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8 Benefits of Cloud-Based Business Management Software

It’s no secret that technology is evolving—and the world of business is changing too. Remote working is on the rise, which is forcing conventional workplaces to pivot the way they work.

One way businesses are changing is in the storage, processing, and collaboration of data. While on-premises ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems were traditionally used, today many businesses are turning to cloud-based business management software, including Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) solutions.

Compared to physical hosting and in-house solutions, these systems are adaptable and easy to use. So how does it work? Put simply, your system is hosted on virtual servers that are easily accessible over the internet. Meanwhile, data is saved on external servers controlled by your service provider rather than on-site servers. 
These cutting-edge data centers are properly managed and feature computer resources dedicated to hosting applications such as digital marketing software on several operating systems. So what other benefits does a cloud-based business management software solution provide?

How Does Cloud Computing Work?

With cloud computing, you can run software remotely via the internet without configuring or maintaining your own server infrastructure. So rather than investing in hardware, you only need a web browser and an internet connection to manage your business’s IT systems. 

Meanwhile, your cloud computing provider handles the installation, maintenance, and upgrades of the software, servers, operating systems, and network switches that make up your cloud.

What Are the Primary Service Models in Cloud Computing?

Remote desktop hosting and data storage are just some of the many practical applications provided by cloud-computing services. The services on offer are divided into three primary models:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

With IaaS, you can rent servers, storage space, virtual devices, and even networks from a cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis. If you’re a small business, this may be a useful option, as IaaS providers offer flexible infrastructure to handle fluctuating workloads. Examples of IaaS providers include Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine (GCE), and Microsoft Azure.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS is a model for delivering cloud-hosted applications and infrastructure to developers. This covers everything from web portals to gateway software and APIs. Solutions such as Amazon Web Services’ Elastic Beanstalk and even Facebook are excellent examples.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Chances are you’ve used a SaaS tool before – applications include popular services like Netflix, Quickbooks, Zoom, and Google Workspace. 

This model offers access to various software through the internet. SaaS applications can be accessed via desktop clients, web browsers, or APIs that interface with the user’s operating system. 

Collaborating on projects, sharing data, and accessing specialist software are all made easier with the aid of SaaS applications. Users often pay a recurring cost, either monthly or annually.

8 Benefits of Using Cloud-based Business Management Software

As technology continues to evolve, understanding the latest consumer trends is essential for businesses to stay competitive. One trend that has emerged is remote working, which has forced conventional workplaces to pivot the way they operate. Another area in which businesses are adapting is in the storage, processing, and collaboration of data. This is where cloud-based business management software comes in, providing adaptable and easy-to-use solutions that cater to the latest consumer trends. 

The number of companies using cloud computing is growing. In fact, 69% of businesses accelerated their cloud migration in 2022, and that number is likely to grow. 

Here are some other top benefits of using cloud-based business management software for your business: 

1. Promotes Job Satisfaction 

Cloud-based business management software makes managing who has access to what easier, especially if your workforce is increasingly remote. Employees can log in from wherever they are and use whatever device they like, increasing productivity and allowing for greater autonomy and adaptability across the company. 

With this consolidated method of interaction, your teams will all be on the same page and more motivated to work together. By empowering employees with more autonomy while retaining the necessary level of control, you can increase job satisfaction and employee retention.

2. Improves Data Accessibility

For employees to be as productive as possible, it goes without saying that they need to access data remotely and in real time. Cloud computing gives employees access to company data from any device with an internet connection. With the right credentials, users get immediate access to data by logging in to a single online hub.

Role-based access is also a feature of certain cloud-based services, ensuring that only authorized users can access sensitive information. These security measures help to ensure that only authorized individuals can gain access to private data. Another advantage is that it enables managers to efficiently manage remote teams, which means that employees in different locations, even across the world, can collaborate on the same projects as their colleagues in the central office.

3. Offers Better Protection

Improving your company’s cyber security practices is essential in modern business, as cyberattacks and hackers pose a threat to corporate data. 

By investing in a robust data security process, you can curb data theft and keep sensitive information safe. This means fewer emergencies and maintaining a solid reputation with your employees and customers.

Switching to cloud-based business management software is an excellent approach for strengthening cybersecurity. A cloud-based business management system helps you keep tabs on sensitive information and ensure its safety.

Some methods used by cloud vendors to guarantee data security include the following:

  • Data encryption
  • Web services security
  • The TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocol
  • Network IPSs (intrusion prevention systems)
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Physical server security 

Moreover, software vendors undergo internal and external audits, so your business can be sure that your data is safe and secure.

4. Improves Scalability 

No matter the size of your business, change and growth are inevitable, whether it’s setting up a new onboarding system or exploring complex topics like model drift detection. With this in mind, your enterprise management system must be flexible to accommodate such changes. 

If you need to add or remove users as your company expands or contracts, you can do it with ease when using cloud-based software.

What’s more, you’ll have far more leeway than you would with a legacy system because of the ability to scale your infrastructure to match business demands. Because you only pay for what you use, there’s no chance of overspending or running out of storage space.

A flexible system that can adapt to technological developments and market shifts is crucial to thriving in competitive marketplaces. When compared to a proprietary system, cloud-based business management solutions’ flexible upgrades and new features are affordable and offer significant growth potential.

Furthermore, cloud-based solutions enable greater opportunities for integration, either between applications from a single provider or third-party software, allowing you to customize your technology to your organization’s specific demands.

5. Offers a Cost-Effective Solution

Cloud management software helps you store data without the hassle of purchasing and maintaining hardware and other equipment. Setting up cloud-based business operations also requires less of an upfront financial commitment than setting up in-house infrastructure and employing a full-time IT department.

The majority of cloud-based services only charge you for your consumption. Like with other services, data storage space is often priced per unit of storage space used. These services are reasonably priced and contribute to reduced costs and a higher ROI.

6. Supports Data Backup and Recovery

Reducing downtime and preventing data loss are key priorities for successful businesses. However, both targets can be difficult to achieve and maintain. Taking measures to limit the severity of data loss and downtime as much as possible is an important first step.

Unnecessary expenses and losses can accrue quickly when even minor problems arise. Data backup and disaster recovery are crucial in the event of unexpected problems. Data recovery and backup functions are built into cloud-based software to mitigate the effects of emergencies such as power outages or natural disasters.

If your company’s data is safely backed up in the cloud, you can rest easy when unexpected situations arise and your system is compromised in any way.

7. Offers Automatic Updates

Speaking of loss of productivity and unanticipated downtime, both are possible results of overlooking software updates. 

Traditional software needs regular manual upgrades to function correctly. This is often a tedious, costly, and challenging task that might require an IT professional’s help or input. 

By using cloud-based software, your business can benefit from the time savings and peace of mind that come with having the most recent software upgrades applied instantly. This automation eliminates the need for costly and time-consuming third-party IT support. If your employees don’t have to spend time on mundane tasks like maintenance, they’ll have more mental bandwidth for more critical projects.

8. Supports Work Synchronization

It’s easy for mistakes to be made when several people are working on one digital file. 

However, if your files are stored on the cloud, you’ll always have access to the most recent version, regardless of what device you’re using and who else is modifying the file. 

This feature is valuable for organizations that prioritize continuity in communications, such as a virtual customer service business. Changes are updated in real time and synchronized across all accessible devices, allowing your employees to make key business decisions using the most recent data.

Take Control of Your Business

The best part about cloud computing is that it simplifies complex business systems and saves you time and resources. 

You don’t have to struggle to maintain vital business systems by expending scarce IT resources. It handles all that, allowing you to focus on more critical business goals thanks to your cloud computing provider.

Nevertheless, cloud computing also has certain drawbacks that you should be aware of before making the switch. To get the most out of a cloud business management system, it’s important to do your research on the services you’re considering, learn about security measures and compliance requirements, and provide your team with appropriate training on how to use the new system.

How to Protect Your Business’s Assets on a Cloud Network

Cloud networks are the wave of the future. The ability to access your business assets anywhere is attractive to many companies—especially those with a remote team. However, protecting digital assets requires sophisticated knowledge and foresight. 

The cloud services market is a $266.4 billion industry and growing yearly. As with anything online, though, cybercriminals will try to find ways to access personal information or take systems down. Protecting your business’s assets is a vital step in ensuring your customer and business data stays safe. 

Cloud security is often a concern of small-business owners. Some may even shy away from cloud computing due to fears of exposing trade secrets or customer lists. That said, you can take steps to protect your business’s assets while reaping the benefits.

1. Choose the Right Provider

Your first step should involve choosing your cloud provider wisely. What steps do they take to ensure secure digital assets? Top cloud-based hosting companies have the best security software imaginable. Because they represent numerous clients, they can invest more in world-class protection.

Ask how they back up information. What happens if a hack does occur? Find out how frequently they update their security systems and what they do to identify and quarantine potential threats.

2. Match Specialties

Some cloud providers specialize in working with particular industries. A company that already has clients in your sector better understands your specific security needs. Cloud migration can take endless hours of moving databases to a new setup. It helps to know which system you want and why. 

Find a provider willing to move information over for you in a secure environment so you start the process with less risk.

3. Secure Your Wi-Fi

blue wi-fi strength indicator for cloud security

It doesn’t matter who your provider is if the devices used to access data are compromised. Make sure company Wi-Fi is secure so that non-authorized people can’t log in and watch what your employees are doing. Instead, set up a guest Wi-Fi if you want to provide convenient Wi-Fi connectivity to on-premises visitors.

The Covid-19 pandemic showed us that remote work environments are effective. Your IT department should pay particular attention to security concerns for employees working off-premises. If remote staff needs to access information from the main office, set up a secure VPN network that’s resistant to cyber-attacks.

4. Require Regular Password Resets

Require your workers to reset their passwords for logging into the office network every 45 days or so. Set complexity rules around the types they can create, don’t allow repeated passwords, and ask them to protect their current login information. Multi-factor authentication, where users receive a secondary verification code on a trusted mobile phone, is a must.

Although not as common as some other attack vectors, there have been occasions when someone works at a coffee shop and a nearby table notes their login and steals it to access a company website.

Identity Theft Resource Center infographic depicting Q1 2023 data compromise statistics.

5. Security

Just because news of corporate data compromise no longer dominates the headlines, breaches are still happening. Most in-house IT staff are well-versed in a number of disciplines, but effective data security practices are a moving target.

Consider hiring a 3rd-party cybersecurity expert. The level of creativity and malice of today’s data theft actors is astonishing and they only need to succeed one time. To avoid catastrophe, your security needs to be right every time.

Today’s outsourced cybersecurity firms offer surprisingly inexpensive services to help businesses stop attacks before they occur. 

6. Train Employees

One of the top things you can do is train your employees in cybersecurity. Explain spoofing and phishing and how they can avoid it. Set policies to never request password information in an email. 

Spend time refreshing your staff about how to keep data secure every so often. They should be very careful when working in public locations.

Should you need to terminate an employee, make sure their account credentials are disabled immediately. Otherwise, you open your brand up to vengeance attacks. 

7. Keep Backups

Even if the cloud hosting company you use keeps regular backups, and most do, make sure you keep them as well. In the case of a severe cyberattack, your entire system, website, and online presence may go down.

The best way to get back online fast and avoid revenue loss is with a recent backup. However, it might take days to restore everything if you don’t. Develop a business continuity and disaster recovery plan before a catastrophe happens. In a worst-case scenario, you risk losing some data forever.

8. Keep Sensitive Data Offline

If your company has some truly sensitive data because you work with patients or the government, consider keeping some things off the internet. No matter how much software you install or how robust your security is, there’s always a chance of hacking.

If something is extremely sensitive, you can code it and use that for your online entries or just take that information to your private servers. However, they must also be kept secure.

9. Encrypt at the File Level

Even if your cloud provider uses encryption, add another layer of protection by encrypting before you upload your files. You’ll need something your remote workers can access, but it’s crucial to take that one added step to prevent sensitive data leaks.

Use database sharding to break up sections and store them in different locations to further protect documents. They may breach your network, but they aren’t likely to find the full information they need to steal private information. They’ll only have bits and pieces.

Business Cloud Security

The rate of cyberattacks has grown in the past year. More people are online, and businesses have to be remote-work-friendly. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of this, but you can stop them in their tracks—and protect business assets on the cloud—by following a few of the tips mentioned above.

Think about the different ways you might open yourself up to an attack and take steps to stop it before it happens. Your cloud provider can help by putting protections in place, and you can ramp up security on your end, too.

ERP Safety and Cybersecurity: What You Need To Know

These days, it seems like a rarity that cybersecurity doesn’t make at least one headline in the daily news cycle. More accurately, these headlines are primarily instances where there is a drastic lack of cybersecurity.

U.S. Government agencies fail to meet even basic cybersecurity standards.” 

The colonial pipeline attack: rethinking cyber regulations on utility companies.” 

Ransomware: international cooperation is needed to curb these cybersecurity threats.”

In today’s environment where employees are working remotely as well as geographically scattered, security has become everyone’s job—not just the responsibility of the IT department. Every employee of every sized business, from interns to CEOs, SMEs to Fortune 500 companies, needs to increase their cybersecurity diligence. 

Many people treat their cybersecurity responsibilities as they would a recommendation from their dentist—being instructed to floss more and cut back on sweets often falls on deaf ears. 

Without proper cybersecurity hygiene (creating strong passwords, avoiding phishing emails, using outdated software, etc) your business and your bottom line are in danger of rot and decay. 

Fortunately, there are technological solutions that provide businesses and users with vast safeguards against malicious actors. Namely, cloud-based all-in-one ERP software

How To Maintain ERP Safety and Security 

erp cloud security business management software

As far as software is concerned, cloud ERP software is resoundingly safer than traditional data centers. In fact, the use of cloud infrastructure generally results in 60% fewer security incidents.

In reality, it is the usage, policies, and mechanisms of control that fail—not the technology itself. 

Jay Heiser, Vice President Analyst at Gartner, has some poignant advice for CIOs in the position of managing their cloud ERP software:

“CIOs need to ensure that their security teams are not holding back cloud initiatives with unsubstantiated cloud security worries. Exaggerated fears can result in lost opportunity and inappropriate spending.”

He suggests that instead of asking “Is the cloud secure?” executives should be asking “Am I using the cloud securely?”

Similarly, a car manufacturer would not be to blame in the event of an accident where the driver was speeding excessively, using their phone, and not wearing a seat belt.

Let’s take a look at the most crucial areas and aspects of ERP software that require the most attention to detail in terms of maintaining network security.

Stay Uniform

As software complexity increases, the possibility of errors increases along with it. For businesses with over 200 employees, some ERPs provide over 800,000 software customizations that can be controlled by users. 

In order to combat this, it’s important to establish data management protocols within your organization and assign access accordingly. Onboarding, training, offboarding, and continuous internal software support will only benefit your organization.

Conduct Internal Audits

Audits are an important part of any well-oiled business, so why wouldn’t the same be true for your software? While the best ERPs adhere to strict security standards, it’s important to conduct audits of how employees and other users under your organization’s umbrella are using the system.

Are their passwords secure? Are they accessing data from unsecured networks? Who has access and the ability to change system settings? 

These questions and more are some that you will want to address and answer internally—every business and every industry has different needs, rules, and regulations.

Utilize Software Training and Support Staff

Your employees—in this case, your ERP users—are at the heart of everything your business does. Security is no exception. If users are cavalier about company data, protocols, and necessary procedures, it can lead to fiscal headaches and wasted time. 

All too often, ERP software systems are implemented without an expert support team. Having a savvy support staff is crucial for successful employee adoption of the software.

Though management may be able to point to the vast benefits of ERP software (cost savings, better communication, improved document management, etc.) it takes a true expert in the software itself to successfully, fully onboard employees.

Benefits of ERP Software: Built-In Security Standards

ERP software is full of all kinds of benefits—risk mitigation is a major one. No piece of technology on earth is entirely invulnerable to malicious activity, but ERP software provides a myriad of ways to protect your business’s valuable data and processes. 

One of the brilliant aspects of ERP software is that it’s able to provide a wide range of solutions to a wide range of logistical challenges. The “all-in-one” nature of ERP software keeps businesses fully connected and integrated—in turn, this allows businesses to address problems with a bird’s eye view, removing the guesswork and wasted energy that often accompanies the problem-solving process.

all in one erp software benefits security

Cloud Security

Compared to other data storage methods that have been prominent in the past (most notably local servers and analog data storage) the cloud is a resoundingly safer solution.

It’s a tried-and-true method that businesses continue to invest in—in the first quarter of 2023, cloud services infrastructure spending increased to $41.8 billion on a global level. Compared to the same period in 2020, this was a 35% year-on-year growth and a 5% quarter-on-quarter rise.

While cloud security as an industry has proven to be safe, scalable, and cost-efficient, it’s important to know who bears the technical responsibility of hosting your data. 

Does your cloud infrastructure provider delegate some hosting responsibilities to third-party organizations? Is your cloud ERP implementation team the same organization that actually does the work of storing your data?

Ideally, none of these questions will ever actually matter because your data will be forever safe and secure. Nevertheless, it’s important to do your due diligence on every organization your data is affiliated with. Most of the time, these answers can all be obtained from a single conversation with your ERP provider.

Frequent System Updates

Software updates serve an important purpose across the world’s entire technological landscape. And, no, it’s not to annoy you with a loading screen that lingers a bit too long for your liking.

Installing security software update

Software updates are vital—they patch security flaws, protect data, and improve system performance. When it comes to ERP software, updates are frequent and full of substance.

Data Redundancy

What’s the only thing more important than keeping your data safe? Keeping your data safe—twice, three times, or more. 

Cloud storage capabilities that are baked into the best ERP software systems allow users to fully access and update data sets while keeping up-to-the-second backups safe and secure. Gone are the days that it’s required to make multiple physical copies or even manually copy and paste documents. 

With a staggering chunk of the American workforce still working remotely—often on personal, security-poor workstations—it’s even more important to have enterprise-level redundancy measures in place. Data redundancy is a central focus of every ERP system. 

Data Encryption

Data redundancy is a crucial piece of the cybersecurity puzzle. Data encryption is an equally large piece, too. The higher the quality of the encryption measures, the higher the quality of protection that your business will enjoy. Fortunately, ERP systems maintain exceptionally high-security standards.


By nearly every conceivable metric, cyber-attacks and cybersecurity incidents have increased over the last several years. The pandemic has led to an aggressive explosion of this pre-existing uptrend.

cloud-based ERP data encryption

Disconnected software systems with vastly differing security protocols simply do not cut it anymore—ERP software provides a lasting, secure solution to cybersecurity. 

Installing An Administrator

ERP software needs to be safe and secure every single time it’s used. This isn’t a request or a “wishlist” item—it’s a requirement. In all reality, safety and security is just the beginning. 

ERP software is built to serve people of all roles and responsibilities. The best way to ensure that every user is able to operate in an efficient and safe manner? Choose an ERP with a detailed permissions-based system. 

Some employees will need more access than others. It’s important to be able to have varying roles with differing capabilities while all working under one, unified software umbrella. 

Now you may be thinking “Even if I have a tech-savvy employee, they’re still new to using this ERP system too. How can they be functional administrators?” The answer to this question: training and consulting sessions with the ERP’s native support staff.

The support staff of an ERP system is there to help you get the most out of your software. They’ll answer questions, offer advice on best practices, generate guides and other instructional materials, and so on and so forth. They’ll be able to provide the crucial assistance you need during the initial adoption process

They’ll be able to show your organization how to properly assign and edit permissions for every employee, where and when it’s safe to access data, and how to protect your system against phishing attacks, unauthorized user access, and other malicious activities.

Just like a great coach, they’ll be there to guide you while allowing you to learn and explore on your own. 

Modern ERPs are Safe, Secure, and Reliable

Hi-tech cloud software security

Cybersecurity is the framework that ERP software relies upon. Without extended and continuous security measures in place, the benefits that ERP software brings to businesses are all for naught. 

But security efforts don’t end with lines of code—it takes the effort of all of your employees in addition to your ERP’s support staff day in and day out. 

ERP software sourced from cloud computing technology is the gold standard of enterprise data security, and you and your employees need to be the gold standard in making sure safety protocols and precautions are implemented and followed.

Need An Alternative To QuickBooks?

Taking stock of everything that goes into your business’s accounting processes isn’t always as easy as popping numbers into a spreadsheet. 

There are many great software products that will handle all of your basic accounting needs—QuickBooks is one of the most popular choices among small business owners due to its affordability, intuitive UX, and reliability.

However, one crucial aspect of accounting and accounting software tends to be routinely overlooked: it goes far beyond the numbers.

QuickBooks is great for crunching the numbers. For small- and medium-sized business owners, this is often priority #1. Once this need is met, what happens next? Will QuickBooks be able to offer your business the additional tools required to grow? 

Just because QuickBooks and Quickbooks Online provide a viable solution for many small businesses doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best choice for yours.

If your business is even starting to feel as though it requires a more robust, personalized, and human approach to accounting software, it’s time to start asking some of the important questions that will lead you down a better, more productive path.

Why Do I Need A QuickBooks Alternative?

You may already know that your business is ready to make the switch to a more full-bodied accounting solution, or you may not. If you’ve already enrolled in Quickbooks or QuickBooks Online, the reasons for leaving may be less apparent at first.

Financial management goes well beyond accounting—understanding, analyzing, and improving upon your organization’s complete financial health requires connectivity to all silos of your business. This means your accounting software solution should integrate seamlessly with your CRM, inventory management, and project management solutions.

In an ideal scenario, housing all of these processes under one roof (an all-in-one software solution) will improve all aspects of your business. In fact, 64% of companies that make the switch to ERP software noted an increase in business performance. 

glowing computer

Outgrowing QuickBooks isn’t simply about outgrowing accounting software—it’s about exploring new methods, approaches, and technologies that are vital in achieving and sustaining long term, year-over-year growth. 

Any single-purpose software, no matter how proficient, can ultimately only be just that. For your entire organization to operate at its maximum efficiency and potential, it takes a software that seamlessly connects every corner of your business. 

An all-in-one software solution provides more than just accurate numbers—it increases efficiency and accuracy across the board. Don’t spend time tracking down documents and transferring files between software applications. If all of your data transparently lives in one place, you’ll be able to find single, accurate, and universally accessible data sets with ease. 

ERP software with natively integrated accounting is much more cost efficient than QuickBooks in terms of the total services offered. While QuickBooks provides excellent and cost-efficient accounting services, it doesn’t offer the complete suite of functionalities that ERP software can.

As your business scales up, you’ll need a full suite of features that can scale with it.

6 Reasons To Integrate Your Accounting and CRM Software

How To Know When You’re Outgrowing QuickBooks

It’s much easier to know what you’ll gain from something than it is to know exactly when to implement the plan. Is there ever a good time to “break up” with QuickBooks?

If you can answer “yes” to some or all of the following questions, it could be a sign that your business is beginning to outgrow QuickBooks:

  • Is it difficult, impossible, or too time consuming to import and export data between QuickBooks and other systems/software?
  • Do you find yourself manually re-entering data in multiple places?
  • Do you have more than 30 users that need access to financial information?
  • Do you feel like you and/or your staff could be doing more to reduce errors?
  • Are you relying too heavily on workarounds to manage information?
  • Is it difficult to manage the oft-changing budget requirements of tasks and projects?
  • Are you having trouble updating, keeping track of, and/or monitoring your inventory in real time?

But what happens when you’re ready to add additional inventory? When you need variable billing services? When some of your employees are working remotely?

charts on keyboard

Even if you find yourself answering “yes” to many of the questions above, it’s natural to be hesitant about making a software switch. Transferring the entirety of your data may seem like a logistical nightmare at first glance. Fortunately, that’s far from the reality. 

The main reason that this type of data transfer isn’t as painful as originally perceived has nothing to do with software—it’s all about the support staff behind the software. 

Beyond taking care of the back-end, development-centric hurdles, the software you move on to in your post-QuickBooks journey should have a stellar team of professionals that assist throughout the onboarding process. 

Whether you want to proceed with a slow, management-first rollout, a hybrid (business or product specific) rollout, or an immediate “big bang” rollout, the choice should be yours—with intelligent recommendations from software professionals, of course.

In short, look for software that has a support team who really understands you and your business beyond the numbers.

What To Look For In A QuickBooks Alternative 

We’ve covered the “why” and the “when”—naturally, it’s time to talk specifically about the features to look for in a QuickBooks Online alternative. Beyond accounting, it’s important to explore what other ERP alternatives have to offer. After all, your finances are just one piece of puzzle.

Universal Accessibility

These days, the ability to access financial data from anywhere is more important than ever. Whether you’re on a phone, tablet, or a personal computer, you need accurate information at a glance. 

You’re not the only one who will benefit from this—the right ERP will allow you to provide instant access to anyone you specifically authorize. Cloud accounting software allows this data to be securely shared with your external accountant, CPA, legal counsel, or any other financial professional. 

Integrated CRM

A common approach for many businesses is to purchase separate accounting and CRM software solutions. While it may seem prudent at first to differentiate between data from the sales and accounting departments, the opposite is true—these two data sets need to properly communicate at all times.

Numbers don’t always tell the whole story—just because certain sales figures are positive doesn’t always measure company-wide profitability. Without taking into account the full financial picture of all of your business’s financial silos, recognizing profit is often unnecessarily tedious and time consuming.

Entering data in triplicate, hunting down scattered records, and generating incomplete reports make it difficult to assess a proper financial path going forward. Spending more on new equipment, renovations, and even employees becomes more challenging and time consuming when it’s unclear how much financial ammo you have to spare in the short term. 

In short, software communication, connectivity, and transparency are the keys to unlocking the full power of your finances. 

Project and Task Management

Projects and tasks are hardly set in stone. Goals shift, obstacles appear, and—most importantly for you—budgets need adjusting. If your accounting and project management software don’t communicate, it can be tough to determine the profitability of each individual project.

According to one Harvard Business Review study, 1 in 6 projects had a cost overrun of 200%, with the average project exceeding budgets by 27%. If contracts, invoices, and expense reports are disconnected from the rest of your financial records, it’s much more difficult to identify projects that are draining resources beyond an acceptable threshold. 

Spending less time sorting out the financial and logistical details surrounding a project and more time working on the project itself will not only improve your operational efficiency, it will help give you a clearer, more accurate picture of your bottom line. 

Inventory Management

Taking control of your inventory starts with taking control of the way that you view it. By utilizing software to automate, track, and update the inventory aspect of your supply chain, you’ll be able to more quickly add new items, be notified of low stock levels, and intuitively configure a barcoding protocol.

Data from your sales and purchase orders shouldn’t have to be copied or transferred between multiple software titles—the sales reports you generate should include all pertinent tracking information and vendor costs sourced directly from your inventory management system, not from someone who manually copied data from your inventory management system.

Your revenue stream is the lifeblood of your business. Warehouses full of products, fleets of service vans, various legal documents—whatever industry you’re in, the materials you need for day-to-day operations represent one of the largest operating costs that you’ll have to account for. 

Instead of determining retroactively how much your business spent on specific items, be proactive—not reactive. Make sure all costs of these purchases are available to be viewed and assessed alongside the rest of your finances in a centralized document storage system. 

Wrapping Up Your Search For A QuickBooks Alternative

Accounting software will proficiently handle all of your account needs, but that’s simply not enough.  

Your business is more than just accounting—it’s sales, operations, project management, and so much more. The software you enlist for your business should exemplify this by seamlessly integrating every element of your business under one (digital) roof. 

man using accounting software with a Striven coffee cup

Our experts know exactly how tough it can be to get reliable, accurate, and—in many cases—free information about what software solutions are a good fit for your business. We’ve carefully cultivated a list of the 10 Best Business Management Software solutions to aid you in your search. 

Not every choice is easy—the best decisions seldom are. The best software solutions won’t necessarily be the flashiest or the most popular. Even the term “best” is a relative term—really, the important thing to look for is what software will be the best fit for your business. Adaptability, flexibility, and personalization are what brought you success in the first place. Stick with these same core values when exploring software solutions.

The Best Barcode Scanners and Printers For SMEs

From storage rooms to the retail floor, barcode scanner technology has revolutionized how businesses manage inventory. 

Barcoding technology has come a long way from its grocery store roots in Troy, Ohio—businesses in nearly every industry that need to manage their perpetual inventory efficiently have taken advantage of barcode scanners and barcode scanner software. 

Using barcode scanning technology comes with a plethora of benefits and competitive advantages:

  • Data and inventory accuracy (humans make an error every 250 keystrokes, while a computer’s error rate is 1/36trillion)
  • Addresses scalability issues (code 39 vs code 128 barcodes provide differing levels of complexity based on your current needs)
  • Increases workflow efficiency (no deciphering handwriting, manually checking product supply, lower training/labor costs)
  • They’re relatively inexpensive (the vast majority of scanners are affordable on any budget and can be easily synced with your business management software)

Barcode scanners will help your employees stay efficient, and inventory management software will help you stay on top of your inventory turnover ratio.

However, one piece is missing—printing the barcodes.

While outsourcing this process is an option, it is often costly and inefficient to your overall operations. If you want 500 SKUs ready to go for tomorrow morning, it will be in your best interest to have a company printer on standby. 

Barcode Scanner Software

While the technological benefits of creating, printing, and utilizing SKUs are apparent, it’s not always as apparent which technology will be best suited for your SME.

Addressing your businesses specific needs will require asking yourself a few questions:

Does your business plan on increasing inventory size?

Is your business planning on diversifying the types of products available for purchase?

Does your business use or plan on using an e-commerce platform?

Do I have inventory management software I can use in tandem with my current equipment and SKUs?

man with clipboard looking at boxes

Although individual business requirements vary, these scanners and printers are equipped to help SMEs expand their operations, save time and money, and overall increase productivity and profitability.

Barcode Scanners


Overview: In terms of wireless scanning, this scanner has some of the best range as far as indoor scanners are concerned—about 100 yards. While the NADAMOO scanners function fully on laptops and PCs, they are not compatible with tablets and phones. Ideal for retail, warehouse, and any other setting that requires inventory management, this scanner includes a USB cable for easy data transmission. 

Price: Around $35

Other Relevant Details: 20-hour charge, a range of 400 meters, can receive 32 separate data inputs at once.


Overview: The TaoTronics scanner offers 2-in-1 functionality—supporting connectivity via Bluetooth and USB. In addition, the TaoTronics scanner is supported by most major PCs, tablets, and smartphones. Customization is also a hallmark of this scanner—you can set up a unique code to customize any barcode. 

Price: Around $45

Other Relevant Details: 30-hour charge, 32-bit processor scans 200 times/second


Overview: Zebra brand scanners—specifically the DS2208 model—are some of the most high-performing and versatile scanners on the market, and are perfect for every industry. Lightweight and ready to go right out of the box, this Zebra scanner scans barcodes efficiently at any angle and is capable of reading both 1D and 2D barcodes, including QR codes.

Price: Around $125

Other Relevant Details: antimicrobial protection, “aim line” for scanning from a distance, auto-syncs to most POS systems


Overview: A solid plug-and-play choice, this USB-connected scanner handles all of the basic functions a barcode scanner needs. The WoneNice scanner syncs with most hardware and software systems, and seamlessly translates relevant data.

Price: Around $20

Other Relevant Details: can withstand up to a 1.5m drop on concrete, inclination angle 55°, elevation angle 65°

transportation management software system. Two men agreeing over a truckful of barcoded boxes

Barcode Printers


Overview: This commercial-grade, high-speed thermal printer is an ideal choice for label printing of all sizes (1.57” to 4.1”). Handling inventory and shipping label sizes, the Rollo printer executes at a rate of one shipping label per second. Compatible with most major operating systems and shipping platforms, the Rollo label printer even comes with free UPS labels.

Price: Around $190

Other Relevant Details: unlimited label height, U.S.-based customer service, how-to-videos included with purchase


Overview: The Dymo thermal printer prints addresses, file folder names, and barcode labels at a rate of 51 labels per minute. This cost-effective model allows you to create customized labels from software already installed on your computer in addition to templates being available for download.

Price: Around $67

Other Relevant Details: labels available to be printed in multiple sizes


Overview: This wifi enabled thermal printer enables you to print in both red and black. At a rate of about 110 labels per second, it is one of the fastest options on the market. The Brother is able to communicate and print from multiple devices at once at 300 dpi. It comes with a 2-year warranty. 

Price: Around $130

Other Relevant Details: includes an automatic cutter for various label sizes, optional battery extender available for portability


Overview: While priced a bit higher than most other items on this list, there is one main reason for this—it allows for ultra-secure RFID printing. Ideal for clients with sensitive information, this printer is beefed up with customizable features. With up to 600 dpi printing resolution, built-in tag verification, and a durable metal outer shell, this is one of the premiere label printers on the market.

Price: Around $1,200

Other Relevant Details: includes a responsive touchscreen that sends feedback, has automation capabilities and customizations

Looking for inventory management software that can sync with your barcoding equipment, track your inventory, create purchase orders, and develop custom reports? Check out our top picks for the best business management software for inventory management.

Better Virtual Management: Machines and Employees

Everyone can agree that 2020 was a completely unprecedented year for the global economy. The entire supply chain was disrupted and all businesses, workplaces, and employers had to pivot their operations in ways previously unknown.

While prior to 2020 the idea of working at home was mostly relegated to freelance contractors, 2020 catapulted nearly the entire working population into that category. Where business owners found themselves struggling was in the management of machines and employees.

Now, the world economy is starting to recover, but business owners are still grappling with some of the same questions.

How can machine shops engage employees who remain on a work-at-home basis until they can get their vaccine? How can machines be remotely controlled to provide better throughput, workflow, and lights-out management?

These are the questions businesses everywhere need to tackle—and answer—if they are to remain competitive in a post-pandemic world.

Though businesses are primarily looking to return to “business as usual,” the manufacturing world has been forever changed by the events of 2020. That means, as much as business owners want “normal” to return, they face a “new normal” instead. While virtual management may not be as necessary as it was when nearly everyone was working from home in the pandemic days of mid-2020, the adjustments made are going to become part of regular business activities, including the ability to manage machines and employees virtually.

Without virtual management capabilities in place, businesses might just get left behind by those that continue to incorporate these capabilities into their business structure for increased output and profitability.

Invest in Top-Tier CNC Shopfloor Management Software

Better virtual management will always start with digitalizing the shop floor, placing machines and employees on a virtual network that provides instant feedback to both in terms of shop processes, throughput, and machine performance.

The best software that will tie machines and employees together is a suite that allows for the simultaneous and instant management, analysis, and optimization of machine tools. With these three items in place, managers and shop employees can access real-time data, adjust workloads, and gain insight from automatic digital analysis to optimize workflow and machine downtime.

All CNC machine shops recognize that downtime is one of the most significant factors in reducing profitability and employee productivity. When a machine is down, the machine’s operator is then taken offline to focus on troubleshooting issues with the machine. Whether it is past due for maintenance, a tool got out of alignment, or the unit needs to be reconfigured, the operator is taken away from their regular job to troubleshoot, and the machine’s workload is halted until the problem is solved.

machine repair

With the digitalization of the shop floor, unexpected downtime can be dramatically reduced, unexpected problems minimized, and workflow and production boosted. Software that automatically feeds analytic data to machine controllers empowers employees to make critical decisions that save the shop floor, and the company, time and money.

Place More Data Into the Hands of Employees

When a limited number of employees are running the shop floor and managers are left to remotely work with them, empowerment for in-the-moment decision-making is key. The pre-pandemic shop floor ran very differently, with different operators able to run questions by the supervising manager by waving them over to ask a question.

Today’s employees are not only reduced in number, but also their supervising manager might not even be on-site for part of the day. What these employees need is data at their fingertips with guided analysis to make decisions along with the kind of instant communication that allows their supervisors to “OK” their choices.

Remote management software that links CNC machines together can simultaneously provide data to machine controllers and supervisors. With integrated communication software between workers, managers can access the same data set their employees see. Rather than emails or phone calls back and forth, with the right communication software, managers can approve or recommend actions based on real-time data.

Remote management and real-time data give employees the ability to be proactive in suggesting a course of action while providing managers the ability to preside over these decision-making opportunities.

With this kind of data access and communication, employees are given the power to make decisions with the safety net of having managers virtually by their side to provide further information, insight, and opportunities for learning.

Digitalize the Entire Shop Floor Process From Start to Finish

Digitalization only works to its full capacity if the entire process, from product design and machine concept to product execution and machine servicing, is digitalized. While it can be argued that any amount of digitalization is better than none at all, only partially digitalizing the shop floor will more often than not leave employees lacking data, information, and necessary analytics for accurate decision-making. Managers and machine operators alike need the maximum amount of data possible to make decisions effectively.

For machine operators, accessing the entire value chain is critical. They need access to product development, production planning, production timing, required output, machine tool life, and the minute set of data that informs them what the machine can handle.

By accessing this kind of data, the ability for optimization grows exponentially. The more a shop floor can be optimized for workflow, downtime, and throughput, the more shop productivity and industry competitiveness can be increased.

Incorporate Cloud-Based IoT Software

Digitalization is only as good as the ability to access data and remotely interact with it. If a shop switches machines over to a digital process but then proceeds to place the data on an internal server, the digital information is only as good as their on-site ability to process it.

If nothing else, 2020 showed the world that data must be remotely accessed. The answer, of course, is to incorporate cloud-based IoT software when the shop floor is digitalized. 

When machine data streams instantly to the cloud, managers can access and effectively manage shop floor employees regardless of whether they’re in the same state or a different country. Data is key to management and shop floor data must be hosted somewhere other than an internal server. Cloud-based data should be remotely accessible by all parties who are involved in the management and decision-making processes for the shop floor. With remotely accessible data, all employees will have the ability to optimize machine processes, production rates, scheduled downtime, and total shop floor efficiency.