Technology dominates the headlines, as its capabilities reach dizzying new heights that will potentially revolutionise the way we live and the way businesses operate.
Aside from the glamorous, sci-fi-esque developments of artificial intelligence and driverless cars, lies a basic principle that will set organisations and finance leaders apart – embracing technology from the bottom up.
The real value of new technology comes from embedding it within the processes of all functions across an organisation – especially finance. It cannot be an afterthought or an add-on.
It’s vital that within such a fast-changing environment, financial processes are already taking place in the cloud, that finance functions have highly capable ERM systems, automation is freeing up strategic planning time and powerful analytics are running complex algorithms to read ‘big data’.
Those businesses that have not updated their accounting processes will still have CFOs and finance teams that are too burdened by manual day-to-day tasks to spend time on higher-level, strategic activities.
The shift in the CFO role that now encompasses strategic insight and business partnering, has been enabled by new technology. Modern software solutions not only automate processes, but allow for greater clarity on compliance, as regulations increase, and in turn, free up the CFO to not only spend more time on strategic planning, but to empower teams to make better decisions.
Employing technology from within the foundation of an organisation, however, does not only deliver increased agility, a higher-functioning team and more time for strategic planning, it offers a competitive edge over other organisations.
While the first step to stay ahead is implementing software systems from the ground up, the second step is to understand what software your competitors are using, to gain an insight into how they manage their organisations, what they are prioritising, and if they have the capability to quickly adapt to change.
Forward-thinking CFOs will see the strategic value in this. As technology continues to grow in importance, the difference between an agile system that delivers reports in minutes, not hours, or a system that is clunky and old, can be the difference between profits and loss – the bottom line for any CFO.
The importance of technology and software will only continue to grow, with the Forbes’ top 100 Unicorn companies list almost exclusively made up of software and tech companies. CFOs need to think about staying ahead, because not only is tech changing the way we operate, it will be the defining factor in whether or not a business grows or flounders.
It is important that switched-on CFOs start to realise the strategic value of software systems and analyse their competitors’ choices to gain a stronger position on the playing field.
To stay ahead and find out what software other organisations are using, fill out this short survey to reveal the results.