Why Accounting & Finance Automation is a Must for a Modern CFO in 2020
As a CFO in the current rapidly evolving business ecosystem, you must understand that the future is dynamic and will always demand more from your current system of handling the finance and accounting work. You must keep on updating yourself and your team members with the latest knowledge, and also support your team by equipping them with the right tools.
Challenges Faced by Modern CFO
As a CFO, your role will be dependent on how you are adept at using modern technology to your advantage. You must also have a clear understanding of how to handle the huge amount of data that is being captured from all the sources and placed at your disposal.
Lack of time
If you look at this from a legal point of view, the CFO is one of the few company executives who are held legally responsible if there is any corporate mismanagement or fraud. This is a very significant cause for CFOs to ensure that their teams are doing things correctly while maintaining the timelines set by the management.
When you are a CFO, you will always want that there is on-time and error-free closure of the company’s financial statements. However, this is not an easy task and many times your team will consume a lot of time to complete it. Any independent or internal auditor will always have a close look at the processes followed by you and your team, within the defined time limits.
Laws and regulations
The other challenge faced by CFOs in this situation is to keep track of as well as implement the updated regulations and accounting procedural guidance at a national as well as a global level. For a CFO, all of this could result in loss of focus in other areas of concern like business analysis, cross-functional strategic initiatives, crucial viewpoint and insight to the management.
The introduction of automation to the finance and accounting unit could be an important measure taken to enable the unit to turn their focus towards contribution on many business-related initiatives in the company.
Implementing Finance and Account Automation
The global economy has changed rapidly over the past few decades. With trade barriers lifted, many organizations have ventured into global markets. Faced with severe competition, organizations have been forced to change their tactics and adapt to market demands. This has fuelled unprecedented technological growth and adaptation across all business sectors.
Businesses that have been swift in using these technological advances to their advantage have found themselves having a competitive advantage difficult to overcome by their competitors. Gone are the days when maintaining transactional records and financial statements were considered the primary function of a finance team – all thanks to the technology adaptations at the business level.
Technological innovations such as cloud computing, data analytics, remote accessibility, AI-driven finance programs, and process automation are useful in empowering the finance team to tap their full potential.
Implementing automation of processes across the finance department could result in a significant reduction of overheads, faster completion of tasks, error-free completion of all repetitious tasks and an event-sequence is maintained for auditors.
According to an estimate, account automation can save $16 per invoice or more depending on the size of your company.
Not only automation of the processes, but the current business environment also calls for greater use of automation technologies. Automated data management programs provide a great deal of support to the finance teams in breaking down the large amounts of data available to an organization into meaningful conclusions, which can then be used for strategic purposes.
Benefits of Accounts and Finance Automation
There are a host of other benefits that can arise out of implementing automation in your finance department:
Easy access to insights and data
In today’s highly competitive market, organizations require their finance teams to step up and play an important role in securing business by getting involved right from the bidding stages. Automation initiatives assist finance teams to focus more on providing critical insights and strategic inputs to drive business growth.
The finance department has access to the automated data analytical solutions used by the organization to manage all the data collected through various sources. Using these analytical solutions, the finance department can run simulations and devise preventive action plans in case of any probable unfavorable risks or strategies to capitalize on probable opportune scenarios.
Automated solutions can be programmed to ensure adherence to local regulations and even comes with local currency and language support. This helps the finance department in ensuring error-free accounting and business statement maintenance for any global business ventures.
The Next Steps
As is evident, accounts and finance automation is the need of the hour. However, it is important to note that automation of the finance and accounting tasks will call for upscaling of the skill set of the employees and will also open the door to non-finance resources to be hired for the finance and accounts department; this could effectively mean the entry of non-finance functions into finance like data analyst, IT professionals, strategy consultants.
The right mixture of automation technology and people will be essential for the finance unit in the coming times, to have a meaningful impact and contribution towards the sustainable growth of the organization.