

In fact, real-time expenditure monitoring is the only effective way to wrap your arms around the various hard and soft budgeting policies that invariably crop up in an established business. Whether you opt to introduce new levels of control and approval over common but flexible spending such as travel, or are looking for ways to tighten hard budgets even further, you will need a solution geared to provide cleanly integrated data and instant insight. Real-time monitoring can also help avoid bad debts, as reports such as Daily Sales Outstanding permit you to stop credit problems before they start.

Sound, reliable business information is not only solid business policy, but for many businesses, it is also the law. Against a backdrop of organisational change against the economic headwinds, a tightening regulatory climate, and ever-expanding real-time capabilities, having a business solution that provides wholly accurate and immediate recording and reporting of all user activity is vital. It's critical that your system offers comprehensive logging and tracking of user activity and record access and changes, and is adaptable enough for the widening net of companies subject to Sarbanes-Oxley. The unified suite solution means fewer systems touch your customer data, lessening the burdens of proving compliance and data accuracy. Data re-entry scenarios are virtually eliminated, offering greater control and confidence.

Solutions To Help Your Business Succeed Now
Many business management systems offer your organisation only a small piece of functionality-a customer service recordkeeping system, an accounting package, or a customer-relationship database. A holistic view- and a holistic approach to managing your affairs-is the best investment you can make in your company's ongoing operations.

If your organisation is currently straining under the burden of multiple vendors, each with different maintenance contracts, integration requirements, and hardware overhead, a clean, well-managed break with the past can provide short-term relief as well as long-term ROI. Consider the implications of being able to eliminate your expenditures on regular VAR visits, support-contract renewals, hardware maintenance and replacement, and dedicated IT application specialists. Then, consider the implications of partnering with a single, responsible global erp solutions vendorFree Reprint Articles, one that can improve the integration and manageability of your enterprise operations.

Article Tags: Three Keys, Strong Financial, Business Management

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Hugh McInnes works hard. He runs a small business and does well because he uses global erp solutions to help him. He gets a bit stressed out at times but mostly things go his way. The internet is one of his hobbies, and he's been recommending business accounting software to organisations for a number of years

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