“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.” The famous words of Henry Ford and Albert Einstein remain resonant today. But in the world of business, they’re only partially true. In a competitive market where regulatory, communications and technological evolution is rapid and the need to be responsive is great, if you always do what you’ve always done, you’re likely to be going backwards.

It’s quite literally the law of diminishing returns. To progress, businesses need to look at adding value; to dare to change, innovate or die.

A recent CIPD report claims that many UK organisations are not keeping up with the pace of change, and that radical action is required to avoid companies being overtaken by more nimble, insurgent competitors. So why are so many organisations happy to stay right where they are, and keep doing what they always do? The answer: fear of change. But the approach is stifling growth.

The most effective growth driver in the next decade will almost certainly be technology. How businesses harness the digital age will determine whether they accelerate growth, or terminally decline. Whether you’re an accounting practice, a large corporate or medium-sized organisation, the challenge is ubiquitous: how do you align for growth?

Ahead With The Cloud

Cloud-based accounting, using software as a service, can help transform the practice/client dynamic – and cement new value-added models for efficiency, profitability and growth.

Growing SMEs can align for growth by concentrating on core competencies and focus resources accordingly. The best Finance Directors can add true value to companies’ strategic leadership teams, but are too often burdened with the minutia of tactical accounting work and onerous internal processes.

Worse still, as businesses grow, the use of disparate on-premise accounting solutions across multiple locations can make consolidating annual accounts a challenging process.

Cloud-based systems empower finance departments with real-time access to enterprise-wide data. This frees FDs to make the journey from stereotypical ‘beancounters’ to strategic decision-makers – enabling them to use insight into up-to-date financials to answer key commercial questions: is your growth profitable? Where do you place your next investment? Where can efficiencies be made?

Cloud-based accounting systems help businesses become forward-looking, rather than reactive and ponderous. And they are much easier to implement than traditional software.

Margins & Marginal Gains

The perceived headache of change is a red herring; change can be broken down into incremental, manageable phases. A good partner will not only sell you the technology, they’ll work with you to develop a comprehensive implementation plan that minimises disruption, engages all stakeholders and transforms your business model.

The most successful companies are those where senior decision-makers are not content to stand still, but have the entrepreneurial desire to diversify, explore new opportunities and drive growth. Don’t fear change; embrace it.