Modern accountants have come up with more ways to accelerate financial transformation using technology disruption. With the rise of the digital era, accounting professionals are no more just bookkeepers. Today, their work goes beyond traditional transactional procedures of accounting, financial reporting, and budgeting. They presently hold a better and significant position in an organization.
Currently, all kinds of businesses demand urgent transformation to switch from hand-operated back-office tasks to fully automated approaches in their accounting and finance departments as accounting professionals play a vital role in their organizations. They are business associates who trigger a higher-quality approach and more trustworthy corporate decisions.
Although stepping out of a system that accountants have been working with for so long is not an easy project, but to have a positive impact on outputs and to have a better ROI, the change has to be embraced. From a small scale business to a large enterprise, the financial transformation is the need of every organization today. The modern business system is engrossed with more robotics-driven processes and regulations than earlier systems. This change is undoubtedly imperative but it also requires a high-level commitment of having expertise and resources from the industry accepting it. This may be a reason why many industries are still in doubt of accepting and adopting this digital transformation.
They have ample questions running up in their mind like-
So, to their knowledge, the first thing that should be deciphered is-
“YES! AUTOMATION IS FOR EVERY ENTERPRISE (INCLUDING YOURS) AND CAN BE DEPLOYED EASILY IN A PHASED APPROACH.
The only thing that should be considered is not to deploy it with half-knowledge. You should have a complete understanding before you make a transformational move.
Another thing that is demanding financial transformation from every industry is the expectations from accounting professionals and finance teams with the passing years to do more than just spending time on transactional activities that are consuming their valuable time.
According to Gartner “60% of organizations will digitize their accounting processes by deploying cloud-based applications in the next 4 years”.
Finance & accounting organizations are taking it as a positive sign for their organization’s success. Automated cloud-based software will allow them to be attentive and in-action for various tasks they should handle. This new implementation methodology will allow visionary teams to perform efficiently with accurate, automated, and faster closer than ever before.
In the transformational journey so far, software companies have been supporting their clientele to create value for their companies using their automated accounting software that helps solve their various problems. Now, as disruption in technologies (such as AI- artificial intelligence, ML-machine learning, IoT-the Internet of Things, blockchain, and advanced analytics) become mainstream, organizations have the opportunity to facilitate the workforce to converge on higher-value upshots.
In simple words, organizations can emerge to become intelligent enterprises with innovative capabilities that strengthen their business yearnings. Smart and intelligent enterprises with automation are much more sophisticated than before and can provide more profound penetrations based on a bigger variety of data sources, such as text, imagery, and videos. Besides, this automation can be applied far more cost-effectively as new tools make rising technologies more consumable by embedding AI within existing business processes.
It’s high time for the small businesses to make a swift shift from a manually operated firm with loads of paper documentation in drawers to a new, transformed smart firm. Here is the list of things you should start with and their benefits you will get:-
“A recent IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) report- The CFO mission to uncover the unknown – Applying analytics and cognitive computing for efficiency and insights, indicates that 80 percent of finance teams expect to use analytics to drive performance, manage risk and compliance, and optimize processes within two years. About half of the organizations surveyed also plan to implement cognitive computing within the next two years”.
Finance companies, during transformation, should simultaneously balance a wide range of purposes as they don’t have the opportunity of pressing “pause” on the multitude of crucial activities they seek daily, weekly, and monthly. This can be a sheer challenge, and still many of the world’s best-run FinTech firms make it work every day.
According to IBM “As CFOs increasingly embrace cognitive technologies, IBM continues to pioneer solutions to help them bridge the gap between new opportunities and current capabilities. IBM can deliver deep technology skills, experience and tools, teaming with CFOs to reinvent end processes through automation, analytics and cognitive intelligence”.
Although the initiative towards the financial transformation may vary according to the type of industrial sector, company, and business, certain challenges are common across all change initiatives and need to be planned before the start. For finance experts to generate early successes and develop momentum by deploying technology, they should aim the following challenges:-
Finance Transformation Accelerator can help in overcoming these challenges by getting the house in order before unforeseen challenges come thumping.
The innovative shift from older models to a new business model called Financial transformation will decrease manual efforts in repetitive tasks, boost the efficiency of traditional activities, and reduce the total cost of ownership.
They comprise the following:
Cloud-based applications and software are expected to spread all across the accounting and finance industries by the end of 2020. CFOs need technology/intelligent software that can automate:-
Businesses too are looking for ways to empower finance units with exceptional efficiency and strategic advantage to connect with all facets of the company.
Shifting to a cloud platform is the best way to embrace and accelerate the financial transformation path for your business since it renders innovative ways to leverage analytics, mobile, and digital services. It helps to integrate all processes smoothly.
Access on-the-go cloud platforms are flexible enough to allow users to access their data anytime, anywhere from any device such as mobiles, tablets, etc. Such timely and up-to-date access ensures employees to make real-time decisions based on accurate and latest reports.
Software companies have been helping businesses and accounting finance industry at a great level. They have been proving themselves to be the real accelerators of this transformation. Since accepting and deploying automation is not just the last step to skyrocket your business, you should know how to leverage this digital disruption in the best way to drive your business towards your aim. The 4 fundamental steps to transform your finance business are:-
Even the best technology can prove to be a failure or may not deliver enough ROI if it is deployed with a lack of resources and processes. It is incorrect to implement new solutions without having a clear perspective about your aims and goals you want to achieve with this change. Your strategy to deploy and implement the automation, your efforts to make your workforce eligible for the move, and clarity on how this initiative will contribute to your decision for the transition. Don’t start implementing new solutions before you have a clear, shared understanding of how processes will contribute to your goals. These transformation accelerators help accomplish key financial processes such as Procure to Pay, Order to Cash, and Closing.
F&A strategies and procedures are developed for safety purposes. Following rules would certainly be a plus point for you. Automated accounting software and systems include built-in procedures that can intensify the communications process. Make sure to have clear communication about following the rules.
Data quality challenges should be overcome before you initiate the move. As a finance expert or a business master, you have to deal with quantitative data which should be qualitative also if you aim to accelerate the transformation towards the change.
Effective solutions comprise of world-class automation with overall transparency within processes like balanced entries and tracing the source of transactions for having access to the information you need.
Automation will eventually lead to growth and when progress seems visible, in any terms, you should scale up with it. Organizations should blaze a trail and tap into more areas to hit the subsequent milestones on their transformation drive. The 3 areas to analyze as your company thrives are as follows:-
This is what Deloitte says about the financial transformation “Finance transformation is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it can have a significant positive impact on business results. But it can also require a considerable commitment of key talent and resources for an extended period. That’s why no organization takes finance transformation initiatives lightly. It’s important to get them right.
Embracing automation and having the zeal for transformation requires teamwork. So once tasks and duties are defined, you should ensure your team operates like one. Some key areas to be considered are as follows:-
Identify and mind the gaps between your current and later states and try to build a milestone-based roadmap.
“We revisited our policies and processes and knew that small changes weren’t going to deliver the productivity improvements we needed.”
CFOs can show leadership skills in building modern finance principles. With an automated finance platform, they can expeditiously reshape, organize, and strengthen finance and regulating processes with no influence on other business processes. This way, they can exemplify internally how easy it is today to invest in the latest technologies such as Automation, AI, RPA, etc. Thus, CFOs have a considerable opportunity to transform their position and become a stronger ally with their peers to forge long-term business. They can easily execute their daily transaction-focused activities with a higher competency and can also counsel other departments’ decision-making strategies by:-
With a transformed and integrated finance platform, the CFO can:
The finance transformation is about eliminating, simplifying, standardizing, automating and consolidating overall processes within an organization. However, these concepts should be examined thoroughly to discover how they can move the business forward in today’s digital era.