Once a new and fresh idea that had people turning heads, the cloud has now become an everyday and almost expected technology. With the Cloud becoming commonplace, software and software-as-a-service is even easier and more affordable for companies to grow and operate their business, while saving time and money.
It is few and far between these days that a business does not have something operated through the Cloud. For small to mid-size companies, handing off tedious tasks to third-parties is now an affordable option. From a list of more than 2,000 different work activities, a study by McKinsey shows that more than half (45%) could be automated through technology now available. No matter the industry, companies are using this technology to their advantage. For example, mobile phone order and activation for cellular companies; inventory management for retailers; claims processing for insurance companies; mortgage approvals for banks; supply chain quality management for manufacturers.
The area that most businesses see the biggest return on using Cloud-based technology lies in the tedious, manual basics of a business. By freeing up the time of employees and resources, the company is able to focus on more strategic activities. More and more businesses are seeing the value in this, Intuit reports that 65 percent of small-businesses are using Cloud-based apps to conduct office work such as accounting or bookkeeping. Further, 43 percent of mid-market companies now automate a majority of business processes, this up from just 24 percent in the previous year.
Although the automated tools topping the “most popular” list include collaboration software, ecommerce and productivity tools, many businesses are now taking advantage of the benefits of Cloud services that automate sales and marketing, customer care, human resources, project management, payroll, expense reporting and benefits, shipping and fulfillment and transactional tax calculations and returns filing.
So why all the buzz and interest in the Cloud? The appeal is found in its ability to work harmoniously with other processes and services, provided an integrated platform and deeper insight into your business. Switching to Cloud-based services usually doesn’t require finding and switching to a new vendor or business application, something many businesses can’t afford to do. ERP, ecommerce and financial platforms have jumped onto the Cloud-based bandwagon and are offering SaaS-friendly environments where companies can tailor their system to work unique to their business.
So what’s sales and use tax got to do with it? First, it’s a task that is prone to error and highly time consuming – a daunting task sure to make any CFO or business owner cringe. Second, with all the easy-to-use and fast technology out there, why wouldn’t you automate? It makes no sense any more to spend time, money and resources on something that can be done faster, cheaper and better. Finally, it’s a no-brainer.
Software providers that are leading in their industry, such as Avalara AvaTax or Anytime Collect accounts receivable software, involves only a simple integration to the business systems you already use today. It’s quick, simple and easy to get started using it. For systems like Avalara AvaTax or Anytime Collect, integrating with your accounting system, ERP, ecommerce or shopping cart software can give your business more insight and add deeper value.
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