February 11, 2015
3 Ways to Jumpstart Your Productivity in the Cloud
Posted by Jo Smitchger
Have you transitioned to the cloud but still have a number of items on your to do list to increase your productivity in the cloud? If you said yes, then you are in good company. Here are three areas I recommend investing your time this year to maximize the benefits of going cloud.
How long have we been hearing the words “going paperless”? When you subscribe to a cloud SaaS environment, not only is your data in the cloud, but also your digital documents are in the cloud. By maintaining a virtual file cabinet and attaching your documents to each transaction, you, your staff, your managers and even your auditors will have instant access to key transactional information from wherever you may be logging in.
Not only can you save transactional information like invoices, check copies and journal entry support, but you should also consider adding vendor W-9’s, customer contracts and import templates (see item number 3 below). If you really want to beef up your paperless transition you can use a cloud based document management system like Docassist that integrates with your cloud ERP, CRM and HRM.
Customize Your Dashboards
Dashboards can be a powerful way to communicate valuable information to the right person at the right time. They can also save you time if you frequently get requests for the same reports and information.
My recommendation is to build out custom dashboards templates based on different roles in your organization. Then, let your users decide how to customize them.
If you aren’t using a dashboard, you are missing out on:
- Instant metrics – Set up key metrics like AR turnover, EBITDA or Gross Margin
- Open transactions – see a list of unpaid bills, open PO’s, open AR
- Approvals – Instantly see items that require your approval
- Reports – Pick the reports that matter the most: cash balances, budget variances, customer and vendor balances
- Links – Link out to frequently used websites
Putting in the time to build a strong dashboard puts valuable information at your fingertips and is well worth the time investment.
Jumpstart Your CSV Imports
CSV imports can be both a hassle and a time saver. If you are downloading a blank template every month to import key transactions, there is an easier way. I recommend, setting up a custom template for each key transaction.
For example, if you are importing your credit card transaction every month then think of creating a template in the following way:
- Highlight columns – use different colors to reflect required versus might need to include.
- Maximize copy and paste – arrange the columns on your import file to match the columns copied from your source file.
- Include your own instructions – either in an unused row or as a separate tab.
- Use Excel dropdown lists to bring in account or dimensional information if you send this out to other users to code.
- Here is a link to learning more about CSV imports: Import or Export text (.txt or .csv) Files
Finally, take advantage of your ERP file storage and save your templates within your accounting system. This will allow you instant access to key templates and insure your staff are always using the right template.
These strategic investments in your time will go a long way to engaging users and saving you time in the long run.
Learn more about improving your productivity in the cloud with Intacct.