Technical terminology can be confusing. We’ve gathered and answered some of the most frequently asked questions about financial ERP software in the cloud. If you can’t find your specific question, contact us at any time!
The true cloud is public and multi-tenant. Public means that the provider, not the customer, manages cloud services and storage. Unlike private or hybrid cloud, the public cloud does not require customers to invest in any additional hardware. Multi-tenancy means that one provider serves multiple customers (‘tenants’) on a single logical instance of the software. Think about a utility: each customer pays only for what they use. This resource sharing allows for dramatic cost reduction and significant economies of scale. True cloud solutions offer increased flexibility, lower cost, quicker implementation, and the ability to scale up and down based on customer needs.
The term multi-tenant indicates that a single instance of an application serves multiple customers (‘tenants). Xledger is multi-tenant. This means that we serve all 10,000+ customers on one version of our financial software. Multi-tenancy allows us to distribute computing resources according to user needs through continuous server virtualization and consolidation. We can issue upgrades and security patches once for all customers. As a pure multi-tenant provider, Xledger also frees customers from the need to spend more on infrastructure: they can access our solution with nothing more than a web browser. We keep our solution’s Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) at an absolute minimum.
The process is simple. A true cloud provider like Xledger establishes an API integration with your bank. With this connection in place, the finance software can automatically import your transactions and bank statements daily. Rather than having to spend hours manually reconciling accounts, your finance team will find fully reconciled bank accounts waiting for them every morning. Other advantages of cloud-based bank reconciliation include digitized payment and payment approval, automatic posting, and automatic cash flow.
In theory, cloud-based financial software should make it effortless to import your existing financial data. In fact, the nature of the process differs by the provider. Some providers require a mixture of public and private clouds, complicating the data migration process. Others assume both responsibility for and legal ownership of data, potentially trapping customers who want to leave the solution without losing their financial records.
Xledger’s in-house consultants work with you to identify the scope and depth of data you want to be imported. We then partner with you to optimize your financial records for lossless transfer. Xledger takes custody of and responsibility for your data, but you remain its sole owner. If you ever decide to leave Xledger, we will return your data.
Only you can determine the exact ROI of switching your organization to the cloud. However, we can get some idea by examining the cost factors at play.
In most cases, organizations must choose between upgrading and operating their current on-premises finance software or migrating to a cloud solution. Here the ROI involves three factors: up-front expenses, ongoing costs, and realized savings.
First, up-front expenses. Upgrading your present system will involve paying both for re-licensing and re-customization. By contrast, a true cloud provider like Xledger prices by subscription (SaaS) and hosts customers as tenants on shared architecture. This means that you pay for a monthly subscription and streamlined rollout, with configuration replacing code-breaking customization.
Second, continuing costs. To maintain security and performance, you will need to pay for continuing updates to the on-premises system and another full-scale upgrade several years from now. True cloud providers should issue complimentary upgrades and continual security patches, freeing you from costly updates and ensuring that your organization stays on the leading edge of functionality. The true cloud can also ease your IT spending burden and reduce cybersecurity risk, especially in the case of an ISO 27001-certified solution like Xledger.
Third, realized savings. True cloud providers like Xledger aim to transform the way your organization does business. Our customers automate up to 75% of manual processes and wield enterprise-grade global insight tools. Scalability frees your organization to grow without limits or system penalties. Genuine cloud finance software will unlock time and resource savings, heighten agility, and grant access to a world of new business opportunities. Cloud adoption has soared for a reason: the true cloud makes financial sense. If you would like a more personalized estimate, please contact us. Our consultants will gladly help you discover what your organization could gain from the true cloud.
Yes, a cloud-based financial solution will reduce the demand for your organization’s IT function.
In the first place, true cloud solutions replace IT as the middleman between your users and your finance software. Every member of your team will have browser-based access from anywhere and at any time, even in low-broadband areas. Whether from accounting or sales, every user interacts directly with the cloud provider’s software system. Xledger provides functional and technical support to its customers.
The provider will also take responsibility for system maintenance and upgrades, doubly reducing the burden on already-strained IT departments. True cloud solutions like Xledger cloud finance system equip customers with complimentary upgrades and instant security patches. By releasing them from menial support and maintenance functions, the cloud frees your IT staff to focus on projects of greater strategic value.
Yet the right cloud solution should also reduce the demand for support in general. Through process automation and streamlined workflows, your organization should see efficiency skyrocket as support needs plummet.
In 2021, most organizations embrace some degree of remote workflow. A true cloud financial solution will enable your employees to work quickly and securely from anywhere in the world. As you doubtless know, on-premises systems make it difficult to go remote in any situation, let alone in a pandemic season. Even hybrid applications require complex workarounds.
By contrast, true cloud financial software eliminates the need for on-premises installation. Every employee gets full access to your organization’s financial software—no matter the place, time, or device. If they have access to decent internet and a web browser, your employees can work. Workflow becomes both flexible and configurable. The best cloud providers offer mobile apps where employees can submit—and managers can approve—timesheets and expense reports.
In Xledger’s cloud accounting solution, you can define highly automated workflows for processes ranging from expense reports and approvals to logistics and payment processing. Secured in our ISO 27001-certified cloud software and mobile app, your workflows will generate full audit trails logging every event and user action.
Xledger gives its customers access to more than 200 predefined and standard reports. These range from multiple variations of balance sheets to profit & loss statements, transaction details reports, and statements. Each report is highly configurable to your needs when ordered.
Of course, the complete list stretches far past a simple Q&A. But we can offer a sample: with Xledger, you receive premade reports for, cash flow, period status, invoices, orders, historical inventory, deferred revenue, employee timesheets, recurring donations, receipts, project financial status, supplier aging, depreciation forecasting, and many, many more.
Xledger’s commitment to training starts on day one of implementation. We provide your organization with the full support of our expert in-house consultants, from step-by-step training throughout your rollout to support priority after you go live on our solution.
We aim to train trainers: to leave behind employees so well versed in Xledger that they can equip others. However, should users in any department need further assistance, they can either learn from our vast archive of recorded demos and explainer videos or book additional training with consultants.
But Xledger training does more than prepare your employees to use the Xledger financial solution. Our consultants will partner with you to optimize your processes, readying your organization to reap the full benefits of features like market-leading automation and enterprise-class BI tools. No matter what system you leave behind, Xledger will strive to equip every employee with the skills they need to prosper.
To gauge a provider’s commitment to data security, start by asking four questions.
First, what platform is the software hosted on? In general, a true cloud provider will have a greater commitment to their customer’s data security than providers on other platforms.
Second, what pricing model does the software use? A subscription or SaaS model makes it a matter of financial survival for providers to satisfy and protect their customers.
Third, how often does the provider issue upgrades? A security-minded provider will use seamless releases and security patches to keep all customers on the most secure version of their software.
Finally, what security standards does the provider meet? Look for certifications that combine multiple standards—over 21,000, in the case of ISO 27001.
Yes. In fact, the public cloud has been proven to be more secure than any competing environment. In three ensuing Cloud Security Reports (2015, 2017, and 2018), Alert Logic found that the public cloud drew far fewer cyberattacks than the private cloud, hybrid cloud, or on-premise models.
Multi-tenancy is one of the best ways to tell true from fake cloud.
Imagine multi-tenancy as a spectrum. You have private cloud providers at one end and fully multi-tenant providers at the other. What separates them is the ratio between customers and software instances. For the private cloud, this ratio is almost always 1:1. Every customer needs their own set of hardware and their own version of the software. This results in higher costs and more difficult upgrades.
By contrast, a fully multi-tenant provider like Xledger hosts its entire customer base on a single instance of the software. All customers run on the same version, with the same instant patches. This allows for the full benefits of the cloud: minimal costs, maximum efficiency, wide scalability, and no hardware requirements.
1. Unified financial ERP software. Xledger was built on a unified design. Every functional area is deeply interwoven with every other. This allows the entire solution to expand with a customer.
2. Multi-tenant architecture. By enabling Xledger to serve multiple customers on the same software instance, multi-tenancy gives us tremendous scalability. As they grow, customers can easily access our solution from new devices and locations. They can expand as fast and as far as they want without fear of outgrowing or overstraining Xledger.
Full multi-tenancy also supports our unique database design. With all customers on a shared instance, Xledger can focus on database economy. With every release, we increase the storage capacity of our database while actually decreasing its overall size. The result is that Xledger’s database becomes both faster and more efficient as we grow. Our customers can expand to any size without fear of slowing Xledger.
3. Data hierarchies. Our customers benefit from Xledger’s innovative use of hierarchies. Here is how that works. In implementation, the customer starts by configuring the top, or ‘enterprise’ level of their organization. Settings at the enterprise level then will automatically ‘inherit’ downward to every level below. The customer can make any deviations at the required level.
This concept transforms both implementation and expansion. Customers can both (a) implement quickly and (b) create new business units with ease. Organizations can rapidly on-board departments, divisions, organizational units, and new or acquired companies. Sub-units can specify their own requirements. For instance, a country-level manager can identify local currency and a country-level chart of accounts. Global executives will still have access to real-time data from every unit in their enterprise.
4. Multi-language and multi-currency functionality. Xledger supports 22+ languages and most global currencies, along with real-time exchange rate updates. Consolidation takes place immediately, rather than at month-end. Customers can grow across borders without fear of outgrowing their finance solution.
We implement using Xledger’s implementation methodology (XIM). The objective of XIM is to ensure an efficient and correct implementation. Drawn from lessons learned in thousands of successful implementations, XIM consists of three main elements: Project Management, Project Phases (Plan; Analysis and Design; Implementation; Testing and Validation; Go-Live and Follow-up; Review & Close), and Project Workstreams (Configuration; Data Migration; Integrations; Training; Advisory Services).
Implementation of Xledger typically takes 3 to 6 months. The exact timeframe depends on the customers’ size, distribution complexity, scope of functionality, available resources, and third parties.