Automation: The Key to Unlocking a CFO’s Potential

The brain is a vast, complicated organ and it is widely, if misguidedly, believed that we only use about 10% of it on a regular basis. Science has, without doubt, disproved this fact, but it is easy to see why we would believe it. We often find ourselves failing to achieve our full potential, whether this comes in the form of lacking productivity at work, the impact of stress or tiredness on our decision-making or letting friends and family down, we are only human, we have our limits. This then begs the questions: how do we improve our potential? How do we build out our talents and achieve big dreams?

These very questions are why more leaders, and in particular, CFOs, are turning to smarter technology solutions for help, specifically ERP platforms with embedded AI. CFOs find themselves with ever-expanding job responsibilities, all the while being asked to continue leading the extremely vital finance teams, but they have the same number of hours in a day as everyone else – so something has to give.

Therefore, automating manual processes will enable CFOs to regain precious hours, dedicate time to critical decision making and apply themselves to driving a competitive business.

They need to focus on big-picture decision-making based on strategic insights, rather than simple but time-consuming tasks. Technology enables this shift: AI or chatbot assistants built into ERP applications that handle less strategic work can be a game-changer, helping CFOs focus on driving results.

CFOs are ambitious by nature, they wouldn’t be where they are if they weren’t. However, they do need to keep the finance function up and running. If the majority of their hours are spent doing this, their ambition is not able to reach its full potential. Requisitions, purchase orders and vendor invoicing are not going anywhere. But using cloud-based ERP with embedded automation empowers CFOs with intelligent financial management capabilities that can handle the routine duties that are holding back potential productivity. This frees up the CFOs to focus on innovating and proving to the CEO exactly how valuable an advisor the CFO can be.

CFOs find themselves with ever-expanding job responsibilities, all the while being asked to continue leading the extremely vital finance teams, but they have the same number of hours in a day as everyone else – so something has to give.

The time is now to invest in this technology. CFOs are part of a unique group of people within a business who have access to data from every department, from sales to HR and marketing. In light of increasingly strict regulations and compliance laws, compiling data from all business units can be difficult as teams try to ensure they comply. CFOs are therefore in the unique position where they have complete oversight of the connected data and processes in an age where businesses are driven by data. This is a very important function for a business, and CFOs should be dedicating their energy to driving strategic business decisions from this position of insight, dedicating their productive hours and decision-making to the data they have at their disposal. At the end of the day, these insights translate into valuable guidance CFOs can give the CEO to help drive the business forward.

Becoming a strategic adviser to the CEO and the board by tapping into this ambition and reducing lost productivity can manifest itself in many different ways. For example, Football Club RCD Espanyol implemented a Cloud ERP platform to automate its financial processes. Joan Fitó, Financial Director, saw his finance team become infinitely more flexible by automating repetitive tasks. Productivity went up by more than 20%, while reporting time was reduced by 50% and there are over 25% fewer errors committed by his finance team. The team can now spend time focusing on analysing Club data in real-time to become more strategic in its efforts to become a globally-recognised name in the football world.

80% of an organisation’s transactions are processed in the back-office, the home of the financial team. So, as seen at Football Club RCD Espanyol, the opportunity is there for CFOs to lead the way to digitally transform and change operations for the better, with a clear path to make the most of being data and automation driven. This will make CFOs even more central to business operations, which is why they must be ready to make this jump now. It is an ideal time to showcase their ambition in combination with intelligent process automation to handle the energy-intensive tasks and take full advantage of the opportunities presented to drive the business forward. Taking the leap and implementing an ERP Cloud with a strong automated financial functionality is exactly the way to do this. It will ultimately enhance productivity and agility, allowing the CFO to be laser-focused on making the decisions that really matter – growing a successful business.

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