The introduction of the cloud meant a transformation of the business landscape and it’s now become a mainstay in the IT industry. The approximate figure of businesses using the cloud is 93 percent according to RightScale research, highlighting the high adoption rate from UK companies. For the finance industry, the cloud has arguably transformed many of the traditional methods of management, including expenses, for the better.

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It saves time and money

Quite simply using the cloud is more economical – in cost and time. The cloud allows data to be shared more easily and has inevitably driven UK digital entrepreneurship over the past few years. The need for cloud-based software solutions has gone hand in hand with the rise of digital and software developing companies that offer efficient solutions for businesses.

According to research from Upp Technology, 30 percent of cloud users reduced costs by 40% in two years; expense management is just one area in which businesses can save time and money. For the CFOs and FDs, the cloud-based software has simplified many of the basic bookkeeping tasks and frees up their time to analyse figures, thus making it easier to see where improvements can be made. One of the key transformations the cloud has enabled finance are the costs saved through Op Ex spends. The Op-Ex option of the Cloud means businesses don’t have to pay the high upfront fee incurred with Cap Ex solutions. This is a huge benefit for finance start-ups who are trying to save upfront costs of setting up such as servers, hardware and software purchases.

It provides enhanced security features

Some businesses have been cautious to adopt the cloud as security is one of their biggest concerns. Many are reluctant to adopt an application that could disrupt their current operations.

However, much of these concerns could be unfounded. Webexpenses’ own experience of working with this type of technology has shown the minor disruption of initially changing to the cloud is nothing compared to the long-term investment you’re actually making for your company.

The cloud also provides additional security, backing up all your files automatically, and 64 percent of cloud users believe it to be more secure than legacy systems.

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The many recent data hacks into high-profile companies have made businesses and customers warier than ever about sharing their personal information online. However, research highlights many of the attacks were carried out in on-premise environments rather than the cloud.

Security will likely remain a key concern when a company decides to move its data to the cloud, but the level of risk mostly relates to the behavior and culture of the employees rather than the software. Cloud is the future of business and has proved its dedication to ensuring a secure option for businesses and their customers.

Remote and immediate access

One of the biggest impacts of the cloud for the finance and expense industry, in particular, is the remote and immediate access it provides.

It can be accessed on numerous devices, so for employees who want to expense their lunch or travel ticket, they are able to scan the receipt into their phone remotely. This eliminates the chances of losing the paper receipt and makes the process immediate and efficient. Not only is this a benefit for the employee, but it allows the business to have visibility and control over areas such as travel spending, as well as ensuring there’s a system in place to ensure timely reporting.

This real-time access brought the cloud and mobile together, taking away the challenges of geography or time zones businesses previously faced. Webexpenses’ cloud-based software enables businesses to provide efficient financial reporting across regions as easily as if they were round the corner from your office.

It reduces your paper footprint

The ability to use cloud software on different devices has also had an impact on reducing the amount of paper that businesses are using, particularly within the finance teams.

For example, webexpenses offers a petty cash management solution to reduce the amount of paper and loose receipts, as everything is moved digitally with receipts scanned in. These changes to even the smallest aspects of a business can have a big impact on the money and time saved.

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Recent research has shown that 37 percent of SMEs are using apps in their day-to-day business and 64 percent are running their operations via cloud technology, replacing the traditional paper-based ways of working to faster and more efficient digital methods. This inevitably has an impact for instant Management Information as the reporting capability of a digital cloud system, in comparison to the manual paper process, is vast. Information is more easily stored and updated online and across devices rather than limiting it with manual paper processes.

The increase in cloud adoption rate leaves no doubt that the cloud is the future for businesses. The enhanced security features, efficiency, and access have transformed the day-to-day running of business across all industries and we will continue to see the growth of cloud-based software solutions. Whether this is the end of the road for traditional on-premises hardware and storage remains to be seen.