How NOT to become a CFO dinosaur

Posted on the 7th June 2016 by Compleat Software in SME blog

The FSN Modern Finance Forum recently released a Finance Function Survey 2016 suggesting that the role of a CFO is “overhyped and full of contradictions.” The FSN states that the research was conducted amongst the 46,000 members of the FSN Modern Finance Forum on Linkedin and represents one of the largest surveys of its kind.

According to the research, CFOs are still stuck in the past performing a traditional accounting role with insufficient time to devote to value creation or nurturing their finance teams. 

Three interesting points that come from the research are:

  1. CFOs of the future expect to be more influential in decision-making, technology and data governance but around a third rely on gut feel rather than hard data.
  2. Two thirds of respondents admit they have not mastered the volume and variety of business data and neglect innovation and process improvement.
  3. More than half of all CFOs say they don’t spend enough time on partnering with other departments.

Fortunately, there are many ways in which CFOs can get out of the Mesozoic Era.  Here our friends at Compleat Software tell us how to escape from Jurassic Park.

The best and easiest way for CFOs to modernise their methods is to significantly improve corporate communication and productivity around corporate spend. Enabling the departmental budget holders to become both self-sufficient and accountable for the management of spend is transformational. It can now be easily achieved by adopting cost-effective purchasing automation technology in all areas of finance, namely Invoice Management, Accounts Payable (“AP”), Employee Expenses, Budget Management and International Money Transfers.

  1. Update your processes

There is a surprisingly large number of finance departments still relying on manual processes for AP transactions and are not aware that these processes are sucking time away from staff. Without efficient business processes in place, your accounts payable department is likely costing your organisation deeply.

The first processes to review and update should be the ones involving manual or paper-based invoice and document processing. This is a “quick win” for a CFO as it improves your day-to-day visibility of financial status and provides a far better basis for business decisions by all stakeholders of a budget within your organisation. By automating accounts payable processes, approval times are reduced, smarter decisions are easier to make and money is saved in time, resource and hard cash.

  1. Leverage new tools and technology

Adopting cost-effective, affordable and easy-to-use technology to automate finance and accounting processes is another way CFOs can remain in this era. AP automation technology can:

  • Capture invoices into your system quickly and accurately, enabling finance and the budget holders throughout your organisation to track them.
  • Eliminate errors or “lost” invoices.
  • Reduce endless interruptions from suppliers and budget holders on the status of invoices, payment and budget availability
  • Manage all documents connected with transactions so that they are readily accessible from within your current systems for decision making.
  • Integrate with your current ERP to ensure a “single source of truth”.

Using technology is not about spending money on a solution but rather about saving money, gaining control of your business processes, and recouping a significant amount of valuable time for your organisation to do more productive activities. Businesses like Compleat Software offer a paradigm shift in accounting operations in which automation, controls and daily tasks are embedded within daily activities to better support a business cross-departmentally.

CFOs should also consider how they can save money on their international payments. Most automatically use their banks for this purpose, however, it is no secret banks are not always the most cost effective or efficient way to make overseas payments or pay suppliers based abroad. International payment services, like MoneyMover, are helping businesses make significant savings by keeping their fees low and offering highly competitive fixed foreign exchange costs no matter what the size of your firm.

  1. Stay informed!

By registering for webinars, following financial organisations on Twitter and reading news and blogs, CFOs can undoubtedly stay informed of the latest and greatest trends and news available to help their departments grow and remain an invaluable asset to the business.

In this day and age, it’s actually quite simple to get out of the Mesozoic Era and not become a Finance or Accounting dinosaur. It’s just a matter of discovering what you are missing and then doing something about it.

About Compleat Software

Compleat Software is a leading provider of powerful spend management solutions for SMEs that eliminates paper and unites finance, procurement and budget holders, providing an accurate, real-time picture of company finances. Offering the next generation of purchasing and budget management automation at an affordable cost, it’s P2P software comprises solutions for e-invoicing, purchase invoice approval, purchase order and receipting, employee expenses, contract management, and report generation. For further information on our capabilities and to learn how we empower results for clients, please visit our website. Follow Compleat on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn for the latest news & insights.


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