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3 ways technology can transform your finance department


As we progress towards a digital office space, every department must embrace new technology as a way of driving growth throughout their business. 

One key area is your company’s finance function. Today’s CFOs are no longer just overseeing the finance team but are also engaged with projects to improve customer experience and implement innovative new technology. 

Collaboration is Key  

 

According to the 2018 CFO Sentiment Study, almost 50 percent of CFOs regularly meet with others to “align their technology initiatives with all enterprise, department, and team goals.” Once seen as being slow adopters of new technology, the finance function is now becoming one of the fastest growing resources.   

 

As organisations put more focus on collaboration, your finance team will need to share financial data clearly and quickly with the rest of your business. However there are often challenges that come with sharing information. For example, financial data may be stored in multiple systems from paper files to disparate applications and it is not uncommon for many processes to be done manually. This makes it hard to find specific information easily and is prone to human error. Many organisations are moving financial procedures from manual, paper-based processes to automated, Document Management Systems. And with the arrival of GDPR, having robust security measures in place is only made simpler with the help of technology.      

 

3 Ways CFOs Can Use Technology to Transform Their Organisations  

 

Many CFOs are turning to automation to solve these challenges and gain access to accurate, up-to-the-minute data. According to the 2018 CFO Sentiment study, more than half of the respondents plan to increase their investment in finance automation this year.   

 

Here are three ways you can use automation to transform your organisation:

  

  • Digitise your paper documents to make them more secure and easier to search.

By converting paper files into a digital format, we immediately eliminate the time-consuming task of searching filing cabinets for data, in return saving money and making employees more productive.   

 

By storing your organisation's records in a central database, it also makes information more accessible and promotes collaboration. Employees can search from their desktop or mobile device meaning communication is smoother and workflows can go uninterrupted.  That’s not to say that we lose control. When documents are digitalised, it makes it easier to apply control and security policies. Access is limited to authorised personnel and often a digital audit trail is left when a person accesses or makes changes to information.    

 

  • Gain quick wins. 

Many organisations start their automation journey by focusing on Accounts Receivable (AR) and Accounts Payable (AP), as these departments often rely on error prone processes.   

 

A report by CPO Rising found that AP departments process 2/3 of their invoices manually. On average it costs £10.19 and takes 12 days to process a single invoice. If we reduce the amount of time spent processing payments, it frees up the Finance team to focus on more strategic projects.  Invoices can pass through many different hands. Understanding this workflow and automating it using electronic Document Management Systems (DMS) can also significantly reduce processing time.   

 

  • Work with other departments to automate their processes.  

Once you have dealt with the automation of AP and AR processes, the rest of your organisation will see the benefit and will feel more comfortable to accept innovation.  

 

Other manual, error-prone tasks that are ripe for digitisation and automation include:  

  • HR tasks including employee records management, on/off boarding hires, paid time off management, and payroll
  • Finance processes such as expense reporting, procurement, tax filing, policy management and asset transfers
  • Facilities services such as meeting room bookings, lease agreements, parking management, and mail room processes
  • Any processes that require you to obtain signatures such as sales orders, leases, contracts, and other agreements

 

Get in Touch  

 

Our experts can work with you to understand your business challenges and recommend innovative solutions to help automate your business workflows. Call us on 020 3929 3003 or email [email protected]