Armanino Blog

Leverage Technology to Transform Finance and Accounting

by Scott Schimberg
October 14, 2020

Constant change is the new normal for companies in all industries. In order to succeed in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) business environment, CFOs must transition away from the role of accountant and into the role of transformational leader inside their organization.

True transformational CFOs have influence over people, processes and technology. They have the ability to transform finance. Here's a look at the impact of technology when automating specific aspects of accounting and finance to enhance the value of the CFO.

Procure to Pay

  • Online purchasing requests — Automates requests for purchases and necessary spending approvals.
  • Electronic invoicing — Eliminates the need for a physical invoice in a filing cabinet. Vendors can email invoices into an inbox where they will be automatically routed and processed.
  • Automatic matching — Applies three-way matching if a purchase order matches up to an invoice in the system.
  • Electronic check selection and approval — Allows you to approve check runs from anywhere on any device to be able to get payments out quickly.
  • Electronic payments — Eliminates printing checks, getting them signed and stuffing them into envelopes.

Record to Report

  • Automated month-end close — Provides a no-brainer, month-end close checklist to reduce the time it takes to close the books.
  • Automatic account certification — Enables electronic review and recognition of accounts, auto-certifying ones that have not changed and allowing you to focus on those that have.
  • Online transaction approvals — Allows you to review, approve and track entries electronically.
  • Accountant-built reporting — Empowers accountants to quickly capture data and build board-ready reports that are meaningful and don't require IT support to produce.

Quote to Cash

  • Full CRM setup — Includes pricing and sales tax so all info is in one place.
  • ERP integration into the CRM and vice versa — Reduces the need for manual data entry.
  • Electronic invoices and payments — Speeds up the process of getting cash into the business.

Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A)

  • Advanced analysis platforms — Moves you beyond Excel to solutions that integrate directly with your ERP and provide greater forecasting ability.
  • Rolling forecasts — Provides more flexibility than your annual budget with meaningful insight into where your business is going.
  • Reporting outside of the chart of accounts — Uses data to report on things that explain the how and why of where the company is going.
  • Decentralized finance — Drives data and decision-making information down closer to the action, to the people who need it to make an impact on all parts of the business.

Adjust Your Mindset

Once you've decided to shift from being an accountant to being a transformational leader, you'll need to adjust your mindset to be comfortable with change. You are likely going to lose some control over data preparation, so be open to the idea of going digital and know that there will still be many controls in place.

Do a gap analysis of your people, processes and technology to understand your technology requirements now and into the future. It's better to build from your ideal situation backward rather than from what you have forwards.

And keep in mind that with new technology comes new processes, so be willing to change the procedures you have in place today to match the systems you've selected. A tool's built-in processes are there for a reason, whether to be better, faster or more cost-effective for your business. By adopting and getting in line with them, you will take full advantage of the functionality and features the solution provides.

After you've transformed your technology platforms, look for people who are comfortable with them. Then give them room to shake things up and adjust.

Read our white paper to learn more about Building your Finance Technology Roadmap

For more information on getting started to transform finance or for help getting across the finish line, contact our business application consulting team.

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