The financial benefits of implementing Cloud technology
Blog //19-10-2021

The financial benefits of implementing Cloud technology

by Andrew Hicks, Former Chief Financial Officer

Cloud computing is no longer just a popular technology; it's a viable and cost-effective business strategy. It’s clear that technology is showing no signs of slowing down, and with the right tools and processes in place, Cloud accounting software can save businesses significant time and money.

This includes eliminating complex implementation and maintenance costs, improving performance through real-time reporting and the automation of manual and mundane tasks to give back time to the finance team to focus on value-adding projects.

Combining all areas of finance, the Cloud provides well-planned workflows, clear processes and harmonised team collaboration thanks to real-time dashboards providing overviews of all business activity.

Why is Cloud Technology important for finance?

If your finance function is yet to be disrupted, it won’t be long before your business starts to fall behind on meeting market demand. Our recent Workforce Trends Survey found that 76% of finance professionals saw an increase in the number of software and apps used at work over the last 12 months.

With so many Cloud accounting software options and solutions out there in the market, it can be overwhelming for CFOs and Finance Directors to adopt the right technology that’s cost-effective, seamless, and ticks all the boxes.

For those who have already adopted Cloud accounting software, the short-term pain of implementing new systems has already reaped long term gain. It has enabled a stronger understanding of cash flow, a clearer overview of business activity, opportunity for real-time reporting and the automation of low-value tasks that previously held finance teams back.

How can Cloud Technology help reduce implementation costs?    

For CFOs and Finance Directors, it might be tempting to invest in multiple third-party systems to support the finance function. However, this costly digital strategy has proven to be counter-productive for finance teams in the long run.

As well as offering benefits such as backup, recovery, and security, one of the main reasons why businesses migrate to the Cloud is its associated cost savings.

Here are the financial benefits of implementing Cloud technology:

Savings on capital

With increased utilisation and scalability, the Cloud can reduce capital expenses. If you run your own servers, you'll incur capital costs right from the start as establishing and maintaining an on-premise IT infrastructure is a costly investment. 

To run traditional software efficiently, these on-premise IT infrastructures require power, cables, servers, storage drives, firewalls, cooling equipment, networking gear and load balancers. In addition, IT personnel must oversee and maintain your on-premises infrastructure, so include that in your capital expenses. As a result, the costs quickly mount up. 

Companies can expect to save money on capital expenditures when using Cloud software solutions for business-critical applications. The money saved can be put towards investing in innovation and growth.

Cost-effective operations

It takes a team of people, unending server glitches, and expensive updates to run a traditional infrastructure. Those who maintain a traditional data warehouse are likely familiar with the necessary responsibilities and upkeep of that infrastructure.

It includes updating and maintaining:

  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Networks
  • Security
  • Disaster recovery

There are many costs associated with employing good IT professionals, such as salaries, benefits, and other employment costs. That's even before you factor in the costs of hiring good staff with the right experience. In migrations to the Cloud, a portion of the money spent goes towards your provider's staffing costs. Generally, these fees are much lower than if you executed all those tasks in-house.

This doesn't imply that you will have to cut your staff, but rather, you could improve the operations of your IT department by deploying staff to other areas of your business to boost your bottom line.

Fully utilised hardware

The benefits of Cloud computing come from its capability to provide virtual services at scale. Cloud-based services don't require the purchase of expensive physical equipment. Instead, cloud migration makes full use of hardware.

Traditionally, hardware was designed to store data at maximum capacity, resulting in expensive hardware when you don't necessarily need it. In the Cloud, no resources are wasted. As a result, moving to the Cloud allows your business to scale up or scale down in response to its changing computing needs.

There are several forms of pay-as-you-go charging in Cloud computing, including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). The use of these types of services can help users significantly cut down on their hardware costs, which tend to add up over time.

Reduced power costs

Maintaining traditional data centers requires significant amounts of energy. Instead of storing data on-site, moving to the Cloud can reduce your carbon footprint as well as reduce your power costs.

In most cases, if you operate your own data center, your servers will not be fully utilised, leaving you with idle servers. Because idle servers are eliminated, you'll pay less for energy consumed when you use a Cloud service. This gives businesses the added benefit of being greener while simultaneously saving on their energy bills.

With the Cloud, you're not only saving energy, you're also using your Cloud service provider's efforts to reduce its data center's carbon footprint, saving money on carbon offsets you might have otherwise had to spend money on.

How can Cloud Technology solutions help with compliance?

Financial governance and compliance are usually met with a deep sigh and, in some cases, dread. Compliance takes up an increasing amount of admin time from finance teams and trying to stay on top of the growing pile of new regulations and updates can seem like a never-ending ordeal.

The main legislation which impact finance teams include tax filing, data protection and financial reporting. These include Making Tax Digital, GDPR, SORP and SoFA to name a few. Fortunately, the painful process of manually staying up-to-date and putting together these required reports is gradually becoming a thing of the past.

To mitigate this, organisations have begun to introduce Cloud accounting software to efficiently oversee the financial processes of identifying, managing, and taking action to meet relevant laws, policies and regulations. By having these processes in place, the finance function can avoid financial penalties which come with not meeting legislation requirements – especially if they have been updated. This ultimately helps your team remain agile enough to respond rapidly to changes in the fast-moving legislative landscape.

Put simply, having Cloud accounting software in place can give you and your finance team peace of mind. It helps you and your team plan and meet legislation and compliance requirements in the right way, from the right perspectives, according to the right guidelines.

How Advanced Financials helped Nugent Care put the fun back into finance

Our Annual Trends Survey showed that 60% of UK business professionals are seeing cloud services supporting their work. Cloud adoption and the use of AI (and business intelligence) was flagged by a third of respondents as areas they’d like to see impact their daily working life. Nugent Care, the largest education, health and social care charity in Liverpool adopted Advanced Financials with the drive to save time for their finance department.

“We were introduced to Advanced Financials by our account manager at Advanced and were impressed by how user-friendly the solution was. The product fits with our Cloud-first strategy and we love that it is a Software-as-a-Service model. Once we delved into the solution, we could see that it absolutely hit the spot and is exactly what we need. We love it. From the price to the support and the scalability of the solution, we could see it was perfect for us.” - Julia Shaw, Head of Finance at Nugent Care

Take the next steps

Cloud computing is often hard to comprehend, however, it saves its users a great deal of money. Regardless of where you are in your digital transformation journey, you should take advantage of the Cloud’s new technologies that can provide you with the performance, security, and cost control you need.

There’s no need to spend time seeking out complex answers and strategies to boost productivity and delivery from your finance team. The innovation and digital transformation of your financial services are right here.

With a financial management solution like Advanced Financials, you get:

  • Reassurance that your data is protected from cyber threats which, if left unprotected on an old system, could cost thousands and cause a business to collapse
  • Instant access to your data wherever and whenever you need it
  • Real-time reporting right at your fingertips
  • Automation of previously manual tasks so cost is saved by more time spent on value-adding projects
  • Human error eliminated thanks to up-to-date financial compliance rules and regulations
  • Automatic software updates so you are always using the latest version while remaining protected from cyber threats

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Find out what our Cloud-based accounting software, Advanced Financials can do for your finance team on their digital transformation journey.

Blog Financial Management
Andrew Hicks

Andrew Hicks


Former Chief Financial Officer

Andrew joined Advanced in December 2015 with 15 years’ experience in senior finance roles. He is now leading the Group’s strategic and operational finance, legal and HR departments.

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