Presented by AWCape

Top cloud finance trends in South Africa – What you need to know

The popularity of cloud-based accounting solutions has risen significantly in recent years.

We sat down with AWCape Managing Director, Jeff Ryan, and PJ Bishop, Sage VP of Partners, Accountants, and Alliances for Africa and the Middle East, to discuss the state of cloud finance in South Africa.

What key trends are you seeing in cloud finance?

Bishop: CFOs are investigating how solutions can work together to provide a comprehensive solution. Previously, you had to use the “full Lego set” but now you can pick and choose according to your needs.

CFOs also realise that when you consider all the costs that come with legacy systems – like upkeep and management costs – the cloud is both cheaper and more effective.

Ryan: The focus is also shifting to the intangibles. Companies are realising how much data is sitting in the heads of their employees, and are therefore choosing cloud solutions that enable easy collaboration between teammates.

How are AI and machine learning transforming cloud finance?

Ryan: AI and machine learning are acting like superhuman supervisors. These technologies can track all your entries to pick up any errors before they become a problem.

For example, if you have a regular payment of R1 000 and someone pays R100 instead, the system picks this up immediately.

Bishop: Machine learning can also pre-populate repetitive data – such as banking codes and area codes – that is common across all systems.

This sort of functionality reduces your employees’ operational workload, and increases the time available for important strategic work.

How do cloud-based accounting solutions help businesses remain compliant?

Ryan: For small and medium businesses, handling your compliance manually is almost impossible. This is particularly true to be fully compliant with POPIA and/or GDPR regulations.

Sage’s cloud solutions give you access to its dedicated compliance expertise, which takes compliance concerns out of your hands so you can focus on core, strategic tasks.

What value does a dedicated service provider like AWCape provide?

Bishop: AWCape is technically a service provider, but it has become more like an architect. It is dedicated to understanding customer problems and then leveraging Sage solutions to solve them.

Ryan: We look at businesses holistically and determine what the best solutions are for each business’ unique issues. This can include getting non-Sage services to talk to Sage solutions such as Sage Intacct, and we’ll tell you when Sage’s solutions don’t suit your specific needs.

This way, you know we’re providing a service that’s best for your business and you can focus on important, strategic activities.

Learn more about Sage solutions from AWCape.

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Top cloud finance trends in South Africa – What you need to know