Technology is reshaping the role of the CFO, moving action from the back-office into the boardroom. For a growing company, this couldn’t be more important. Back in the days of spreadsheets and desktop software, CFO primarily focused on bookkeeping and historical reporting. But today, they can look forward—and take a seat at the strategy table, where they help drive the future of the company.
Riding the Tides of Change
Administrative financial and accounting tasks have always been—and will always be—essential to business operations. In fact, the critical nature of this work is one of the reasons key financial department employees were traditionally found burning the midnight oil in front of a stack of invoices and a calculator. They had no choice but to immerse themselves in the time-sensitive, manual requirements of tracking financials, paying bills, running reports, ensuring regulatory compliance, and more.
For more insights, find out How to Know When QuickBooks No Longer Makes the Cut.
With technology, the CFO and their staff have been able to streamline their processes, one “automation evolution” at a time. For most companies, paper ledgers were transposed to electronic spreadsheets and desktop software, which are now being shifted to an online, cloud-based chart of accounts, and so on. Every system iteration brings more functionality to the finance and accounting department, however small, cutting time and improving accuracy. It has taken data out of silos and enhanced team and interdepartmental collaboration.
Leading the Technological Revolution as a CFO
Tech-driven changes have freed CFOs from much of the day-to-day minutiae so they can take on more back-end and strategic and projects. They can evaluate more data, report on it in new ways, and work with other company leaders to plan for the future. With access to more comprehensive operational and financial data—and more sophisticated, even real-time, reporting tools—CFOs can easily:
- Look beyond the numbers to understand what’s impacting performance and driving bottom-line business results across the organization.
- Make better use of resources to increase value to customers, strengthening the top-line.
- Identify trends, risks, and opportunities inside and outside of the company, developing a voice in M&A conversations and others that determine the company’s growth trajectory.
Depending on Technology
Without the right technology solutions in place, however, a CFO’s strategic potential is stunted—or at least delayed until the company makes the appropriate investments in solutions that deliver the data and functionality they need. Even if they’re participating in strategic growth discussions, many CFOs continue to spend too much time and energy grappling with the inefficiencies of manual processes. They’re limited by disparate and disconnected systems, insufficient reporting tools, and even impatient decision-makers.
Implementing cloud-based financial management and accounting software can be an important next step for companies and their CFOs who are in this uncomfortable position. A scalable and cost-saving system eliminates their dependence on spreadsheets and gives them access to the tools they need to take control of their processes, better manage their employees’ projects, and provide fast and accurate insights to anyone who needs them.
What’s more, the enhanced capabilities will allow them to do more than they could ever do before—with historical and real-time data, for example—and keep up with a rising transaction volume as the business continues to grow. The right software will make it easy to centralize their data and integrate all of their business systems, even those they haven’t implemented yet.
Is It Time to Make a Change?
If your financial and accounting organization is ready for an upgrade—so your CFO can get more strategic—contact us to learn more about your options. We specialize in connecting growing companies with cloud technology solutions customized for your needs.