The finance industry has been prioritizing digital transformation in recent years. Leaders must have the right tools to ensure their efforts are effective and bring high returns. This article will explain how digital transformation benefits businesses in the long run as they work through their technology road maps and what leaders can do to ensure they have the right tools in their virtual toolboxes.
Before the pandemic, 70% of companies were either preparing a digital transformation strategy or already had one. The need for tech-enabled change only increased when employees began working from home and leaders had to figure out how to ensure productivity and efficiency from a distance. It was clear that having the right digital tools in place ensured resilience during a disruptive time.
Finance departments were one area of business that faced an especially challenging shift to a remote world. Often dependent on an in-office setup, these teams faced the challenge of quickly figuring out how to collaborate effectively and share potentially sensitive financial data virtually.
It’s no wonder that businesses began to prioritize digital transformation in their finance departments. By automating mundane and repetitive tasks with proper tech tools, financial professionals can collaborate easily and efficiently from anywhere and focus more intently on the areas of work that require their expertise and human judgment, such as strategic planning around the next growth phase and timely, impactful financial insights.
Benefits of the Right Digital Finance Tools
Executives recognize that reducing human involvement in tedious or routine administrative activities likely leads to greater efficiency and faster growth. Accelerated growth, however, isn’t the only benefit an organization should expect to gain with the right finance tech stack. Any increase in productivity and efficiency often translates into cost savings. One report found that 53% of employees save up to two hours each day through automation. Those numbers can add up quickly, especially within larger organizations.
Finance teams that still rely on manual processes instead of advanced tech tools, on the other hand, increase regulatory risk while diminishing their efficiency. Implementing an automation finance tool for even one process can lead to more predictable outcomes and optimize that process to become scalable across the entire company. Beyond that, business disruption increases every day in one way or another, and we’ve all learned recently that we must expect the unexpected. Investing in finance digital transformation can help your company weather whatever storm lies ahead, however disruptive it might be.
Supporting Strategic Digitalization in Finance
Although finance tech stacks will vary among organizations, a few core systems can better enable successful transformation. You’re looking to build a solid foundation that you can customize to operational needs that supports further digitalization as the company advances. The right strategies often include the following:
- Implement automated cloud-based solutions
Remote work is the norm today, and many operations are expanding across the globe. As a result, stakeholders often need access to real-time financial data. Invest in automated, cloud-based solutions that track end-to-end processes. These solutions should be fully controllable and auditable and reduce risk and financial exposure for the business.
- Invest in reporting, planning, and analytics tools.
CEOs might wish they’d begun investing more aggressively in finance digital transformation two to five years ago, but they can still get ahead today by streamlining and improving the efficiency of workflows with their finance tech stacks. To remain competitive, identify technologies that improve the accuracy of your reporting, planning, and analysis to accelerate digitalization—and amend prior missteps in the process.
- Integrate technologies that enable communication and collaboration.
In cloud-based document management systems, team members can share ideas, send documents, and collaborate in real time with colleagues from anywhere. This improves efficiency, transparency, productivity, and accountability within workflows. Any changes are archived, eliminating version control issues and providing an audit history.
- Evaluate technology regularly.
Where a manual process exists today, there could be a solution to digitize and automate for more scalable and adaptable operations. For example, a robust accounts payable automation platform and an integrated ERP and billing solution are assets for the finance function. They’re critical for mid-market businesses, especially considering that the workforce is now remote. Depending on the system, additional functionalities can also streamline the onboarding of new hires, distribution of policy changes, and compilation of records during a regulatory audit.
High-performing CFOs identify, adopt, and implement new technologies efficiently, so take a page from their playbook. Look for solutions that enable streamlined internal processes, data-driven insights, and improved decision-making. Be prepared and allow finance professionals to focus on higher-value tasks by automating the mundane ones.
Written by Chen Amit, CEO of Tipalti Solutions Inc.
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