It’s natural for businesses to be reluctant to change, because change is linked to risk. It’s the reason that many finance departments will stick to tried and tested work methods unless a really strong case can be made to change.
It’s something webexpenses has been putting forward for the past decade as we have passionately advocated the benefits of a cloud based digital solution when it comes to expenses management. It has allowed us to get a strong feel for some of the most common concerns companies express about cloud computing.
The number of misconceptions about moving from paper to digital expenses has lessened over the years as people’s understanding of the technology increases. But there are still some common myths that persist.
So here’s a look at three of the most common misconceptions when it comes to moving from paper to digital expenses.
1. Myth: HMRC does not accept digital receipts
This is a common concern and at one stage it was something of a grey area for the HMRC. But in 2007 they released guidelines to confirm that they accept digital receipts and treated them no differently to paper versions. They have even hinted that they increasingly prefer to receive the digital versions because of the increased efficiency when comes to storing and processing.
The only conditions they make are that digital expenses must be complete, legible and unaltered from the original paper receipt. With the power of the cameras on modern smartphones, the image quality should no longer be an issue when using the webexpenses app. It may, however, be worth giving users guidance on checking pictures are legible before they’re submitted.
2. Myth: Data won’t be secure in the cloud
Concerns about the safety of cloud computing have lessened in recent years as online services such as Google and Microsoft Office have made ‘the cloud’ an everyday part of our business lives. But there is still some suspicion about the safety of keeping data secured by a third party data centre.
The reality is that it’s not where your data is stored which matters but how it’s stored. But using a reputable data storage provider means that your data is safely encrypted and stored on servers which benefit from the very latest in security patches and updates to protect against hackers.
It’s the kind of security which few companies can match when it comes to maintaining an internal server.
3. Myth: Totally reliant on Internet connection
One worry about moving to a cloud based solution is what happens if, for whatever reason, you temporarily lose your Internet connection. There is the fear that your finance department will suddenly find itself unable to access any of its own data.
The reality, however, is that a loss of connection should have minimal impact on your processes as data will have been downloaded and stored locally for use with accounting package such as Sage. It’s the same as being able to access your emails on a desktop despite not having a connection. You won’t be able to get new data while the connection’s down but you still can access existing information.
I write on technology, business processes, assisted technology and developments in the software industry. Professionally, I am a software engineer with keen interests in entrepreneurship, tech, startups, movies and games.