Digital transformation is key to your role as a CFO. Most of your peers agree, according to a new study from StrategicCFO360 and accounting software provider Vic.Ai.
In fact, eight out of 10 of CFOs surveyed said that automation is crucial for optimizing their finance processes and getting key insights from financial data. And 61% said automation would likely have significant value for their organization.
Because of this, almost 60% of CFOs plan to increase their company’s investment in automation technology over the next year. They’re hoping automation will help them stand out in the labor market as the Great Resignation continues. CFOs are also hoping to weather the rising cost of operations.
Over 40% expect to complete their digital transformation projects within the next two years – so companies are moving full steam ahead with adopting new finance tech to reap the rewards ASAP.
The top automation priority for nine out of 10 of your peers is to boost productivity and efficiency in Finance. Other top priorities are to:
- create more actionable insights
- reduce errors
- improve forecasting, and
- reduce labor costs.
To generate those actionable insights from their digital transformation initiatives, the majority of CFOs surveyed, or 81%, are looking to collect data that’ll help them and the finance team make the most out of their existing processes and resources.
It might not surprise you that the top Finance areas that CFOs are looking to automate right now are payroll and invoice management. Close to 45% said they’re working on automating those processes right now, and 25% have fully automated them already.
Several other important Finance processes are also popular candidates for automation in the near future, including expense management, supplier payments, purchase order management, data analysis and accounts receivable.
Overcoming challenges to digital transformation
While automation gives companies many benefits, there are hurdles to overcome, as well. The biggest challenge for 61% of CFOs surveyed was integrating new automation technology into their current systems.
Other significant challenges include allocating budgets or resources to the transition, finding or developing the skilled talent necessary to implement the technology and eliminating siloed processes across the company.
To overcome these challenges and ensure that any finance automation tech you implement gives you the most out of your investment, it’s vital to:
- Identify all the options available on the market in your price range, looking at vendors large and small
- Figure out your top priorities for Finance automation, especially in terms of streamlining processes
- Review solutions based on your company’s specific objectives, asking each vendor for examples of relevant use cases if available
- Make sure each solution can integrate well with your existing tech and processes during the transition
- Look into any investments you need to make to prepare employees for the new tech, including training – or even bringing on new hires who are expert users to help with the transition, and
- Create a change management strategy, which will help the inevitable holdouts come around and adjust to using the new tech more quickly