Transforming finance into a profit centre
A major source of competitive differentiation for businesses is how efficiently payment processes are carried out, so successful financial digital transformation is crucial.
Finance needs to bring itself to the 21st century. It’s a new world, with new challenges (cash-flow management, fraud, cash visibility and reporting, impact of compliance and regulation to name but a few.) But there are new digital technologies emerging that can help solving those new challenges; finance needs to embrace them. Now.
The journey to digital is essential to transforming both the internal and external perception of finance as a slow, archaic cost centre and into a high performing profit centre delivering genuine business value and helping the business pursue innovation at every turn.
Even small steps on the transformation path can render big results. Automating key processes for example will instantly enable easier recall of complete invoice or receipt lifecycles, as well as improved cashflow and cash management from the wider visibility available through P2P automation and its improved management of indirect spending. Whether on-premise, via SaaS or outsourced through a service provider, once automated, it will become simpler to uphold best practice, as step-by-step and mandatory measures can be put in place.
Once a financial team is ready to become optimised, genuine function-wide profitability can become a reality. Twenty-three percent of businesses have both procurement and finance automation technology in place, but without the integration that will fully enhance its digital transformation. Increasing finance and procurement collaboration in particular has been identified as something that businesses acknowledge technology could assist. For high-volume, routine and repetitive tasks such as invoice processing, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) intelligently captures and validates data and securely interacts with other enterprise applications, thereby accelerating speed and accuracy while shrinking costs. RPA is also cited to help make business critical decisions faster and smarter.
The effective implementation of these advanced and automated technologies represents a genuine opportunity for finance departments in businesses of all shapes and sizes to forge new reputations as centres of profit and efficiency. By successfully shedding the legacy repute of a department designed to absorb admin, finance can reimagine itself for the modern business offering genuine insight, innovation and, most importantly, profitability.