CFO Challenges: Automation & Technology Implementation (3 of 5)

23.03.23 07:04 AM By admin

Today, many companies embrace technology in new ways, with successes that drive revenue growth while keeping employees remotely connected. Implementing different technology to facilitate automation will be a crucial challenge for CFOs in 2023 and beyond.   


A quarter of CFOs say they have fully automated their payroll and invoice management processes, and nearly 45% say automation is underway in both cases. Other automated financial functions include order management, expense management, vendor payments, payroll, and data analysis.   

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According to 61% of CFOs, integrating with current systems is the most common challenge facing CFOs when automating finance functions. 

Accenture estimates that 80% can be automated, but only about a third of financial tasks are automated. And while two-thirds of CFOs are responsible for automation technology, about the same percentage say they need more knowledge to optimize the technology entirely. 


The underlying reason for this gap is that change-averse staff can hamper acceptance. CFOs should emphasize that automating routine tasks frees finance professionals to focus on more creative work, while insights from automated intelligence can help businesses succeed.   

While some of her CFOs are divided on automation and the ability to manage risk manually or individually, most of the CFOs believe finance will be cloud-native within a few years. Regardless of the obstacles, however, the strategic CFO says investing in new financial management technology is one of the key goals for 2023.   


Using AI for Strategic Insights

More forward-thinking CFOs are looking to new technologies like machine learning financial forecasting, robotic process automation, and blockchain to maximize business value and efficiency. When calculating your return on investment, look at the cost efficiencies of your business and set goals to measure the effectiveness of those investments. 


While increasing efficiency and productivity is by far the primary goal of CFOs using automation, more than half of CFOs are also looking to generate more insights.   


According to the report, when looking specifically at data collection, most CFOs (81%) said they seek to optimize processes and resources with operational process insights. 


The CFO's ability to integrate rich and complex data sets and develop a rigorous analysis of potential investments while managing risk enables them to review plans and strategies objectively. These skills make CFOs even more popular as the best data source and insights. 


Below are some statistics to help you make the right decision for your business.   


  • Over the past two years, many CFOs have implemented digital technologies across the entire finance function. 72% of CFOs have the final say on the company's technology direction.
  • Data from Accenture indicates that financial functions now employ emerging tools to interpret better and impact critical data, from predictive analytics (74%) to artificial intelligence (61%). 
  • According to Accenture), CFOs drive the digital agenda across their enterprise, with 77% leading efforts to increase efficiency through adopting digital technologies and 77% saying how disruptive new technologies are impacting their organization and business ecosystem. I am considering whether it will help. 
  • Two-thirds (67%) of finance executives believe executives in non-finance roles can and should be trained to perform financial activities such as reporting, planning, budgeting and forecasting. 78% believe digitalization will increase self-service. 


How Epicor Financial Planner Can Help in Automation

Corporate finance is rapidly transforming into a more strategic function as pressure continues to mount on CFOs to align their financial and business strategies. Rapid changes to the global economy have only strengthened the need for finance processes to be more agile.   


While many CFOs believe automation is the way to go, leveraging the right tools and exploring more advanced solutions can help companies address the digitalization gap.   


Epicor Financial Planner (EFP), a complete and cloud-based Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) solution, can help companies become more data-driven and innovative. EFP offers four different packaging for its users allowing it to be a product that can scale with businesses as they grow. Its users can either start with simple financial reporting or use it for a more sophisticated Financial Planning and Analysis solution.


EFP offers accountants, financial analysts, controllers, finance managers, and CFOs both a tactical and strategic solution that allows them to resolve issues associated with purely spreadsheet-based reporting while leveraging the power of both the Web and Excel to create a reporting, budgeting, forecasting, and consolidation workflow that makes sense for its users - the finance department.


If you need a robust financial planning and reporting software that can help you combine data from various sources and report or budget and forecast on them, book a free demo with Epicor Financial Planner today.

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