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Financial Software Selection Best Practices in Selecting Financial Software

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IV. Best Practices Spotlight: Financial Software in the Cloud

Software as a service is not a new concept. It emerged in the late 1990s, during the last high tech boom, first as a way to enable start-up manufacturing companies to quickly do business with their large-enterprise customers. Core business applications have always comprised a large part of the SaaS universe; today, more than a decade later, many global corporations have adopted cloud business systems, thereby increasing the comfort level with the concept.

Web-architected SaaS and cloud accounting applications address myriad business and technology concerns that mid-market companies have as they assess Financials software. These include:

  • Low up-front cost and fast implementation, due to the absence of high software license fees and hardware infrastructure, and the majority of the implementation being handled by the solution provider.
  • Ease of integration, enabled by a wide range of out-of-the-box application connectors, packaged XML services and toolkits that streamline custom integrations.
  • Ease of customization, using graphically based tools that allow the Financial systems to be quickly modified to incorporate existing business processes, and without changing the underlying source code.
  • High performance, due to a Web-based architecture that isolates the presentation layer from application processing and data retrieval. Information is delivered quickly over the Internet and is displayed via a responsive, thin-client front end, resulting in a positive user experience.
  • Standards-based, to allow for ease of integration and scalable growth. Most SaaS business applications are created using widely accepted software languages like Ajax, Java and J2EE, and platforms such as Microsoft .NET.
  • Globally scalable, allowing new geographies and currencies to be easily added, and offering the flexibility to roll up information through different geographies and lines of business.
  • Relief for resource-constrained IT organizations. Cloud accounting software allows IT organizations to focus on pressing business issues and core competencies, alleviating the need to handle a constant drumbeat of finance software upgrades and associated integration issues.
  • A growth path that offers the software extensions, scope and scalability to allow mid-size companies to easily accommodate more countries, more transactions, more features and/or more concurrent users.

In sum, cloud financial software delivery generally offers mid-size companies the chance to gain an accounting application tailored for their needs, while leveraging the cost benefits of shared data center infrastructure.

V. Summary

Since the emergence of business computing decades ago, companies have always recognized the competitive value of information. In today’s uncertain, yet rebounding, post-recession economy, mid-size companies are seizing the opportunity to gain new insight into their business with high-performance Financials software. By employing a best-practices approach to the software selection process, mid-market companies can achieve a real-time, enterprise-wide view of information that imparts benefits including:

  • Short-term: Particularly applicable to SaaS finance applications, mid-size companies can enjoy a low up-front cost and reduced risk from accelerated implementation. Standards-based, Web-architected software also eases integration with other enterprise applications, and renders the software highly adaptable to existing processes.
  • Mid-term: After the Financials application is chosen using best practices, and fully deployed, it can begin to deliver value immediately. Across the organization, users can have flexible access to consolidated enterprise-wide data, on demand. This enables improved decision making and business agility in a tumultuous economic environment.
  • Long-term: Again, the right system architecture plays an essential role in an accounting application’s long-term utility. Standards-based, Web-architected Financials software offers the native scalability to grow globally. The choice of a SaaS delivery model keeps TCO low by eliminating the need for internal IT professionals to implement software upgrades and administer the Financials application. End


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Companies have always recognized the competitive value of information. In today’s uncertain, yet rebounding, post-recession economy, mid-size companies are seizing the opportunity to gain new insight into their business with high-performance financials software.


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