The cloud is a delivery model in which software and the associated data are hosted centrally on the internet. An increasing number of retail franchises are making the move to the cloud but why? What are the benefits?
There are numerous benefits to retail franchises in using the cloud. These include:
- It’s accessible anytime, anywhere. As it’s an online system, retail franchises can access the system at anytime via a mobile phone, tablet or laptop.
- There is no need for hardware as the cloud is online. This means that hardware costs will be zero.
- It’s scalable. New users can easily be added to the system and it can be scaled up or down according to the franchises needs.
- Updates. The franchisee and franchisor will always have access to the latest version of the system as all updated are carried out by the host server.
The cloud can be used in many ways including customer relationship management (CRM), Back of Office (BOS), inventory or stock management as well as accounting.
Doing accounting in the cloud can be very beneficial to retail franchises and here’s why:
- Gives access to real time data. Accounting in the cloud means that the franchisor or franchisee can access financial information immediately which is really helpful in the managing of both the network and the retail store.
- Manage risk. Having a full set of financial reports online means that franchisors can have an overview of the financial standing of stores within the network. This means that franchisors can easily identify if any franchisees are struggling and put measures in place to help them.
- Drive Performance. It allows for extensive reports to be available to head office including historical/budget/actual variance reports. This means that the franchisor can have a better view of the business and therefore drive it forward.
- Comparative. Using one system in the cloud means that comparative reporting can take place; this can then be used for benchmarking within the franchise.
Are you using the cloud for accounting? What would you say the benefits are?