10 reasons to outsource Software Development

10 reasons to outsource Software Development

So, why outsource your software development?

Outsourcing will help you conduct a cost effective business by decreasing your payroll. It will help your company give a more specific oriented task to your executive employees.

1 – Cost Savings
Outsourcing makes sense for cutting costs while reducing workload on the employee. Outsourced labor may cost 90% less than the same labor performed in-house in Western Europe or North America, particularly for low-level tasks. You won’t need to make any upfront investment, which makes development projects much more attractive.

2 – Time Savings
Software development takes less time when people are working on your applications around the clock, so you can get your product to market more quickly than your competitors can.

3 – Lack of in house experience
When the internal resources of the company are not enough to globalize the company’s business, Outsourcing software development will bring new dimensions to manage a business worldwide. Business applications will be more sound and systematic for an overall performance.

4 – Flexibility
When you outsource, you don’t have to spend time recruiting, hiring, training, and housing employees for short-term projects.

5- Talented IT Professionals
You’ll have immediate access to some of the best and brightest information-technology professionals by going overseas and bypassing the gaps in hiring pools in more developed countries.

6- Focused Strategy
Outsourcing software development would streamline business processes. It will provide a focused strategy to have a competitive advantage in the technological race.

7 – Improved Compliance
Outsourcing software development would create an automated compliance system that will reduce human follow-ups in business processes.

8 – Enhanced Accuracy
Offshore development will improve work accuracy in terms of given deadlines on a project. Defined software will deliver accurate results in less turn around time.

9 – Technological Advances
Technology is evolving in different countries of the world. Companies thriving to gain competitive advantage are better off outsourcing software development. For technological prowess.

10 – Risk Mitigation
You can mitigate risks by choosing an outsourcing firm that has a high-quality project management system and a tried-and-true process for developing applications.

Several functions can be outsourced by a company in different departments. From management training to Accounting and Finance, outsourcing takes care of it all. Website development & web design are increasingly outsourced by almost all companies for better maintenance and timely upgrades. Outsourcing certain area of your business makes a lot of sense in order to maximize your profits in a small amount of time.

5 Myths around Outsourcing Finance Functions

5 Myths around Outsourcing Finance Functions

Outsourced Accounting or Accounting as a Service (AaaS) provider can be the catalyst to take your organization to the next level.  For some SMBs, accounting is not looked at as a strategic function of the organization, but it should be.  It also shouldn’t take focus away from growing your core business.  Lots of SMBs don’t consider Outsourcing.  Here are 5 main reasons why.

1) They think it is too expensive

By using Accounting as a Service, you have access to shared service center.  Providers have put a lot of investment, thought, and execution into their model and have staffed accordingly.  With an AaaS provider you now have access to a full accounting department that often is less expensive than one full-time FTE.  This doesn’t even figure in technology costs that come with the service.

2) It is the same as bookkeeping services

Bookkeepers are responsible for recording daily financial transactions.  Controllers are responsible for financial reporting, internal audit and internal controls. CFO are responsible for financial planning, financial data analysis and strategic planning.  By relying only upon a bookkeeper you are stuck looking in the past and cannot see into the future to effectively make critical decisions for your business.  AaaS providers ensure daily transactions are done correctly but also greatly reduce risks and provide necessary forward-thinking strategy to help growth your business.

3) We can just do the same in-house

For most SMBs it is hard to justify the expense of having a bookkeeper, controller, VP of finance and CFO.  All positions have importance.  You don’t want to pay a senior level person to do daily transactions and you definitely don’t want to ask an entry level person to manage financial risks.

4) We cannot have any finance staff in-house

Often AaaS providers work with internal staff to fill voids.  Yes, providers can function as the entire finance department but often work with existing staff to help maximize their production.

5) We have more control and stability by utilizing in-house staff

Employees turnover and training are always on the minds of companies.  If you don’t have a defined professional develop plan for each employee, you are at risk of losing your top talent to other opportunities.  By using an AaaS provider you eliminate the risk of employee turnover.  You also will not miss a beat when people people are out sick, on vacation, or on leave.

What do I get with an AaaS?

  • Enterprise software platform (workflow, automation, dashboards etc)
  • Vendors paid on-time
  • Customers billed on-time and accurately
  • Employee expenses captured and reimbursed
  • Cash transactions reconciled
  • Timely payables collection
  • Accounts analyzed and reconciled on an ongoing basis
  • Financial and management reports delivered on-time and accurately
  • Scalability and rapid deployment, when needed
  • Regulatory compliance delivered
  • Audit ready
  • A finance and accounting function that is STRATEGIC
How to Improve Your FP&A Process Right Now

How to Improve Your FP&A Process Right Now

FP&A Teams Have the Wrong Focus

According to a recent report by Adaptive Insights, CFOs want their employees to spend less time on collecting and preparing data and more time on forecasting and analysis. The survey revealed that financial planning and analysis (FP&A) teams are currently spending 53% of their time on reporting and data gathering alone.

“Reporting, whether it’s on actuals or forecast or planning should be quick. We shouldn’t be spending a lot of time on that,” says Jim Johnson, CFO of Adaptive Insights. “We should be spending much more time on the model that’s supporting it. The predictive analysis, the key performance indicators and the stuff that is really important for the company.”

There is a good reason why employees should spend more time on analytics. Oracle found that businesses who were effective at integrating financial and operating data, using analytics in processes and utilizing predictive analytics outranked their peers by 70% on profit and revenue.

How Can You Improve Your FP&A Process?

 

Implement a Dynamic Planning Process

First of all, your business need to incorporate a FP&A process that allow for flexibility. Rolling forecasts, for example, is one way to ensure you are adapting to market forces. Since rolling forecasts ultimately is an approach where you add or drop data on a rolling basis, you consequently have real-time insights to your performance against your predictions. APQC reported that an organization can save a median of 25 days on the annual budgeting cycle by using rolling forecasts.

“It makes no sense to use a 19th-century tool to manage 21st-century company in a volatile global economy,” argues Steve Player, a program director at the Beyond Budgeting Roundtable. “In the old days, the CFO sat in the back of the ship recording what happened. Now, the CFO stands on the bridge looking forward and adjusting for variables.”

Traditional annual budgets have limits. They often take too long to prepare, and when completed the data is already out of date. Rolling forecasts offer continuous updates to your data and a longer horizon with data up to 12-18 months ahead. Thus, you have much more accurate data and reliable insights. This, as a result, allows you to take more strategic decisions about your business.

 

Related: How to Improve Your Sales Forecast Accuracy

 

Make it Easy for Employees to Collaborate

Collaboration among employees and management is crucial for your business. First, they help you realize your goals, but they can also aid in reducing hidden costs. According to research by CEB, hidden budgeting and forecasting costs may prevent companies from realizing their full potential of investments in FP&A improvements.

How do businesses encourage collaboration? There’s one simple answer. Leverage technology.  Cloud-based software is a great solution for companies that have data that needs to be shared and aggregated by more than one employee. In addition, cloud software also allows for employees to access the same data from virtually anywhere. Finally, most cloud-based software providers offers integration with other enterprise systems, which allows you to have one source for your performance management.

 

Related: A Beginner’s Guide to Cloud Computing

 

Conclusion

While you may think your business is doing well enough, your competitors are advancing by implementing better FP&A processes like the ones discussed above. Don’t wait, instead, invest in FP&A processes that will help your business achieve outstanding results and reduce hidden costs.

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Financial controllers are increasingly taking on the role of financial operating officer. You’re ensuring that finance runs smoothly and that there are not surprises on audit day.

But what does “running smoothly” really mean?

Download this eBook to learn six ways that today’s best-in-class controllers follow to successfully meet and overcome challenges in the profession.

Will Robots Replace Accountants?

Will Robots Replace Accountants?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Predicted to Takeover

Forrester reported last summer that they estimate that cognitive technologies such as robots, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and automation will replace 7% of US jobs by 2025. Additionally, Gartner has predicted that one in three jobs will be converted to software, robots and smart machines within ten years. Moreover, McKinsey & Co found in an analysis that “as many as 45% of the activities individuals are paid to perform can be automated by adapting currently demonstrated technologies.”

AI Takeover – What Does it Mean?

AI takeover is not a new concept; it has served as the main theme in many movies over the last decades; such as the Terminator and Matrix film series. However, science fiction films have mainly focused on true AI takeover (taking control over the planet over the human race).

There are mixed opinions on to what extend of AI takeover will happen and whether it is good for the labor force or not. Stephen Hawking, one of the world’s most known scientists, said in 2014 that he believes that “computers will overtake with AI at some within the next 100 years. When that happens we need to make sure the computers have goals aligned with ours”. Whether it will happen in that time frame or not, one cannot argue with how technology has disrupted the labor force in the past decade.

Does AI Remove or Create Jobs?

Technology has, in the past 10 years, created jobs that never existed before; such as app developer, social media manager, and cloud computing services. Technology has also allowed humans to become more productive and created more opportunities for consumer empowerment. But is this going to be the case with AI?

Fully developed AI systems will essentially perform tasks that would normally require human intelligence. Thus, machines would be able to learn autonomously, make decisions and interact with the world via sensory capabilities.

Related: 3 Key Tech Benefits in Healthcare

Will Robots Replace Accountants?

Accenture predicts that 80% of accounting and finance tasks will be automated in the next five years. What does this mean for the future of accounting professionals?

AI is going to change the accounting profession. But rather than replacing accountants, it is simply going to alter the tasks of accountants. Bernard Marr, an author specializing in business, technology and big data, wrote in a recent article for Forbes that “it is high time for every accountant to reflect on their job, identify the opportunities machine learning could offer to them, and focus less on the tasks that can be automated and more on those inherently human aspects of their jobs”.

Ultimately, accountants need to stay ahead of the technology curve and figure out what tasks they can automate. This, as a result, will allow for more time on tasks that still require human intelligence. Robots will not replace accountants anytime soon; however, AI will definitely disrupt and change the profession.

Related: Cloud Software – The Competitive Advantage

What are you doing to stay ahead of the technology curve?

3 Key Tech Benefits in Healthcare

3 Key Tech Benefits in Healthcare

Technology is disrupting markets in significant ways by reducing costs, making systems and processes more efficient and empowering customers. The healthcare industry, which had $3.2 trillion in expenditures in 2015 (nearly 18% of total GDP) in the U.S., is expected to be able to reduce costs by $300 billion by simply implementing new technology. Before going into the key tech benefits in healthcare, we will briefly discuss the different technology solutions that are already making an impact.

Related: How do CFOs Keep Up with Technology Changes?

Artificial Intelligence

Commercialization of big data and machine learning has introduced AI to the healthcare industry and it’s believed to change the way diagnoses and treatment of patients are carried out. A study by Frost and Sullivan in 2016 projected that the AI market in healthcare will grow by 40% and reach $6.6 billion in 2021. Additionally, Frost and Sullivan also projects that AI can improve outcomes by 30-40% and reduce treatment costs by 50%. Ultimately, AI is expected to allow the health industry to automatically diagnose and recommend treatments to patients. The fact that implementing AI will reduce costs makes it even more enticing.

Mobility

By 2018 it is estimated that 65% of all interactions with healthcare facilities will be via mobile devices. In November 2016, StatCounter also reported that, for the first time, there are more users around the world that are accessing the Internet from mobile devices than from desktop computers. Needless to say, the increase in mobile usage among customers is something that the healthcare industry is taking advantage of. Mobile usage has also enabled the new concept Telemedicine, where patients can get in touch with their physicians from remote locations by simply joining a conference call.

Cloud Access

Cloud technology has changed healthcare facilities in multiple areas by for example allowing employees get real-time guidance through information systems. More importantly, cloud access has allowed healthcare facilities to safely store data and for a reduced cost. Hospitals, in particular, have to store massive amounts of data on patients on a daily basis that they ultimately use to make strategic and informed decisions about treatments.

Related: A Beginner’s Guide to Cloud Computing

Main Tech Benefits in Healthcare

Technology will continue to disrupt the healthcare industry going forward, and there is a reason for it. Digital approaches offer enticing benefits for both healthcare facilities and patients.

1. Reduced Cost

Technology will reduce costs, both for businesses and customers. Businesses want to maximize profits, customers want to pay less money. All in all, it works out for everyone.

2. Better Care

Technology approaches such as cloud software allows physicians to make better informed decisions in tough times, which ultimately can improve treatments of patients and outcomes. Healthcare facilities want to treat patients so they can live longer lives and patients want to receive the best care possible. Technology makes this possible.

3. Empowered Patients

Finally, technology also empowers the patients, who no longer have to schedule their days around a doctor’s visit. Technology has essentially allowed healthcare facilities to become more patient-centric.

Conclusively, technology in healthcare offer many innovative approaches to grow and save money at the same time. What are your thoughts on technology as it relates to healthcare? Do you agree on the benefits listed above or do you see other potential benefits with technology in healthcare? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

Finance’s Elevated Role and Other Critical Trends for 2019

The beginning of a new year always signals a time for trend spotting Which financial opportunities, challenges and changes should companies prepare for now? Below are six soon-to-be realities that you should consider for 2019.  .   CFOs take on more responsibility....

Modern Digital Workplace: 5 Current Trends Making Waves In The Office

Improving workflow is guaranteed to improve morale and modernize your workplace. But with all the tech on the market, it’s tough to know which solution is right for you. At Lavoie CPA, we know it’s a tough decision. We’re here to help.

With Microsoft cloud solutions, increasing employee connectivity–not only to each other but to the many Microsoft services offered–is a key element in being able to maintain flexibility while accessing data wherever you are.

With a little help, you can leverage Microsoft cloud solutions today. Contact us to find out how we can speed your transition to the cloud.

Customer story: Hershey

Hershey built their brand with data, using insights to come up with creative ideas. But to foster that creativity in the digital age, they needed to modernize their IT infrastructure. Doing so can seem daunting, even for a company like Hershey. At Lavoie CPA, we want to help your business make that change so you can begin to create.

With Microsoft cloud services, Hershey was able to connect employees together with insights gained from Azure, creating an agile modern workplace. Your business can leverage these same tools to modernize your workplace.

Contact us today to find out how we can help.

3 ways to protect yourself from a ransomware disaster

There’s no cure for ransomware. As the attackers grow more powerful each day, it’s up to every business to fight back by being prepared and keeping important data safe. At Lavoie CPA, we can help you do just that.

Microsoft’s approach to privacy and data protection is grounded in their commitment to customers’ ownership of and control over the collection, use, and distribution of information.

Leverage the security of Microsoft tools to safeguard your business and the data that makes it run. Contact us today to find out more on how we can help.

Customer Story: Taylor Wessing

International law firm Taylor Wessing needed the flexibility to scale, develop, and deploy where and how they want so they adopted the only consistent hybrid cloud on the market. At Lavoie CPA, we know you have a lot of the same needs, and we have the solution.

With Azure, you can easily connect data with applications, and devices by taking advantage of over 150 out-of-the-box connectors, all while meeting a broad set of international and industry-specific compliance standards, like GDPR.

You know where to find the tools, now you need to integrate them. Contact us today to find out how we can help.

5 key areas to focus on while integrating cloud-based strategies

Moving to the cloud does not happen overnight, and the road there can often appear winding and poorly marked. It may not always be clear which move is the right one for your company.

Advisors can help a business navigate this path, ensuring they are achieving the desired result and avoiding complications.

We here at Lavoie CPA want to ensure that your business is making the best possible choice when starting out on your cloud journey. Contact us to learn more about making the right choice.

Customer Story: Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company

As a business, your greatest assets are your people. Their hard work and ingenuity have gotten you to where you are today. But in order for each employee to best serve your company into the future, they need the right tools.

Microsoft 365 keeps people connected across the globe, allowing them to come together and collaborate in real time to solve business problems faster and more effectively than ever before. Microsoft 365 keeps them agile, productive, and most importantly, secure, wherever they are logging in from.

Contact us to learn more about how to ensure your greatest assets–your people–have the right tools to propel your business to success.

Office 365 helps secure Microsoft from modern phishing campaigns

Phishing attacks are relentless. What are you doing to help prevent them from hitting your business? At Lavoie CPA, we want to help make sure your modern business has the tools you need to stay protected.

Office 365 works in near real-time to protect against phishing threats and safeguard data and intellectual property. It provides advanced security and reliability to eliminate known threats before they reach you.

Your information is too valuable not to protect it. Contact us today to find out more on adopting the Microsoft solution you need to stay in the game.

Day in the life Retail

With all the moving parts in your business, you need to stay in sync while maintaining flexibility and speed. At Lavoie CPA, we know that can be tough to do especially for small business owners. That’s why we’re here to help.

Microsoft business-class email gives you access to email, contacts, and shared calendars anywhere. You can work without worries wherever you work best and stay focused on what matters most.

Your mobile business needs the right tools and we can help you get them. Contact us today to find out how we’re poised to deliver the Microsoft solutions you need.

Microsoft uses analytics and data science to enhance the user experience

Whether you need a solution to look for information, attend meetings, or collaborate, you want a great user experience. Your customers do too! At Lavoie CPA, we know this can be tough to deliver.

To enhance user experience for employees, Microsoft employs several data science and machine learning algorithms to provide insight into how people use products and services to achieve their goals, how they perceive an experience, and any issues they have.

With all that data, anything is possible. Imagine what your business could achieve with the right tools. Contact us today to find out how we can help.

Business Intelligence is a Competitive Advantage

Business Intelligence is a Competitive Advantage

It’s the first day of the month, the finance and accounting teams are reconciling balance sheet accounts, recognizing revenue, accruing expenses, and recording financial transactions. Everybody is busy working against the clock to have the financial statements ready on time. Then, a request from the senior management team arrives. They want a series of sales reports so they can decide when to launch the new product line. This is a situation where a Business Intelligence (BI) solution would’ve been very handy. But let’s start with the basics.

What is Business Intelligence?

Business intelligence is the set of strategies, processes, applications, data, products, technologies and technical architectures which are used to support the collection, analysis, presentation and dissemination of business information.

Business Intelligence Systems

To implement BI, you need BI systems. These are solutions created to collect, store and analyze data for informed decision-making. These systems are particularly useful for evaluating customer or brand profitability, carrying out statistical analysis, undertaking inventory evaluation, and being part of a market research project.

Good BI solutions, at a minimum, include reporting with multidimensional aggregation and allocation, real-time information, reliable integration with the data sources and key performance indicators.

Challenges of BI Systems

Quite often, data is scattered in disparate systems such as accounting, forecasting, sales, customer relationship management (CRM), project management, inventory, etc. So, when a company decides it’s time to implement a BI tool, a big project must be launched. Not only because the new system needs to be implemented, but also because the IT department needs to create programs and processes to feed the BI tool with data extracted from all these systems.

Writing interface programs with instructions to extract data from a system requires extensive knowledge of the database. This means you need an experienced IT programmer in staff—or hire an expensive consultant—for each system that has data needed by the BI solution.

Then comes the problem of deciding how often to refresh the data in the BI system. Should it be weekly? Nightly? More than once per day? Unless you refresh the data in the BI database as soon as a transaction occurs in the originating systems, the BI information will never be real-time.

Related: A Beginner’s Guide to Cloud Computing

ERP Solution with Integrated BI functionality

These issues don’t exist in an integrated solution with business intelligence capabilities. Software like this acts as the trusted system of record and depository of most of the financial and operational data. It offers the whole spectrum of core financial modules and it can be extended with fully integrated Intacct modules such as project accounting, time and expense management, contract revenue management, contract and subscription billing, inventory management, and more.

And built in the solution, multiple software companies offers the business intelligence components required to make smart and informed decisions:

  • Multidimensional aggregation and allocation. Thus, you can tag transactions to as many dimensions as needed. These dimensions can then be used on reports as criteria to sort, filter and aggregate.
  • Real-time reporting. Being an integrated system, all modules update a single database. Once a transaction is entered in any module, it is available for viewing and reporting. No IT interface programs and no IT experts are required.
  • Reliable integration with the data sources. Most systems offers pieces of software (APIs) that allow easy integration of third party systems with the database and functions.
  • Key performance indicators optimization. Most software solutions integrates dashboards that provide real-time access to key information and indicators that can be customized to meet the needs of the business.

Is your company at a stage where BI solutions are being considered? If you’re interested in learning more, check out the free whitepaper below on how to successfully launch a BI initiative.

Learn Secrets to Drive A Successful BI Initiative

A 2014 report by Dresner Advisory Services, the Wisdom of Crowds® Business Intelligence Market Study, surveyed more than 1,200 IT and business professionals at companies of all sizes, from around the world, about their use of BI.

The study revealed that companies that achieve BI success follow five common best practices. We share these approaches to help you launch and drive a successful BI initiative at your organization — before your competitors crack the code first and pass you by.