You and your employees are working from different offices, from home or in the field because technology has enabled you and them to do so. But as your office spreads out, it’s more important than ever to improve your team’s ability to connect.
The reason so many businesses are interested in what the cloud can do is because the cloud promises mobility and flexibility, but also guarantees connection to tools and materials as well as people.
Getting into the cloud
As a finance director, you are meeting with different teams possibly at different sites throughout the day. You’re talking about numbers, clients, deadlines and goals.
But you are also responsible for equipping yourself and the department with the tools to take care of those things. Getting into the cloud is about finding the cloud applications that have a specific and practical purpose for you and your employees.
If you’re a mobile manager working with different teams in different locations, you need access to your own task list at all times.
Omnifocus is a highly recommended, well-designed task manager which allows you to access your to-do list on any of device. And for those without an iPhone, Wunderlist is an excellent alternative.
Evernote is effective for taking and storing notes that you can access from any device. It also allows you to take and store pictures of notes or presentation materials from a meeting or a whiteboard from a brainstorm so you never lose important information.
Some view accounting as solitary work, but you know that it takes collaboration to put together reports and presentations and to meet deadlines. This could mean a lot of back and forth emails.
But instead of filling up inboxes, use a document storage solution like Dropbox. Materials can be readily available right when they are needed and you always have the most current version.
Like Dropbox, Cloudon allows for file sharing in the cloud, but it also serves as an editor for documents and spreadsheets. You can collaborate on, track changes to, review and approve a file in the cloud.
Yammer is a social media tool your business can use. It allows you to discuss projects, post updates and make announcements. It also allows for live chats between team members.
As the cloud mobilises finance professionals, it’s helpful to have modes of communication that enable your teams to effectively communicate.
Asana is a task management application for teams that can improve collaboration. You can orchestrate projects by assigning tasks and setting goals. Asana has its own inbox, so it keeps teams from email overload on projects.
Cisco’s WebEx is popular with finance departments because not only does it serve its purpose for web meetings, but it allows you to also display presentations to those in attendance.
For a department that works with numbers and charts, it helps when you can easily view those important items you are discussing.
Whether the numbers tell a good story or deliver bad news, you need to tell it in a way that highlights the point you are trying to make from the data in a professional design.
Roambi converts your data into attractive graphics that are worthy of presenting at any meeting as a representation of what your department is capable of.
If you are on the go and leave a file on your desktop back at the office, it helps to have a way to access your desktop from anywhere. LogMeIn allows remote access using any computer or device and can act as your backup if something happens to your computer or devices.
It’s helpful to know how much time projects take when you are planning and setting deadlines for future projects. Toggle allows employees to track their time on projects so can set realistic goals for the department. The data is readily available to you when you need it.
To get into the cloud, determine which cloud applications are right for you and for your department and create your own toolkit of cloud applications for finance that will improve the way you and your department work. And, of course, if it’s purchasing and expenses you’re looking for, Turbine is ready and willing to take care of your department’s needs.