The role of CFO at the heart of digital transformation

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It’s time for innovation. And most often the Chief Financial Officer is the first person affected by Digital Transformation!

The importance of digital in everyday life generates ever-increasing volumes of information. The volume of data is exploding and will continue to increase in the years to come. Much more than an opportunity for companies to reorganize business, tackling this flood of information will become your best competitive advantage!

The 3 major challenges facing the CFO

Faced with this wealth of information, the CFO is the guarantor of the data analyzed and treated. Designing analyzes, creating relevant statistical modeling to ensure the financial accuracy of millions of lines of figures. In other words, the CFO is the safeguard of the data. Without it, other services can not trust an automated system. Erroneous calculations, inconsistencies … all these risks can harm and cost the business for which the CFO is responsible.

The trend is more than ever today to the omnichannel management of flows to be able to capture and process all incoming information, whatever their formats (PDF, paper, email …).

As you can see, there are many challenges facing the CFO who must:

  • Optimize the internal processes of the company for the processing of information
  • Meeting regulatory requirements to avoid penalties
  • Facilitate exchanges and collaboration with the various players in the company

These are all challenges that force the finance function to digitize. The first point of entry is naturally the dematerialization of accounts payable processes.

Digitalization: The leading edge for financial processes

According to a recent study, digital transformation of the finance function depends first on digitalized invoices and documents. Indeed, 66% of CFOs believe that digitalization allows them to be more efficient while meeting the environmental requirements. Among the benefits provided by this technology, we count, of course, mutual gains for the company and its various stakeholders:

  • Cost Reductions

Digitalization enables significant savings for companies (removal of papers, expenses related to transport, capture or archiving / storage …). Moreover, the new modes of exploitation of digital modes (hybrid or cloud) offer the advantage of democratization of these practices. They provide considerable flexibility, thus lowering deployment costs.

  • Reduced risk of errors and frauds

Digitalized processes also greatly reduce the risk of errors and / or fraud. For example in the case of processing accounts payable invoices which is a highly regulated process. The automation of this task makes it possible to systematize the necessary checks and reconciliations with the ERP, thus ensuring the conformity of all documents. This treatment facilitates, among other things, producing a reliable Audit Trail with a minimum of manual interventions, thus a double benefit.

  • Improved collaborative structures

Most of the time, through the setting up of a collaborative portals, digitalization also optimizes the exchange of information between the different company departments and its suppliers or customers. Indeed, this portal makes it possible to structure, standardize and centralize all exchanges. It facilitates for example, the follow-up of payments, invoices and documents and monthly reporting, with automatic notifications and tools to avoid deficiencies.

Mastering the new Enterprise Grail

Digital transformation creates structural changes for financial management. It requires new skills and more sophisticated tools. The digital transformation age is well under way. Digitalization is the first lever of action and productivity to transform the company and meet the challenges of tomorrow. The CFO has become aware of his or her new key roles in the digital transformation process of the organization. Digitalizing the finance function is tantamount to a strong competitive advantage: it is a way to gain agility in the face of regulatory constraints, and also, to master “the new corporate grail”: the data!

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Post by Cathryn Brimhall