In recent years, much of the consumer technology movement has migrated from the desktop to the ubiquitous cloud. Music, communications, and day-to-day processes are no longer offered up as pre-packaged software but rather fast, accessible online applications. Similarly, the business world is quickly evolving its technologies to run more effectively in the new century.

The traditional business model sells prebuilt packages upfront, usually encumbered with expensive per client licensing fees. With the rise of on-demand Internet applications, however, Software as a Service (SaaS) has arisen as a viable solution to most business needs. For the financial sector in particular, SaaS systems provide an efficient, cost effective alternative to running the multitudinous details of daily operation.

The SaaS model, unlike its clunky predecessor, does not require a commitment to a static software package nor does it operate on a traditional licensing model. SaaS applications are hosted on off-site servers and can be accessed through simple “thin” clients such as Internet browsers. Per client licensing is replaced by a more manageable, and therefore less restrictive, subscription service — most often on a month-to-month basis.

The SaaS model outperforms redundant software packages every time. Cloud-based hosting eliminates the need for continual user-end updates; SaaS is updated immediately and every client is guaranteed to be running the exact same version. Glitches and inefficiencies, often common across client-based software packages, are quickly and easily fixed through a centrally hosted SaaS system. Also, with a SaaS model, multiple clients can collaborate on projects and sales figures easily, usually in real-time.

Particularly for financial systems, the advent of SaaS has meant a noticeable increase in efficiency and productivity. Financial organisations looking to update aging finance software packages would be advised to consider SaaS. IT personnel and equipment, often the largest obstacle to revamping aging software architecture, is unnecessary since SaaS runs separately from individual clients.

SaaS providers utilise multi-tenancy, or partitioned applications for each customer, so customisation of SaaS applications is nearly limitless. SaaS models of finance software can be personalised to an organisation’s specific needs to handle everything from Accounting to Human Resources.

Specific day-to-day financial operations are easily monitored and maintained through SaaS systems. SaaS-based finance software has already seen a marked growth for regular business applications such as Payroll. Adoption of SaaS models promises to streamline operations for core financial processes.

Quickness, ease of use, and efficiency over multiple clients can revolutionise financial operations in the prime areas of cash management, core financial accounting, and tax management. In addition, the customisable nature of SaaS allows organisations to develop robust systems for sensitive record-keeping and maintenance areas such as governance risk and compliance and business intelligence.

A financial business seems guaranteed to benefit from a move to SaaS finance software. The speed and efficiency, coupled with the ability for customisation across a broad array of needs and demands without the need to spend big money on IT hardware and maintenance, makes SaaS software the tech of choice for smart financial companies of the twenty-first century.