The mobile financial office may not be on every finance team’s radar, but Acumatica’s CFO says it should be. He explains why today.
The financial management team is often considered the ‘heart’ of an organization. Financial managers prepare financial reports, offer investment insights, manage the spending of funds, and develop strategies for long-term financial goals. They also communicate and collaborate with every department in the company. Ultimately, they can be viewed as the life-sustaining force of the organization.
Because of their importance (and the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic), businesses needed to adjust how their finance teams functioned when remote work became the norm. Nigel LeGresley, Acumatica’s COO/CFO, sat down with me to discuss how critical it is that businesses in every industry embrace the mobile finance office.
Q&A: The mobile finance office
Question: One of my first questions has to be about the pandemic. How did COVID-19 affect the way financial management teams were able to function?
Nigel: COVID-19 created challenges for most businesses. Remote work became a requirement, and companies needed to figure out how to connect their employees and their business management solutions. Those already relying on a cloud ERP solution with mobile capabilities, like Acumatica, had a seamless transition. They were able to access critical business content from any mobile device with internet connectivity, regardless of their location.
Finance departments need to deliver value to the organization every day and cannot be constrained by the walls of an office. They need modern, flexible financial management software that allows them to work any place at any time, be that from the office, from home, or from the road. The value they provide is information used for critical decision-making.
Question: What barriers are you seeing customers face as they consider embracing a mobile finance office?
Nigel: Businesses that haven’t yet implemented cloud-based ERP solutions that offer remote access need time. It may not be a quick process. They have to first do their research of ERP solutions to find out what their options are, then evaluate ERP solutions by comparing those options, and then they can make their ERP selection. Again, it can be a time-consuming endeavor and companies don’t always think they have the time, but they absolutely must invest the time and the capital. If they don’t, their competitors will pass them by.
Another barrier is that businesses may think their legacy system is just fine, but it likely isn’t. These systems are typically inefficient 20+ year old technology and lack the modern functionality of cloud-based solutions. Businesses must have confidence their system allows their team members throughout the organization to connect to current data while simultaneously helping each team member perform their job from wherever they are, and whenever they need. That’s everyone from the CEO to sales to operations and so beyond.
When they realize that a legacy system doesn’t let them do these essential functions, they need find the right solution and implement ASAP. Not every business will know what functionality they’ll want from their cloud ERP solution and financial management software. Of course, if they turn to Acumatica, they don’t need to as Acumatica’s platform technology provides the foundation and functionality to grow with their business. And of course, not worrying about user-based pricings because Acumatica allows everyone in the company to use Acumatica ERP solution!
Question: Can you explain in more detail why Acumatica customers don’t need to know all of their exact needs when they implement Acumatica’s cloud ERP software?
Nigel: We’re a flexible solution that allows users to pick and choose which modules they need now, and the modules they’ll need later, with the ability to work on a laptop, cell phone or other mobile device in the office and/or on the go. They can expand and contract as their requirements change. For example, the General Business Edition with Financial Management will be the hub of the ERP. Businesses can start there and add the modules as they need them. If they need functionality for manufacturing, they can add our Manufacturing Edition. Perhaps they’ll want to add Customer Management Relationship (CRM) or Payroll. They can.
We also have consumption-based pricing that doesn’t lock companies into a specific number of users. Instead, we charge for the resources used. It’s a unique licensing model that can grow or shrink depending on customer needs.
Because we’re a platform-based ERP with open APIs, businesses can review the Acumatica Marketplace with our over 200 partners and integrate with any third-party application the business chooses. As a plug-and-play platform, customers can make the best decisions and choose the best solutions for them. Our platform also differentiates us—starkly—from our competitors.
While we have formidable competitors, they tend to be based on older technology. Acumatica uses the world’s best cloud and mobile technology that fosters agility and opens the door to a large volume of quality ISV solutions.
Question: What are some of the benefits of embracing cloud ERP software and the mobile finance office?
Nigel: As I previously stated, Acumatica Cloud ERP provides amazing flexibility for businesses, both in the modules they can implement and in the pricing structure we provide. Our cloud ERP software also delivers high-quality value and efficiency that disconnected, legacy solutions just can’t. Businesses and their employees can personalize their dashboards, whether that’s Acumatica’s, Tableau’s, or PowerBI dashboards, and handle cash flow, accounts payable, accounts receivable, sales, and more within a single centralized solution on mobile devices.
When financial team members—or any department team member, for that matter—have a system that is easy-to-use and is geared towards their specific needs, then their workplace satisfaction is increased and the employee retention rate along with it. On top of that, they have the real-time information and reports they need at their fingertips, which they can then share with the organization consistently and securely. They are valued business partners that aid in making data supported decisions and building a world-class organization.
Critical remote access with the mobile finance office
My thanks to Nigel for a great conversation on an important topic. He wrapped it up by noting that the many benefits of implementing a comprehensive cloud ERP solution and financial management software are enveloped within the overarching benefit of the mobile finance office. Finance teams can access their updated, synchronized data from wherever they are at any time. This mobility is critical in a time when the remote workforce seems to be becoming the standard operating procedure.
To learn more about Acumatica Cloud ERP or to request a demonstration, please contact our experts today.