As business people, we all know that access to the best information is critical to good decision making. Yet many of us struggle with outdated processes and technology that limit our visibility into all aspects of our business, thereby diminishing the quality of our decisions. There is no place where visibility is more important than the accounting and finance departments. If we can’t actually see the state of our financials, then we can’t know what’s going well, what’s going poorly and what needs our attention.

The true measure of accounting visibility is how quickly and easily you can see any given aspect of your businesses financials. Ideally, this should include everything from cash flow to outstanding invoices to cash on hand to receipts and beyond. If it is difficult or time-consuming for you to view any of this information, then you really don’t have optimized accounting visibility, creating uncertainty and undermining your ability to make fully informed decisions.

Furthermore, it is important to recognize that visibility into company accounting is only valuable when in information is not just available, but also usable. That is a key distinction which often goes overlooked. If the accounting information isn’t easily discernible that means it is not actually useful-at least not immediately. Visibility becomes irrelevant if you can’t leverage what you are seeing. The question then becomes how to make sure that the accounting data is both visible and usable.

Software Availability

First, how accessible is the software itself? With legacy accounting software, the solution needs to be installed on a single computer and that is the only device which can access the financial information and programs. Alternatively, cloud accounting software, just like all cloud based solutions, can be utilized from any computer or device with an internet connection and user access permission. This far greater accessibility to information naturally makes the company’s financial information more visible to all authorized users, who then can collaborate to make the business more efficient.

Streamlined Data

How is the accounting and financial information presented? A streamlined display is critical- you need to be able to move easily from viewing one aspect of the business’s financials to another without having to pore through hard to read accounting tables, or worse, raw data. When the accounting software can consolidate the information in an intuitive and easily navigable fashion, you and your team can gain a much better understanding of the state of your business.

Comprehensive View

Ideally, your accounting solution should provide insight into every corner of the company’s financials – otherwise, it cannot truly deliver maximum visibility. A dashboard that offers a complete view of the organization’s financial situation at a single glance offers a level a visibility that drives better analysis and decision making.

Real Time

Finally, the most visible accounting solutions will feature real time capabilities, offering up the most up to date insight at any time, with no exceptions. Accounting and financial solutions that cannot deliver real time information will inherently be incapable of providing visibility in to the company’s financials as they currently stand, and that’s just not good enough for a lot of businesses.

For most businesses, a cloud based accounting solution is best – it provides comprehensive information that is organized intuitively and is based upon real time data that is easily accessible. You really can have eyes in the back of your head when you utilize cloud based accounting and financial solutions for your business!