Cloud technology is quickly forging an integral role in everyday life, from file storage to photo sharing and even running a restaurant. If you’re an SME in the hospitality industry, the cloud is an extremely useful tool to helping your business run like a well-oiled machine. Our newest service, Clarity Cloud, is at the forefront of helping to improve the way your business works – saving you time and money. How exactly do we do that? We’ve enlisted our Business Development Manager, Rochelle Morgan, to go through some of your frequently asked questions to give you a better understanding of Clarity Cloud.
WHAT DOES YOUR ROLE INVOLVE WITHIN THE CLARITY CLOUD TEAM?
I help to provide advanced bookkeeping solutions for hospitality groups looking to streamline their systems and improve costs by moving into the cloud. I gain a lot of satisfaction understanding business administration and operations. It’s also beneficial to have gained such a broad operations knowledge at the front-of-house when looking into back-of-house systems. Ironically, Clarity Cloud is 100% about driving more focus on the front end, rather than the back office!
WHAT IS CLARITY CLOUD AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
Clarity Cloud is an end-to-end bookkeeping service for hospitality businesses and operates within our robust private cloud, hosted locally. We process all site data, including daily invoices (a simple scan to email), and the CFO and directors can still maintain full control of the financial information within their accounting platforms.
DOES MOVING TO THE CLOUD MEAN PEOPLE WILL BE REPLACED BY COMPUTERS?
Many people think we are simply an application that automates the data, but that’s not the case. We allocate a specific bookkeeper to each client and they can communicate with their bookkeeper Monday to Friday, even though the bookkeeping tasks are completed in one or two days. Our staff is based in Brisbane and Sydney so you don’t have to deal with international time zones or bookkeepers who don’t understand the product queries on supplier invoices or the idiosyncrasies of payroll.
WHAT IF MY CURRENT ACCOUNTING PLATFORM IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH THE CLOUD?
Clarity Cloud interfaces with all accounting platforms so it’s not an issue for us if your software preference is Xero over MYOB or Microsoft Dynamics over AccPac.
SO ESSENTIALLY, WILL WE BE OUTSOURCING OUR BOOKKEEPING TO CLARITY CLOUD?
Most hospitality groups have their own internal accounts department led by a financial controller with data being manually entered by chefs, management staff and bookkeepers. These processes are extremely time consuming and can take the ‘operators’ away from face-to-face operations and the key focus of making money. Outsourcing your bookkeeping to us means you can use skills more effectively by redeploying staff. We only do the bookkeeping and don’t get caught up in other diversionary tasks that beset the onsite bookkeeper. Your financial controller now controls and works in a visionary role. Of course, we are always going to process faster and more accurately due to repetition and our use of artificial intelligence. We also act as an un-biased party, which our clients find helpful when providing financial information to stakeholders. More and more hospitality groups are moving into company structures that include multiple partnerships and trading entities.
HOW DOES CLARITY CLOUD’S AUTOMATION HELP WITH BETTERING MY BUSINESS?
It’s a very speedy process for your site and can reduce your keystrokes by 80% – in other words, it’s faster and more efficient. The invoice scanned (you’ll need a scanner that allows scan-to-email at 300dpi and can scan the invoices at any time of the day or night) and stored in Clarity Cloud with the use of file storage technology. Then invoice data and any manager’s handwritten notes are reviewed by a bookkeeper prior to automation via an application programming interface (API) into your venue’s accounting platform. The best part is that the site can then discard your paper invoices because we have a permanent record accessible 24/7 by all parties and is not stored away in a box taking up valuable real estate.
HOW WILL CLARITY CLOUD CHANGE THE WAY SMES WORK, COMPARED WITH THE CURRENT METHOD?
Clarity Management Group has been providing bookkeeping for hospitality businesses for 20 years prior to the launch of Clarity Cloud. Traditionally, bookkeeping processes were slow, inaccurate and involved time-consuming ‘discovery’ procedures when reconciling. Staffing was cumbersome and the bookkeeper always had to be on site. In addition, many businesses were using computer technology that required constant updates and IT servicing, which is costly.
Moving into a business cloud reduces costs in areas, such as hardware, labour, time and overheads. From an IT perspective, it also allows for minimal disruption should service issues occur or new applications require installation. It really is the way to go, considering the value that data plays when analysing your business. The more (accurate and timely) data you can gather without compromising your front- or back-end hardware and software systems, the better. Management is loving the fact it can view financial information in the cloud, on any device in any location. You will become the game-changer!
WHAT SETS CLARITY CLOUD APART FROM THE REST?
Clarity employees have hospitality in their veins, which means we all understand the nature of the beast and can troubleshoot as we go. We also know that there will be times that require extra hours of work to get a new venue running or spending a day on site to resolve an issue with the gaming machines for example. We may have the technology, but nothing compares to staff with industry knowledge that act in the client’s best interest. Just ask our clients.
HOW SECURE IS MY DATA BEING HOUSED ON CLARITY CLOUD?
Extremely secure. Our private cloud is stored in the same location as major banks, government institutions and accounting platforms. Clarity Cloud’s data room is also backed to a secondary warehouse twice daily to ensure the utmost safety.
WHAT ARE FIRST STEPS I CAN TAKE TOWARDS MOVING MY BUSINESS TO THE CLOUD?
My advice is to do your research and look into secure long-term solutions rather than cheap third-party applications that only perform a small portion of the processes your business goes through. Seeking advice from an IT specialist can be a good start and outsourcing a business that has already invested into the technology will save you a lot of headaches. Remember, outsourcing does not mean relinquishing control – it’s all about sourcing tried and tested solutions so you can focus on what your business does best.
To learn more about Clarity Cloud as well as feedback from some of our clients, watch our video.
Rochelle Morgan, Business Development Manager, Clarity Management Group
Rochelle has a wealth of experience within the hospitality industry. With the initial dream of becoming a chef, she was encouraged by her then manager to try her hand at leading the front of house. This was the launch pad to a very successful and rewarding career managing restaurants, hotels and function venues, to becoming the licensee for a popular restaurant and bar venue on Sydney’s North Shore. She relocated to Melbourne to take on a role in event management before moving into sales and working with industry greats, such as Guy Grossi, Guillaume Brahimi and Martin Benn. Today, Rochelle is based in Sydney and has come full circle as part of the team at Clarity Management Group.