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Surviving and succeeding in tough times – How the cloud helps

As computing capabilities have improved in recent years, the cloud became one of the most powerful tools for improving business processes and making companies digitally agile.

It is particularly beneficial to financial management systems used by CFOs and financial teams, research from Sage has shown.

In a survey of more than 300 senior financial decision makers from medium and large businesses, it was revealed that the cloud has helped South African businesses thrive and survive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As Sage Financial Director Jordaan Burger recently told Aki Anastasiou in an episode of What’s Next in Finance, the technology’s implications are revolutionary.

“Everything is going that way, it’s not something to be afraid of anymore,” Burger said.

The research found that 72% of large businesses operate in the cloud from either hybrid or fully cloud-based systems.

Additionally, 77% of large businesses use cloud-based solutions for financial management.

Key benefits

The research identified five key advantages among businesses which use a cloud-based financial management system:

  • 89% of senior financial decision-makers said financial management technology is key to their success.
  • 86% said financial management technologies helped their businesses discover new opportunities and/or risks.
  • 83% of CFOs used cloud technologies to create more agile and cost-effective in-house finance functions.
  • Using financial management technologies, 82% of CFOs have uncovered efficiencies and optimised operations.
  • 82% of senior financial decision-makers use financial management technologies to automate and expedite compliance reporting.


The report also found that 72% of senior financial decision makers believe cloud-based systems have improved security and help protect financial data.

This is particularly important as 50% of senior financial decision makers acknowledged that managing these risks is a challenge.

Burger explains that cloud technology enables additional protection in one key way: It allows developers of a particular solution to patch security vulnerabilities and push fixes to all of their customers quickly.

“Whereas with old on-premise systems, you just didn’t have the ability. You had to rely on your customers to actually run those updates,” he notes.

Sage Intacct

One of the best examples of an effective cloud financial management system is Sage Intacct, which was recently launched in South Africa.

A powerful “born in the cloud” solution for CFOs and professional finance teams, Sage Intacct boasts the following capabilities:

  • Deep multi-dimensional accounting and automation for efficient financial operations.
  • Sophisticated visibility for real-time decision making.
  • Best-of-breed, easy integration to other solutions.
  • Fresh and modern user interface.
  • Real-time reporting across hundreds of consolidated entities.

Chief Technology Officer at Sage Aaron Harris says the survey showed that almost all senior financial decision-makers were actively involved in digital transformation in their businesses.

“A multifaceted role is emerging for CFOs; one that combines skills like accounting, analytics, business management, and strategic thinking.”

“A cloud-based system like Sage Intacct supports this transition, putting the right digital tools at finance leaders’ fingertips to drive greater agility and better current and forward-looking visibility for improved decision making,” Harris says.

Sage Intacct has also been named a Leader in the new IDC MarketScape: Worldwide SaaS and Cloud-Enabled Midmarket Finance and Accounting Software Vendor Assessment.

Furthermore, Gartner published their 2020 Magic Quadrant for Cloud Core Financial Management Suites and Sage Intacct was again positioned in the Visionaries Quadrant.

The infographic below provides an overview of Sage Intacct, including its Core Financials and Additional Models, as well as the range of verticals for which it offers industry-specific solutions.

Click here to learn more about Sage Intacct.

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Surviving and succeeding in tough times – How the cloud helps